What Is Special About Silicone Baking Sheet?
The silicone baking sheets offer just the same features which are available while you use the aluminum analogue. It is large and can be used for fast cooking of a lot of portions of various baking at a time. There are plenty of kinds of this kitchenware. You really have to know a lot to make your choice. If the size is preferred due to the oven you are going to use, then the peculiarities of the construction and the material of do matter. First these two issues influence the price greatly so if the budget is important, you’d better refuse all those perfections. Secondly, sometimes they can be restrictive making it easier to cook certain foods and being not very comfortable for the others.
But there is a solution which contains the most vital properties. It is a silicon baking sheet.
What is silicon? Perhaps you will be surprised but this is a chemical element which is relatively unreactive and that is a big plus. It is rarely found as a pure substance in the natural surroundings, but there is plenty of it in compositions. It is the basis of the synthetic polymers which are more known as silicones. You can find the silicone oil even in some cosmetics including hair care. The rubber is made of silicone and used in constructions of bathrooms, windows, roofs as a waterproof element. Being one of the most useful element it is mixed with other materials to create the alloys with needed properties which are appropriate for production of engine blocks, transformer plates and various tools. It is also used as a semiconductor for instance in your computer.
But which one is used in cookware production? The silicone polymer or the so-called polysiloxane are extracted from sand and appear as a result of some reaction with oxygen. There are several siloxanes: having low, medium and high molecular weight and various additives in silicon cookware.
Is It Safe for Cookware?
Probably you have a kind of doubt as to silicon cookware due to its safety. Even now when it is widely spread and become a real alternative to nonstick metal pans, there are customers who hesitate. Is silicone cookware toxic just as Teflon is under the high heat?
You can sleep with a calm mind! Silicone rubber is considered as an inert material which is made from sand being completely safe for your health. But what about the additional components and technologies applied when it is produced? The scientific literature shows the results of conducted studies which were aimed to reveal the possible migration of chemicals from silicone cookware into food. If there is such migration, is it dangerous and toxic? Indeed, this material does not react with meal if the producer’s instruction is followed exactly. Now we mean the restrictions as to the maximum temperature allowed. The studies specify that in general at the high temperature the migration of siloxanes is possible in small quantities. So it is not quite inert when we speak about high heat. But whether the siloxanes are toxic? You should understand that we are surrounded with the items consisting silicon and everyday it absorbs through skin. Thus, you should be aware of this in general and keep the rules taking the advantages of this unique material.
Why Do You Need a Baking Sheet?
In general, why do you need a baking sheet? There are so many pans and skillets including those which can be used in the oven. You can use a lid and prepare a good dish in them. Why should you buy this tray? The answer is obvious: you are able to prepare a large number of pieces at a time. It is possible to place several trays into the oven and provide even more products saving your time. And of course you will prepare the perfect pies, cakes and cookies on a baking sheet. Being made of any material they are very useful in both professional and home kitchens. You can roast vegetables, fish and meat in them. Even some food with juice is possible if a baking sheet has tall sides.
Why Should You Choose the Silicon Baking Sheets?
Kitchen tools and baking sheets made from silicone have been introduced into the market not far ago. They are different and have the properties which are not available with other materials.
They are marketed in bright colors. Thus you can decorate your kitchen and make the process more attractive. There are particular advantages of this items:
- Being made of mostly inert compound they are high-heat resistant and tolerant to very high heat. You can take the hot baking mat just out of the oven without turners and be sure that you will never burn your hand. And you should forget about worrying that the tray can melt or warp.
- It is a good moment that they are stain-resistant. The non-porous surface just cannot accumulate the grease, dust, and do not retain odors. The food cannot change the color of such mats. For example, if you take a rubber spatula, you will hardly remove tomato sauce stains from it.
- They are easy cleaned with warm soapy water and cannot be a harbor microbial growth contacting with food. Being non-corrosive they are not afraid of water in any quantity and can be soaked for a long time if there is some need in this procedure.
- They are user-friendly and extremely convenient being light and easy to maintain.
- The non-stick surfaces prevent the foods from burning and you do not have to scratch the remainders from mats damaging them.
- The silicone lined baking sheet is safe because it does not react with foods and does not produce any toxic fumes compared to Teflon remaining durable even under the conditions of intensive use.
Instruction: How to Use Silicon Baking Sheet?
Usually the recipes require pre-heating of the oven. You can do it without concerns about the silicon material. Taking into account the peculiarities of these mats, you should increase cooking time indicated in the recipe but keep the process under control anyway. Place the food on a baking sheet. If you want to get the crispier result, do not forget about spraying food with a cooking oil spray. That’s it! There is nothing difficult with the process. In order to clean it up, just wash the baking sheet in warm soapy water. You can dry it with a kitchen towel and store as you prefer. The range of dishes which can be prepared in it is enormous. You can fry bacon, chicken breasts, fish, veal cutlets, meat balls, potato wedges, vegetables, mushrooms, croissants and any cakes and cookies. Do not place it directly on the oven or stove.
This is versatile non-stick mats and you can apply them under various conditions. You can place the cookware on them. Or if you do not use the sharp utensils, you can prepare food here, like kneading the dough, laying out the fruits or vegetables. But this mat cannot be regarded as chopping board as far as the silicon is easily cut through.
The Best at the Market
When we say “silicon baking sheets”, we mean the mats actually. What are they? This is not a separate baking pan but a covering for the tray needed to provide non-stick properties. It is always made of food-grade silicone with some additives improving its quality. The material is safe and reliable. You can find various shapes and sizes of this bakeware and chose the one suiting your baking sheet or any pan you use in the oven. Thus it serves as a non-stick layer between the bottom of a dish and the food. Here you can forget about greasing or adding the oil and that is good for your health. In addition, it is convenient when you are going to spread the food evenly on a baking sheet. You will certainly get the golden bottom cookies.
Now we would like to discuss the most popular models:
- AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat. Here you will get two pieces at once. They are non-stick silicone baking mats which can be used in the oven over the heat not more than 480 degrees F and allowed to be stored in the refrigerator with food. Being highly rated kitchen products they are known for its high quality and durability. This mat is extremely easy to clean. And when it is washed you will hardly find any stains on it. At that the price is affordable. There is only one drawback, the customers complain that rarely some food can stick to the mat.
- Silpat. This is of premium class that is why it is marketed at a rather high price. This is the reason for the fact that Silpat is preferred by professional but not by home cooks. The silicone of the highest quality provides with even heat spreading. It can stand a wide temperature range from -40-degrees to 250-degrees C. It is good for microwave and in general can be used on a daily basis. Being regarded as non-stick baking mat it conforms to US regulations and it is FDA, NSF, and Kosher certified. You can find 4 sizes of these iems.
- Kitzine mats are known with the colorful borders and non-stick surface which is resistant to wears and easily washed. It is simple to bake on it and maintain it. Having such important pros these mats are cheap and that is why very popular. The producer promise a money back guarantee and there is no need in it because the product is really good. You get a pack consisting of three pieces of various sizes ad a recipe book for the those who have just begun cooking.
Silicone Baking Mat or Parchment Paper?
If you have read the above text with attention, you have probably thought that there is a rather good and cheap alternative to these mats – parchment paper. Why should you overpay and prefer the silicone baking sheets? The paper is based on cellulose and creates the same non-stick layer which prevents the baked goods from contacting with the pan. Well, first of all the parchment paper is an expandable material and you will have to buy it again and again. In other words, you are expected to replace it after each use. Moreover, it is not environmentally friendly. The following drawback is that you still have to grease the paper for some kind of cooking in order to provide non-stick properties. Then it moves around the pan and that is not convenient while the silicone baking mats are not flexible. They do not require any oil and all the products can be placed just on the top of the mat. They can be used multiple a great many times offering the same features as in the beginning.
When you are looking for something not very expensive but useful and healthy to cook in the oven without sticking, you should turn your attention to silicon baking sheets. Perhaps the professional chefs prefer the aluminum analogues in most cases, for home cooks this is the best decision. Just consider all the above information and choose the most appropriate variant or brand – the one you can afford. In order to understand all about the silicon mat, you should to use it several times. Being rather durable it will help you over and over again. You can purchase several mats of various sizes or choose the best packs.
We recommend refuse adding oil while cooking on a silicon mat if you want to get well cooked foods. It is able to provide the even baking, that is why you do not concern about the undesired insulation layer. You can cover any baking sheet with it and the heat conduction will depend on the material the pan is made of. The best one is aluminum one but this metal is reactive. It can cause discoloration of some foods and provide a metal taste sometimes. The silicon mats prevent these drawbacks allowing you to cook the most delicate cookies without failure.
When speaking about the price, we should mention that silicone baking mats cost just a little bit more compared to the parchment paper but they serve much longer and provide the material saving. The price will vary in accordance with the composition of the material. There a glass fiber can be added reinforcing the mats making it even more durable and expensive. The size and producer also do matter for the cost.
They are really needed for the day-to-day necessities and you will feel much more confident baking with their help. You should look for these mats in restaurant supply stores or at websites which distribute the bakeware like this one.