Why Alton Brown Bakes Some Foods On An Upside Down Sheet Pan

Sheet pans are one of the most overlooked but essential baking pans in your culinary arsenal. The Washington Post practically wrote an ode to the sheet pan in 2018, extolling its many virtues, which include being the perfect go-to pan when baking pies, cookies, and so many other baked goods that make us salivate just at the thought. But that's not all these metal pans are good for. They have quite the celebrity chef fanbase.

Ina Garten achieves evenly cooked meatloaf with her sheet pan. Per Cheat Sheet, Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman, loves her sheet pans, especially for pizza. And then there's Alton Brown, who is not only a celebrity chef on the Food Network but tantamount to a food alchemist. To wit, the Iron Chef once had a show called "Alton's Food Science" on the Cooking Channel, which pulled back the proverbial curtain to reveal the science of cooking in an accessible manner. Brown is also a fan of the sheet pan and has a rather unconventional way of using it. In fact, we think this is one trick you might find worth noting.

Stops the slipping and the sliding

In a "Quarantine Quitchen" episode, Alton Brown revealed he turns his sheet pan upside down when making a tomato tart. Why, you ask? Because once it is put together, it is easier to slide the tart onto the back. This helps the doughy, uncooked tart avoid hitting the sheet pan's sides, which can mess it up. Brown also uses this trick when he makes Lavash, according to his website, to prevent the flatbread from sliding. But that's not the only reason to consider looking at your sheet pan differently.

The Washington Post explains this is also true for when you make pizza. Additionally, cookbook author Julia Usher told The Patch flipping a sheet pan upside can help ensure some of your favorite cookies don't burn. Usher told the publication, "The metal sides act as a heat conductor, and those cookies placed close to the edge can overbake because they bake faster than those placed in the middle of the baking sheet." Usher went on to explain the solution, saying, "Baking on the bottom of the pan can help prevent this from happening."