The Pink-Briefcase Oven Essentials


Below are the basic things in my kitchen that go in the oven.

  • One heavy cooking sheet with sides (sometimes called a jelly-roll pan because, like, you can use them to make jelly rolls).
  • One silpat baking sheet. This goes on top of your cooking sheet when you are making things that are more delicate or might stick, so you don’t have to purchase additional kinds of baking sheets. Just throw the silpat on top for cookies, scones, etc.
  • One roll of aluminum foil. It can go under bacon or fish to make clean-up easy and can serve as an oven-proof lid when necessary. (You know how I hate lids.)
  • A 13”x9” glass or metal pan. I’d go for metal if you are only getting one. You can roast meat, bake casserole, or make brownies in this pan. Other sized pans will join your bakeware family over time, but the 13”x9” is a good all-purpose baking pan to start with.

Eventually, you’re going to have occasions that require a bit more. You might want to add on a muffin pan (because cupcakes are awesome and muffins are essential), an 8”x8” metal baking pan with square corners (this is seriously the best brownie pan ever), round cake pans (for cakes, of course, but also the perfect size for a can of cinnamon rolls), or a 10” springform pan (for cheesecake).

Okay, that’s it! To be honest, I’m surprised at how short my list is for essential bakeware, given that I have so many random and mismatched pans, tins, and baking sheets. But, these items are my kitchen go-tos, and you can do almost anything with them. What essential baking equipment am I missing?

This post is number 8 of my #write31days project 31 Days in the Pink-Briefcase Kitchen.  You can read yesterday’s post here, and follow along with the series each day in October.  An archive of posts is available here, or just click on that big button on the right sidebar. 



  1. Jamie Wright Bagley

    Loaf pans and a pizza stone are additional essentials for me. I use a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to cook bacon. I did not know the silpat existed; I use parchment paper. The iron skillet is also great for oven cooking things like deep dish pizza or cornbread.

  2. sarahkerner

    Oven Mitts! Honestly, baking doesn’t require much gear, does it? Maybe a 8×8 or 9×9 pan for smaller casseroles or brownies?

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