11 Unexpected Uses for a Sheet Pan

Affordable, versatile and practically indestructible, a rimmed baking sheet earns its rightful place in the kitchen every single day. Let us count the ways.

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Magic Pan

It's about time. For too long this workhorse of the professional kitchen was a chef's secret, helping bear the loads for prep cooks, caterers and big-batch bakers. No more. Sheet pans are popping up in the kitchens of recent grads and grandmothers alike — and not a moment too soon. These sturdy rimmed stainless steel or aluminum sheets are good for so much more than making cookies or rolled cakes. Whether it's serving as a pizza peel or as a corn catcher, there's little this pan can't do.

Photography by Renee Comet

Fruit Freezer

To avoid clumped-up frozen raspberries and sliced peaches, spread out your fruit on a sheet pan and pop it in the freezer until it's frozen solid. Then transfer the fruit to a resealable freezer bag or container for easy portioning.

Slider Maker

When you're cooking for a crowd, skip the griddle and use a sheet pan to make a big batch of little burgers. Press your favorite meat patty mixture into an even layer in the pan, score all the way through into small squares and bake at 425 degrees F until cooked through. Serve with mini buns and classic toppings like onions, pickles and iceberg lettuce. 

Corn Catcher

Before you cut corn off the cob, sit your cutting board inside a sheet pan. The rimmed sides will help contain juices and flying kernels. 

Frittata Pan

A buttered and floured sheet pan handily fills in for a nonstick oven-safe skillet when you are preparing this finger-friendly brunch standard for a crowd. Spread cooked cubed potatoes across the bottom, cover with beaten eggs, shredded cheese and your other favorite mix-ins, and bake until puffed. Cut into squares for easy serving.

Skewer Soaker

Bamboo skewers are kebab essentials; they're also highly flammable and should be soaked at least 20 minutes before grilling. Rather than struggling to find a bowl large enough to fit their length, place them in a sheet pan with a half-inch of water. When you're done, use the emptied pan to transport your food to the grill.

Pizza Peel or Pan

Hot baking stone in the oven. Fully loaded pizza on the counter. How to get the one to the other? Flip over a sheet pan and slide the pizza onto the back. Carry the pizza to the oven and slide it off the sheet pan and onto the stone. If you don't have a baking stone, place your dressed dough in a (right-side-up) oiled sheet pan. Heat it in the oven first for an extra-crispy crust. 

Ingredient Organizer

Food Network chefs swear by the mise en place, aka prepping all their ingredients before they start to cook. They use lots of small bowls for this, but you can cut down on the dishwashing by organizing your chopped and washed ingredients in piles on a single sheet pan.

Dinner Roaster

Entire volumes are devoted to this undeniably convenient idea: You can cook a full meal on one pan. Place your cut-up potatoes on one side of the pan, chicken thighs on another, cherry tomatoes (or radicchio, or green beans or… you get the idea) in the middle, and cook until done.  

Pot Lid

If your oversize skillet or stockpot doesn't have a top, use a sheet pan instead. 

Drip Catcher

You'll enjoy that nice bubbling blueberry pie even more when you don't have to scrape the burnt overflow from your oven floor. Place a sheet pan on the rack below any dish with the potential to outgrow its container — think souffles, lasagnas, gratins and other casseroles.  

Slab Pie Pan

For version one of this summer classic, cover the bottom and sides of a sheet pan with store-bought pie dough, trimming and sealing the pieces together as necessary. Spread with pie filling, top with lattice strips of more pie dough, and bake. For version two, press shortbread cookie dough into a sheet pan and bake until golden. Let cool, then spread with jam and top with berries. Whipped cream is the perfect topper for either.  

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