Published January 07, 2011 by
Confused by all the names out there for what we used to call cookie sheets? There’s AirBake, non stick, French steel and more. If you just want to bake a great batch of cookies, you don’t really care about fancy names, but you should know which sheets will get you the best results.
Take a look at the differences between AirBake and non stick cookie sheets. These two are the ones you’ll most likely encounter in the stores and will want to have some idea about.
AirBake cookie sheets are a relatively new invention. These cookie sheets work wonders when it comes to keeping cookies from burning. If you’re the type of baker who always gets frustrated by burnt bottoms and gooey tops, these are the pans for you. The reason they work so well is because of the ingenious design. The top layer of aluminum and the bottom have a cushion of air between them. That air heats up to bake the cookie. Because the air is evenly circulating the cookies don’t burn. They brown evenly. Even if you forget your cookies in the oven for a few minutes, you’ll usually find that they are still not burnt. If a recipe says cook for twelve minutes, these pans will actually bake your cookies in twelve minutes. You don’t have to go back several times, open the oven door and let all the heat out, just to check to see if the cookies are done. They will be perfect every time. Just know that you can’t put them in the dishwasher. But so what? They wipe clean easily because there’s no burnt on sugary mess.
Let’s not forget the marvel that non stick cookie sheets are. Back in the 1950s when the Teflon coating was invented, it rocked the world. Bakers now have cookie sheets that no one could have imagined before Teflon. No greasing required? “Impossible,” they would have said. But it’s true. Nothing sticks to a non stick pan especially your delicate cookies. If you want to make lacey French cookies that are thin and usually burn fast, you can on a non stick pan. Just take the cookies out of the oven and get them off the pan as soon as you can. It’s not a guarantee that if you leave your cookies in the oven too long that they will never burn, but they won’t stick even if they’re burnt to a crisp. Use a plastic utensil to get your cookies off so you don’t scratch the non stick surface of the sheet. Other than that, you can just wipe them off in soapy warm water and they’re clean. Try not to put them in the dishwasher as the coating is so easy to clean. You’ll preserve the life of your sheets.
Both AirBake and non stick are excellent choices for the home baker. If your problem is burnt cookies, go with the AirBake. If you tend to get burnt on, stuck on cookie messes, use the non stick. Either one will get you perfect cookies and they last for years and years. Invest in a good set, and you won’t have to rebuy them every year. A good set is well worth the purchase price as you’ll be turning out cookies that are delicious, unbroken, and perfectly toasty brown.