The Quarter and Eighth Sheet Pan

Of all the favorite finds I’ve come across in the last few years, one (or two) of my favorites have been these mini sheet pans. Most professional bakers use what are called full sheet pans, or half sheet pans. They’re inexpensive, so there’s always a good-sized stack of them in any restaurant or bakery, and they can pretty much stand up to anything, although in restaurant kitchens, they’re prone to abuse, like when I was a line cook and threw a stress-induced tantrum and whacked one on the edge of a counter, buckling it in half.

I manage to straighten it out fairly well, and put it back. And that pan kept going, and going, and going. (In fact, it’s been nearly twenty years and I wonder if it’s still in rotation in that kitchen?) But every time it made its way to the top of the stack in the kitchen, I slyly moved it back to the bottom.

There are all sorts of sheet sheets out there, but the kind I like, and the ones that restaurant cooks and bakers use, are rimmed, aluminum baking sheets, which are sometimes called jelly roll pans, since the high, rolled-edge rims let you bake a sponge cake in them. (They also keep the pan in check by preventing warping.) Not sure how many are used for making jelly rolls these days, but I use mine for everything from making a one-pan chicken dinner, to toasting nuts.

When I was building my kitchen (recounted as a comedy of errors, in L’appart), I needed a larger-than-normal oven, at least for France. I had to have something that would hold a standard 11″ x 17″ (28 x 43cm) half-sheet pan since that’s what baker’s and home cooks most commonly use in the States. (French recipes usually don’t include pan sizes, assuming readers will know which one to use.)

These little guys are different. The quarter sheet pan is 9 1/2″ x 13″ (24 x 33cm) and the one-eighth pan clocks in at a mere 6″ x 9″ (13 x 23cm). If you’re concerned about cooking on aluminum, which is an excellent – and even – conductor of heat, bakers line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

I’d been out of the country for a while and learned about these when I was visiting Fany at La Newyorkina, and saw an eighth-size baking sheet in her kitchen. I gasped, “Omg…what’s that?!” And had to have one.

Fany offered that one to me but I said I wanted to get my own, so she sent me down to the Bowery, in New York, to pick one up. (I since learned that in my absence, they’d become more popular in the U.S. because restaurants serve meals on them.) I ended up buying a short stack since they were less than $5 each. I don’t remember the name, but there is a cluster of restaurant supply shops down there. You can also get them on Amazon, although they’re cheaper at restaurant supply shops, so I recommend visiting one locally, or comparing prices online here or here.

I have, what’s called in Europe, a “compact” oven, in addition to my full size one. It’s great because it takes just a few minutes to heat up, rather than 30 minutes (ugh). The downside is that it has a “safety” function so that when I open the door to check if something is done, it doesn’t go back on automatically unless I remember the press the button again, which is a major drag if I’m testing the timing on a recipe and forget to turn it back on. (ugh)

These mini sheet pans are great for toasting a cup of nuts, baking off just a couple of cookies (i.e.; recipe testing) or reheating a slice of pizza. Even better, if your kitchen sink isn’t very wide – or your oven is little – these pans will have no trouble fitting right in. It drives me nuts, no pun intended, when I have to soak a sheet pan with baked on fruit juices, or something stubborn like that in the small sink and it won’t fit in and lay flat. So I have to tilt it diagonally, so it’s partially in the sink, then I have to move it a few times while it’s soaking, so it all gets submerged at once. So I end up having to soak it in the bathtub.

Yes, I’ve showered with baking sheets. But that’s how much I love my baking sheets. I’ve got four of these now in my kitchen and can’t imagine living without them again. I just hope I don’t get mad again and take it out on one of these little fellas. They don’t deserve my wrath, especially after all they’ve done for me, in my kitchen.

My best new baking find...smaller baking sheets!

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85 comments

  • July 23, 2018 3:23pm

    I know the feeling about diminutive French ovens. First thing I did was buy a new stove with two ovens large enough to fit my sheet pans and my Thanksgiving Turkey roasting pan.

  • Jenna
    July 23, 2018 3:40pm

    I knew you were dedicated to baking and recipe testing…but I had no idea that you were “showering with baking sheets”-dedicated! ;)

  • July 23, 2018 4:00pm

    These are in handy for everything! Thanks for bringing that up! Need to buy a piece or two!

  • Holly
    July 23, 2018 4:03pm

    Love tiny sheet pans! Are the sizes you listed for quarter and sixth mixed up? Quarter should be larger of the two.

    oops. All those numbers, including the metrics and inches, got confusing and they got switched – fixed! Thanks.. -dl

  • Christina
    July 23, 2018 4:16pm

    Oh! Quarter sheet I knew about but the Sixth I did not. That would be great for my mom’s beloved toaster oven — thanks for the birthday idea!

    • KIMBERLY
      July 23, 2018 7:33pm

      thanks for the idea for the toaster oven. My original tray has seen better days and i won’t give up my toaster.

  • Adele
    July 23, 2018 4:32pm

    Love, love, love my half sheet and quarter sheet pans, used them all the time (and yes, we do the sheet pan rotation dance in our kitchen sink with the half-sheet ones). Now I simply must find a sixth-sheet size, which would have been perfect yesterday for rolling snickerdoodle cookie balls in cinnamon sugar!

  • Danita
    July 23, 2018 4:59pm

    I found my sixth sheet pan at the restaurant supply in south Seattle (SODO). I didn’t realize it had a name I just thought it was cute and a handy size. My two full size ones I purchased at least 25 years ago when I first attempted to make my mother in laws homemade sandwich buns and cinnamon rolls. They have been my most useful kitchen item in all those years. Also my favorite wedding gift for friends and family.

    • Danita
      July 23, 2018 5:06pm

      I mean half sheet not full size.

    • Lynn
      July 23, 2018 6:30pm

      Ooh, good to know about the SODO store (fellow Seattleite here!) I’ll be checking that out soon!

    • gfy
      July 23, 2018 10:22pm

      Yes, what is it’s name? I need a rec! Thank you!

  • July 23, 2018 5:04pm

    I have a double oven–a square one with a grill above it and a vertical one. The quarter and sixth sheet pans are perfect for the vertical one (which, like your oven, preheats much more quickly than the big one). I love them!

  • TominDC
    July 23, 2018 5:06pm

    > The quarter sheet pan is 9 1/2″ x 13″ (24 x 33cm) and the one-sixth pan clocks in at a mere 6″ x 9″ (13 x 23cm).

    Um, wouldn’t that make it a one-eighth pan? Halving the quarter sheet pan on the long side would give you 9.5″x6.5″, which is the usual dimension I see when I shop for one-eighth pans.

    • Devoted reader
      July 23, 2018 6:01pm

      The suppliers in David’s links agree with you–one-eighth pans is what they all call the 9-ish x 6-ish size.

  • Kathleen Sawtell
    July 23, 2018 5:15pm

    Local restaurant here in Reno, Nevada, uses them as plates. Quite fun!

  • Cathy
    July 23, 2018 5:16pm

    I’ve always seen those 6.5″x9″ or 6″x10″
    pans called “eighths” rather than “sixths”, so when shopping you might find them labeled that way, e.g. at webstaurantstore.com. A full sheet pan is 18″x26″ or 468 square inches. One eighth of that is 58.5 square inches, which is exactly 6.5″x9″, hence the designation of “eighth”. A pan called “sixth” should technically be about 6″x13″ for an area of 78 square inches.

  • July 23, 2018 5:16pm

    I love my little Chicago Metallic Sheet Pans, Eighth Size, 9 1/2 x 6 1/2″, bought on Amazon. Fell in love with these little guys after eating off one used as an app service tray. Most helpful during a couple of months with only a toaster-oven for cooking.

  • Sarah Nielsen-Jones
    July 23, 2018 5:18pm

    Great article–I laughed at your fights with sheet pans, both temper- and cleaning-related. Am now on a mission to find a sixth pan for myself.

  • Hal
    July 23, 2018 5:21pm

    My stove has a large pullout drawer which is a dishwasher .yuk went to dehillern the other day .didn’t see your pic with Julia and Ina ?the onion soup at the pigs foot is still quite good !h

  • Sharon
    July 23, 2018 5:27pm

    Was just going to say, the 1/6ths would be great for folks using a toaster oven.

  • Victoria Carr
    July 23, 2018 5:31pm

    I got my quarter sheet pans on Amazon, and I got the eighth sheet pan (I think that’s what your calling the “sixth”) at J.B. Prince in Manhattan. The quarter sheet fits perfectly in my Breville Smart Oven, and I use it all the time.

  • Margaret
    July 23, 2018 5:32pm

    I have a hard time keeping my pans (especially the larger ones) clean — any suggestions? I use paper and foil but they can still be hard to clean especially the baked on food and juices.

    • Adele
      July 23, 2018 5:55pm

      A good soak with dishwashing liquid and boiling water usually does the trick for me, followed by a steel wool pad and some elbow grease. Bar Keeper’s Friend also works well. I have learned to make peace with the scorch marks in the corners, as long as the main surface is clean.

      • bill
        July 25, 2018 1:55pm

        These are aluminum pans … steel wool will absolutely destroy them. Also, as Bar Keeper’s Friend (which is great on stainless and aluminized steel) is an acid and an abrasive, also very bad for soft aluminum sheet pans.

    • Kathleen
      July 23, 2018 6:17pm

      Try sprinkling a.wet.pan with baking soda and leave it overnight. Wipe it clean in the morning with a paper towel.

    • July 23, 2018 6:22pm
      David Lebovitz

      Oven cleaner works very (very) well, although a number of people don’t like to use it, although I’ve never found the ‘natural’ solutions worked as good as the stuff in the can. Be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area, if you decide to use it.

      • Eva
        July 25, 2018 9:26am

        It’s not exactly natural, but try Corega Tabs (or however those giant tablets for soaking and cleaning a set of artificial teeth is called in France or the US) with a little water – that was a tip from my cousin’s wife, and it works like a miracle, even on burnt pots. Also it’s cheap (if you by some store brand), more effective and way less stinky and toxic than regular oven cleaners :-)

      • bill
        July 25, 2018 2:03pm

        just be aware that, again, these are aluminum pans and oven cleaner dissolves aluminum.

      • Margaret
        July 25, 2018 2:17pm

        Thank you, I put my oldest pan in the oven during the self cleaning cycle and it cleaned it with no warping.

    • Barb
      July 25, 2018 1:34am

      Barkeepers Friend will clean them if you use elbow grease too. Or just cover with parchment paper.

  • Bonnie
    July 23, 2018 5:37pm

    Love the little sheet pan. Bought mine at the Nordicware outlet some years back. Great for baking only two cookies for dessert – so not to be tempted to eat more!

  • OSA
    July 23, 2018 5:55pm

    Wikipedia has a discussion of standard U.S. sheet pan sizes:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_pan
    Thickness of the metal used is also interesting; in the U.S. thickness of sheet metal is expressed in “gauge.”
    The lower the gauge, the thicker the metal. See:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_metal

  • July 23, 2018 5:58pm

    I love those little ones, too, and I have a couple I use in my small convection oven that sits on my counter. I use them for everything from roasting a small chicken or vegetables to baking a half dozen cookies from a stash of dough I keep in the fridge!

  • Banana Dreamer
    July 23, 2018 5:58pm

    My oven died in 1995 and I’ve been using just a toaster oven ever since. Hard to believe, but true. 13″ is too wide to fit in mine, but luckily I do have two jellyroll pans that come in at 12-1/4″.

  • July 23, 2018 6:02pm
    David Lebovitz

    Tom, Cathy, Holly, and Victoria: Sorry for the confusion. I meant eighth but will all those numbers, and conversions, it was hard to keep track of the math, and geometry of it all. (Not my skill set, obviously…) Maybe a sign that it’s time to take that summer break! ; )

    Bonnie: Would love to go to the Nordicware outlet!

    Banana: These are great for toaster ovens, aren’t they?

    Margaret: A good soak usually does the trick (for me) but using parchment or silicone on them really does make clean up easier.

    • July 24, 2018 11:36pm

      David – we would LOVE to host you at Nordic Ware in Mpls where we make these pans in 5 sizes! We will give you a tour of the 72 year old factory!

  • Suzie
    July 23, 2018 6:11pm

    I’ve been using the same jelly roll pan for the last 40 years – my favorite kitchen utensil, so I can relate. However, I am heartbroken because, my granddaughter used it to bake something sticky that I just can’t get off. Most burnt on things that are too hard to get off I cover with dryer sheets, soak overnight and in the morning all the junk just slides off. But this time after soaking for 2 days it’s still sticky. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Adele
      July 23, 2018 6:16pm

      For extreme cleaning, try placing the sheet pan in a heavy duty trash bag and add some ammonia (not too much, but more than a splash). Tie it up tightly and leave in a garage or outdoors for at least 24 hours. Open CAREFULLY, averting your face, and then rinse well. Good luck!

      • bill
        July 25, 2018 2:05pm

        ammonia (and even baking soda, if left on too long … speaking from experience) will badly stain aluminum sheet pans. these are all great suggestions for steel or aluminized steel sheet pans, but one should use ammonia, oven cleaner, steel wool on aluminum sheet pans.

    • Soupcon
      July 23, 2018 7:08pm

      Try soaking it for two or three days in your laundry sink (water to more than just cover the pan) with either a few pucks of dish washer deturgent or dish soap (a good amount) disolved in the soaking water. I find this gets almost everything off my half sheet pans or any of my roasting pans. If this fails a bit more persuasion with a soap pad will probably do the trick.

  • Vicki
    July 23, 2018 6:14pm

    I’m a retired professional baker and sheet pans were so much a part of the job I don’t know what we ever did without them! I have the half sheet and quarter sheet pans at home, but not the little guy. Will start looking for one (or more) as this sounds perfect for those small jobs. Thanks David! Always a pleasure to read your blog – and learn something new most every time. Cheers!

  • Cathy
    July 23, 2018 6:56pm

    Anyone know what the depth is? I’m currently using just a toaster oven, but am in the UK. Found some small square aluminium ones on UK Amazon site. Sizes start at 4 x 4 inches.

  • Debbie
    July 23, 2018 6:56pm

    Nordic Ware currently has a sale with free shipping and 20-30% off everything, depnding on how mch you spend!

  • Kristin
    July 23, 2018 7:26pm

    Oh my gosh…I am now on a quest to get 1/8 sheet pans! Love my half and quarter sizes. I have a mixing bowl on which I created a nice little pouring spout area when I threw it across the room in a fit of pique. I can relate to your sheet pan episode.

  • Marie Giacalone
    July 23, 2018 7:47pm

    I couldn’t live w/o my half & quarter sheet pans- now I will have to look for the smaller size as well!

  • July 23, 2018 8:22pm

    saddest: my (american) oven –it’s the same one deb perelman had in the beginning of smitten kitchen– is *just an inch short of being able to fit a half sheet D’: i have quarters!

  • Elaine Parker
    July 23, 2018 8:34pm

    I found 6 x 9 pans at a King Sooper grocery store (a division of Kroger) here in Colorado.

  • bill
    July 23, 2018 8:45pm

    so … the important question: how do you properly clean your aluminum baking pans with either scratching the heck out of them or having them look disgusting from all the burned on grease?

    • Audrey
      July 24, 2018 5:48am

      Sunlight soap and steel wool! ( sunlight soap is a pure soap, don’t know what it would be in the States)

  • David S
    July 23, 2018 8:46pm

    These are really great! I just broke down and got my first quarter sheet pan last week. My favorite uses?

    – Freezing berries/fruit/anything before loading into bags. They have enough surface area to spread things out, but are small enough to tuck into my cramped freezer.
    – Place colanders of washed fruits/veggies on them in the fridge to catch drippings. Again, their size allows me to find room in my sometimes crowded fridge.

    How funny and timely that you would write an ode to this pan now. I think you’ve convinced me that I must go and buy a second (or third) to keep on hand.

  • Mary S
    July 23, 2018 10:20pm

    David, did you know you can get silicone mats for the quarter sheet pans? I got my 1/4 mats at Williams Sonoma. Makes cleaning very easy.

    • andrea
      July 25, 2018 6:36pm

      I’ve seen toaster oven size silicone mats at Sur La Table.

      My kitchen sink is too small for half sheet pans, will try soaking them in the bathtub.

  • KitchenBeard
    July 24, 2018 12:40am

    Seconding about the toaster oven idea. I use the small boys when I’m catering and need the larger oven for half sheets. Being able to toss the sixth sheet in the toaster oven with a handful of nuts, roasting garkinc heads or other small items saves me time and space.

  • Mandy
    July 24, 2018 3:09am

    Cracking post, David! Oh showerer with baking sheets, rotflmao.

  • Rachel
    July 24, 2018 3:30am

    Yes, cracking post indeed! Many giggles over my morning coffee. That ‘safety’ function on the compact oven though … maddening.

  • Fiona
    July 24, 2018 9:53am

    Have you managed to find the small baking trays in Paris, if so where.

    Also just about to renovate my french kitchen and need a large oven – any suggestions??

    Many thanks

    • July 24, 2018 12:15pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not seen these baking sheets in France. I got mine in New York. I don’t love my large oven (I had to have it calibrated a number of times since I’ve gotten it, and the much-touted “Easy Clean” function, I learned, just means that you can remove the door if you want to clean it…) and don’t have another brand to recommend.

    • susan luraschi
      July 24, 2018 1:50pm

      Ikea has them, with handles, no less. Like mini lasagne pans. Perfect

  • Marguerite
    July 24, 2018 3:38pm

    These pans are the workhorses in my kitchen. Every once in a blue moon I treat myself to a shiny new one from my local restaurant supply. When I renovated my kitchen I dumped my two-basin sink for a big stainless steel one that could fit my 1/2 sheet comfortably. But I don’t need to soak it often because I always use parchment. A busy cook’s best friend!

    • July 24, 2018 4:12pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s funny because when I first started writing cookbooks (back in 1999) I was wary of asking people to use parchment paper, since it wasn’t a very common item. I’m glad it’s been so well-adopted by home cooks and bakers, as is readily available in supermarkets. It really does save a lot on clean up, and I often reuse it a few times if I’m just baking cookies on it. And it’s compostable, too :)

      • Mandy
        July 24, 2018 4:55pm

        How about Bakeoglide and/or Culina – various brand names, but sheets of goodnessknowswhat that’s very heat-proof, non-stick, easy to keep/clean, David? As promoted by Aga, and it’s great for the bbq too. Have you used them? I prefer it over parchment, usually, these days. Curious to know what you think.

        • Mandy
          July 24, 2018 4:56pm

          Oops – Cookina, not Culina, sorry!

  • Barb
    July 24, 2018 4:24pm

    David, I will look for these in my local restaurant supply. Great idea. I like to read the comments because there are usually additional tips there too. Thank you.

  • Margaret
    July 25, 2018 7:32am

    The quarter sheet pan is the perfect size for my side by side freezer/fridge — I always balked when a recipe said to put something in the freezer on a baking sheet — now I can do that. They’re great for freezing fruit too.
    Thanks David — very helpful post.

  • Ttrockwood
    July 26, 2018 6:17am

    I bought several of these a few years back from those same Bowery kitchenware shops! They seem to blend together somehow…
    The crummy oven in my small nyc kitchen is too small for a 1/2 sheet pan! I use them for everything- including just holding piles of mise en place when i’m not baking. Very handy!

  • Velops
    July 26, 2018 9:03am

    I’ve seen the Japanese frequently use these small sheet pans to dredge things in a coating before frying. The shape is much better for this job than a pie plate.

  • Patricia
    July 26, 2018 4:23pm

    Love the Ode to the Half Sheet pan discussion. I’ve used them for decades and like others have a collection I prefer. The ones with the rolled edge stack better! Also I am addicted to King Arthur Flour’s half sheet parchment papers. I store them in a half sheet pan and use a half-sheet pan size baking rack upside down and instant-chango: a parchment paper dispenser.

    I wash my old ones in the dishwasher and my new nordicware ones, I hand wash. Love the quarter sheet size for my toaster oven and small jobs. I haven’t seen the little guy. Will look.

    I think having racks that fit into the quarter and half sheet pans make them even more versatile and wonderful!

  • Nancy Glover
    July 26, 2018 10:33pm

    David, thank you so much for this article. I destroyed my eight size and couldn’t find another one. I used your links and found one, well–3!

  • Karen Chastain
    July 26, 2018 11:48pm

    They are perfect, David for us old couples that like roasting chicken legs or veggies and roast better than a cake pan.
    Fantastic blogs, sir!

  • ron shapley
    July 27, 2018 12:24am

    WIN Restaurant Equipment Center…Chef’s paradise..

  • jeannine
    July 27, 2018 3:52am

    I LOVE your cookbooks (so fabulous!) your writing, your blog…but…what self-respecting person can reheat pizza on a teensy tiny sheet pan??? WHO eats ONE slice of pizza? Ever?
    :)
    just saying

  • Sue C.
    July 27, 2018 9:59am

    I am in a frenzied attempt to identify a pastry I’ve had several times from bakeries/breakfast shops – a dense knot of cinnamon dough about the size of a fist, maybe a little smaller. It’s not fancy – it’s just dough. It always has a crackly sugar coating and the inside is moist and perhaps soaked in simple syrup. What are these called? I’m going nuts. Thank you.

    • Cathy
      July 27, 2018 10:13am

      Kanelbullar?

      • Sue C.
        July 27, 2018 10:21am

        Thanks for your quick reply, but nothing so fancy. These have a striated appearance, but not from artfully folded dough, but merely from streaks of cinnamon in the (obviously thick) batter.

        I should sleep. I must be hungry.

    • Karyn
      August 8, 2018 2:03am

      Kouign amann?

    • David S
      August 12, 2018 3:10pm

      Sounds to me like “Morning Buns” perhaps?

  • Dani
    July 27, 2018 2:58pm

    The workhorses in my kitchen are definitely my sheet pans. I use them for roasting, toasting, fridge stacking, etc. I love my quarter and eighth pans and use them frequently.

  • August 1, 2018 4:04pm

    Amusing to hear the story about the stress-induced tantrum when you were a line cook. Way back when I was a cook, I always took my stress-rages into the walk-in cooler where I could scream my head off uninterrupted then walk out cool and refreshed to finish service. Super blog btw.

    • August 1, 2018 4:29pm
      David Lebovitz

      When I was a line cook, the walk-ins were also used as places to cry, in peace.

      ; )

    • cat
      August 1, 2018 8:53pm

      This has been going on a long time – Same as when I worked in restaurants, in the 70’s & 80’s!

  • Barbara Qualls
    August 2, 2018 9:02pm

    One thing I love about your column is that it is so common sense….no frou-frou stuff…

  • Pat
    August 7, 2018 10:07pm

    I have several pans from USA Pan, whose factory is located in Crescent, PA. Any size or shape you can imagine. Two or three times a year, they will have a “seconds sale”, and if you don’t get there early, you will have to park a mile away. Excellent quality for “seconds” pricing, if a little nick or scratch doesn’t bother you. Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/USAPanPage/shop/?ref=page_internal You will find items stamped for Food Network, Sur la Table, and Williams-Sonoma, among others. You will not be disappointed.

    • August 8, 2018 8:51am
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks for the recommendation. I bought one of their loaf pans which has a thin coating on it (non-stick or silicone, I think?) and about a year later, it started flaking off. I liked the shape of it but did you have that problem with any of them?

  • Bill
    August 8, 2018 1:59pm

    I have their hot dog bun pan and their french baguette pan … both very nice. I don’t care for their regular cake pans / sheet pans / cookie sheets as they have that “ridged” pattern which does very little to aid in cooking and is just a pain in the butt for cleaning purposes. Most professional reviewers find the ridges quite annoying too. Nordicware (www.nordicware.com) is also US-based and makes a very wide range of aluminum baking products. Now, if I could only figure out how to get the baked on crud off them!

    • August 9, 2018 12:49pm
      David Lebovitz

      That was the problem I had with those ridges, that didn’t seem to do much. For most baking, you don’t need a non-stick cake pan since cakes have butter and I just line the pan with parchment paper and butter the sides, and don’t usually have a problem removing most things. And yes, they were kind of a problem to clean as well. I found my pan was best cleaned by running it through the dishwasher, but I stopped using it after the coating starting flaking off.