Most people have heard of silicone baking mats or may even have seen them online or in their favorite store. However, if you haven’t tried them yet, you are missing out on something great. There are still people out there who grease their pans and put baked goods directly onto the sheet to cook, creating messes and time-consuming clean up. If you currently use parchment paper to line your sheets, you are in the right direction but are using and paying a lot more.
Choosing Your Mat
If you have decided that silicone baking mats are your new best friend, then you should consider top-quality items. This can be difficult to do for some, because they aren’t sure what to look for in their mat. Cheap mats are inexpensive, but they will warp after a few uses or crack. You also run the risk of having a mat that isn’t food-safe and approved by the FDA. Therefore, look for quality mats. The mat should be thicker than poster board and be made from food-grade silicone with a fiberglass weave.
When most people hear fiberglass, they think of something dangerous that shouldn’t be used in the kitchen. However, the fiberglass will not become separated from the silicone and will not cause you or your family any harm. The fiberglass weave makes the silicone stronger, allowing it to be used up to 3,000 times.
There are many sizes available, though most people will only need the half-sheet option, though full-sheet, toaster-oven and extra-large are also available.
While silicone baking mats cost more initially, they will last a lot longer than parchment paper. A box of parchment paper may only cost $5 while a silicone baking mat could cost upwards of $20. The problem with parchment paper is that you can only use it one time and must discard it, so you will likely have to spend around $400 to purchase enough parchment paper to use 3,000 times.
You will also save money because you don’t need to purchase grease, oil or sprays to use with your pan as silicone baking mats are non-stick.
Another benefit is that cleaning up after baking will be easier. You won’t have to scrub your pans or cookie sheets in order to get them clean, which will be great if you use the mats for cheesy foods. Silicone mats are also easy to wipe or rinse clean. For more information, visit the website http://www.nycake.com/siliconebakingpans.aspx