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Consumer Reviews

What to know before you buy a silicone baking mat

Silicone baking mats are the nonstick baking surface responsible for perfectly baked cookies, macarons and meringues.

If you are a regular baker looking for an alternative to greasing baking trays or lining them with parchment paper, it’s time to consider a silicone baking mat. These reusable baking tools evenly distribute heat for perfect browning. They eliminate the messy and time-consuming practice of buttering a baking sheet, and they are an environmentally friendly alternative to wasting baking paper.

For large-batch baking on a nonstick, professional-grade surface, the Silpat Nonstick Baking Mat is the classic, consistent choice.

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What to know before you buy a silicone baking mat

Quantity of mats

If you are an avid baker, you might consider purchasing a set of baking mats. These come in a variety of sizes and let you bake more at a time than a single mat.

If you only turn out the occasional batch of cookies, a large single mat should be plenty.

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Size

Silicone mats are sized based on the type of baking sheet they fit into. Choose a size that fits into or on your baking sheet, as a curled edge may result in burning or uneven browning.

  • Full sheets: These are sized for restaurant kitchens. They measure 18 inches by 16 inches. Some home ovens may not be able to accommodate this larger size.
  • Half sheets: Half sheets are perfect for the home baker. They measure 13 inches by 18 inches.
  • Quarter sheet: Small-batch baking is best for these mats that are 9.5 inches by 13 inches. They can also be used to roast vegetables for a single meal.

Jumbo baking mats measure nearly two feet in length. These can be used on a large, rimless baking sheet.

Heat safe range

While silicone mats are meant to be used in a hot oven, some can withstand higher temperatures than others. At a minimum, your silicone mat should be safe up to 400 degrees. If you like to add a little brown on top of your baked goods with the broiler setting on your oven, select a mat that is safe to 500 degrees or more.

Silicone baking mat features

Helpful baking aids

Professional bakers have years of practice to perfect consistently sized piped meringues and macarons, but home bakers need a little help. The best silicone baking mats might have measurements and outlines for:

  • Pie dough circumference
  • Macaron circles
  • Measurement and temperature conversions

Food-grade materials

Silicone mats need to explicitly state that they are safe or made of food-grade materials. They should be free of bisphenol A (BPA) and have a substantial coating of silicone.

Durability

Speaking of the silicone coating, a thicker coating means more durability. A mat should be no less than 0.3 millimeters in thickness, with mats up to 0.75 millimeters lasting longer and wearing more evenly.

Versatility

Versatile baking mats can be used in the oven, cleaned in the dishwasher and chilled in the freezer.  This means you can do everything from mixing to molding to chilling to baking on the same mat.

Silicone baking mat cost

The cost depends on the size of the mat and whether you buy a set. Single mats can be purchased for $7-$15, and sets are $15-$50.

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Silicone baking mat FAQ

Does a silicone baking mat require specific care?

A. The best baking mats can be either hand-washed with soap and water or tossed in the dishwasher. Let it dry completely before storing it flat or rolling it carefully.

Do not cut the mat to fit a baking sheet. This damages it so that it can no longer be used as intended. If your mat has a warranty, this voids the warranty, too.

Can you bake on both sides of the mat?

A. Yes. The silicone coating on the mat means that both sides are available for use. However, if you need the printed guides for piping or measurements, you might want to stick to the printed side only.

When do you replace a silicone baking mat?

A. Silicone baking mats are designed to last for a long time, but as with everything, they do wear out with use. Look to replace your mat when you notice:

  • Rips or tears
  • Uneven spots on the mat
  • Uneven baking
  • Visible fiberglass

Some silicone mats can be recycled. Check with the manufacturer before you throw them out.

Which silicone baking mat should I get?

Best of the best silicone baking mat

Silpat Nonstick Baking Mat: available at Amazon

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Our take: It's the original name in high-quality silicone mats and is durable and versatile.

What we like: It has a fiberglass center coated in silicone for even heating. Professionals use this brand for consistent results.  It's marked with circles for piping macarons. The silicone is BPA-free. It's a big mat, so you'll need a large baking sheet.

What we dislike: It's a bit expensive compared to others.

Best bang for your buck silicone baking mat

Katbite Nonstick Baking Mat: available at Amazon

Our take: This is a budget baking mat set with all the functionality of more expensive brands.

What we like: It's a set of three baking mats. Two fit a half-sheet pan, and one fits a quarter-sheet pan. It's food-grade silicone. They are safe in the oven up to 500 degrees and can be washed in the dishwasher.

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What we dislike: Some bakers found that they are slightly larger than standard baking sheets, which means the ends will curl up. Choose a rimless baking sheet to help them lie flat.

Honorable mention silicone baking mat

Velesco Store Silicone Macaron Baking Mat: available at Amazon

Our take: It's a baking mat and baking reference sheet all in one.

What we like: Not only is it made of food-safe, BPA-free silicone for even baking, but it also has markings for temperature conversions, piping circles and measurement conversions. This is a professional-grade mat that is also helpful for beginning bakers.

What we dislike: At 15 inches by 23 inches, some bakers may not have a pan large enough to accommodate it.

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Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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