Silicone Baking Mats Explained
Silicone baking mats are very beneficial when baking in the kitchen and can be used to prepare a variety of delicious baked goods. Their nonstick design makes cleanup a breeze and they are reusable to reduce waste in your kitchen. Learn what silicone mats are, what they are used for, how to clean silicone mats, if silicone baking mats are safe to bake with, and more.Shop All Silicone Baking Mats
What Is a Silicone Baking Mat?
A silicone baking mat is made of high-quality, food-grade silicone and fiberglass, and it is most often used to cover cookie sheets when baking. They are also perfect for baking messy or sticky concoctions because of their non-stick qualities. Silicone baking mats come in various shapes and sizes to fit different sizes of baking pans.
What Is a Silicone Baking Mat Used For?
You can use a silicone baking mat in many different ways. Here’s a list of what you can use a silicone baking mat for.
- Replace parchment paper or aluminum foil on baking sheets
- Keep baking pans clean
- Lay a silicone mat flat on a countertop to knead bread or roll out cookie dough
- Put on a tray to heat food in the oven
- Cover baked goods in the oven to make sure they rise evenly
- Place under a cake ring to keep the cake batter from sticking to the sheet pan
Many brands of silicone bakeware live up to their non-stick name. However, greasing or spraying your silicone mats before placing dough or food on them will help when it is time to remove your freshly baked treat. Regardless of the mess your chocolate chip cookies make on a cookie sheet, a silicone mat will help keep the mess at bay, and your cookie sheets in better condition to last longer.
How to Use a Silicone Baking Mat
Whether you are baking cookies, kneading dough, or baking a cake, you can use a silicone baking mat. To use as a pan liner, simply lay the mat flat on a cookie sheet if you want to make cookies. If you are worried about your cookies sticking, spray your mat with non-stick spray before you place the cookies down.
When it comes to a work surface, you can also place the silicone mat on a countertop if you plan on kneading bread or rolling out cookie dough. This will save flour and also prevent your countertop from becoming a mess in the process.
How to Clean Silicone Baking Mats
With a little soap and water, wipe your silicone mat clean, and let it air dry. To dry them, it is best to lay them flat.
Are Silicone Baking Mats Safe?
Yes, silicone baking mats are safe for baking. The temperature limit of a silicone baking mat is 428 degrees Fahrenheit. These baking mats can also be placed in the freezer.
However, silicone baking mat safety should be kept in mind when purchasing. Now that silicone is becoming more popular, some companies are adding fillers to their silicone molds and mats. Silicone fillers can be harmful to our health because of the toxins they emit when heated or cooled. If you aren't positive about fillers in the silicone you purchased, once you bake with it, you may smell a potent burning smell. Your best bet for finding safe silicone baking mats is to purchase from a respected manufacturer. If you want to be sure about the components of the mat before buying, you can always reach out to the customer service team.
Baking Mat vs Parchment Paper
You can use a baking mat and parchment paper interchangeably in a variety of ways. Although both are great for baking or cooking, a baking mat is reusable and long-lasting, while parchment paper can only be used once or twice at a time. Baking mats are perfect for flat surfaces, whereas parchment paper can mold to fit in deeper pans like loaf pans. We break down the uses of baking mats versus parchment paper in the list below.
- Eco-friendly and cost saving
- Variety of uses for baking
- Minimizes cleanup
- Not reusable
- Used mostly to protect baking sheets
- Additional flexibility
- Minimizes cleanup
Can I Use a Baking Mat Instead of Parchment Paper?
Yes, you can. Using a baking mat to cover baking sheets will help protect the baking sheet from stuck-on messes or scratches.
Baking with silicone baking sheets makes baking and cleanup much easier and allows you to make more baked goods at one time. Experience the benefits for yourself and try baking with a silicone baking mat!
Is Baking Soda the Same as Baking Powder?
Whether you own a bakery, offer baked goods on your menu, or just have a casual interest in baking, it’s essential to understand the difference between baking soda and baking powder. In the blog below we’ll explain what sets baking soda and baking powder apart, how they work, and the different substitutes you can use in their place. Baking Soda vs Baking Powder The difference between baking powder and baking soda comes down to their ingredients. Baking soda only contains one ingredient, sodium bicarbonate. On the other hand, baking powder is made up of two ingredients: sodium bicarbonate and some form of powdered acid. In most cases, that acid is potassium bitartrate, also known as cream of tartar. How Baking Soda Works Baking soda undergoes a chemical reaction when mixed with an acidic ingredient. This reaction only takes place in the presence of moisture and produces carbon dioxide gas, which helps your batter or dough to rise and appears as air bubbles in the recipe. Once you’ve added baking soda to your dough, it’s best to bake it as soon as possible as the carbon dioxide will eventually escape. If this happens long enough, it can prevent your baked goods from rising. The list of ingredients that can help induce this reaction includes: Lemon juice Buttermilk Yogurt Honey How Baking Powder Works Similarly to baking soda, the activation process of baking powder produces carbon dioxide gas that helps raise your batter or dough. Unlike baking soda, baking powder already contains an acidic ingredient. Because of this, it only requires water to activate. It’s important to note that some baking powders are double-acting. This means that they will activate a second time when introduced to heat. Because of this second activation, you don’t need to rush to get your baked goods in the oven when you’re using double-acting baking powder. Baking Powder Substitute While it’s possible to substitute baking powder in your recipes, any ingredient used in its place will not be as effective. Regardless, if you don’t have access to baking powder, you may need to find a convenient alternative. Below, we’ve listed some ingredients commonly found in kitchens that can act as a suitable substitute for baking powder. Buttermilk and baking soda: As a fermented dairy product, buttermilk can have a similar leavening effect as baking powder when combined with baking soda. Cream of tartar: Created as a byproduct of the wine-making process, cream of tartar is an acidic white powder. Combining it with baking soda allows you to mix an excellent replacement for baking powder. Lemon juice: With a high concentration of citric acid, lemon juice is acidic enough to trigger a leavening effect when combined with baking soda. Keep in mind that it should only be used in small amounts to avoid giving your recipes a lemon flavor. Molasses and baking soda: Typically used as a sweetener, molasses can cause an acid-based reaction when combined with baking soda, making it an effective substitute for baking powder. Sour milk: Because of its diminished pH levels, sour milk reacts with baking soda to produce a similar leavening effect as baking powder. Vinegar and baking soda: Vinegar, which has an acidic pH, can be a possible substitute for baking powder when paired with baking soda. Baking Soda to Baking Powder Conversion For every 1 teaspoon of baking soda, substitute 3 teaspoons of baking powder. Baking Soda Substitute Though some recipes can still be prepared without baking soda, it's best to make sure you have a suitable replacement on hand just in case. Remember that a baking soda reaction requires acid to activate, so it's essential to have acidic foods on hand during the process. Below, we've listed some baking soda substitutes that you might find around the kitchen: Baking powder: Baking powder is one of the most common substitutes for baking soda. It’s best to use it as a substitute in sugar-based recipes. In the section below, we’ve included a baking soda to baking powder conversion. Self-rising flour: Though the conversion can be tricky, self-rising flour can serve as a substitute for baking soda. It is made of a combination of all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Egg whites: In some cases, egg whites can serve as a viable replacement for baking soda. Whipped egg whites can help add structure to your recipe, but must be folded in gently to avoid agitating the batter. Club soda: As it contains a small amount of baking soda, club soda can sometimes be used as a substitute in a pinch. It's important to note that club soda will only work as a replacement for recipes that require minimal rising. Baking Powder to Baking Soda Conversion Use 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every tablespoon of baking powder. To make sure it functions correctly, also add 2 teaspoons of vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar, or another acidic ingredient to your batter or dough. One drawback to using baking powder as a substitute is that it isn't double-acting. With that in mind, be sure to get it in the oven as soon as possible after you combine it with wet ingredients. How Long Does Baking Soda Last? In general, an unopened package of baking soda can be stored at room temperature for up to 18 months. However, once the package has been opened, its shelf life is reduced to 6 months. Environmental factors can speed up the rate at which ingredients lose their effectiveness, making it essential that you store your baking soda in a suitable space. How to Test Baking Soda To test baking soda, mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar. It should bubble immediately if your baking soda is useable. What Happens If You Use Expired Baking Soda? Baking soda can still be used after its expiration date, though it won't work as well as fresh baking soda. Despite its reduced effectiveness, expired baking soda is still safe to consume. How Long Does Baking Powder Last? An unopened package of baking powder can typically be used until 18-24 months after manufacturing. However, for the best results, it’s recommended that you use your baking soda before expiration. How to Test Baking Powder To test baking powder, mix 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/2 cup of hot water. If it bubbles, your baking powder is still effective. What Happens If You Use Expired Baking Powder? Expired baking powder is safe to consume, but using it in your recipes can cause baked goods to come out flat or dense. Baking Soda and Baking Powder FAQ In the section below, we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about baking powder and baking soda. How to Store Baking Soda Since baking soda absorbs odors and moisture, it's best to store it in a cool, dry location. The best temperature for storing baking soda falls somewhere between 40-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you’ve opened a package of baking soda, be sure to store it in an air-tight and moisture-proof container to preserve freshness. How to Store Baking Powder Similar to baking soda, baking powder should be stored in a cool, dry location. Avoid storing it in a refrigerator, as it’s possible moisture could develop and cause a reaction within the baking powder. What Is a Leavening Agent? A leavening agent, sometimes referred to as a leavener or a rising agent, is used in baking to expand doughs and batters. When mixed with liquid, acid, or heat, they release gas, causing the dough to rise. Many people say that baking is a science, and how baking soda and baking powder work as chemical leavening agents is an excellent example of science at work in your kitchen. Recipes use these ingredients to give your baked goods the perfect texture brought on by chemical reactions and carbon dioxide gas. As a result, precision is key when working with baking soda and baking powder. Next time you use one of these ingredients, remember our storage tips and directions for how to make sure that your baking soda or baking powder is still working.
How to Clean Baking Sheets
Baking sheets are so versatile you can use them to bake cookies, roast vegetables, or melt cheese over your favorite appetizers. But have you ever noticed how quickly a brand new sheet pan starts to turn brown? Oil residue and burnt food can leave marks that seem impossible to remove. We’ll share our favorite tricks for how to clean baking sheets and make them look brand new again. Shop All Cookie Sheets Baking Sheet Materials Before you learn how to clean baking sheets, make sure you know the material of your pan. Baking sheets, baking pans, and cookie sheets can all be cleaned with these methods, but using the wrong technique can ruin the finish on your aluminum or non-stick pans. Use our cleaning chart for a quick reference of what method to use when cleaning your baking sheets. Method: Aluminized Steel Aluminum Non-Stick Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Yes No No Baking Soda and Vinegar Yes Yes Yes Ammonia Yes No No Aluminum Foil Yes No No Washing Soda and Cream of Tartar Yes Yes Yes Water and Baking Soda Yes Yes Yes How to Clean Sheet Pans Now that you know which methods work with each pan type, you're ready to get started. Check out six easy ways to keep your baking sheets looking brand new: 1. How to Clean Cookie Sheets with Baking Soda and Peroxide For this method, the most important factor is time. The mixture is simply baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, but you must give it enough time to attack your pan’s food particles and grime. This method should only be used on your aluminized steel pans. Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Spread mixture across the top of the pan. Let sit for 2-3 hours. Wipe mixture away with a paper towel and water. If necessary, scrub any remaining sections. Clean with regular soap and water to rid sheet of any remaining residue. 2. How to Clean Cookie Sheets with Baking Soda and Vinegar You can clean baking sheets with the effective combination of baking soda and vinegar, two products that can be found in most kitchens. This method should only be used on your aluminum or aluminized steel baking pans. Use 1 part baking soda and 1 part vinegar (we recommend 1/4 cup to start). Pour the baking soda on the tray and spread evenly across. Add vinegar to the tray and watch for the ingredients to begin to react. Submerge the tray into a sink filled with hot water. Soak the sheet for 30-60 minutes. Remove from the water and wipe away dirt and grime with a non-abrasive sponge or microfiber cloth. Clean sheet with regular soap and water. 3. How to Clean Cookie Sheets with Ammonia While ammonia can be very effective at removing tough stains and food particles from baking sheets, it's important to note that this method takes the most time to complete and involves harsh chemicals. For your safety, be sure to wear protective gloves, eyewear, and a mask when working with ammonia. Do not use this method for non-stick baking sheets or aluminum pans. Place your cookie sheets inside a durable plastic bag, such as a garbage bag. Add 1/2 cup of ammonia to the bag. Seal the bag shut and let it sit out in the sun for a day to allow enough time for the ammonia to soften and react with grease and food particles. Without breathing in the ammonia, open the bag and remove the pans. Scrub pans with steel wool. Wash the sheets thoroughly. 4. How to Clean Cookie Sheets with Aluminum Foil Did you know that rolled-up balls of aluminum foil can be used to clean cookie sheets? It's a quick and easy way to reuse clean pieces of foil. Don't use this method on your aluminum or non-stick baking sheets because it will cause scratches. Soak sheet pans in water for an extended period. Remove and dry. Bunch aluminum foil into a ball and scrub burned spots and stuck-on food. Wash and rinse with soap and water. 5. How to Clean Cookie Sheets with Washing Soda and Cream of Tartar You may not be familiar with washing soda, but it's a helpful cleaning product that is similar to baking soda. Just make sure to wear gloves while handling washing soda because it can cause skin irritation. Cream of tartar is a common baking ingredient that's probably on your shelf right now. This cleaning method is gentle enough to use on your aluminum, aluminized steel, and non-stick pans. Sprinkle washing soda and cream of tartar onto the cookie sheet. Pour a small amount of hot water on top of the sheet. Mix ingredients into a paste. Spread paste evenly across the pan. Let sit for 15 minutes. Scrub stains with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Wash paste and dirt off the pan with water and soap. 6. How to Clean Cookie Sheets with Baking Soda and Water If you have a box of baking soda on hand, you can clean your baking sheets. Baking soda is gentle on pans and won't scratch or discolor the finish. Use this method on aluminum, aluminized steel, and non-stick baking sheets. Create a paste with warm water and baking soda. Cover the cookie sheet with the paste. Let sit for 30 minutes. Gently rub stains with a nylon scrubber until the spots are gone. Wash thoroughly and dry immediately. Back to Top How to Remove Baked On Grease from Pans Baked-on grease tends to be hard to remove. It's tough, sticky, and doesn't want to budge with normal cleaning. But don't give up on cleaning your cookie sheets just yet. Try our tricks for removing baked on grease from your pans: How to Clean Aluminized Steel Cookie Sheets Best Way to Remove Baked On Grease From Aluminized Steel: Place your cookie sheet on a range top burner with water and a few drops of dish detergent inside. Turn the burner to high heat and bring the water to a gentle boil for about five minutes. Turn off the burner, let the liquid cool completely, then scrub the pan with a stainless steel scrubbing pad to remove the baked-on grease. Best Cleaning Tool for Aluminized Steel Pans: Aluminized steel is a tough material that can withstand rough scouring and scrubbing. For any of the methods you use, we recommend using a scouring pad, the rough side of a sponge, or steel wool. It’s important to consider that while it is effective at eliminating stains, steel wool may leave small scratch marks on your pans. How to Clean Aluminum Cookie Sheets How to Clean Baked on Grease from Aluminum Pans: Sprinkle cream of tartar all over the top of your baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on a rangetop burner, add water, and bring to a boil over the stovetop for 5 minutes. This should lift the grease off of the pan. Simply rinse away any remaining residue and dry. Best Cleaning Tool for Aluminum Pans: Aluminum baking sheets can be cleaned using similar methods as aluminized steel or stainless steel pans. However, you may need to use a gentler scrubber. To be sure, test the scrubber on a small section on the back of your sheet. How to Clean Non-Stick Cookie Sheets How to Clean Baked On Grease from Non Stick Pans: Sprinkle the top of the cookie sheet with baking soda. Pour vinegar over the baking soda so that the powder begins to fizz. Let the sheet stand for 30 minutes. Gently scrub any remaining grease. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Best Cleaning Tool for Non-Stick Pans: To preserve the integrity of the non-stick finish on your cookie sheet, do not use rough or steel scrubbers. Instead, opt for non-abrasive nylon scrubbers. Additionally, it’s recommended you first try covering the cookie sheet with wet paper towels and let the sheet soak for an hour. For minor build-up, this may be effective. Shop All Scrubbers and Sponges How to Clean Rust from Cookie Sheets Do you have a collection of old baking sheets that seem to be damaged beyond repair? You may be able to save them! Instead of replacing old baking pans, try these methods to remove rust and make your sheets usable again. Using a Potato and Baking Soda or Dish Soap It seems strange, but a cut potato can actually be used to remove rust from your old cookie sheets. Follow these steps to repair your pan: Cut the potato in half. Dip the cut end in either dish soap or baking soda. To figure out which would be best to use, you may wish to experiment with both. Firmly rub the potato over the rusted area. The potato's natural oxalic acid will help break rust down. If the potato starts to get slick, slice off the end and dip it in the dish soap or baking soda again. Repeat steps until rust is removed. Rinse off the pan and dry immediately. Remove Rust with Baking Soda Before tossing your rusted sheet pans, try this simple method for repairing the damage: Rinse the sheet thoroughly, then shake it dry so it remains slightly damp. Lightly dust the pan with baking soda so the powder sticks to the remaining water. Make sure all rusty spots are covered with baking soda. Let sit for about 30 minutes. With the baking soda still on, gently scrub the pan. Rinse everything off and towel dry immediately. Tips for Cleaning Your Cookie Sheets To prevent the build-up of food residue, grease, or rust, consider these tips for cleaning and maintaining your cookie sheets. Avoid large messes to begin with by lining your pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Coat your pan with a light layer of oil to prevent rusting. Dry cookie sheets immediately after washing to avoid a build-up of bacteria and rusting. When possible, hand-wash your cookie sheets soon after use. Cookie sheets are a great, versatile tool to use in your commercial kitchen. Use these methods to ensure longevity and reduce replacement costs. Choose the right method above based on what supplies you already have in your kitchen, any time constraints you may have, and what type of sheet you're using.
High Altitude Baking Adjustments