My Favorite Baking Sheet Is So Good, I’ve Used It for 3 Years
When you live in a small apartment but you love to cook, you have to be cutthroat about the cookware and appliances that deserve to take up precious storage space. An air fryer, for example, is out of the cards for me, because my limited counter space is dedicated to the more frequently-used Vitamix, toaster, and espresso machine. Plus, any gadget or cookware whose functionality is nearly the same as something else (ahem, the oven works just fine, Mr. Air Fryer) has no place in my kitchen. There are some items, though, that I could never bear to part with. Namely, my fish spatula, Made In stainless steel skillet, and beloved Nordic Ware half sheet pans.
What is a Half Sheet Pan?
A half sheet pan is exactly what it sounds like: a sheet pan approximately half the size of a standard one (so, about the size of a sheet of copy paper at 17.88 x 12.88 x 1.06 inches). Nordic Ware — an American company founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota — has been manufacturing some of the most popular kitchenware since their inception in 1942 and can be credited with the creation of the Bundt pan and microwave turntable. The family-owned company still manufactures a majority of their consumer and commercial products in Minnesota, including an array of aluminum bakeware, sturdy cookware, and microwave accessories.
What’s so great about the Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet Pan?
I have two baker’s half sheets (part of the Nordic Ware Naturals line), and I rely on them for a multitude of kitchen tasks, from prepping to baking and roasting. On weeknights, I’m likely roasting a batch of vegetables, breading chicken cutlets in an assembly line, or finishing cheesy pasta under the broiler — all of which are perfect tasks for the half sheet. I’ve had plenty of lower quality sheet pans warp under a mere 350 degrees, but with the Nordic Ware half sheets, I’ve never even heard a telltale pop inside the oven or lost even one Brussels sprout to an ill-timed warp. They also fit neatly into my oven drawer, where they live alongside my cast iron and stainless steel skillets.
When I’m feeling ambitious, I use these half sheets to bake chocolate chip cookies or seasonal galettes, maybe even to crisp a baked mac and cheese. Since the pans are made entirely from aluminum, they’re particularly great at conducting heat evenly, so no batches of cookies come out with uneven browning, and the oversized edge ensures no rogue noodles spill over and makes them adept at serving for crowds as well. I’ve even roasted a whole chicken on these half sheets in lieu of a proper roasting pan, because again, why have multiple pieces of cookware if one can do the trick?
While Nordic Ware does not recommend putting these pans in the dishwasher, I’ll admit that that’s where they get washed in our house about 95% of the time, and I’ve not seen any adverse effects. These pans also acquire a patina over time, so don’t expect them to look exactly as they did when they arrived at your doorstep. I like the look of a patinated piece of cookware, though, as it reminds me of how many meals these pans have sailed through with ease.
Buy: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet, 2-Pack, $21.99 (normally $25.30)