Pros: Nothing sticks to it, very easy to use and clean, perfect cookies every time!
I love to bake but for many years I haven't had the time. Now that my daughter is older and has shown interest in helping me in the kitchen, I've started baking again. I really started in earnest last Christmas when my daughter was going through an eating problem. My hope was that she would want to eat some of the cookies that she helped me to bake. My aunt had given me 2 Silpats for Christmas a few years ago and I finally got a chance to use them.
All About Demarle Silpat Baking Mat
The Demarle Silpat Baking Mat is a non-stick mat that fits onto a standard cookie sheet and is extremely easy to use. To use your Silpat all you need to do is to place it on a cookie or sheet pan with the writing side up. Then just add the product that needs to be baked or frozen. According to the instructions that came with my Silpat, it can be used in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees F to 480 degrees F (or -40 C to 280 C).
The Silpat Baking Mat is very easy to clean too. According to the instructions, all you have to do is wipe it with a damp sponge and then rinse with clean water. They do say that a weak solution of detergent may be used and this is what I do because I'm kind of grossed out with the idea of not washing something that is obviously dirty (which is the main reason why I haven't bought any cast iron cookware). The Silpat is suppose to be dried flat so I just lay it out in my dish drainer or if I need it right away, I just dry it with a paper towel.
There are a few things that you shouldn't do with your Silpat Baking Sheet. According to the instructions you should not:
- use scrapers or brushes to clean your Silpat
- cut the Silpat
- fold it
- grease it
- use in the dishwasher
- use a Silpat that has been cut or ripped as the glass
weave could make it's way into your food
- use in a broiler or grill
The Demarle Silpat Baking Sheet is made from a food grade silicone reinforced glass weave and it conforms to FDA regulations. It is certified by NSF and is Kosher.
Much of the information in this section of this review was taken from the instruction sheet that comes with the Silpat.
Why I Recommend the Demarle Silpat Baking Sheet
I do believe that the widespread use of the Silpat started when the chefs on the Food Network began using them. The first time I saw one was watching one of Sara Moulton's shows (I believe it was Cooking Live, which is no longer on). She was praising the Silpat and how wonderful it was and I knew right away that I wanted one. According to Sara, nothing would stick to it and my mind immediately went to baking cookies.
Cookies can be a hard thing to make at times and other times it's incredibly simple. One of the factors that I have found that increases your success with baking cookies is your cookie sheets. Try baking cookies on a cookie sheet that has baked on grease on it and see what happens. I can tell you....the cookies will stick and the bottoms will be burnt. I have one cookie sheet that doesn't require a Silpat on it to make perfect cookies and I guard it religiously. I've caught my husband trying to cook a box of Banquet's Fried Chicken on it and had a fit. I made him take the chicken off my perfect baking sheet and put it on an older one. That is why the Silpat is perfect, because it doesn't matter what condition your cookie sheets are in, just plop a Silpat on top of it and you'll have perfect cookies minutes later.
I know I keep going on and on about baking cookies but believe me, you can bake anything on this. I know people who use it in candy making and other various sticky treats because it's so easy clean up.
Are there any cons with the Demarle Silpat Baking Sheet? Yes, there are a couple but they are quite minor except for one. I'll get the one major con out of the way right up front because it's not a con with the product itself. Silpat's are expensive. They typically run around $20.00 and while you can make due with just one, having 2 on hand is much more conveinent. My aunt gave me 2 of them and gave my sister 2 of them, so buying 4 Silpats set her back $80.00! However, as we are inclined to not spend that much money on ourselves they make a perfect Christmas or birthday idea to give to someone when they ask what you want.
The other cons are pretty minor, such as the fact that your Silpat should be stored flat. Many people may not have a spot to put them but I found a spot that many people may have overlooked. The bottom of my stove has a pull out drawer meant for storage and all I've ever had stored in there was the broiler pan. This was the perfect place to store my Silpats as well because of the ample room in there. Other cons are that your Silpat will become discolored after use. Again, that's a minor con because the Silpat still works beautifully so it doesn't matter to me if it becomes discolored or not. The last con is that strong foods used on it can leave a trace of it's scent behind. This is something I haven't had a problem with because I use mine strictly for baking.
Overall I couldn't be more thrilled with my Demarle Silpat Baking Sheets. I don't have to hunt around for the parchment paper (which is what I use to use) or worry about my cookie bottoms becoming burnt and sticking to the cookie sheet. Every batch of cookies I've baked on my Silpat have come out perfect. If you love to bake and do a lot of it, then run, don't walk, to your nearest kitchen supply store (my aunt got ours at Bed, Bath, and Beyond) and buy some. Trust me, you won't be sorry!