I found myself a reusable baking sheet to replace disposable baking paper! If you use a lot of aluminium foil you can replace this too. Best thing is that it came with no packaging, just some string.
My baking sheet is Teflon but you can get silicone mats too. I’ve been assured it’s safe and I read that silicone mats can alter cooking times because of their thickness and heat absorption, and that they are harder to clean. They also can’t be easily folded to fit a loaf pan. Many of you might already use BBQ mats to help keep the BBQ cleaning effort to a minimum; these work just like that.
My baking sheet should last one or two years of heavy use. They can be used in the oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. It will get a ‘used’ look about it, but it will save a lot of baking paper, and therefore natural resources, in that time. It will also save me money.
Yes, the Teflon baking sheet will go into landfill at the end of it’s life rather than being composted or recycled. But I believe that it is more important to not use up resources in the first place. Remember to apply the 5 Rs in this order: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot.
Of course we can even go without the baking sheet by choosing cookware like glass and stainless steel which is easier to clean, but I have found there are still times when a non stick baking sheet is very handy.
I’ve spent a lot of hours looking for product lifecycle information for these Teflon baking sheets to do a more thorough comparison with baking paper but I haven’t yet come across anything satisfactory to me.
Anyone else using these? Feedback? Thoughts?
If you can’t find Teflon or other reusable sheets like this, then the If You Care brand of baking paper is good and can be found in many stores. Regardless of what you have, I don’t think baking paper is really single use anyway. I get lots of uses out a of single sheet before it crumbles to pieces.
UPDATE APRIL 2019:
The baking sheet lasted for 3.5 years with heavy use. It’s recently started to tear when I wash it so I’ve put it into semi retirement. Here’s a photo of what it looks like now:
Here are a couple of follow up posts with more alternatives to baking paper: