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Does Baking Sheet Color Matter?

Cookies sit on a baking sheet.

Not all baking sheets are the same, and no, we’re not talking about size and depth. Baking sheet color can vary, but is there a reason why?

As it turns out, the color of your baking sheet can impact the food you bake.

Typically, baking sheets come in a light, steel gray and a deeper charcoal hue. While it might seem like the decision is simply an aesthetic one, those colors can change how the items your baking turn out. If you were ever told not to wear black during the summer as it would attract more heat, this is basically the same principle.

Darker colors will radiate more heat and become hotter faster. Food that touches the pan—think the bottom of cookies—will bake quicker than other areas. That’s exactly why you don’t want to use a dark pan to bake them. Instead, dark sheets should be used when baking items like pizza, potato wedges, and some hearty veggies. Essentially, the items you’d like to turn a bit crispy on the bottom should be baked on a dark pan.

On the opposite side of things, light pans conduct less heat, and as a result, they’re able to give items a more even cook. When it comes to most baked goods—like cookies and cakes—you’ll want to turn to lighter shades.

The next time you’re baking a sheet pan dinner or whipping up a batch of cookies, don’t forget that your baking sheet color does, in fact, matter.

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