Salmon fillet with vegetables on a cookie sheet
Are Cookie Sheets And Sheet Pans Different?
By Betsy Parks
While sheet pans and cookie sheets have a lot in common and can sometimes work interchangeably, they work in different ways, and each has its own specific job to do in the kitchen. Ultimately, the difference between a sheet pan and a cookie sheet is in the sides of the pan and the thickness of the metal.
Cookie sheets come in different sizes, ideally made of thin aluminum, and have a lip on one or both short sides for easy gripping. Some pans have rims on all sides, but these are usually too thin and flimsy, resulting in burnt cookies. Additionally, some "insulated" or "air bake" sheets are made with two thin layers of metal separated by air to prevent burnt bottoms.
Meanwhile, sheet pans are made with thicker metal than cookie sheets, have rolled 1-inch edges on all four sides to keep food from sliding off the pan, and have uniform sizes since they are standard issues in commercial kitchens. Sheet pans are more versatile than cookie sheets and can be used for roasting and baking.