From the elegant crunchy chew of perfectly formed macaroons to delicious chocolate chip cookies with gooey melted centers, there’s nothing a pastry mat can’t make more delicious. This simple kitchen tool eliminates the need for cooking sprays or oils and makes cleanup a breeze.
For professional results in a mat that lasts a lifetime, the Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat is a great choice.
Baking mats are usually delivered in sets. The number you need depends on how much you cook and how you will use the mats. If you are a serious home baker, you can opt for more mats. Are you getting into baking? One or two mats should suffice.
Pastry mats are available in several sizes:
- Full sheet: It’s 18 inches by 16 inches. These are most common in restaurant kitchens and may be too large for home ovens.
- Half sheet: The half sheets measure 13 inches by 18 inches. Most home cooks opt for this size.
- Quarter sheet: The smallest option measures just 9.5 inches by 13 inches. They are perfect for baking small batches of cookies or roasting a few vegetables.
Whichever size you choose, the mat should be slightly smaller than the baking sheet it sits on. This prevents curling and uneven baking.
It’s a baking mat, so it should be safe in the oven, right? Make sure the one you select has a high enough temperature rating for its intended use. Some mats are oven safe up to 500 degrees, while others cannot withstand more than 400 degrees.
If you have trouble rolling out pastry dough precisely or want your macaroons to be precise and perfect, look for pastry mats with printed measurements. These list everything from small circles around one inch to larger 8-10 inch circles for rolling out pie crust.
The best pastry mat has fiberglass woven into its center for added strength and durability. The silicone exterior should be slippery and more than just an ultra-thin coating.
Although it seems obvious, look for pastry mats that use food grade silicone. They must also be labeled BPA-free or non-toxic and safe for oven use.
Versatile mats go from countertop to freezer to oven without compromising on the quality of the results. Some mats can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees.
- Skip the oil or butter. A pastry mat is non-stick and easily releases even melted sugar.
- Select the right hob for the carpet. Do not place the mat directly on the oven rack. Make sure the mat fits snugly inside the edges of the sheet.
- Preheat your oven to the desired temperature and place what you are cooking on the mat.
- Follow the directions in the recipe about the cooking time. Some recipes also call for cooling the baked goods on the mat for a set amount of time.
- Thoroughly clean the carpety between cooking batches.
The price varies greatly depending on the number and size of mats you select. Prices for single mats are $7-$15 each, while pastry mat sets are $15-$50.
A. Most pastry mats are easily cleaned by hand with soap and warm water. Some are also dishwasher safe. Whichever method you choose, make sure the mat is completely dry before storing. Mats should be rolled up or stored flat to avoid tearing or creasing.
Whatever you do, don’t cut your mat to fit your hobs. The fiberglass inside the mat is harmful if ingested, and cutting the mat exposes it.
A. The pastry mats are coated on all sides with silicone. This means you can use both sides for baking, roasting or preparing food.
Of course, if your mat is marked with measurements, you might want to stick to that side for rolling out dough or portioning cookies or other baked goods that require precision.
A. Pastry mats are remarkably durable, but may require replacement after prolonged use. If you notice that the mat has lost its non-stick quality, it’s time to replace it.
Other signs that you need a new carpet include:
- Rips or tears
- fine spots
- Fiberglass visibly protrudes from the center
Many pastry mats are recyclable. Consult the manufacturer for the best disposal options.
Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat: Available on Amazon
Our opinion : It is one of the most trusted and well-known baking mats with proven quality and durability.
What we like: Both of these mats feature fiberglass centers coated with non-stick silicone. These are the mats the professionals use. One fits a full-size cookie sheet, while the other fits best in a half-size jelly roll pan. They are BPA free.
What we don’t like: There’s not much not to like about these rugs. They can stain if not cleaned immediately after use, but that’s about it.
Amazon Basics Non-Stick Baking Mat: Available on Amazon
Our opinion : This is a more affordable option for bakers who have just installed their kitchen.
What we like: It’s a set of two half sheets that are oven safe up to 480 degrees. They are coated with the same slippery silicone as the more expensive mats. These are also available in sets of three and four.
What we don’t like: Like other pastry mats, they cannot be folded for storage. Roll them up or lay them flat to avoid permanent creases.
Velesco Store Macaron Silicone Baking Mat: Available on Amazon
Our opinion : These allow you to create perfectly homogeneous macarons and rolled dough.
What we like: Each of these three mats have the same fiberglass/silicone construction as the more expensive mats. Clearly marked with circles for perfect piping every time. They are safe in the oven, dishwasher and freezer. A slightly larger mat is also available for purchase.
What we don’t like: Some bakers have noted that these mats are too big for half a baking sheet.
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Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a single mission: to help simplify your buying decisions and save you time and money.
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