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When baking cookies and roasting vegetables, some people line their sheet pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil to prevent food from sticking to the cooking surface. But as an alternative, many home cooks and professional chefs alike turn to silicone baking mats.
“The nonstick silicone creates a barrier between the metal of your pan and your ingredients, which helps those ingredients release easier after baking or roasting,” said Ruthy Kirwan, cookbook author and owner of the blog Percolate Kitchen. “They’re helpful for cooks who don’t want to deal with scraping food off their pans, clean oil-slicked pans or waste foil and parchment paper.”
Silicone baking mats can be used before you put food in the oven, too. Zoë François, cookbook author and host of “Zoe Bakes” on Magnolia Network, said they’re useful when you’re rolling out sticky dough — they require you to use less flour to dust the top of the surface compared to countertops or butcher boards, for example. She noted that silicone baking mats can also make it easier to remove frozen food from dishes.
If you’re thinking about investing in silicone baking mats, we talked to chefs about their strengths and weaknesses and got their tips for using them. We also rounded up highly rated options to consider based on their advice.
SKIP AHEAD Highly rated baking mats
What are silicone baking mats?
Silicone baking mats are made from food-grade silicone and fiberglass — these materials give them their nonstick properties and act as a layer of insulation from metal pans, François said. Most silicone baking mats are oven-safe up to between 480 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but François recommended visiting a brand’s website or reading the product’s package to double-check.
Some silicone baking mats come with outlines or measurements on them, guiding you where to put dough to ensure cookies are properly spaced or showing you how large a 9-inch circle is if you’re rolling out a pie crust. You can buy silicone baking mats that are sized for specific sheet pans or cake tins, as well as for certain desserts. Silpat, Amazon Basics and other brands, for example, offer silicone baking mats with macaron templates printed on them.
Highly rated silicone baking mats
Since we don’t test silicone baking mats, we rely on expert insights to guide our recommendations. Below, we included two options recommended by experts, as well as highly rated silicone baking mats from Select reader favorite brands that meet expert guidance.
All of the silicone baking mats listed below are oven-, freezer- and microwave-safe. They’re also all flexible, so you can roll or fold them when they’re not in use.
François said Silpat’s silicone baking mat was the first one she ever used, and she considers it one of the best options on the market. Select editor Morgan Greenwald also uses a Silpat mat and said her cookies always slide right off of it. The brand offers rectangular mats sized to fit quarter-, half-, ¾- and full-sheet pans, as well as round and octagonal options — they’re all oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the brand. Silpat also makes silicone baking mats specifically for macarons and cookies, as well as molds for muffins, scones and more.
François also recommended MMmat Silicone Baking Mats. They come in rectangular and round shapes, both of which are offered in multiple sizes. You can also purchase a mat for baking macarons or a pastry mat with measurements and templates printed on it. All of MMmat’s silicone baking mats are dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the brand says.
GIR’s silicone baking mat is available in two sizes: One fits half-sheet pans and the other is designed for quarter sheet pans. You can also cut the mats to customize their size and shape if need be, according to the brand. The baking mats come in colors ranging from Royal Blue to Red and in patterns like Barcelona, Vincent and Sprinkles. You can also purchase a two-piece bundle that includes one mat in each size. The brand says the mats are oven-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
OXO’s silicone baking mat is designed to be used with half-sheet pans and is oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the brand. The brand also offers a larger silicone pastry mat featuring graphics to help you shape pie crust, strips of dough and more. The brand says the silicone baking mat is dishwasher-safe.
Five Two’s Silicone Baking Mat measures 16.5 inches long by 11.5 inches wide. The brand says you can cut it to fit any pan you own. It features a grid pattern to help you measure dough or space out ingredients, and the brand says the mat is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Silicone baking mats: Benefits and limitations
Silicone baking mats are naturally nonstick, which means you don’t need to grease them before placing food on top. “You can slip one onto your pan and bake cookies or cake batter directly on it,” François said. They are also reusable and sized to fit specific pans, which experts told us eliminates the need to measure and cut parchment paper or tinfoil and throw it out later.
However, since most silicone baking mats are only oven-safe up to about 480 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, you can’t use them while broiling food or cooking at very high temperatures. And the mats are thicker than parchment paper or tinfoil, which means they provide more insulation — Kirwin said this doesn’t allow you to brown or caramelize ingredients very well. This is good for most desserts but not ideal for roasting savory ingredients like vegetables and meats. Some people, including Greenwald, have also noticed that silicone mats can maintain a greasy residue even after being scrubbed with soap and water in the sink.
How to clean silicone baking mats
Some silicone baking mats are dishwasher-safe, and you can also hand wash them and hang them to dry, Kirwan said. (Before you put your silicone mat in the dishwasher, check with the manufacturer to make sure it’s dishwasher-safe.) If a mat gets stained, she suggested soaking it in a solution of warm water, dish soap and vinegar and using a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the stained area. François emphasized that it’s important to keep rough sponges or scrubbers away from the mats, as they can create scratches.