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My wife was cooking a recipe and was confused by instructions to put foil over a cookie sheet which should sit on a broiling pan. Foil is pretty standard in recipes, but why have the sheet on top of the broiling pan? She was cooking shrimp.

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Was the broiling pan empty, or filled with water? If filled with water, this is a bain-marie. – derobert Mar 8 '12 at 7:41
There were no instructions to put anything in the broiling pan. But thanks for pointing that out. – Ronnie Overby Mar 8 '12 at 12:12

It's possible that the recipe author was going for insulation from the heat of the oven's element/flames on the bottom. This would give you more cooking by convection - or baking without the browning on the bottom (conduction) where the food touched the thin pan.

Another way around this is insulated baking sheets - two layers with air in the middle. On cookies, they take longer and reduce browning. So this seems to me to be an approach to the insulated baking sheet, creating a workaround on the assumption that people have the other equipment at hand.

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