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12 best baking trays to get your mitts on

Go-to tray taken a bit of a battering? These kitchen stalwarts rise to any baking challenge

Jessica Carter
Monday 10 January 2022 16:54
<p>We considered effectiveness of the non-stick surface, ease of handling, sturdiness and longevity, and price</p>

We considered effectiveness of the non-stick surface, ease of handling, sturdiness and longevity, and price

Spent too much time nervously negotiating a spatula underneath each of your stuck-on bakes, while praying (usually fruitlessly) that they stay in one piece? We think it might be time to upgrade your baking tray.

Used for everything from homemade pizzas to fresh pastries and frozen fish fingers, baking trays are a kitchen staple for everyone, from novice home cooks to ambitious baking obsessives. So it’s worth choosing yours wisely.

Cheap, thin baking trays tend to warp in the heat of the oven and lose their shape, while their non-stick benefits are often short lived. Poor heat conduction also makes for uneven baking, while chunky lips around the edges can give you a storage nightmare.

Spending just a couple of quid more could make the difference between throwing it out in a year and it lasting for a decade. Our picks range from just over a fiver to almost £40, and each offers something different – meaning no matter your budget or what you use your baking trays for, there will be a great match for you among them.

To extend the longevity of your baking tray and to keep it in tip-top condition, take note of what temperatures they can be used in – if you’re planning on whipping up any bread-based creations, you’re safest with trays that have been tested in hotter conditions.

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Similarly, use plastic utensils and avoid metal ones (once that non-stick surface is scratched, the end is nigh). It’s also often best to hand wash as opposed to getting the dishwasher involved too, but that’s a small price to pay for all the time you’ll save wielding that spatula.

How we tested

We tested these with a batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies (from The Pastry Chef’s Guide by Ravneet Gill (£13.37, Amazon.co.uk), without extra greasing. Our main focus was on the effectiveness of the non-stick surface, ease of handling, sturdiness and longevity, and price. 

Lots of the trays below have guarantees, meaning you can rely on them for years to come, and their non-stick technology ranges from all-natural flax oil seasoning to special patented coatings and carefully designed ridges.

The best baking trays for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Samuel Groves mermaid hard anodised baking sheet: £37.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best for an even bake – Silverwood 14.75 x 13.25in bomb-proof baking sheet: £34.95, Silverwood-bakeware.com
  • Best for silicone handles – Le Creuset rectangular baking sheet: £27.50, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best non-stick tray – Circulon momentum square baking tray: £9.80, Kitchenwarexpress.co.uk
  • Best responsibly made tray – Netherton Foundry heavy duty baking sheet: £41.40, Netherton-foundry.co.uk
  • Best value – Prestige medium oven tray: £10.50, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best lightweight tray – MasterClass non-stick hard anodised 42cm baking tray: £23.42, Wayfair.co.uk
  • Best weighty and robust design – ProCook non-stick baking tray: £5.99, Procook.co.uk
  • Best for under £10 – Chef Aid baking sheet: £5.18, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best thin tray – De Buyer flat micro-perforated baking sheet: £18.99, Souschef.co.uk
  • Best for longevity – Stellar James Martin non stick baking sheet: £16, Horwood.co.uk
  • Best for cookies – Judge baking sheet: £9.60, Hartsofstur.com

Samuel Groves mermaid hard anodised baking sheet

Best: Overall

Anodising is a fancy electrochemical process that makes baking trays more durable, and eliminates the danger of corrosion. That’s part of the reason you can expect a lifetime guarantee with this British-made tray.

Although super thin, it’s solid and relatively weighty, and the thin lip on one of the long edges is just big enough to give you purchase when picking it up with gloved hands, while small enough that it won’t cause you issues when stacking.

You can use this one all the way up to 240C, as well as under a grill or over a hob (although it won’t work on induction). We tested it with a metal utensil and there were no scratches to be seen either – great if you have people at home who don’t abide by the law of non-stick trays.

Silverwood 14.75 x 13.25in bomb-proof baking sheet

Best: For an even bake

Robust and hardy without being too heavy, this British designed and made sheet has slightly tilted lips around the edges, with handy groves in the corners making it easy and comfortable for gripping with your thumb. It has a really decent surface area and heat seemed to spread really efficiently through it – the underside of our cookies were more golden and crisp than with some other trays – so this might just be a real weapon against the dreaded soggy bottom.

That said, you might want to keep an eye on your bake, in case it’s cooked faster than the recipe suggests (Silverwood recommends considering reducing 10-15 degrees and checking in on your bake at around two-thirds of the given cooking time). There’s a 25-year guarantee with this one, too.

Le Creuset rectangular baking sheet

Best: For silicone handles

The silicone handles on this tray are heat resistant – although you (obviously) still need to protect those mitts with some mitts – and they give great grip when loading and unloading from the oven.

This is especially useful as the almost mirrored non-stick surface of the carbon steel is particularly smooth and silky to the touch – our cookie wasn’t even trying to stick, even after being left to cool on the tray. It heats up really evenly, too. It’s not recommended to use metal implements with this one – although the non-stick surface is durable, there’s a chance it could scratch.

The lips around the edges stop food from sliding off or spilling over the edges when it’s cooking but are shallow enough that you can still stack the tray in storage without any issue. The toughened carbon makes this tray safe to use up to a decent 240 degrees.

Circulon momentum square baking tray

Best: Non-stick tray

This tray has a special patented non-stick surface which, along with the concentric circular grooves in the base, means we found our bake slid off nice and easily without even the need for a polite nudge – and that’s with no greasing or lining whatsoever. In fact, this was the best tray for non-stick that we tested. It makes sense, then, that Circulon is so certain of this bakeware’s non-stick abilities that it’s whacked a lifetime guarantee on it.

Easy to clean, it’s perfectly fine to fling in the dishwasher too, which makes it an ideal low-maintenance option for bakers who value all things fuss-free, while the wide ledges on the ends and relatively lightweight material make handling it nice and easy.

Netherton Foundry heavy duty baking sheet

Best: Responsibly made tray

This hefty handmade baking sheet is forged in Shropshire from black iron, and seasoned with flax oil for a totally natural non-stick coating. Even without ridges around the edges, it’s super sturdy – no danger of this number warping in the oven – and because it’s made of iron it can be used at really high temperatures (up to 300C) including over direct heat from a hob or open fire.

The natural ingredients also make it handily recyclable – not that you’ll be getting rid of it any time soon – this tray will stand the test of time. It’s a doddle to wash – don’t use soap as it’ll wash off the flax oil seasoning – and just needs a coating of cooking oil to re-season and maintain the non-stick surface. This is a great choice if you want responsibly made kitchenware that’ll last

Prestige medium oven tray

Best: Value

For just over a tenner, we were impressed at how hardy this tray is, with no sign of buckling or warping. It also has a decent weight to it and it seems strong enough to last. Happy in the freezer as well as the oven, the Prestige tray is handy for cooking homemade balls of cookie dough straight from frozen. Our chocolate chip numbers didn’t stick and had a nice firm, evenly cooked underside.

Although technically dishwasher safe, it’s recommended to handwash the tray to keep it in tip-top condition. And while it’s great value for baking things like pastries and biscuits, it’s probably not ideal for some bread or homemade pizzas, as it’s only oven safe up to 220C.

MasterClass non-stick hard anodised 42cm baking tray

Best: Lightweight tray

Oven safe up to a decent 250C, this tray is a good size, and made the most of the space on our oven shelf – great for the sourdough baking we’re all partaking in of late. It comes with a 25-year guarantee and feels like it’ll easily last that long.

It’s clearly tough – twice as strong as aluminium, in fact – but doesn’t carry the extra weight that usually comes with such robustness, making it easy to handle. In fact, it was one of the lightest trays we tested.

The oxidised aluminium gets hot quickly and helps give an even heat throughout the tray – which can be used with direct heat, including with an induction hob – while the non-stick coating (triple layered Teflon) worked well, and is scratch resistant and dishwasher safe. Solid value for little more than £20.

ProCook non-stick baking tray

Best: Weighty and robust design

Impressively sturdy and with a really efficient double-layered non-stick coating (gooey cookies were no match for this tray), ProCook’s offering feels weighty and robust. Oven safe to 260C and with a 10-year guarantee, it’s hard to argue with such great value.

The lip around the edges is quite substantial, making it good for gripping (maybe not so great for stacking), and reinforces its rigidity, while its relatively small size is handy if you’re only baking a couple of things at a time – a couple of frozen pastries for breakfast, maybe.

That said, this tray isn’t freezable or suitable for use over a hob, so might be less versatile than some others.

Chef Aid baking sheet

Best: For under £10

Super lightweight, this budget baking sheet is one of the thinnest – and cheapest – we tested. Although the base has some movement if you tilt the edges in your hands, it did a perfectly good bake job, with its non-stick coating allowing pretty easy release of our cookies, without greasing. The shallow lips mean it wont take up too much room in your cupboard either, making it easy to store.

At just under 35cm long, it’s a decent size – although would probably only fit four of our super-spreading choc-chip numbers without danger of them merging into one (yes, our cookies are always healthily portioned). For just over a fiver, it’s a really decent choice for bakers on a budget, or those who won’t be making regular extravagant creations on it.

De Buyer flat micro-perforated baking sheet

Best: Thin tray

The tiny holes in this baking tray allow food to bake slightly quicker, as the heat reaches it more easily. Although super thin – which helps even more with that heat transfer and distribution – this sheet feels reassuringly sturdy and a good weight.

The flat edges give the tray the largest possible baking area, and mean that it takes up little to no storage space – perfect for kitchens where cupboard room is at a premium. The trade off is that the sheet is a little more difficult to pick up from the oven shelf if you have chunky oven mitts on (we’ve all been burnt by the teatowel technique – quite literally).

The perforations mean that you’ll need baking parchment or a silicone mat – the usual prerequisites, regardless – if you’re making cookies or anything from a similarly wet dough or batter. That’s not necessary for dryer doughs though, like pizza, which will benefit from the moisture evaporation to achieve a nicely crisp result on the crust.

Stellar James Martin non stick baking sheet

Best: For longevity

The double layer of non-stick makes this tray super silky and slippery to the touch – ideal for making sure food doesn’t cling on (ours certainly didn’t attempt to). Giving a really even bake, it produced maybe our most handsome cookie of the whole batch.

With a really sound and solid feel, it seems like a tray that will go the distance, although modest effort will need to be made to keep those non-stick powers intact long-term (plastic implements, careful storage – the usual). So long as you follow those rules, the non-stick is guaranteed for five years, and the tray itself for life.

This one’s perhaps not best suited to bread bakers or pizza makers though, as it’s only recommended for oven temperatures up to 210C.

Judge baking sheet

Best: For cookies

Having one of the biggest surface areas of all the trays we tested, along with a thin base that heats up easily, the Judge sheet is great for cookies. The double-layered non-stick (which is guaranteed for five years) worked a treat, and the lips on either end meant that it was easy to load and unload from the oven.

It’s perhaps a little on the flimsy side, but showed no signs of buckling under the 160C heat we were baking at (it’s guaranteed up to a modest but still practical 210C).

Although it doesn’t have quite the same level of sturdiness as some of the other trays we tested, it’s certainly more hardy than many we’ve seen in the low-to-mid-budget range, and gave us a nicely even bake.

The verdict: Baking trays

Choose your baking tray carefully, and it’ll be one of your most trusted and long-lasting kitchen staples. The Samuel Groves mermaid hard anodised baking sheet is a great all-rounder that is robust enough to last. It’s a wee bit of an investment at £25, but the lifetime guarantee makes its price tag reasonable, while it’s easy to handle and store. Being so heat efficient, it might even save on bake time and energy bills, too.

If you’re reluctant to part with that much for a baking tray (understandable), the Circulon’s non-stick qualities are hard to beat for less than half the price. Meanwhile, for those who want something super hardy and made with Mother Nature in mind – as well as outdoorsy types who love cooking with fire – Netherton Foundry’s number will be able to take a beating and still come out smiling, with just a little maintenance.

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If you’re looking to get creative in the kitchen, read our review of the best pasta makers

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