Best Sheet Pans From Consumer Reports' Tests

From cakes to complete meals, you can use these versatile baking pans to cook almost anything

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rows of sheet pans on table Photo: John Walsh/Consumer Reports

Search for recipes on Cook’s Illustrated, Epicurious, or New York Times Cooking, and you’ll find scads of recipes for sheet pan dinners. But easy-peasy one-pan meals are just one reason to own a sheet pan. You can use it for so much more: cookies, roasted veggies, pizza—and, yes, sheet cakes or jelly rolls.

We bought 19 sheet pans and brought them into our labs to test for baking evenness, ease of cleaning, whether or not they warp (which can throw off whatever you’re cooking), and durability of coatings. We tested both coated and uncoated sheet pans, including an unconventional cast-iron model. (More about that below.)

First, a note on the nomenclature. The largest sheet pans that fit in most home ovens are technically called half sheet pans. Confusing, right? They typically measure about 13x18 inches, but the size can vary by an inch or so. The reason they’re considered “half”? They’re half the size of sheet pans used in commercial kitchens.

In our tests, we cooked a one-pan chicken dinner with potatoes, onions, and carrots, baked cookies, and baked-on canned pumpkin and cream cheese at a high temperature to see how easy it would be to remove the burned-on gunk. You’ll see these results in the cleaning score in our sheet pan ratings. (Spoiler alert: There were significant differences.) We also subjected the coated pans to a durability test in which we abrade the surface with steel wool to see which pans would stand the test of time.

We tested two categories of pans—coated and uncoated—and came away with 10 winners (five in each category). “The coated pans tend to heat up and cook faster,” says Bernie Deitrick, the engineer and cooking enthusiast who conducted our tests. But the uncoated pans fare better in cooking evenness and durability. Here are the details.

CR’s take: The top-rated All-Clad D3 Stainless Jelly Roll Pan outscores all the rest. But—and this is a big but—it costs $150. Is it worth it? If you take a glance at the ratings, you’ll see that it falls in line with the other uncoated pans. So you decide. Heating evenness is top-notch. But like the other uncoated pans, it’s harder to clean. (A little scouring powder returned the pan to like-new condition.)

CR’s take: The Nordic Ware Naturals Baker’s Half Sheet pan earns a lot of accolades, and we like it, too. It ranks just a smidge behind the All-Clad above and costs a fraction of the price. Cooking evenness earns an Excellent rating, but it takes a little elbow grease to clean. Like the other aluminum pans, scouring powder removes soil marks left on its surface.

CR’s take: We named the Amazon Commercial Aluminum Baking Half Sheet Pan a CR Best Buy because you get two pans for $25—quite a bargain. And its performance is in line with the other uncoated aluminum pans in this group. It earns an Excellent score in our test for cooking evenness.

CR’s take: The Made In Cookware Half Sheet Pan is on a par with the other best performers in this group. Cooking evenness and durability are top-notch, but like the other pans in this group, cleaning it is not the easiest.

CR’s take: The Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Baking Pan is the smallest of all the sheet pans in our tests, but at almost 8½ pounds, it weighs the most—by far. In fact, it’s difficult to remove it from the oven with just one hand. On the plus side, it doesn’t warp, and cleanup is easier than it is for all the other uncoated pans.

CR’s take: The Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Nonstick Non Corrugated sheet pan takes the prize in our nonstick sheet pan category, but not by a lot. Cooking evenness earns a Very Good rating, but the pan fares only so-so on the durability test. Its scores for cooking speed and cleaning are first-rate.

CR’s take: For the price, you can’t go wrong with the Mainstays Gold Nonstick Aluminized Half Sheet Pan, sold at Walmart; we named it a CR Best Buy. It heats up like a champ and it earns Very Good ratings in our tests for cooking evenness, cleaning, and durability.

CR’s take: All-Clad takes the prize in our uncoated pans, and we also like this All-Clad Pro-Release Nonstick. And it costs a lot less than its brandmate above. Cooking evenness and durability both receive Very Good ratings, but this pan is a little more difficult to clean than some of the other coated sheet pans.

CR’s take: While the Oxo Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Half Sheet Pan hits some high points, it falls short on our durability test, in which we abrade the surface with steel wool. But it cleans like a dream and heats up quickly, so it won’t leave you waiting for dinner.

CR’s take: Okay, you have to appreciate the pun in the name of the Great Jones Holy Sheet pan. But does it live up to its name? Yes. The Great Jones earns a Very Good rating in cooking evenness, and it heats up quickly, so our chicken dinner was ready in no time. It’s fair to middling on our durability test, but it cleans up nicely. The Holy Sheet Pan is only available on the Great Jones website.

Mary H.J. Farrell

Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.