Why You Shouldn't Get Rid Of Your Old Baking Sheets

Baking sheets are one of the most important kitchen tools you have in your culinary arsenal. They are so versatile. We love the quick and easy one-pan meals you can make with them. Whether you are roasting vegetables like Ina Garten (via Today) or baking a sheet pan cake, these rectangular pans come in pretty handy.

Of course, with use comes wear and tear. While many people might prefer the look and feel of new shiny pots and pans that just make everything in a kitchen feel fresh, they can't stay new and shiny forever if you plan to actually use them. This definitely includes the beloved baking sheet. And, as MyRecipes advises, when your baking sheet's coating starts peeling or if you find that it has become too warped from use, then it is probably time to replace them. But should you avoid using your old cookie sheets if they just look dirty and dark from repeated use? Do you need to get rid of them?

Old baking sheets offer some advantages

Just because your sheets pans may look a little aged, that doesn't mean it's time to toss them and buy the newest model. Vintage is in! America's Test Kitchen shares that those baking sheets that have turned dark can actually help brown your foods more efficiently. The site found that these older, darker pans actually heat faster than the newer ones. Livestrong explains that whereas a darker pan will absorb heat, lighter pans reflect it. That means in addition to needing more time to bake foods, lighter pans use more heat to reach the same temperature as a darker pan. Accordingly, cooking times and temperatures should be shortened when using darker pans.

The Martha Stewart website notes that a good baking sheet can "last a lifetime." However, if the stains and change in color bother you, there are some tips on how to revive an old baking sheet. Citing Nordic Ware, the site shares that fully cleaning your pan after you use it is key to help avoid excessive stains. These eye sores occur when oils have not been properly cleaned off the pan and continue to bake the next time it is used. If this happens, you can turn to everyone's favorite home remedy: baking soda. A tablespoon of this white powder paired with some hydrogen peroxide and a little bit of elbow grease can help you restore your baking sheet to its less-stained self.