Tip: For Better Roasted Vegetables, Use Your Ugliest Baking Sheet

published Jan 22, 2014
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

Want a big pan of roasted vegetables that are soft and caramelized, with irresistibly crispy, browned edges? Then pull out your blackest, most battered baking sheet because it’s the best way to bake up perfect roasted vegetables.

For the past few years, I’ve been using my two most stained, blackened baking sheet whenever I have to roast vegetables because I noticed that the vegetables seemed to roast faster, with more deeply browned edges, than those I roasted on clean, shiny half sheet pans or on pans lined with parchment paper.

It all made sense when I saw a side-by-side comparison of cookies baked on different types of baking sheets. Cookies baked without parchment paper on old, blackened pans come out way too dark — but this quick, deep browning is exactly what you want from, say, a pan of cauliflower you are roasting for dinner.

Another advantage: no worrying about having to protect your pans or scrub out every last stain. The more blackened and stained your pan, the better your vegetables will turn out, so all I do is scrape off any baked-on bits and give the pans a quick scrub with hot soapy water and a stiff brush, and they are ready for the next batch of vegetables.

Do you have any tips for better roasted vegetables?