Baking sheets are utilized for a variety of cooking and baking recipes. We heat frozen pizzas on them, bake store bought dinner rolls, bake ready-made foods such as fish sticks and mozzarella sticks. The most common use is baking cookies.
When reading recipes there never seems to ever be a mention of preheating the baking sheet. They do direct you to preheat the oven.
Have you ever preheated a baking sheet?
Although there are times when you should to improve the results of certain foods cooked upon a baking sheet.
Why and when should we preheat a baking sheet?
Preheating a baking sheet before placing it in the preheated oven develops a crispier crust much more quickly when the food is placed on an already hot baking sheet before putting it in the oven for the required cooking time.
Whenever you are looking for a crispy exterior to breaded foods with that crunchiness of cheese or fish sticks, fish fillets or breaded chicken, veal or pork chops baked in the oven. The inside cooks at the same rate for the time you set and the outside or breading cooks a little faster without burning.
So next time you cook these types of foods preheat the pan and the oven at the same time. Halfway to when the desired cooking temperature is reached, remove the pan, add the food, wait for the oven to get to temperature then place the baking sheet in the oven and set the timer. The results will be amazingly delicious not to mention, crunchy.
Never use a lightweight baking sheet if you plan on using this method. The pan will warp during the baking process. This occurs when a lightweight pan reaches high temperature or when cold food is placed upon the hot surface of the baking sheet. This does not happen to a dark or heavy-duty baking pan.
Be sure to always use a heavy-duty baking sheet when you want to preheat it for crispier results.
© 2013 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
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