Do you know what a half-sheet pan is? It is a term from commercial kitchens that references a sturdy pan with the dimensions of 18 by 13-inches, with a 1-inch rim all the way around. They are strong. They don’t warp. The aluminum commercial-grade, which are easy to find even on Amazon, are inexpensive and they conduct heat beautifully. We use ours every day to roast meats and poultry, vegetables, nachos, for sheet-pan pasta, cookies, scones, and more. Learn how to choose the best one for you.
Half-Sheet Pans Can Make You a Better Cook
In the realm of baking and roasting, a high-quality half-sheet pan is an indispensable tool that every kitchen should have. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, the right half-sheet pan can make a significant difference in the outcome of your culinary creations. In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when purchasing a half-sheet pan to ensure you bring home a durable and reliable addition to your kitchen arsenal.
One of the first considerations when buying a half-sheet pan is the material it’s made of. The most common materials are aluminum, stainless steel, and aluminized steel. Aluminum pans heat up quickly and distribute heat evenly, making them a favorite among bakers and are found in every commercial kitchen. Stainless steel pans are durable, resistant to rust, and easy to clean. Aluminized steel pans combine the benefits of both aluminum and steel, providing even heat distribution and durability. Choose a material that aligns with your cooking preferences and maintenance routine.
Thickness & Durability
The thickness of the half-sheet pan plays a crucial role in its durability and performance. Thicker pans are less likely to warp over time and provide better heat retention. Look for pans with a gauge measurement, with lower gauge numbers indicating a thicker material. A pan with a gauge of 18 or lower is generally considered sturdy and warp-resistant, ensuring longevity in your kitchen.
Many half-sheet pans come with various coatings to enhance their non-stick properties and ease of cleaning. Some common coatings include non-stick, silicone, and natural finishes. We are actually not partial to any of them both from a wearability perspective, and also for performance. We think nothing beats a commercial grade aluminum half-sheet pan. Sometimes we cook and bake directly on the pan. Other times we will line with parchment. Always follow the recipe directions.
Size & Dimensions
While half-sheet pans generally have standard dimensions (18 x 13 inches), it’s essential to check for variations in size. Some pans may have slightly different measurements, which can impact your cooking and baking plans. Ensure that the pan fits comfortably in your oven and accommodates the recipes you frequently prepare. Additionally, look for pans with rolled edges, which provide stability and prevent warping during use. We love using them for prep, as seen above, in addition to in the oven. Those kebobs are ready to be carried out to the grill.
Brand Reputation & Reviews
Before making a purchase, research the reputation of the brand and read customer reviews. A well-established brand with positive feedback is more likely to produce a high-quality half-sheet pan. Pay attention to comments regarding durability, heat distribution, and ease of cleaning. Online reviews can provide valuable insights from real users who have tested the product in their own kitchens. We have had great luck with those from Nordic Ware.
Recipes That Use Half-Sheet Pans
We use our half-sheet pans daily. Here are just a few recipes we think you will love:
- Shredded Pork Nachos with 3-Cheese Beer Queso
- Sheet Pan Lasagna with Spicy Sausage & Spinach
- Buffalo Chicken Fries
- Balsamic Chicken with Peaches
- Sheet Pan Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
- Spatchcocked Chicken with Sourdough Croutons & Schmaltz
- Roasted Delicata Squash & Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Pomegranate
Investing in a high-quality half-sheet pan is a decision that can elevate your baking and roasting experiences. By considering factors such as material, thickness, coating, size, and brand reputation, you can confidently choose a pan that meets your cooking needs and withstands the test of time. Armed with the right half-sheet pan, you’ll be well-equipped to create culinary masterpieces that delight family and friends alike.