5 Best Baking Mats, Tested by Food Network Kitchen
We rolled and baked sticky cookie dough to find the best one.
Our Top Baking Mat Picks
Tested by Laura Denby for Food Network Kitchen
Baking mats eliminate the need to bake with cooking sprays or parchment paper, which makes them an efficient, functional, and sustainable addition to your kitchen. If you’re an avid baker looking for an easy way to streamline your process, investing in a baking mat might be the perfect option for you. Not only does it cut down on mess, it also cuts down on unnecessary waste.
Before selecting a baking mat, first assess what types of baking projects you’ll do most often, what size and shape you’re looking for, and how you plan to clean and care for it. Most baking mats eliminate the need for any added oil or cooking spray, and a few actually work best without them. Some mats can be cut into specific sizes or shapes, and some have fiberglass threads running through them that make cutting impossible. Before selecting one, it’s a good idea to take stock of your needs and always select a baking mat that will be easy to clean and store.
There are many options to choose from, so we put a few of the leading baking, pastry, and cake mats to the test. We rolled and baked standard sugar cookie dough, and assessed how each mat performed both in and out of the oven. Read on for our list of the best baking mats.
What To Consider When Buying a Baking Mat
Baking mats can turn any old baking sheet into a nonstick solution. Most are made from silicone, which helps food easily slide off the baking mat without sticking. Before selecting one, make sure it’s made from food-grade silicone that’s BPA-free. In addition to the material on the surface of the baking mat, it’s important to consider the material inside. Many baking mats have fiberglass threads that run through them, which help provide structure and weight. However, these also mean that the baking mat should not be cut or trimmed to accommodate a specific size.
Care & Cleaning
Baking mats are perfect for frequent bakers because they’re easy to clean and care for. In fact, since baking mats eliminate the need for oil or cooking spray, they can actually cut down on the time spent cleaning your sheet trays. Before selecting a baking mat, consider how it should be cleaned. Most silicone mats are dishwasher-safe, but a few should be washed by hand. It’s also important to consider if the baking mat is oven and freezer-safe. In order to really get the most out of your baking mat, it should at least be oven-safe up to 400 degrees F. Before embarking on a baking project, make sure you understand what temperature your mat can accommodate safely. Additionally, if you plan to bake batches of cookies and freeze them, consider whether or not your baking mat can be placed in the freezer.
Size and Shape
In general, most baking mats are designed to fit a half sheet tray, which is around 12 inches tall by 17 inches wide. If you’re looking for a more specific size (like for a cake pan), or you want to be able to cut your mat to fit a certain shape, be sure to select a mat that does not have a fiberglass core.
Silpat’s line of high-quality food grade silicone baking supplies run the gamut from nonstick muffin molds to madeleine molds, all of which help eliminate the need for cooking or baking sprays and help make clean-up easier. We love the Silpat Perfect Cookie because it’s a functional and efficient way to streamline the baking process. It performed exceptionally in our tests — we were able to roll out sticky, tacky cookie dough without any of it sticking to the mat. We baked consistent, evenly-golden cookies that peeled away easily. We love that this option is oven-safe up to 500 degrees F, which means it’s durable enough to withstand more heat than most of the mats on this list.
The mat features 13 evenly-spaced cookie indents, which is helpful in achieving uniformly-shaped cookies. The fiberglass mesh provides structure and stability, and we found this mat to be one of the sturdiest we tried. It’s safe to use in the oven, microwave, dishwasher, and the freezer, so you can even prep a batch of cookie dough and store it in the freezer for later use. Overall, this mat took the top spot in our list because it’s durable, functional, and easy-to-use.
This efficient and functional baking mat comes in a set of two, which makes it an incredible value for the price. Made from BPA-free food grade silicone, it eliminates the need for any baking spray or oil. Like most of the mats we tested, it has fiberglass mesh that runs through it, which provides structure and stability. The silicone is flexible but sturdy, and we love that these mats can be tossed in the dishwasher when you’re done using them.
These mats performed well in all of our tests — dough rolled out easily with minimal sticking, and cookies baked evenly and consistently. We found that although the mat slid slightly around on the countertop, we had no trouble rolling and rerolling sugar cookie dough. Keep in mind that unlike some other mats we tested, this option is only oven-safe up to 400 degrees F.
Not only did this mat perform perfectly in all our tests, it’s the only mat that stayed completely still on the countertop when rolling thick and tacky dough. It did not slide around at all, and stayed completely in place no matter what angle we worked from, which makes it perfect for working with different types of pastry dough. This mat turned out evenly baked cookies that came away easily, and nothing stuck to the mat.
This BPS- and BPA-free silicone mat features a grid that’s helpful in measuring and cutting dough to perfect angles or straight lines. Unlike the other mats that we tested, this does not have a fiberglass core, which means it’s more flexible and a bit more flimsy than some others. However, it also means that you can cut it to fit specific shapes and sizes, which adds a layer of versatility that some of the other mats lack. It’s dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up, and is oven-safe up to 550 degrees F.
Silpat’s cake mats perform much like the baking mats, but they’re specifically cut to fit an 8-inch cake round. Made of food grade silicone and a fiberglass interior, the mats are flexible yet sturdy. The nonstick surface is the perfect replacement for parchment paper that helps cut down on mess and eliminate cooking oils or sprays.
We put this mat to the test cooking a standard boxed vanilla cake mix, and it worked effectively and efficiently. Nothing stuck to the cake pan, and the silpat liner was able to easily peel away from the cake without damaging the bottom. It’s microwave, dishwasher, and freezer-safe, and it’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees F. This versatile mat can be used for a variety of baking projects, wherever you would use parchment.
Unlike many of the standard baking mats on our list, this mat snaps at the corners to create a basket-like structure. That means it has all the same benefits of a baking mat, with a bit of added versatility. The BPA-free silicone construction prevents food from sticking and eliminates the need to use cooking oils or sprays.
This mat performed well in our baking tests, but we were particularly impressed with its ability to accommodate savory foods. When snapped up, the mat creates a tray where you can bake chicken, fish, or bread. In addition to our standard cookie test, we also baked lemon chicken and broccoli to see how the mat stood up to dripping juices. We placed the mat on top of a sheet tray for added stability, and found that the chicken was baked evenly and consistently, no food stuck to the surface, and no juices dripped out or escaped. It’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup and can withstand temperatures of up to 450 degrees F in the oven.
How We Tested
To test the best baking mats, we first came up with a list of the best products on the market. We then washed each mat by hand and in the dishwasher to determine how easy they are to clean and care for. Next, we rolled out a standard batch of sugar cookie dough on each mat. We assessed how easily the dough came off the mat, if anything stuck, and if the mat slid around on the counter in the process. After rolling out the dough, we baked sugar cookies on each mat at 350 degrees F. We assessed how easily the finished cookies peeled away from the mat, and assessed the color of each cookie. We looked for consistency in quality and color, and noted whether or not the mats were easy to manage when hot. When testing cake mats, we baked a standard, boxed vanilla cake. We assessed how easily the mat peeled away from the finished cake and examined the bottom, taking note of any noticeable damage removing it may have caused. If any of the baking mats promised any additional features, we tested those to assess the brand’s promises. Most of all, we assessed the nonstick properties of each mat to determine which was the best.