How to choose the best sheet pan for home baking and cooking

No matter the hobby, well-made tools help you hone your craft and get the best results possible. Cooking and baking are no exception. While you can walk into almost any department store and find a basic sheet pan for roasting and baking, researching and investing in a quality brand is worth the effort and expense, according to our experts.

Put simply, “quality pans save time, money and improve outcomes,” says Kyri Mosley, CEO and founder of Kyri’s Kookies (an online cookie delivery service based in Dallas). That said, the ideal size, design and material will differ depending on personal preference and intended use, according to our experts.

To learn more about the best sheet pans and how to shop for them, we interviewed two executive chefs, a pastry chef and a professional baker. Below, you’ll find their sheet pan recommendations as well as the criteria you should consider while choosing the best option for your needs.

SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best sheet pans | The best sheet pans in 2023 | How to shop for sheet pans

How we picked the best sheet pans

To find the best sheet pans on the market, we interviewed four experts who specialize in cooking and baking. They recommend keeping these factors in mind while shopping:

  • Dimensions: Sheet pans come in various industry-standard sizes, but the two most popular are half-size and full-size. While the latter can hold significantly more food, it may not fit in most residential ovens, says Cameron Bryant, executive chef at The Sipp on South Lamar, a wine and tapas bar in Oxford, Mississippi. In addition to the size, you’ll also want to consider whether or not your sheet pan has a raised rim, which impacts its functionality, according to our experts. 
  • Material: Sheet pans are made from various types of metal, but the best materials for most cooks and bakers are aluminum, stainless steel, aluminized steel and carbon steel, according to our experts. We explore the pros and cons of each material below.
  • Durability: Multiple factors play into a sheet pan’s durability, including its material, temperature rating, coating and thickness (also known as its gauge), according to our experts. We explain all of these criteria in further detail later on. 

The best sheet pans in 2023

Below, you’ll find some of the most popular sheet pans on the internet, which we chose using our experts’ guidance. Most of them are direct recommendations from the chefs and bakers we interviewed, but we also included brands we use and love, as well as reviewer favorites that have earned at least 4.5 stars from over 600 reviews.

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial 2-Pack Baker’s Half Sheet

Bryant and Adesuwa Elaiho (owner and executive chef of corporate and specialty pastry company Asukar) recommend Nordic Ware sheet pans because of their high-quality construction and reasonable prices. “Mine have lasted for over six years with repeated high use for baking cakes, cookies, roasting veggies and baking bread,” says Bryant. “They have yet to warp.” (While Bryant cleans these pans in the dishwasher without issue, the brand recommends handwashing to prevent discoloration.) These 20-gauge half sheets come in a pack of two and are made from aluminum with a steel rim. They also come with a lifetime warranty, according to the brand.

Size: half sheet (17.9 x 12.9 x 1 in.) | Material: aluminum | Gauge: 20 | Maximum temperature: 500  degrees Fahrenheit

USA Pan Half Sheet Pan

Elaiho also recommends USA Pans. “Their heavy-duty aluminized steel construction and nonstick coating make them a great choice for baking and roasting,” says Elaiho. This half-sheet pan has a ridged bottom that increases air circulation, reinforced rims that resist warping and a silicone-based coating (that’s food safe) to minimize sticking, according to the brand.

Size: half sheet (17.25 x 12.25 x 1 in.) | Material: nonstick aluminized steel  | Gauge: 19 | Maximum temperature: 450 degrees Fahrenheit

De Buyer Blue Carbon Steel Rectangular Baking Sheet

“My baking tray of choice for the past 40 years is de Buyer,” says Sebastien Canonne, pastry chef and founder of the online baking school The Butter Book. Canonne’s favorite baking sheet is made from blue carbon steel, which combines stainless steel with cast iron. It’s also seasonable for even, crispy cooking long term and has a versatile rolled rim so you can use it for both savory and sweet creations, says Canonne.

Size: half sheet (15.75 x 11.8 in.) | Material: blue carbon steel | Gauge: N/a | Maximum temperature: N/a

Vollrath Wear-Ever Cookie Sheet Pan

Vollrath makes commercial-grade sheet pans suitable for home use, says Elaiho. While the brand offers baking pans with rims, this cookie sheet has a rimless design so you can quickly slide baked goods onto a cooling rack. It also has curved sides that make it easier to grip when moving the tray into and out of the oven. The 10-gauge, impact-resistant aluminum heats evenly and retains its shape over time, according to the brand. 

Size: half sheet (17.1 x 13.7 x 0.5 in) | Material: aluminum | Gauge: 10 | Maximum temperature: 450 degrees 

Chicago Metallic Glazed Aluminum Steel Individual Cookie Pan

For cookie bakers in particular, Mosley recommends this aluminum pan due to its shallow, round indentations, which make uniform cookies by creating a “more contained environment during the baking process,” says Mosley. You can also use the indentations to make hamburger buns and muffin tops. The aluminized steel has a silicone glaze that resists sticking and a raised outer rim for improved grip, according to the brand. (Keep in mind that this model, which has 12 molds, is best for especially large ovens, but you can get the same pan with six molds for standard home ovens and 15 molds for commercial use.)

Size: full sheet (25.75 x 17.75 x 1.5 in) | Material: nonstick aluminized steel | Gauge: 22 | Maximum temperature: 700 degrees Fahrenheit 

Caraway Baking Sheet Duo

I’ve owned and used Caraway’s nonstick ceramic cookware for years, but this year, I branched out to the brand’s bakeware. I love that the ceramic coating makes it nonstick for quick, painless cleanup — but unlike other nonstick options, it’s free from harmful toxins (like PTFEs) and oven-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the brand. The aluminized steel body also heats up fast, maintains an even temperature and results in golden-brown cookies and crispy vegetables, in my experience. You can buy the medium and large pans separately or bundle them together for a discounted price, plus you can choose from several color options. 

Size: 18 x 13 in and 15 x 10 in. | Material: aluminized steel with a nonstick ceramic coating | Gauge: N/A | Maximum temperature: 550 degrees Fahrenheit 

Made In Non-Stick ½ Sheet Pan

We’ve featured Made In cookware before in our guide to the best Dutch ovens, and this sheet pan is another popular pick from the brand. The pan, which has a 4.9-star average rating from more than 2,400 reviews on the brand’s site, has a nonstick coating that makes it easy to clean after baking and roasting, according to Made In, (though you can also opt for a standard version without the coating). It comes in two sizes, both with a 1-inch rim to contain juices and prevent the pan from warping. 

Size: half sheet (18.25 x 13 x 1 in.) | Material: nonstick aluminum | Gauge: 18 | Maximum temperature: 450 degrees Fahrenheit 

Our Place Oven Pan

Our Place — the brand behind the Always Pan, which I use daily — makes versatile cookware that does several things in one, and this oven pan is no exception. It has an aluminum interior (which heats up evenly), an oven-safe ceramic coating and a 1.8-inch rim that lets you use it as a nonstick, toxin-free sheet pan; it also functions as a stovetop griddle where you can fry pancakes, eggs and bacon, according to the brand. Unlike most other sheet pans, it also has built-in handles and comes in several stylish color options. 

Size: 20.9 x 11.8 x 1.8 in. | Material: aluminum with a nonstick ceramic coating | Gauge: N/A | Maximum temperature: 450 degrees Fahrenheit 

Great Jones Little Sheet

NBC Select editor Lindsay Schneider recommends the Great Jones Little Sheet if you’re looking for a quarter-sheet option. “I live alone and am often only cooking for one, so it’s the perfect size when I need to quickly roast off a piece of salmon or some vegetables,” says Schneider. “I don’t love dirtying huge pans (especially with a tiny NYC dishwasher) so I love that this feels like a personal sheet pan for one.” The aluminized steel has a nonstick ceramic coating to make cleanup easier, plus it’s dishwasher-friendly, according to the brand. You can get this two-pack in four bright colors or black.

Size: quarter sheet (13.5 x 9.5 x 1 in.) | Material: aluminized steel | Gauge: N/a | Maximum temperature: 450 degrees Fahrenheit

How to shop for sheet pans

The right sheet pan for you will depend on your personal preferences and the specific cooking task at hand, according to our experts. They recommend using these criteria to pinpoint a sheet pan that complements your needs:


The material is one of the most important factors, as it will impact your sheet pan’s heat retention, durability and functionality. Sheet pans come in various types of metal, and most of them are well-suited for both baking and cooking, according to our experts; we outline the most popular options below, based on expert guidance:

  • Aluminum: Most of our experts agree that aluminum is the best material for sheet pans because it’s durable, affordable and consistent when it comes to even heat distribution. 
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel is an especially durable option that’s often dishwasher-safe and suitable for high-heat roasting to achieve caramelization and a crispy sear, according to our experts.
  • Aluminized steel: Aluminized steel pans combine a steel interior with an aluminum coating, and they’re often nonstick to boost convenience, says Elaiho (though if your pan does have a nonstick coating, you should avoid exposing it to especially high temperatures). 
  • Carbon steel: Carbon steel combines the advantages of stainless steel and cast iron, and if properly cared for, will deliver superior heat distribution and consistent baking for a lifetime, says Canonne. Blue carbon steel in particular is Canonne’s favorite sheet pan material for cakes, pastries and cookies, since it reduces hot spots for moist, even baking and it’s seasoned to make it more corrosion-resistant. 


Sheet pans come in five industry-standard sizes. The most popular are full-size (about 18 by 26 inches) and half-size (about 13 by 18 inches), though measurements vary slightly from brand to brand, according to our experts. “Full-size pans are great for catering or large batches,” says Elaiho, but most standard residential ovens can’t fit a full-size sheet pan. As a result, a well-made half-size baking sheet is the most practical, versatile pick for most home bakers and cooks, according to our experts. 


Gauge refers to the thickness of the sheet pan — but it’s measured inversely, meaning the higher the number, the thinner the pan. As a result, lower-gauged pans (which start at 10) are more durable, but are often heavier and more expensive, according to our experts. Bryant recommends that shoppers choose sheet pans with gauges around 18 to 20, which “will help with efficient heat transfer and prevent warping.” 


Material and gauge both impact the durability of your sheet pan, according to our experts. Ensuring that your pan is oven-safe at high temperatures will make it more durable and versatile (the sheet pans on our list have maximum temperatures of at least 450 degrees Fahrenheit), but you should also look for reinforced edges, warp-resistance and dishwasher-safe options to boost durability and ease of use, says Elaiho. 


Most of our experts prefer baking sheets with rims, which keep liquids contained and prevent ingredients from rolling off. However, unrimmed baking sheets (sometimes known as cookie sheets) have their uses; they’re ideal for roasting large cuts of meat or vegetables, allowing airflow for more even browning, says Elaiho. Rimless cookie sheets also let you slide finished cookies right onto a plate or cooling rack, which may speed things along while baking large batches. 

Nonstick coating

Some sheet pans have a nonstick coating on them to make cleanup easier. While some of our experts prefer pans without a coating (which may affect the flavor of your food), others acknowledge their value when it comes to ease of use: “Nonstick pans are convenient for easy food release, but they might not create as crispy results for roasting,” says Elaiho. “Seasoned steel pans are a good alternative.”

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest. 

  • Kyri Mosley, Ph.D., is the CEO and founder of Kyri’s Kookies, an online cookie delivery service based in Dallas. 
  • Cameron Bryant is the executive chef at The Sipp on South Lamar, a wine and tapas bar in Oxford, Mississippi. 
  • Adesuwa Elaiho is the owner and executive chef of Asukar, a corporate and specialty pastry company. 
  • Sebastien Canonne, M.O.F., is a pastry chef and the founder of the online baking school The Butter Book.

Why trust Select?

Maria Cassano is an e-commerce writer, editor and consultant as well as an avid home baker. She has written about and reviewed kitchen tools for nearly a decade, and you can find her cookware content in publications such as Food & Wine, AllRecipes, Bustle, MyDomaine and Elite Daily. For this article, she interviewed four professional chefs and bakers.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

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