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Video:Silicone Baking Mats 101

with John Mitzewich

Once found only in the professional kitchen, these great cooking tools have multiple uses, and are now being used everywhere. See why silicone baking mats are one of the most useful items a home cook can own.See Transcript

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Transcript:Silicone Baking Mats 101

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today's demo is about something that I think every kitchen should have: a silicone baking mat.

Silicone Cookware

All right let's talk silicon enhancements, and of course I'm taking about kitchen tools. Rubber and plastic is out, silicon is in. It's in all the new tools, spatulas, pastry brushes - no more bristles in the egg wash - I'm going to miss that - whisks that are covered with silicon so they don't scratch your cookware. There's silicon pot holders, and silicon spoonulas, and I just showed that so I could say spoonula.

But what I really love silicon for in the kitchen besides those tools is the silicon baking mat. To me this is just a "must have." You can't rip them, you can't tear them, extremely durable, they never lose their shape. It's basically reinforced with fiberglass as you can see in the close-up.

Benefits of Silicone Baking Mats

What you do is throw it on a sheet pan and it replaces any need for parchment paper, wax paper, oil, or grease. Nothing sticks to this. It's also safe to 475 degrees so you can use it in any oven. They come in 2 main sizes, the half sheet pan and the full. I have one of each, I think they are both very useful. Now, before you run out and get a large one to bake with you better watch this. That's right they don't fit in an oven.. D'oh!

Silicone Baking Mats and Dough

Speaking of dough, what I really love the big ones for is for a work surface. They come with these inch measurements, I use it for pastry, and candy making and pie making.

Silicone Mats in Action

Now watch this little demo. Nothing sticks to silicon mats. This is Parmesan that I grated and sprinkled in a circle. I baked it until it was light gold and I going to put it over a small ramekin and top it with a larger one and make those fancy restaurant parmesan cups.

Try that with a regular pan, you'll have to scrap it off with a chisel. So that's just one trick you can do with these and that was to prove that nothing sticks since cheese sticks to everything.

Silicone Baking Mats and Baked Goods

To make sure it's good for cookies I did tests with 4 or 5 batches. Like I said you don't have to put any oil or grease down, or parchment paper. They baked up so beautifully. Nothing sticks. Because the bottom doesn't conduct the heat, you don't have to worry about burning or scorching the bottom of what you are baking. So that's a nice advantage.

Silicone Baking Mats and Cleanup

The wash up is really simple. A little hot, soapy water, you rinse it off and it's clean. By the way the gloves allow me to you very hot water and protect my delicate hands.

Why Use Silicone Baking Mats?

All right, let's recap some of the reasons I think you should own one of these:
  • inexpensive - 20-25 dollars
  • oven safe up to 475 degrees
  • they last forever - up to 2,000 uses or more
  • non stick forever - there's nothing to wear off
  • really great work surface
  • so easy to clean
Alright, those are enough reasons. So go out and get one of these baking mats, or two, and enjoy.

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