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Half Sheet Pan Question

If I buy new ones, what do you recommend?

I have 2 gold coated ones from Wm-Sonoma that have gotten stains that won't come off.

Previously, I used some metal ones that have a black smudge when I was wash and dry them. (What IS THAT??) It stains my dish towels. (Could this have happened from using PAM on them?)

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  1. What are you using them for mostly?

    The standard commercial sheet pans are usually aluminum, which can be hard to get grease off of. I usually try to:
    a) Cook most stuff on top of parchment (you could use a silpat instead). I do this for pastry applications, like baking cookies; I'm not sure whether this would result in proper browning for, e.g., roasting vegetables, but I believe using parchment would work fine for that kind of application as well
    b) Not obsess over grease or other stains that do end up on them. After all, sheet pans are pretty cheap, and as long as the stains don't cause performance problems, I just don't worry about them.

    I think Chicago Metallic and other manufacturers make silicone glazed sheet pans, which might help a little bit, at least until the coating wears off.

    If you're really worried about it, you could try stainless steel sheet pans instead, however, I don't know if they'll perform as well.

    I think that the black smudges on your dish towels is just from the aluminum itself, but I could be wrong. Some makers of bare aluminum cookware advise "seasoning" it (with a light coating of oil). I think most cleaners that you'd use on stainless steel (especially super alkaline ones) are *not* a good idea to use on bare aluminum.

    1. I have seen those gold coated ones from Williams Sonoma too. I think those are nonstick sheet if I remember correctly -- which I may not. Have you tried to soak the pan in baking soda solution? It may help.

      I agree with will47. Most likely you were using aluminum baking pans. The black./gray color on your dish towels are loose aluminum oxide. My guess is that they are not pure black, rather darken gray.

      Baking sheets are normally made of (a) aluminum, (b) stainless steel or (c) aluminized steel.

      1. The gold touch are aluminized steel with a ceramic non stick coating. I don't have their sheet pans but I do have other gold touch ( the cake and loaf pans) Not sure what your stains are. The only ones I have that have stains are the ones with folded square corners, you just can't get in there to clean them. I try and ignore it. The sheet pans don't have folded corners though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rasputina

          You are correct. They are aluminized steel pans. Man, now that I read the product information, I remember why I didn't buy them. They are not cheap.


        2. The alu. ones from the restaurant supply are the only kind I'll buy. Everything else is overpriced, gimicky, junky, or all three, IMO.

          I also could care less what they look like. I keep them as clean as is reasonable and might give them an occasional SOS pad scrub down, but beyond that they look like they look, black bits and all. I always use parchment liners anyway.

          editing to add that I think consistency of equipment is as important as any other aspect of baking. I am used to baking on the basic restaurant sheet pans. I like that if I need to replace them, new ones will be the same as the old and perform the same vs. some frou frou type that I'll never find again.

          2 Replies
          1. Agree completely on consistency. Also FWIW I have CM regular (not gold or nonstick) cookie sheets, half jelly rolls, bread, and cake pans. The cookie sheets and half jelly roll are kept presentable with steel wool and don't seem any the worse for it. The bread pans and cake pans are brown from years of seasoning with use and never get scrubbed (but always release perfectly).

            1. Why not keep the gold-coated sheet pans for display (their only
              reason for existence), and hide the ones you use?

              3 Replies
              1. re: mpalmer6c

                The original reason I bought the gold ones was that gray stuff smeared off on my cheap pans, stained my dishcloths. That does not happen with the gold ones (they are supposed to be non stick, I think.) The stains on the gold ones look like they will never come off.

                I'm sorry that Wm-Sonoma changed their policy; returns are only for a 3 month period. I feel I paid way too much to have this happen.

                1. re: walker

                  Go there and argue with them. I recently returned a lemon squeezer that broke, and it was far more than 3 months old. When did this policy change?

                  Our sheet pans are from restaurant supply. I see no reason to have non-stick for sheet pans; aluminum works just fine, and you can use parchment when you need a non stick surface for baking. I buy the half sheets from kingarthurflour.com, and I use those both on the sheet pans and cookie sheets.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    roxlet and walker,

                    I see the situation differently. When a lemon squeezer breaks, it is not functional. A stain on a cookware does not necessary affects its function. Similarly, I don't think you can return a Le Cresuset because dark color stains or a Boos cutting board has food stains. Williams Sonoma may able to offer additional advices to clean the baking sheet. If Williams Sonoma will replace it for you, then that is even better.

                    Walker, how bad is the stain? In additional, have you tried some of the suggested methods? Using baking soda solution and/or Bar Keeper's Friend solution and bring them to a boil (using the oven)?

                    Your original baking pan sounds like an bare aluminum pan. It will work just fine and many professional chefs use them.

              2. This is the pan rated highest by Cook's Illustrated:


                I have one and absolutely love it.

                10 Replies
                1. re: NotJuliaChild

                  Looks like a pure aluminum heavy gauge pan. It probably will have the same issue as gray/black dust the original poster talked about.


                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    The OP asked for a suggestion for a new pan. He never specified what he did or did not want.

                    1. re: NotJuliaChild

                      It wasn't a criticism.

                      I am just filling in some information for the original poster because he indicated that he is trying to avoid gray powder/dust from his previous pan.

                      ""The original reason I bought the gold ones was that gray stuff smeared off on my cheap pans...""

                      If he is ok with a straight heavy gauge aluminum, then that is great. If not, this is just to inform him that aluminum pans (depending of usage) may produce the dark gray powder.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        My "stuff" is not gray powder; it's like a black smear when I wash it and try to dry it. That's only on the metal ones that I still own but don't use.

                        The gold ones I've cleaned but stains seems embedded. From scrubbing (not with cleanser!) some of coating around the perimeter has already come off.

                        (I'm a "she." Wish I'd picked out a better name when I first signed up -- just chose my last name!)

                        1. re: walker

                          Hi walker (she),

                          Regarding your original pan which has gray/black powder/residue, it is most likely to be some forms of oxidized metal. Do you know if you have steel pan or an aluminum pan? An aluminum pan usually is relatively thick, but light. A steel pan is usually relatively thin, but heavy. In addition, a steel pan will be magentic and you can stick a refrigerator magnetic on it. I am still guessing it is an bare aluminum pan.

                          If you happen to have a steel pan, then it can rust and you will get a red to black smear. If it is aluminum, then it gray to dark gray.

                          Have you gotten a chance to read this original post. Does it sound similar to your experience


                          As for your GoldTouch pan, you probably should bring it to Williams Sonoma. If the coating actually come off without cleanser, then it is pretty bad. You didn't use steel wool, right?

                          As for recommendation, I think a straight aluminum pan is the best deal. It is cheap, light and effective. No need to babysit it. Lay a sheet of parchment paper to provide a nonstick surface. Don't use any aggressive cleaner, or it will have gray/black powder comes off.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            It's aluminum -- magnet sticks to it.

                            No, I never used steel wool, just the rough green part of the yellow sponge and Ajax dishwashing liquid.

                            Maybe I got those stains from roasting tomatoes for tomato soup or roasting brussels sprouts.

                            1. re: walker

                              "It's aluminum -- magnet sticks to it."

                              Regarding your original pan, it is steel if the magnet sticks to it. A magnet should not stick to a pure aluminum pan. So it seems you have a steel pan and what you have observed is probably some forms of rust.

                              I am sorry to hear that your GoldTouch pan. The GoldTouch pan is aluminized steel pan (aluminum outside, steel inside). It is supposed to be the most expensive construction. I am very surprised that the coating actually came off. You should show that to Williams Sonoma people. I don't think the green part (rough) part of the sponge should able to take off ceramic which GoldTouch claims to be.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I got totally confused, steel vs. aluminum. A magnet would not stick to my stainless steel dishwasher but DID stick to my half sheet pan (silvery metal). So, I guess it's steel. (Why didn't the magnet stick to my dishwasher?)

                                It sure does not look like rust, just gray smeary stuff when I try to wipe dry.

                                I'm think of ordering this one:

                                This is the pan rated highest by Cook's Illustrated:


                                I have one and absolutely love it.

                                Permalink | Report | Reply

                                By NotJuliaChild on Nov 20, 2011 07:56 AM

                                I've forgotten .. is it aluminum?

                                1. re: walker

                                  Stainless steel is a bit different. Some stainless steels are fairly nonmagnetic. That is another topic all together. Carbon steel (the one which can rust) is magnetic.

                                  "I've forgotten .. is it aluminum?"


                                  The one recommended by NotJuliaChild as well as by JayF are the of the same brand: WearEver. WearEver is made by Vollrath. Both are made of aluminum. The one recommended by NotJuliaChild is 13 gauge, whereas the one listed by JayF is 18 gauge -- in short NotJuliasChild one is thicker. Usually speaking the thicker one is more resistant to warp. Would you need a 13 gauge pan? That is your call.

                                  Here is a list of Half Sheet pan by Vollrath (WearEver):


                                  Aluminum can oxidize, but it is not as bad as carbon steel. It is a lot more subtle.

                                  *Edited* I am going to repeat myself again, but might as well.... Aluminum has its advantages compared to steel, but also disadvantages. When you handle aluminum pan, make sure you don't exposure it to sudden temperature change (especially from hot to cold). It can warp even for a thick gauge one. Photo #2 and Photo #4 are customer complaints:



                                  1. re: walker

                                    To reiterate what Chem said -

                                    Yes, it is aluminum.

                                    I've never had a problem with gray stuff or smearing or anything else.

                                    Then again, I couldn't care less about a few stains.

                                    If you want function, I recommend it. If you want form or style, you should probably look elsewhere.

                  2. I have these, the Wear Ever 5303, 18 gauge aluminum: http://www.globeequipment.com/Kitchen...

                    A couple have stains, most from something that bubbled over years ago. I use parchment with them, so it's not really an issue. I've been using them forever, and I expect them to outlive me.