The case for not lining your sheet pan

When you pull out a sheet pan to make cookies, you probably line it with parchment or foil to keep the delicate items from sticking. So it makes sense to do the same when you are roasting meat or vegetables too, right? Perhaps not, says Anna Stockwell at Epicurious. She makes the case for not lining your sheet pan

sheet pan chicken

As someone who purchases parchment paper in 1000-count boxes, I admit that I almost reflexively pull out a sheet any time I get my sheet pan out of the cupboard. I hate to clean up sticky messes, so I use parchment to avoid a big cleanup. But as Stockwell points out, often times butter, oil, and juices end up running underneath the parchment (or foil), rendering it ineffective for the very purpose it’s being used. 

Another big problem with using parchment in all cases is that it can inhibit browning and evaporation. If your goal to is have crispy edges and caramelized crusts, parchment is not your friend. Stockwell did a side-by-side comparison of a lined versus unlined pan, and the results were definitive. An unlined pan is superior. So the next time you pull out a sheet pan for roasting veggies or meats, feel free to skip the parchment or foil.  

Photo of Sheet pan chicken meatballs with tomatoes and chickpeas from Bon Appétit

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One Comment

  • thewoobdog  on  November 20, 2018

    Thank you for NOT titling this "You're Using Your Sheet Pan Wrong!" 😉 Hahahaha!

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