The Past and Progression of Baking Sheets in the Kitchen
The use of baking sheets in the kitchen has come a long way since the early days of cooking. In the past, bakers used whatever materials were available to them, such as rocks, clay, or wood, to cook their foods. However, these materials had limitations and were not always efficient in evenly heating foods.
The use of metal for baking sheets began in the 19th century, starting with sheet iron. This material was thin and easily bent, making it difficult to handle when removing it from the oven. Additionally, it had a tendency to rust and warp when subjected to high temperatures.
In the mid-20th century, the use of aluminum for baking sheets became more popular. This metal is lightweight and durable, making it easy to handle and resistant to rust and warping when subjected to high heats.
Another development in the mid-century was the introduction of non-stick coatings on baking sheets. These coatings made clean-up easier and prevented foods from sticking to the surface, but they also had their drawbacks. Some non-stick coatings released harmful chemicals when heated to high temperatures, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
Modern-Day Baking Sheets
Today, baking sheets come in a variety of materials and coatings. Stainless steel is a popular choice for its durability and resistance to corrosion, while silicone offers a non-stick surface without the use of harmful chemicals.
Another development in modern baking sheets is the introduction of insulated sheets. These sheets contain air pockets that allow for even heating of foods and prevent burning or uneven cooking. However, insulated sheets can be bulkier and more difficult to handle than their non-insulated counterparts.
The Successes and Failures of Baking Sheets
- Efficient heating and even cooking
- Durable and resistant to rust and warping
- Non-stick surfaces for easy clean-up
- Insulated sheets for even cooking
- Thin and easily bendable materials, such as sheet iron
- Non-stick coatings that release harmful chemicals when heated to high temperatures
- Bulky and difficult to handle insulated sheets