If turning your kitchen into a bakery sounds like more trouble than it’s worth due to the inevitable clean-up, there’s a tool worth adding to your arsenal to make baking day that much more seamless: a silicone baking mat, commonly known as a Silpat, which is designed to sit on top of your standard metal baking sheet. “Silicone baking mats are made of high-quality, food-grade silicone and fiberglass and are a wonderful addition to any kitchen, especially if you hate scrubbing burned food off your baking sheets,” says Kat Marris, recipe developer at Green Chef.
Beyond their stellar ability to distribute heat evenly, they make for an incredibly planet- and wallet-friendly alternative to aluminum foil or any other type of single-use baking sheet. “Silicone mats really outshine aluminum foil when it comes to baking super-thin cookies with a wet dough as it keeps them from overly browning on the bottom,” says Marris. “They’re also incredible at even heat distribution, which is super handy if you’re using old sheet trays with dips and uneven spots.” She adds that a single mat can replace the countless rolls of aluminum foil or parchment paper you go through in a typical year, leading to some pretty serious savings. Sold on silicone baking mats? Here’s how to find the perfect option for you.
How to choose the right silicone baking mat
The best part about silicone baking mats is that you can’t really go wrong, because “truth be told, most silicone mats are the same,” says Michelle Olson, culinary development manager at HelloFresh. You do, however, want to identify a few key factors before making your selection.
When choosing a silicone baking mat, first determine what you’re going to use it for, says Marris. “Is it a cost-savings choice to eliminate the need for parchment paper, oil or aluminum foil? Then, you’ll want to look for a basic set with multiple sizes so you can use them across a wide variety of baking sheets.” But don’t stress if you can’t find the perfect fit, according to Olson: “If you find a large one on sale, you can cut it into custom sizes for your baking sheets. You want to make sure that the sheet goes all the way to the edge of your pan, especially if you’re making something sticky.”
Marris adds that silicone baking mats are super versatile and can be used for a wide variety of applications, so even if you purchase one specifically for, say, baking cookies, you can still roast your vegetables using that same baking mat.
If you’re planning on baking individual treats like cookies, macarons or eclairs, Marris recommends looking for a silicone baking mat that features clear markings on its surface. If you plan to use your mat as a workspace to roll out and measure pizza pie or dough, Marris suggests opting for a silicone baking mat with built-in measurements and markings to guide you. And if the mat has visible frayed threads at the edges, it’s time to throw it out or not buy it in the first place, according to Olson.
How to clean silicone baking mats
Olson says cleaning your mat with a simple solution of soap and water should do the trick. “If something is particularly tough, a scrub brush can be used,” she says. While many mats claim to be dishwasher-safe, Marris advises hand washing whenever possible to extend the life of your mat.
To further extend your glorious years together, avoid placing it on or under a heating element to prevent melting. While most mats can withstand temperatures between 450 and 480 degrees Fahrenheit, Marris says to always check each manufacturer’s specific heat limit recommendation.
Be sure to also keep your mat as far away as possible from any knives or blades. “Never ever cut on a silicone mat, [as] it’s the major weakness,” says Olson. “A little slice will expose the strands inside and ruin it. You can cut the edges off to resize it but a slice in the middle pretty much ruins it.”
From $16.14 at Amazon
For a no-brainer option fit for all kinds of baking styles, opt for Silpat. “If you’re not sure which silicone baking mat to purchase, I suggest starting with this one,” says Marris. “It’s super versatile and comes in several sizes. This is the silicone baking mat I use personally and I’ve found it to be extremely versatile and have excellent durability.”
$24.99 at Amazon
Calling all aspiring pastry chefs: Oxo Good Grips makes a bakery-worthy option fit for a science lab. “If you love working with pastry then this is the mat for you,” says Marris. “It’s got it all, from conversions to substitution suggestions and a well-marked ruler and outline for all your baking needs.”
$28.50 $22.13 at Amazon
Freshly baked cookies beat store-bought versions any day, and this Silpat variety will help you get there. “This silicone baking mat is perfect for cookies and macarons,” says Marris. “It has 13 evenly spaced markings so your cookies will brown evenly. A cool feature of this silicone baking mat is that the inner and outer circles on the imprints will show you the raw dough outline and the final baked cookie size.”
From $21.24 at Amazon
Who doesn’t love a variety pack perfect for experimenting? “If you want to try multiple sizes for your various baking sheets then this is the best set for you,” says Marris. One of our writers even uses it at least five times a week to replace tinfoil.
$16.99 $15.99 at Amazon
Coming in three sizes, this budget-friendly option is all you need to make freshly baked cookies, pastries, bread and more. The set gives you two half sheets and a quarter sheet, but the brand offers numerous mat combinations so you can customize your kitchen according to your cravings.
$13.49 at Amazon
With their superior nonstick surface that doesn’t require a drop of oil, these two mats really live up to the name “Gorilla Grip.” The mats come in several cute color options from mint to turquoise and make for a solid and even cooking surface that requires virtually no cleanup.
$25.98 at Amazon
With multiple shapes and size offerings, these six baking sheets make for the ultimate starter kit for any at-home pastry or pizza chef. While the nine-inch round pizza mat and large mat with imprinted pizza rings will certainly help you save on UberEats, you also get two large and two small macaron baking mats and three storage bands to help roll them up in place.
$15.99 at Amazon
If you bake your own bread, you’ve mastered the art of adulthood and/or productivity. Make the process that much easier with these two mats ideal for use in a Dutch oven or cast-iron pot. They’re complete with 6-inch handles that allow you to submerge or extract the circular mat in a hot dish without burning your hands, and the circular area itself is complete with helpful measurement guides.
$11.98 $9.99 at Amazon
Like the walls of a crib protecting a baby as it sleeps, so too do the walls of this silicone baking mat protect your precious dough by preventing it from seeping out through the sides onto your counter, or worse, onto your oven rack. It works swimmingly with everything from sushi to Swiss rolls and whatever else you’ve dreamed up for dinner or dessert.
$13.83 at Amazon
You don’t need to fly across the pond to spend the afternoon at a Parisian bistro. With this popular silicone baking mat, you can DIY your own eclairs (or macarons, bread or whatever else you’ve got on the menu). It features mini mesh perforations to allow for even heat distribution, along with handy cylindrical placement slots to measure out the perfect dollop of dough.
$13.29 at Amazon
It’s not hard to see why these two bestselling AmazonBasics silicone baking mats racked up over 87,000 reviews. They feature 30 handy placement slots per mat, they’re complete with a nonstick surface that’ll evenly bake your macarons (or cookies, cakes or any other carb-centric desserts on tap), and they clean easily with soap and water.
$14.99 at Amazon
If you’re looking to get into baking from scratch, you’ll love this 14-piece starter kit that includes two silicone baking mats ideal for macarons, cookies and more, along with two pastry piping bags and several differently shaped nozzles for creatively decorating your delicacies.