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Silpat appreciation?

Do you like using Silpats? Are they bad for X and only good for X? Would you rather just use parchment paper?

A few Christmases ago, I convinced my BF to buy a Silpat for his sister, who is an avid cookie baker. As a food enthusiast, I'd read about how great they were and seen them used quite frequently on TV. I thought it would be a perfect gift for her.

Come Christmas day, she opened her tube shaped gift and was very unenthusiastic. If I recall, her verbal response was something like, "Oh thanks, but I have really awesome cookie sheets." I've never asked her if she's used it.

I was a little miffed at her response because I see the utility in having a Silpat for baking cookies, crostatas, etc. (Is there even such thing as a "really awesome cookie sheet" that doesn't require any type of liner??)

Thoughts?

FWIW: I use a Silpat knockoff or unbleached, enviro-friendly parchment, and stainless steel half sheet pans. If I could afford additional Silpats I'd use them more often than parchment, but they're expensive.

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  1. I love my silpats. I use them for everything from baking bread to cooking meatballs. They're great for freezing things like fruit or dumplings, just bend the silpat and off comes the frozen food with only the silpat to clean.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zitronenmadchen

      That freezing idea is genius! I don't need or really want a Silpat for baking, but do frequently freeze individual items and have a hell of a time fitting my quarter-sheet pan into our little fridge freezer (only one we have).

    2. Don't have silpats but REALLY like lining pans with parchment. Wish there was something flexible to use in a bundt pan?!? No matter how prepared, something is bound to stick somewhere.

      1. I have a full sheet pan size one I use for rolling out dough and pastry. I love that thing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rasputina

          love mine, have two that are in constant rotation. When baking large batches of cookies I use parchment too

        2. Jacques P├ępin uses them all the time for baking and can't praise them highly enough. I've never bought one but I've thought about it.

          1. They are also great for roasting veggies as the caramelized drippings don't require a jackhammer and industrial strength chemicals for cleanup. The use to freeze items before vacuum packing is outstanding. I place one in a sheet pan and precool it in the freezer, quickly dump the food to freeze on it, and put it back in the freezer and it is close to the flash freezing that is done by the commercial outfits.

            2 Replies
            1. re: NVJims

              I've used mine for roasting vegetables four times in the past two weeks, plus twice when I made fortune cookies. Got mine this past Christmas as a gift from my sister and I love it! I prefer it to the Chef's Planet one I got a couple of years ago (it has served me well, but I like the heft of the Silpat better).

              1. re: NVJims

                Having just finished the jackhammering on my pan after roasting chicken for brown broth a few minutes ago (not exaggerating), I thank you very much for this tip! So completely genius!