Which jelly roll pans are best?
There’s a reason why jelly rolls are such a classic dessert. The delicate sponge cake and sweet filling is such a delicious combination that’s perfect for various occasions. To get that traditional roll shape, though, you need a high-quality jelly roll pan to get the cake thin enough to form the roll.
Jelly roll pans are similar to half-sheet baking pans but slightly smaller, making them ideal for rolled cake recipes. The design helps produce a cake thin enough for rolling but won’t crack or burn. If you’re looking for a durable, high-performance jelly roll pan, the USA Pan Nonstick Jelly Roll Baking Pan and Cooling Rack is the best option.
What to know before you buy a jelly roll pan
Most jelly roll pans measure 17 inches by 12 inches. Some are slightly smaller, measuring 15 inches by 10 inches. All jelly roll pans are 1-inch deep, though.
Half-sheet baking pans are slightly larger, which can affect the baking time for your cake and even cause burning. That’s why it’s best to use a dedicated jelly roll pan for rolled cakes like a jelly roll or Swiss roll.
Jelly roll pans are a fairly versatile size, though, making them useful for other recipes. Smaller jelly roll pans are roughly the same size as a cookie sheet, so you can use them to make your favorite chocolate chip cookies or roast vegetables.
Like most baking pans, jelly roll pans can be made of several different materials.
- Aluminum is a popular option because it conducts heat well for even baking. It’s also rust-resistant to improve the pan’s durability. It’s important to choose a heavier aluminum for a jelly roll pan, though, to avoid warping.
- Anodized aluminum is another effective material for jelly roll pans because it’s harder and even more durable than regular aluminum. It’s scratch-resistant and nonstick, too, but you’ll pay more for it.
- You can also find aluminized steel jelly roll pans, which feature steel that’s been treated with an aluminum-silicon alloy. That allows it to conduct heat more effectively and offers corrosion resistance. It isn’t as likely to warp either.
- Stainless steel jelly roll pans are another good option because they’re thick and fairly durable. They don’t scratch or warp easily either. It doesn’t conduct heat as well as the other materials, though, so your cakes may not bake as evenly.
Jelly roll pans that are easy to take care of are always the best option. Nonstick pans are easier to clean because food isn’t as likely to get stuck on the surface. Keep in mind that some nonstick coatings are pretty delicate, though, so you have to be careful when washing the pan.
If you want the lowest maintenance jelly roll pan, look for a dishwasher-safe option.
What to look for in a quality jelly roll pan
You can find many jelly rolls with a nonstick coating. Not only does that save you time when cleaning, but it also means your cake will release more easily when it’s finished baking. The nonstick coating allows you to use less oil when roasting foods on the pan, too.
Keep in mind that some nonstick coatings contain potentially harmful chemicals and often become damaged over time and flake off. If your nonstick jelly roll pan looks damaged, replace it right away. Anodized aluminum jelly roll pans don’t scratch or flake as easily as other materials, so opt for a nonstick pan with an anodized aluminum base if you’re concerned about potential health risks.
For even more versatility, some jelly roll pans include a rack. It fits inside the bottom of the pan and allows you to elevate your food, so the air can circulate around it for more even baking. You can also use the rack to cool baked goods and other foods after they’ve finished cooking.
A jelly roll pan with handles is usually easier to put in and take out of the oven. You can even find some with a non-slip grip on the handles to ensure there are no accidents when handling the pan.
You may want to look for a jelly roll pan with a corrugated or textured surface for even baking. That allows the air to circulate around food, cooking more evenly and not developing any burnt or crispy areas. The textured surface can also make it easier to get your cake out of the pan.
How much you can expect to spend on a jelly roll pan
Jelly rolls typically cost between $10-$40. Those that cost less than $10 aren’t usually that durable, but you can find plenty of solid pans in the $10-$20 price range. However, the best jelly roll pans generally cost between $20-$40.
Jelly roll pan FAQ
What jelly roll pans are the most durable?
A. The highest-quality jelly roll pans are usually made of professional-grade aluminum, aluminized steel or anodized aluminum. These pans tend to be the thickest and are less likely to warp or scratch.
Can I use a jelly roll pan for other recipes?
A. While a jelly roll pan is ideal for preparing jelly rolls, Swiss rolls and other rolled cakes, it’s actually pretty versatile. You can also bake cookies and roast vegetables on them. Basically, you can use it to prepare any recipe that calls for you a sheet or baking pan.
What’s the best jelly roll pan to buy?
Top jelly roll pan
What you need to know: This highly durable jelly roll pan includes a cooling rack for added versatility and features a sturdy construction that allows for years of use.
What you’ll love: It’s made with aluminized steel and features a nonstick silicone coating for easy cleanup. Its surface is corrugated to improve air circulation for more even baking. The included rack is designed to prevent food from falling through.
What you should consider: The nonstick coating can be fragile, so you must take care when washing it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top jelly roll pan for the money
What you need to know: If you only make the occasional jelly roll, this pan is a solid option that delivers performance and durability at a great price.
What you’ll love: It features thick, durable aluminized steel that heats evenly. The surface is finely textured to help release food more efficiently. Its nonstick coating has two layers to reduce scratching. The edges are rolled to allow you to get a good grip.
What you should consider: The pan is somewhat difficult to clean because of the micro-textured surface.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This pro-grade jelly roll pan is one of the most durable we looked at, thanks to its resistance to rust, warping and denting.
What you’ll love: It’s made by a family-owned business. It’s made of aluminum that heats evenly. The pro-grade construction prevents the pan from warping or denting. It has a heavy, sturdy feel and features reinforced rims for added durability.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have a nonstick coating like the other pans on our list.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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