Ever wondered what the difference is between baking tins, baking trays and baking pans? Not to mention half sheets and jelly roll pans? Here we will split all types of sheets, baking trays and frying pans for you, so that you will never get confused about the differences.
Whether you build your collection of bakeware from scratch or just have to replace something that has gone through better days, sometimes knowing exactly what you need can be confusing. If you have limited cupboard space, building a bakeware collection based on items that play different roles can also save space. And in turn, having the right pan for the job can be a time saver (because the pan performance varies with material and other factors).
So, do you really need a whole range of different flat pans for a meal or a few batches of cookies? Or can you use one pan for many tasks? We have done the research so that you know what valuable real estate should be in your kitchen.
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Baking sheets and sheets
One of the most multifunctional baking forms is a baking sheet (also known as a sheet pan). But to be honest, a baking tray can also be used for more savory dishes than sweet. These kitchen horses can do anything from roastedand vegetables to make meals with one pan and several layers.
A baking tray or plate has a shallow outer edge around all four sides to preserve juices and other liquids from being lost. Moreover, baking trays play well with accessories such as roasting and cooling racks (useful for making perfect bacon, among other things).
The disadvantage of frying pans is that acidic ingredients can react to the metal. To prevent this, use parchment paper or silicone foil on the frying pans when cooking such products (this is also a good idea when making baked products, as it prevents sticking and makes cleaning up easier because you don't have to scrub so much) slurry).
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Another advantage of frying pans is that they are available in various sizes and aluminum qualities. Quarter sheets, half sheets and even full sheets or commercial sheets are available depending on your needs. Quarter-sized pans are usually 9 by 13 inches (a standard size for sheets), pans for half-sheets are 18 by 13 inches (this is the size of most pans that are simply described as baking sheets) and pans for full sheets are 26 by 18 inch (too large to fit in many home ovens, but the standard commercial size).
Materials used to make baking trays are just as versatile as the range of foodstuffs for which the product can be used: there is professional, heavy-duty aluminum, stainless steel, hard anodized baking utensils and even more modern silicone with reinforced edges.
A silicone pan liner like this one from French Pantry makes baking a lot easier.
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This is where things get interesting (frankly). Baking pans differ from baking trays because they are deeper and have a wider range of shapes and sizes. Baking pans are also available in various materials – ceramics, stoneware, metal, glass and reinforced silicone.
The most common baking tins are rectangular and square, with the most common size for a square pan 8 by 8. inches, and the most common size for a rectangular pan is 9 by 13.
Baking pans, as opposed to baking trays , are much deeper, so that they can contain running berries for brownies and cakes, as well as savory dishes that contain sauces or other foods such as stews, lasagna and shoemakers.
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Biscuit trays differ from baking trays because of their bottoms, which are flat and have no raised sides. This helps ensure that the cookies that you bake on them don't lose their shape, bake evenly and are easier to maneuver with a spatula, because there are no pan edges in the way (having said that, you can definitely bake cookies on a baking sheet
Traditional baking trays have small lips on only one edge to grip when you have to slide them in and out of the oven and come in different shapes, sizes, thicknesses, materials and finishes.
You will usually find insulated baking trays, non-stick baking trays and other metal baking trays.
Amazon  This set of three baking trays helps cookies to bake cookies faster and more evenly. The natural aluminum will not rust, no matter how many batches of oatmeal chips you throw at them.
An insulated baking sheet has a 1/2-inch lip around it and must be used to make more delicate cookies, such as shortbread. These sheets are designed to bake cookies evenly and to prevent browning and sharp edges or bottoms. However, one thing to watch out for: insulated baking trays change the baking time because they bake slower than regular metal baking trays.
Metal baking trays vary in makeup – some can be made of aluminum while others are made of steel. Aluminum baking trays usually have a lower price than steel, but conduct heat evenly and quickly. Cookie plates made of aluminized steel can be more durable (i.e., less likely to warp, dent or corrode), but can also heat up faster than aluminum and can cause a burnt batch if they are not careful. Stainless steel baking trays are another option, but they do not conduct so well and can be more difficult to clean.
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baking trays can be made of aluminum or steel, but (as the name suggests) are coated in a smooth non-stick finish and are usually darker in color. These are best used for cookies with a light crunch or crunchiness. In addition, the non-stick properties must be easily cleaned up. Do not use metal spatulas, as this can damage the finish.
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Jelly roll pans
Last on the list, a jelly roll pan has rolled edges into a lip and is made to make, well, sheets for jelly rolls. The pans are also useful for baking bar-type cookies. The sides of a jelly roll pan are usually an inch deep.
The microtexture on this jelly roll pan acts as a guard against sticking and promotes even cooking.
But – sorry I broke someone's bubble – a jelly roll pan is actually just a smaller version of a baking sheet, so if you have one of those, you don't need this type of pan either.
This story was written by Emily Cappiello.