After you’ve been baking for a while, you may notice recipes that ask for silicone baking mats to line sheet pans. What happened to the use of foil? How about using parchment paper? Does just buttering a sheet pan no longer suffice?
Silicone baking mats are becoming more popular, and the more you bake, the more likely you are to consider purchasing one. So the key issue is whether silicone baking mats are worthwhile. Is it true that they are the miraculous instrument that they promise to be?
- What Are Silicone Baking Mats?
- Save Money
- Easy to Clean
- Bye Bye Burned Bottoms
- Dough Loves Silicone
- Little Perks
- Blown Away!
- Candy and Other Hot Things
- Not Just Baking
- The Verdict
- What are the cons of silicone baking mat?
- Are silicone baking mats worth the money?
- When should you not use a silicone baking mat?
- Do cookies bake better on silicone mat?
- Does it take longer to bake in silicone?
- Why do silicone baking mats get sticky?
- Do silicone baking mats leach into food?
- Do cookies brown on silicone mat?
- Do you need to oil silicone baking mat?
What Are Silicone Baking Mats?
Silicone baking mats are sheets of silicone (obviously) that are often webbed with fiberglass strands to make the pad strong. They are flexible and bendable, and their primary use is to cover sheet pans.
These magic mats are not new to the baking industry; in fact, pastry professionals have used them for decades. In baking, these sheets may be used in lieu of parchment paper or foil.
The mat is simply placed on a sheet pan (cookie sheet versus baking sheet) and then cookies, pastries, or anything else is cooked on top of it. It seemed simple enough.
Now lets look at the benefits.
Silicone mats are reusable, and by that I mean they can be used hundreds of times before exhibiting signs of wear. This eliminates the need for parchment paper, pan grease, or foil.
Never, ever again! Use the same silicone baking mat for anything you bake on a baking pan.
While some vendors suggest replacing your mats once a year, as a professional baker, I have seen silicone mats survive for years. The silicone mat wins in terms of durability and cost savings!
Easy to Clean
Cleaning silicone mats takes just seconds. The incredible nonstick surface allows burned-on bits to simply glide right off. You could definitely go without a sponge while cleaning them!
They are practically pristine after a short washing (I do suggest using soap to ensure they are oil free for your next baking activity). You can also put a silicone baking surface in the dishwasher to make cleaning even simpler.
If you bake with a silicone mat on top of a sheet tray, the sheet tray will most likely still be clean below when you remove the mat. So you will not only save time by not having to scrub sheet trays, but you will also save money!
I believe this is yet another success for the silicone mat!
Bye Bye Burned Bottoms
The use of a silicone mat makes it far more difficult for the bottom of a cookie or pastry to burn. Instead of resting directly on hot metal, cookies and pastries are nestled on silicone, which serves as a buffer to the sheet pan’s direct heat.
This implies that the bottom of a cookie will take much longer to get too dark or black (this is particularly beneficial if you tend to forget about cookies in the oven!).
Because parchment paper sheets have the same effect as silicone mats, if you like the burn barrier of parchment, you’ll love silicone mats!
Dough Loves Silicone
If you’ve ever rolled out dough and found it entirely glued to a counter surface, you might consider investing in a silicone mat. Another reason to use these magical mats is if you’ve ever tried kneading dough and had the same sticky issue.
Silicone mats aren’t only for baking; you can also knead or roll dough on them without fear of it sticking. They don’t have any sticks!
While you should still use enough of flour while kneading or rolling dough, a silicone mat nearly assures that it will not cling. That in itself is a miracle, and a baking catastrophe has been avoided!
While many silicone baking mats have a consistent look (most are a tan or clear hue with a visible fiberglass grid within), many also have minor additional features printed directly on them.
The Super Kitchen mat, for example, has measured and labeled circles in the middle so you can quickly roll a pie crust to the precise size you need (but here are a few suggestions if you wind up with excess pie dough!).
The Cook Time brand features a big circle, little circles, and a ruler printed on the mat to ensure that all of your cookies and pastries are the same size. This is a unique characteristic that you won’t find on a sheet of parchment paper.
If you have a convection oven or have ever cooked with forced air, you will be familiar with the fact that parchment paper commonly flies about in the oven. The piece of the paper may get glued to a cookie and bake straight into the dough–not good!
Silicone mats are thicker and somewhat sticky, so they attach much better to the baking sheet. Yes, this advantage is limited to people who use convection ovens, but it is worth highlighting since parchment flying all over the oven is a big issue.
Candy and Other Hot Things
Most silicone baking mats can withstand temperatures of up to 475 degrees F, making them ideal for placing in a hot oven and pouring molten candy upon.
In these cases, the nonstick surface works just as well, which will please any candy maker who has gotten their creations stuck to a sheet pan- they won’t stick to a silicone baking mat!
Gotta love a non-melting substance that is simple to peel off of confectionery and baked products.
Not Just Baking
Silicone baking mats are useful for more than simply baked products and pastries. In fact, a silicone mat may be used for everything that goes in the oven. Bake a whole chicken or bake fish on a silicone mat.
It can go on a silicone mat if it goes on a sheet pan. When cooking savory items, all of the simple clean-up and nonstick advantages remain!
Right now, silicone baking mats seem to be a great gift to the baking industry, but what are the drawbacks?
For one thing, you can’t use sharp tools (such as a knife) on a silicone mat. The mats are readily pierced, and a minor cut may permanently ruin a mat. However, there is a simple solution: do not cut on top of a silicone baking surface. The issue has been resolved.
Silicone mats may be pricy at first, particularly high-end models like Silpat, which is one of the first silicone baking mat firms and is created in France (bakers adore everything French since they are the experts on baking).
However, the cost will be repaid when you no longer need to purchase parchment paper or foil.
A baker’s best buddy is silicone mat. They are simple to use, multifunctional, and make baking and cleaning a breeze.
I assure you will never look back once you start utilizing your silicone baking mat. With so many benefits and so few drawbacks, I believe you should acquire one right immediately. You should also look at our other important baking equipment for beginners. It’s time to discover for yourself why the pros all use silicone baking mats!
What are the cons of silicone baking mat?
Silicone baking mats are somewhat sticky, so they adhere to the baking pan once placed. In the near run, they are more expensive than parchment paper since you may need to purchase multiple sizes to fit perfectly into pans.
Are silicone baking mats worth the money?
A silicone baking mat aids in the creation of a more level baking surface on even the most sloppy baking sheets, resulting in cookies with more evenly browned bottoms – and fewer burned cookies.
When should you not use a silicone baking mat?
Benefits and drawbacks of silicone baking mats
However, since most silicone baking mats are only oven-safe up to 480 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, they cannot be used while broiling food or cooking at very high temperatures.
Silicone baking mats are often seen as an improvement over regular parchment paper. They provide a firm nonstick surface on which cookies may bake evenly; they do not transfer heat, so they do not generate hot spots or burn your cookies.
Does it take longer to bake in silicone?
Silicone bakeware is said to bake somewhat faster than metal bakeware.
Why do silicone baking mats get sticky?
However, with time, these mats may accumulate a sticky—and sometimes stinky—residue of polymerized lipids that no amount of washing can eradicate. To find a cure, we looked online for ideas, such as soaking the sticky mats in vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide solutions.
Do silicone baking mats leach into food?
Silicone’s constituents are inert, which means that none of the elements used to make it will leach into the food being cooked in it. When purchasing silicone bakeware, get high-quality goods and ensure that the silicone has no fillers.
Silicone influences how heat is transferred to the dough, and its nonstick surface allows for more spreadability. Because the dough spreads more quickly, it bakes quicker and puffs less, resulting in browner, denser cookies that lack the delicate crunch and honeycomb crumb of a cookie that rose properly in the oven.
Do you need to oil silicone baking mat?
One of the reasons silicone mats are so simple to clean is that they need no butter or oil for cooking! Simply place your ingredients on the silicone baking mat and place it in the oven; after your cooking is finished, the food will easily slip off…