Why you'll love it: The Silpat mat caters to amateur and professional bakers alike with its non-stick properties and durable food-grade silicone.
Ask any dedicated baker why they chose Silpat, and you'll probably hear similar answers. The brand enjoys a devoted fan base of professional and amateur bakers seeking top quality baking mats for baked goods, roasted veggies and more.
The origins of the brand date back to 1965, when a baker named M. Guy Demarle invented the first-ever silicone baguette tray to keep food from sticking. Silpat's product line has expanded since then, but the quality and durability hasn't wavered over the years. Most bakers find the half sheet size to be the most versatile for various types of food. However, other sizes are available.
The Silpat mats are made with food-grade silicone and fiberglass mesh, meaning they can safely withstand temperatures up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only that, the mats are durable enough to be used up to 3,000 times, according to the manufacturer. Indeed, many satisfied owners comment on the mats' longevity.
One baker notes that she has had the mats for four years, and they are "in just as good of a condition" as when they were new, despite weekly use. Another comments, "I've had a pair of these for 10 years and they are just now beginning to show their age."
As with any baking mat, it's best to avoid using these mats for cutting, or anything other than baking or roasting. While some reviewers wash and dry their mats by hand after each use, others simply wipe them down with a damp cloth. Some put their baking mats in the dishwasher, although Silpat recommends hand washing the mats.
Food release is another reason why many people appreciate the Silpat mats. A Chowhound reviewer put the mat to the test with various baked goods and savory foods. They found that spritz cookies released "very easily," and that cheese crisps could easily be removed after baking as well.
However, there's even better news if you plan on using the mats for fish. The reviewers discovered that after baking salmon fillets with the skin on, neither the fish nor the skin stuck. However, as with other baking mats, these tend to retain strong odors. If you plan on using them for a combination of cooking and baking, it's a good idea to keep the two mats separate to avoid spoiling your food with lingering odors.
Another common issue is that the Silpat can develop a lingering sticky film, despite regular cleaning.
Pros: Known for its durability, non-stick properties, can be used for baking and roasting
Cons: Not recommended for the dishwasher, may retain odors, can develop a sticky residue over time
As someone who enjoys baking yet tries to minimize related expenses, I eventually settled on the AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat. Aside from the affordable price tag, I chose this mat set for the fact that it's dishwasher safe and can withstand oven temperatures up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit.
The mats are a pretty typical size and can fit nicely on most half-sheet pans. However, I sometimes have to cram the edges in a bit to get the mats to fit. I've used these mats for baking and roasting, and can easily slide the food out once it's done thanks to the non-stick surface.
For the most part, I've been happy with these mats, and would certainly recommend them for anyone looking for a good value. However, I should point out that the size of the mats can make them a bit tougher to clean. They're certainly safe for the dishwasher, but they might be too tall for a top shelf if you have a smaller dishwasher. Folding the mats over can help, but will also mean less room for other dirty dishes.
You can wash these mats by hand, of course, but their larger size and soft construction can make this a tedious task. Despite trying both cleaning methods, my baking mats have a few small oil/grease stain marks that I'm not sure will ever come out.
As another AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat owner suggests, you might consider keeping one mat for baked goods and another for other types of food, so your cookies don't end up tasting like onions. In addition to stains, a few mat owners have found that these mats can retain stronger odors, even after thorough cleaning.
Once the mats are clean and dry, you can roll them up tightly and securely for storage. I kept the original cardboard box to simplify storage and save on space. You can use the mats on pans and countertops. They're also safe for just about every type of oven, except direct-fire.
Pros: Budget-friendly, convenient non-stick surface, oven safe up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit
Cons: Tricky to wash by hand, can be too tall for some top dishwasher shelves, tends to retain stronger odors and grease stains
Why you'll love it: BakeitFun offers several sizes and variations of this pastry mat, making it a solid choice for your favorite baked goods.
Size can be a concern when shopping around for baking and pastry mats. If you're looking for a true pastry mat, you're probably hoping to find a mat that can accommodate a variety of pastries. With the amount of variation between most baked goods, you'll want a versatile mat with a wide range of measurements.
This BakeitFun mat comes in many different sizes, some of which are designed for specific baked goods. For example, you can opt for the macaron or cookie mats. Another option is a standard pastry mat, which also provides liquid measurement and weight conversions.
Safety is a top concern, so BakeitFun mats are made with FDA approved, BPA-free materials. You also won't be introducing any potentially harmful chemicals into your food. If you opt for the pastry mat, you'll get a mat with a reinforced fiber cloth for added strength and thickness. In addition to pastries, you may want a mat that can handle other baking tasks, such as kneading bread and rolling out pie dough.
One reviewer comments that the pastry mat "combined the stability of the countertop with the easy clean-up of the plastic board." Not only is it stable, but the mat has enough grip to avoid slipping and sliding when rolling out the dough.
Other bakers purchased the mats specifically for making macarons and found the included guides to be very accurate for making uniform cookies. The guides seem to work just as well for other delicate pastries such as meringues and fondants.
As another reviewer points out, this baking mat can be used more than 2,000 times. When you consider the amount of aluminum foil or parchment paper you might be using instead, the mat is a very eco-friendly option.
Another perk is that it works well for more than just pastries. For example, you can use the mats for sugar candies as well as roasted veggies and other baked goods. The mats transition well from one extreme temperature to the next, so you can remove it from the freezer and place it in the oven without worrying about damaging the mat.
Pros: Can be used up to 2,000 times, made with FDA approved materials, safe for the oven, freezer, and microwave
Cons: Hand washing is recommended, not the thickest mat for pastries, may retain a sticky residue over time
Some mats come in sets, but more often than not they're the same size. While having just one size is fine if you plan on using the mats on a traditional cookie sheet or a similar type of pan, you can use both the half and quarter-sized mats for a wider range of cooking and baking.
One thing you shouldn't do is cut the baking mat, which can have detrimental results, according to Toaster Oven Love. A silicone mat that's been cut could leach fiberglass material into your food after the layers have been sliced. The half-sheet mat measures 16.5 x 11.6 inches, while the quarter sheet is 11.5 x 8.5 inches.
There's more to this set than mats that come in two sizes. A silicone kitchen brush is included, along with a silicone spatula. The materials are heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
A few Rozotti baking mat owners put the smaller mats directly into a toaster oven without issue. While a handful of reviewers have also used them in the oven, the company suggests using a sturdier surface to be safe, noting that the mats "aren't very sturdy unless placed on a pan." When you're done cooking or baking, you can place the mats in the dishwasher or simply wash them by hand.
The silicone mats and utensils are made with the same BPA-free material. The mats are FDA certified for added safety and security for your home cooking.
One reviewer sums it up by saying, "Love that this is a small company trying to help out everyone in the kitchen."
Pros: Made with BPA-free material, bundle includes mats of two different sizes, heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Cons: Some say the included brush and spatula are flimsy, mats can retain strong odors, a few complain that the larger mats don't fit standard cookie sheets
Why you'll love them: The thick silicone and fiberglass mesh construction make the Silchef baking mats a practical choice for evenly baked goods.
Even heat distribution is key when it comes to making delicious baked goods. The Silchef Silicone Baking Mat is made with a silicone-coated fiberglass mesh material for even heat distribution among your favorite cookies, pastries, and other baked goods.
According to this Cooks Illustrated article, silicone mats were originally made for restaurant use. However, their durability and eco-friendly materials have made these mats increasingly popular among home chefs as well. As with other baking mats, the Silchef Silicone Baking Mat can be successfully used in the place of parchment paper, a popular anti-stick alternative.
The silicone and fiberglass mesh material is one millimeter thick, which promotes air circulation, along with even heat distribution. According to its Amazon listing, the mat also features a double woven construction for added durability.
These mats stand up to the task of baking perfect macarons, according to several buyer reviews. One baker was concerned that the thicker baking mat, compared to parchment paper, "would mess with baking the macarons." However, the mat "ended up working very well." Another user comments, "I love how my macarons have a uniform flat base compared to using parchment paper."
This set includes mats in several sizes. The two larger mats will fit most traditional cookie sheets and similar pans. These mats measure 16.5 x 11 5/8 inches. If you need something smaller, opt for the more compact 11.5 x 8.5-inch mat. In addition to coming in various sizes, the mats are different colors, making it easier to keep track.
As an added bonus, you can quickly tell the two larger mats apart if you want to separate them for sweet versus savory cooking. The mats are safe for the oven as well as the microwave, freezer, and refrigerator.
Pros: Set includes two sizes, thicker material delivers optimal heat distribution, works well for delicate baked goods and pastries
Cons: Stains easily, can retain stronger odors, some complain of a lingering layer of grease