If you bake cookies only now and then, a baking sheet -- also called a jelly roll pan -- may be more useful. Unlike cookie sheets, jelly roll pans have a raised rim around the perimeter, usually about 1 inch high. This rim means you can roast vegetables and nuts, and bake french fries or shallow sheet cakes without worrying about food sliding off the edge of the pan or liquids dripping onto the bottom of the oven. You can bake cookies on a jelly roll pan, too, but bear in mind that the raised edges block the flow of heated air, so baking time will be longer, and browning can be less even than with a cookie sheet.
Professional reviews of jelly roll pans are rare, so user reviews are very important in assessing performance. Editors at Bon Appetit magazine recommend the 18-by-13-inch Chicago Metallic Commercial Jelly Roll Pan (*Est. $17), although they don't discuss how they tested baking sheets or what other pans they may have tested. More than 60 owners give the Chicago Metallic jelly roll pan a solid rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) at Cooking.com. Owners like this heavy-duty baking pan's roomy size and say cookies do bake evenly. It receives an average rating of 4.3 stars from about 50 owners at Amazon.com, with a few saying that their Chicago Metallic baking pans warped in the dishwasher.
For a few dollars less, the Vollrath Jelly Roll Pan (*Est. $11) also earns high marks at Cooking.com. This pan measures 18 inches by 13 inches, with a 1-inch rim. Much like Vollrath's cookie sheet, users praise their jelly roll pan for its heavy-duty aluminum construction, which resists warping, and its easy cleanup.
The best bet for a nonstick jellyroll pan is the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Non-Stick 17-Inch Baking Sheet (*Est. $19), which is the pick at Epicurious.com. The manufacturer states that this aluminized steel nonstick pan is dishwasher-safe. More than 40 owners give it a high average rating of 4.7 stars at Cooking.com. Owners say it doesn't warp and holds up well after repeated use. However, editors at Cook's Ilustrated magazine advise against nonstick baking pans in general, saying that their dark coating tends to overcook baked goods.