Fact Checked

What Should I Consider When Buying a Cookie Sheet?

A Kaminsky
A Kaminsky

Most people like to bake cookies, whether for a special occasion or just to satisfy a sweet tooth. Some bake cookies on whatever bakeware they have available, but a cookie sheet is really the best utensil for the job. A cookie sheet is usually a sheet of sturdy aluminum, often with a raised “lip” on one end so it can be handled with ease. Since cookies, unlike cakes or brownies, do not have to rise to fill a pan, sides are not necessary.

One of the first things to consider when buying a cookie sheet is size. How big a cookie sheet should a shopper buy? That may depend on the size of the oven. Some small apartment stoves have narrow ovens, and a large cookie sheet will not fit all the way inside. It’s never a bad idea to measure the length and width of the cooking rack if you have a smaller stove.

Oatmeal raisin cookie.
Oatmeal raisin cookie.

Some cooks find a jellyroll pan, that is, a baking sheet with shallow sides, to be good for baking cookies. This may be a lifesaver for larger or heavier cookies that might slide off a regular cookie sheet. A jellyroll pan’s shallow sides do not interfere with how the cookies bake.

A cookie sheet may be aluminum, coated with a non-stick finish or “insulated.” An insulated cookie sheet has two layers of aluminum, with air in between. This helps ensure golden-brown, not burned, bottoms. However, the cook needs to remember that insulated bakeware of any kind should never be immersed in water for cleaning. Rather, it should be washed by hand and spray-rinsed. Otherwise, water could seep in through the seams in the metal, ruining the pan.

The number of cookies you intend to bake should influence the size of the baking sheet you purchase.
The number of cookies you intend to bake should influence the size of the baking sheet you purchase.

A cook should always have more than one cookie sheet. Cookies are rarely baked in a single batch, and a second, or even third, cookie sheet can help a cook bake multiple batches more efficiently. Quality and size usually determine the price of a cookie sheet. A medium cookie sheet may cost anywhere from 5 to 25 US dollars (USD), depending on maker and quality. The cookie sheet can serve many functions in a kitchen, and the wise cook will make sure to have one around.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@Sara007 -- All good suggestions. I've also found the Mr. Clean Magic Scrubber does a great job on cookie sheets as well as metal baking pans.

These suggestions don't do much for nonstick pans, though. I kind of agree with Grivusangel that if your pans are in pretty bad shape, you can get more use out of them if you line them with foil. My husband does that -- mostly because he's tough on bakeware and I buy the cheap stuff for him to use. Otherwise, he'd be broiling pork steaks on my $30 airbake cookie sheet! I have to watch him like a hawk and threaten him with his life if he uses those for anything but making cookies!


@lonelygod-- I have a couple of nonstick cookie sheets that I use. I think the trick to making the finish last longer is to make sure you don't use metal spatulas or similar on it, and also wash it soon after use. If baked on food stays too long, it can damage the finish. I've never noticed any ill effects from the finish, but as I said, I always wash the cookie sheet right after using it.

If the finish starts to flake or wear, you can always use the pan, but line it with foil or parchment paper, so you don't come in contact with the flakes. That way, you get a much longer life from the cookie sheet.


For those of you thinking about buying new cookie sheet because your old one is black from repeated burns, I would recommend trying some cleaning methods first.

Oven cleaner can do wonders for your cookie sheet, but as over cleaner is quite hazardous, you have to make sure you clean it off thoroughly before using it again.

For less toxic alternatives you can try sprinkling baking soda over the cookie sheet. After that use a wet sponge to give the sheet a good scrubbing.

Another trick is to use vinegar and cream of tarter to make a paste. Once you have your paste spread it over the pan and let it dry out. After it is dry scrub it clean with dish soap.

Finally, if all that fails, it really is time to buy that new cookie sheet.


Has anyone had any experience using the non-stick finish cookie sheets?

I am considering buying some more baking supplies and cookie sheets are on the top of my list.

Usually I just lightly grease the pan with some butter so the cookies don't stick to the surface. I am wondering if the non-stick pans would prevent me from having to do this, and in turn, make slightly healthier cookies.

Also, I read that sometimes the non-stick finish can wear off and cause chemicals to leak into foods. Does anyone know anything about this problem? Or have you had any personal experience with your non-stick cookwear shedding its non-stick layer?

I don't want to invest in something that is potentially dangerous.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Oatmeal raisin cookie.
      Oatmeal raisin cookie.
    • The number of cookies you intend to bake should influence the size of the baking sheet you purchase.
      By: Artistic Endeavor
      The number of cookies you intend to bake should influence the size of the baking sheet you purchase.
    • A cookie is the best utensil for baking a batch of cookies.
      By: Gajus
      A cookie is the best utensil for baking a batch of cookies.