The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Silly questions to ask

pal251's picture

Silly questions to ask

Total newbie here.  Driving wife nuts trying out all sort of baking recipes lately but it has been fun :)

I don't really own any quality sheet pans to make a cake in.  Is there any certain size and or brand that you recommend and is a Jelly pan something to consider also?  I also do a lot of smoking of meats so I don't know if a Jelly Pan would help transport meat to and from smoker and such or not.  That or maybe put a cooling rack over the pan to let the meat dry before I season it or afterwards.


Also what do you recommend for a brand of cake pan in a 9 or 8 inch variety and is it better to have an 9 or 8 inch one if you had to make a decision?  I have a Chicago Metallic 9 inch pan now that I like a lot.  Ive made a few gingerbread cakes in it recently.

I have been using parchment paper for my cakes and cookies should I have been using wax paper instead?

golgi70's picture

It all depends what it is you plan to bake.  

Jelly roll pans have their place but I would buy half sheet pans if I could only have 1. As for round pans It's nice to have a few sizes and at least 1 size springform for particular cakes(Cheesecakes). Might as well have a couple loaf pans, tart rings, snd muffin tins if ur gonna get into it. Consider shopping at a restaurant supply store online. youll save a bunch and be able to have more things. 

Parchment is the way to go. You can even buy boxes of parchment circles and not have to cut them yourself. 


romelspielberg's picture

It's all up to you pal :) but just make sure to bake your gingerbreads with love. 



pal251's picture

I some various cookie sheets right now.

I have a 9x5 generic nonstick loaf pan that has worked well , 9 inch round cake pan, and a 13x4x4 usa Pullman pan on the way here (be here tomorrow)


I would like to pick up some smaller loaf pans (2) along with either some half or quartersheet pans.  I don't have a cooling rack yet either , do you guys recommend one that I can break down and put into the dishwasher easily.  Might have to be one that expands or two separate ones. 

I have been looking at


Shipping is crazy expensive though. I guess I have been getting used to Amazon Prime free shipping.

pal251's picture

Any thoughts for online stores for pans?

lepainSamidien's picture

Amazon is not a bad go-to for most things, but it requires a considerable amount of research, hours of sifting through wildly varying reviews from (un)reliable sources, and very little in terms of personality or specialization.

Despite Amazon's extensive selection, I'd personally check out Breadtopia. They've always done me right, and I feel better giving them my support than the monster that is Amazon.

Windischgirl's picture

instead of a virtual one?  If you google 'restaurant supply' the first few hits will be stores in your area.  Some may be exclusive to professionals, but others will be open to the public.  They also offer bulk baking supplies.  If you really get into baking, it can also be fun to browse the 20-qt Hobarts and the industrial stoves (I guess it's the same cheap thrill hubby gets from hardware stores...)

I know for myself, no matter what I'm buying, I like to see it for myself and get an idea of the size, weight, quality, etc.

I'm also too cheap to pay shipping...if I don't have to!

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I have round cake pans from, they are fine.  I also got removable bottom cake pans from them, which I use instead of springlock pans - they're a lot less fuss and bother.

But my cookie sheets are good heavy ones from Amazon.

As to wax paper, that would burn up in the oven.  I don't prefer parchment paper either as it is either horrendously expensive to buy in smaller amounts, or takes up a lot of storage space in larger, more affordable quantities.  I use teflon pan liners instead, either SuperParchment type (which can usually be found at Kitchen supply stores or via Amazon) or the Pan Pal Pan Liners at thewebstaurant store

I get the full size ones and cut them to size for everything, for my baking stone, for cookie sheets, for cake pans, including strips to go round the sides of my removable bottom cake pans.  Then I just push up from the bottom and whatever I've baked pops right out, pull off the pan liner strip and transfer to a plate. 

Roll to store - if you fold them they will crease and tear.  They will discolor over time but they last for virtually ever - my original super parchment is going on 4 or 5 years old.  The pan pal liners are about twice as thick and consequently I expect them to last even longer.  I keep mine rolled up in a discarded paper towel roll but you could keep them rolled up inside a short length of pvc pipe if you want to be fancier than that.

BTW - this rack fits inside those jelly roll pans (cookie sheets) above, if you want to use them for roasts as well.

pal251's picture

You have provided some good information.  Thanks

Why do you pick the aluminum heavy duty jelly roll pan vs a nonstick jelly roll pan?  Also which round cake pans do you recommend from

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I hate nonstick bakeware, because it really isn't, and even if it were, it doesn't last and you can't really clean it.  If you spray with spray oils (like PAM) it quickly becomes super-stick - and you can't clean the gummy stuff off the surface.  Also they tend to be super-light weight and consequently have a bad habit of flexing in a hot oven.  I can't use them under the broiler.  Cookies don't cook evenly on them, nor does much of anything else.

The Lincoln pans are super heavy duty, won't flex under any normal circumstances, clean up well with an SOS pad (if necessary).  They will take a spray oil if you must use it, but I prefer to just use the pan liners.  They are heavy duty enough to use for a roast if you want to - won't flex going into (or coming out of) the oven with several pounds of roast on there (consequently spilling grease everywhere!).  They will last for-ever.  Cookies cook more evenly on them - though you do have to wait longer for the pan to cool down between batches.  But with the heavy duty cookie sheets and a baking stone in the bottom of the oven, I don't have to turn the pans if I don't want to.  You can usually tell that cookies on one side are a tad more done than the other, but they won't burn on one side and leave the other half raw if you don't turn the pan.

If you ever did want to bake a jelly roll, I wouldn't trust the lightweight pans to do that, due to the whole flexing problem, and the fact that the lighterweight pans don't bake at all evenly.  You'll get a more even bake in the heavy duty pan, and that makes a big difference when you are baking a super-thin layer of cake batter as for a jelly roll.  It makes a difference for cookies, but it makes a much more obvious difference for something like a jelly roll.

Cake pans - I just bought the cheap ones from thewebstaurantstore, they are fine.  They are aluminum so no dishwasher unless you use the special type of soap that is OK for aluminum - regular dishwasher soap will discolor aluminum and make the surface grainy and tacky.  It's no big deal to me to do a quick rinse in the sink, which (when you use pan liners) is really all it takes to clean up after baking.  If I had had the money at the time, I'd have bought cake pans made in the USA - the cheap ones from thewebstaurant store are made in China.

The Lincoln/Wearever pans are also aluminum but they're really too big to go in any dishwasher I've ever owned, LOL!

To clean the pan liners, wipe them off with a damp sponge and wipe them dry or hang them.  If you submerge them, they discolor faster (water gets in between the layers at the cut ends).  It doesn't really change their functionality (at least it hasn't the way I use them), but it does make them look uglier faster.

pal251's picture

You ever had problems with browning by using the silicone liners with the pans?

You have been providing a lot of good information and its true that's its impossible to scrape off that grease residue off nonstick without tearing up the pan it seems like.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I wouldn't touch a silicone liner with a ten foot pole! LOL!

Sillicone mats are expensive, impossible to clean, and can't be cut to size.  Many can't be heated past about 400F. 

The Pan Pal liners and the Super parchment are entirely different - they are a thin film, not a thick rubbery mat.  They are flexible and clean very easily with just a couple of swipes with a damp cloth. They can easily and safely be cut to size.  I have enough for all my cake pans, baking stone, and cookie sheets, and they store in a smaller space than just one silicone mat.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound cranky, but I REALLY REALLY HATE silicone mats.  I have had several, including the supposedly "good" brands, and have been very disappointed with all of them.  They were a real waste of money for me. 

The teflon-based reusable parchment products have been like little miracle life savers, though.  Neither I nor my son seem to be able to perfect that twitch-of-the-nose-twist-of-the-wrist-while-holding-your-mouth-just-right maneuver required to get the pizza to slide off the paddle and into the oven without splattering ingredients all over the back and the bottom of the oven when the dough sticks and folds up like an accordion, LOL! I don't care what people say, cornmeal does NOT act like tiny little ball bearings in my house, and no amount of any type of flour keeps the dough from sticking to the paddle.  Super Parchment to the rescue!  It's just magical that way. LOL!

pal251's picture

Sorry I was using the Silicone and Teflon liner terms as being the same.  Evidently they are not :)

I may just order the Volrath that is 13 gauge or is that too thick you think?  Its a few dollars cheaper at websteraunt than amazon.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

13g is the one that I have - I didn't realize that they carry it at thewebstaurantstore.  It should be fine.  I'm all for supporting smaller enterprises than behemoths like Amazon anyway.

And I guess I got so worked up about the Dread Silicone Mats that I didn't answer the question re browning - assuming you're talking about baked goods and not say, a steak - no, I've never noticed a problem with browning.  I usually pull it out after a couple minutes when I'm doing pizza in the perhaps futile and erroneous hope that doing so will make the liners last longer, but I leave it in place for cookies and everything else.  Things seem to brown up just fine. 

I have a friend who does use it for meat and it doesn't seem to destroy it, but the directions that came with the super parchment say not to.  I don't do much meat anyway, so ... I just use mine for baking.

pchotrani's picture

I buy all my pans from BBB I go into the actual store and place the order and they are nice enough to give me free shipping to my home. They carry USA Pans. If I don't happen to have a coupon on hand I usually take the receipt in after a couple days along with a 20% off coupon and am credited the difference.  I have a large and small Pullman pan as well as two 9x5 loaf pans. They ship via UPS. 

pal251's picture

Nice. I think I'm gonna order the volrath 13ga pan next week from websteraunt and pickup a 13x9 pan for some cakes locally at Dillards