The best baking trays on test

The BBC Good Food team reviewed a dozen baking trays and sheets, all ideal for making cookies, biscuits, pastries and cakes. Discover our top recommended buys.

Six chocolate cookies on a baking sheet

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Whether you occasionally whip up a batch of biscuits or an ornate pastry is part of your standard repertoire, a baking tray or cookie sheet is a kitchen basic that can’t really be replaced by anything else. The flat surface is ideal for spreading out your bakes – and because you don't need to spend a lot and it doesn't take up much storage space, this piece of kit is a worthwhile addition to your equipment list.

Oven trays can take a bashing, as oil residue and sometimes charred remains build up over time. We think it’s best to have a baking tray or sheet that you keep especially for those more delicate baking tasks, ensuring you get the perfect batch every time. That said, we included a multi-purpose category for the minimalists out there.

Although it's tempting to get a cheap baking tray, we didn’t want to fall foul of false economy. Buying a tray that will last for years saves money and hassle in the long run, but we were keen to try both cheaper brands and more high-end products to find a product to suit everyone's needs.

If you’re a frequent baker, 10-year or lifetime guarantees are appealing, with the knowledge that you can rely on your sheet time and time again. For those who bake less frequently, a budget option that still offers reasonable quality might feel like a better spend.

We tested everything from supermarket basics to blowout brands to find our favourite products. For more baking buyer's guides, visit our review section.

Le Creuset insulated cookie sheet (£34)

Best investment baking tray

Black rectangular baking tray on white background

If you don't plan on buying another baking sheet for a while, look this way. This one feels like an ultra-durable piece of kit which will keep you right for years of frequent baking. It comes with a large square surface area for maximum baking capacity, and has both a grip and ridges on the handle, ensuring you won't send your food flying.

Heat conduction was superb too, producing biscuits that were beautifully brown and crisp on the bottom but not too hard in the middle. This is described as a ‘cookie sheet’ but will work for all your baking needs as well as shallow roasting (without oil).

 


Circulon Ultimum insulated baking sheet (£21)

Best baking sheet for one-batch cooking

 

Black rectangular baking tray
The proportions of this sheet really maximise on oven space, reducing the number of batches you’ll need to run through the oven. With a lifetime guarantee, Circulon are confident of its long-lasting capability, and having reviewed and reused many products from the Ultimum range we’re convinced they're right. It can be popped in the dishwasher too and is completely non-stick.

 


OXO Good Grips non-stick pro oven tray (£22)

Best multi-purpose baking tray

OXO good grips grey trayWe tested a range of options for our multi-purpose category, including trays with sides that would work well both for baking and for foods that produced cooking juices. Lakeland, Wilko and Prestige Moments all get an honourable mention, but in the end we chose this OXO Good Grips tin with its PFOA-free credentials (free from perfluorooctanoic acid), as well as its comfortable rolled edge and handy size markings.

 


Pyrex multi-purpose glass cooking sheet (£8.99)

Best alternative to traditional non-stick metal baking sheets

 

Pyrex glass baking tray
 

Many of today’s non-stick materials have been made PFOA-free but may still contain similar compounds in small amounts. For people who want to minimise their exposure to chemicals in the home, glass makes a great alternative. Despite the lack of non-stick surface, cookies were still easy to remove and cleaning wasn’t a problem. This is a heavier tray than the metal alternatives, but glass is tough and long-lasting, can be put in the dishwasher without compromise and is microwave-safe too. Heat conduction is slower, so expect your biscuits to take longer – which works out great anyway if you prefer a soft bake.


Buy from Ocado (£8.99)

What we looked for when testing baking sheets


Baking equipment
Sturdiness: We looked for a tray that was sturdy enough to withstand high heats and frequent use.

Weight: Too light and it was a little too easy to send the contents flying – overly heavy and a laden tray proved difficult to wield. The sweet spot rested in between the two.

Non-stickability: We wanted trays with a good-quality non-stick surface to stand the test of time, minimising the need for additional single-use liners like baking parchment and foil.

Ease of use/practicality: A lip to hold on to is a bonus, but thick ridges round the edges reduce the cooking space. Effective non-stick surfaces were given extra points because we like an easy clean-up operation.

Dishwasher or handwash: We chose both, because even dishwasher-safe non-stick surfaces tend to dull and deteriorate in the machine over time. We recommend handwashing regardless to keep your trays at their best.

How we tested: We put all the trays through their paces using our classic vintage chocolate chip cookie recipe, dolloping the biscuit mix straight on the tray. With plenty of butter in the mixture, we ruled that the biscuits should come off easily with no additional greasing or parchment.

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This review was last updated in June 2019. If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

Do you have a trusty baking sheet you couldn’t live without? We’d like to hear your product recommendations...
 

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