Have you seen those beautiful pics of one-pan dinners on Instagram or Pinterest? Most of them use a sheet pan. It’s a popular shortcut to get a meal on the table for several people while using the least amount of cookware for easy cleanup. But to get the best results, it all starts with a good one. Consumer Reports just tested a number of sheet pans to find out which ones cook the best and clean up the easiest.
CR bought and tested 19 pans in their lab, both coated and uncoated. They roasted chicken and vegetables on each pan, timing cooking speed. And a sticky mix of pumpkin and cream cheese was baked on to see how easy the pans were to clean.
CR tested the pans for durability by scouring the surfaces with steel wool to replicate wear over time. In general, uncoated pans cook a little more evenly and they’re more durable, but they’re harder to clean. And you can pay as much as $150 for one. But the Nordic Ware Naturals Baker’s Half Sheet for $18 ($27 in Canada) is a top performer. It heats evenly and aced CR’s durability test.
Testers found that coated pans heat up and cook faster, and they’re much easier to clean. The Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Nonstick Non Corrugated Half Sheet for $33 ($48 in Canada) heats up quickly and was the easiest to clean.
A Consumer Reports’ Best Buy is a coated pan from Walmart. The Mainstays Gold Nonstick Aluminized Half Sheet Pan got high marks overall. And at just $8 (it’s not available in Canada), it leaves you money left over to double up on dinner and invite some friends!
And here’s a tip to keep your pans in shape. Coated sheet pans are steel underneath, and they can have a raw edge that’s prone to rust. So dry them completely in the oven while it’s still warm.