Fact: These $3 Sheet Pans Are So Under-Appreciated

published Sep 14, 2020
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Credit: Carina Finn

It’s no secret how much Kitchn editors love their sheet pans. They use them for quick and easy dinners, as makeshift pizza stones, as pancake makers, and so much more. Of course, Kitchn editors (and all home cooks, for that matter) should love sheet pans! These rimmed trays are incredibly versatile, fairly durable, and decently priced. My only issue? The quarter-sized sheet pan doesn’t seem to get enough love.

Conventional wisdom dictates that every home cook needs a few good half-sized sheet pans (or cookie sheets or baking sheets or whatever you want to call them!). Ever the contrarian, though, I don’t love half-sheets. Instead, I keep a stack of these $3 restaurant supply quarter-sheet pans on hand at all times. 

Credit: Carina Finn

While the traditional half-size sheet has its merits, let’s take a minute to consider how something a bit smaller can be more utilitarian. It’s the ideal size for reasonable servings of sheet cakes and brownies (if by reasonable, we mean acceptable to eat over the course of 48 hours), but it’s also large enough to roast a five-pound chicken. It easily slips into my overcrowded freezer, making recipes that call for freezing things in a single layer actually plausible. They stack easily and take up little space in cabinets, so it’s easy to justify having several. 

Credit: Carina Finn

I picked up my first quarter-size sheet pan when shopping for an impromptu dinner party. We had recently moved into a new apartment and didn’t have much in the way of serving pieces, so I trolled the restaurant supply stores on the outskirts of Manhattan’s Chinatown in search of something that would be functional and festive. Something that could go from the oven to the table to conserve dishes. When I held up a quarter-sized sheet my husband said (rather instinctively) that we didn’t need it. I pointed out that it was just $3 and he couldn’t argue. I bought a small stack.

Note: You can buy them online for this price at restaurant supply sites, or you can find them on Amazon for a little more money.

Credit: Carina Finn

My quarter-sheets are now my go-to cheese boards and serving platters. I use them to freeze unbaked pastries, and to make small batches of granita. They’re an excuse to make a tiny batch of cookies or oven-baked fries. They’re the ideal size for dehydrating fruit leather. The also make pretty great plates. What I’m trying to say is, everything you can do with a half-sheet, you can do with a quarter-sheet — except with the smaller size, you can often do more. 

Do you have any quarter-size sheet pans? If so, tell us what you use them for.