6 Best Silicone Baking Mats to Keep Your Sheet Pans Looking Fresh



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One of the great challenges of baking is preventing your recipes from sticking to the pan. The most common method for doing so is buying a pan made from nonstick material and hoping for the best.

Another method is to grease the pan with oil or butter and then line it with parchment paper before baking.

The third method, and the one I feel is most foolproof, is using a silicone baking mat in the pan.

In this post, you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about silicone baking mats and how they’re used, and you’ll even find a few recommendations as to the best silicone baking mats you can buy.

About Silicone Baking Mats

First, let’s look at what exactly a silicone baking mat is, and why you should have at least one.

What is a Silicone Baking Mat?

Silicone baking mats are flexible sheets that generally come rolled up like a poster. When unrolled, they can slide into the bottom of any baking pan of the appropriate proportions. You can then use the pan just like you would otherwise.

After your goodies are done baking, they’ll pop right off the silicone baking mat.

It’s essentially a way to make the pan totally nonstick without having to use a special pan or grease, as well as keeping the pan clean. Some baking mats are also used as preparation aids for baked goods.

Why Purchase a Silicone Baking Mat?

At least one silicone baking mat is a must for any baker because they essentially eliminate the need for extra equipment. Pans with effective nonstick finishes often cost a lot more than “normal” pans, and those finishes can often contain harmful chemicals unless you buy the most reputable ones.

In addition, nonstick coating can flake off, especially if being washed with heavy-duty soap. Lining a pan with grease and parchment paper isn’t a great solution either, because it is tedious and takes extra time. It’s not always effective either, with the possibility of the paper sticking to the pan and creating a difficult-to-clean mess.

Silicone baking mats are a hassle- and risk-free solution to the problem, which is why they are the standard in professional kitchens.

What is a Silicone Baking Mat Used For?

Their primary use is to keep foods, everything from meat dishes to cakes, from sticking to the bottom of a pan.

However, silicone baking mats are also used for the following:

  • Creating a surface to prepare baked goods before putting them in the oven. For example, some bakers knead bread dough or distribute batter on the mat beforehand so that they can simply put it into a pan and cook it once everything is arranged properly.
  • Placing on top of bread in the oven so that it will rise evenly. The yeast in bread theoretically should rise uniformly, but sometimes the yeast is unevenly distributed and it will cause some parts of the loaf to rise more than others. Popping a baking mat on top of the batter before baking solves the problem.

What are Silicone Baking Sheets Made Out Of?

The mats are usually a blend of silicone and fiberglass. Not just any silicone is used: good baking mats use the highest-quality food-grade silicone, which is not cheap. The silicone is used to make the mats flexible and to give them their nonstick quality and the fiberglass is used to make the mats heatproof and blemish-proof.

What to Look for in a Silicone Baking Mat

There are a lot of bad silicone baking mats out there, and getting the wrong one can hurt both the taste of your recipes and how much fun they are to prepare. Before you buy one, make sure you keep these things in mind:

Size

Assuming you’re going to use the baking mat to line the bottoms of your pans, make sure you get the right size! Remember that the mat shouldn’t have the same dimensions as the pan, but dimensions that are slightly smaller to fit inside the rim of the pan.

Heat tolerance

Not all silicone baking mats have the same heat tolerance. The ones with a higher ratio of fiberglass to silicone can withstand higher heats. Make sure to check the heat tolerance before buying to make sure it will suit your baking needs.

Cleaning and maintenance

Unfortunately, this is often inversely proportional to heat tolerance since ease of cleaning in baking mats is usually attached to the proportion of silicone in the mat. That being said, there are some mats that do well with both heat tolerance and ease of maintenance; check out the recommendations below for some great examples.

Best Silicone Baking Mats

1. Overall: Silpat Baking Mat

by Sur La Table

Silpat ¼ Sheet Baking Mat

This mat is made with a high proportion of silicone, and it shows in its nonstick properties. I have burnt cheese on here, I’ve made chocolate on here, I’ve cooked meat on top and let the drippings fall onto the mat… and no matter how sticky the substance is, it peels or washes right off.

It’s also incredibly flexible, so you can bend it and roll it up, and it returns to its original shape immediately after.

Despite that, the mat’s heat resistance is just as high as most baking mats out there – 450 degrees. I don’t know how the French engineers at Silpat do it, but they’ve managed to capture the best of both worlds with this baking mat.

If you’re only going to get one baking mat (though I’d recommend more than one), this should be your first choice.

2. Budget: Amazon Basics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mat

by Amazon Basics

Silicone Non-Stick Food Safe Baking Mat

These mats work pretty well and are a simply incredible deal. Two mats for under $11? It sounds almost too good to be true, especially for a product that works almost as well as the top-of-the-line Silpat baking mats.

For recipes like cookies, vegetables, or baked nuts that do not have much grease and don’t have a strong odor, in fact, these mats work just as well as something 5x as expensive.

Unfortunately, grease tends to soak into the mat if there is a lot on there. Because of this, I’ve been unable to de-grease the mats after baking greasier foods like meats or juicy vegetables on them. The mats also sometimes retain odors from dishes with strong fragrances like brownies.

Because of this, I’d recommend budget bakers to keep another baking mat for greasy or aromatic recipes and use these for everything else.

3. Versatile: Mainstays Reusable Silicone Baking Mat

by Walmart

Mainstays Reusable Silicone Baking Mat

One use for silicone baking mats is preparing or arranging baked goods on the counter before baking them, and that’s where this mat excels. That’s because it has tons of markings on it that outline exactly where and how much dough you should use for different types of baked goods.

The large target-shaped guide in the middle of the sheet, for example, has lots of differently sized circles that help you roll out the perfect amount of dough for a cake of any given size.

The smaller circular guides distributed in three rows on the mat help you make perfectly sized smaller baking goods like cupcakes. The edges of the mats even have length measurements to help you roll out dough in a rectangular shape on the mat.

The mat works well once it’s in the oven, too. It does a good job of creating a nonstick surface and is generally easy to clean.

4. Set: HOTPOP Silicone Baking Mats

by HOTPOP

Silicone Baking Mats 0.75mm

For bakers who want to whip up more than one pan of baked goods at the same time, HOTPOP’s set of demarcated silicone baking mats is a must-have.

The set comes with two quarter sheets, which measure 11.5”x8.5”, and two half sheets, which measure 16.5”x11.6”.

The quarter sheet mats fit into smaller pans and are great for use in a smaller or crowded oven. They even have 12 round guide markings for small pastries. The half sheets are better for cooking large batches or for big recipes like whole chickens, and they can each fill up their own rack in the oven. They have 30 guide markings each.

The sheets have a festive look, too, with their bright green, red, and orange outlines.

The set gets five stars on Amazon, and I feel the rating is well-deserved.

by Sur La Table

Silpat Perfect Cookie Baking Mat

If you’ve never had your own freshly baked cookies before and want to be taken to new levels of baked good nirvana, you need to buy this specialized cookie baking mat from Silpat and get cookin’.

The mat has 13 circular marks that help you squirt out perfectly sized cookies from a piping bag before putting the mat in the oven. Each guide has a smaller guide and a larger guide to demonstrate what size your dollops of cookie dough should be before and after baking.

When you pull a piping hot tray of perfectly-sized and -spaced cookies out of the oven, I promise you’ll feel like you’ve mastered the art of baking.

On top of all that, you get all the qualities that make any Silpat baking mat great: high temperature resistance, superior nonstick functionality, flexibility, and ease of cleaning and maintenance.

6. Macarons: Silpat Macaron ½ Sheet Baking Mat

by Sur La Table

Silpat Macaron ½ Sheet Baking Mat

If I haven’t made it clear already, I absolutely love Silpat. All their baking mats are great, so it’s no surprise their specialized macaron mat is on my list of recommendations.

I find macarons to be even stickier than most baked goods, so this mat’s incredible nonstick capabilities are even more important. The 20 circular rings on the mat make it easy to distribute just the right amount of macaron mixture to create evenly-sized and evenly-spaced bits of flavor.

Recipes Using a Silicone Baking Mat

I don’t know about you, but whenever I pick up a new piece of baking equipment, the first thing I want to do is try it out! Just in case you’re the same way, here are a few recipes that use silicone baking mats and which I’ve personally vetted for deliciousness.

Silicone Baking Mat FAQ

How do you clean a silicone baking mat?

Directly after use, gently scrub the mat with warm water and a bit of dish soap. Be sure not to scrub with anything too abrasive, as it can easily scrape off the silicone coating. The gentle side of a normal dish sponge should do the trick. This will clean the mat 99% of the time, since silicone is so good at being nonstick.

If water and soap do not work, get some baking soda and rub it on the residual water still on the mat. The result should be a baking soda paste. Leave the paste on the mat for 20 minutes, making sure it’s concentrated on the dirtiest spots. After those 20 minutes, rinse the paste off with hot water – boiling hot, if possible. This method should remove anything stuck to the mat, although it will not get rid of any discoloration.

How hot can silicone baking mats get?

Most silicone baking mats have a heat tolerance of 450 degrees. The exact figure is determined by the proportion of fiberglass in the mat and will be listed on the box. Some specialty baking mats intended for baked goods like macarons that are cooked at higher temperatures can have heat tolerances of 500 or even 550 degrees.

Can you put a silicone baking mat in the oven?

Yes! Lining the bottom of an oven pan during baking is the main purpose of a silicone baking mat, in fact.

How long do silicone baking mats last?

Silicone baking mats last for about 1.5 years if you take care of them properly. Of course, you can keep using them after that, but they may not work as well as nonstick surfaces. Keep in mind that discoloration is typical of all silicone products and does not mean your baking mat will not work properly.

How to store baking mats?

The best way to store silicone baking mats when you’re not using them is to roll them up like a poster. Once the mat is rolled, stick it inside a cardboard tube such as what paper towels might come on. You can also use a rubber band, but they’re harder to slide on and may damage the mat if the rubber band is too small.

Don’t Slip Up!

I always want my baking to be a smooth and hassle-free experience. It’s the difference between it being a chore and a fun activity I actually want to do during my free time.

Silicone baking mats are one of the best tools at making baking just that – easy and hassle-free. Instead of messier or more time-consuming methods, just slide the mat into the pan and you’re ready to cook.

You don’t have to worry about annoying cleanup afterwards where you have to scrape the pan with steel wool because the mat provides you ease of mind.

I hope my recommendations help you to attain that more hassle-free baking experience, too.

Last update on 2022-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



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