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In this video, a Frenchman visits New York and buys a half sheet pan, which he appears unfamiliar with (both the term and the device itself) despite being an experienced cook. So I'm wondering: is there not a sheet pan convention outside the US? I'd just assumed that the full/half/quarter sheet system was universal. Ditto for the sheet pan itself, since it's cheap and indestructible. Are those only used in the US?

(I did find this history of the standard sheet pan, which discusses patent filings and brand names in the US in the early 20th century, but that thread doesn't discuss whether it's unique to the US.)

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  • Maybe he just never seen/needed a half size sheet pan in France ?
    – Max
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 13:18

3 Answers 3

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I'm not aware of any standard size baking trays in Europe. Here in Germany your baking tray comes with your oven. As several manufactures produce basically the same product some trays may be used interchangeably, but there is no guarantee that they really fit.

You can purchase universal folding trays that can adjust to the different ovens but they come with their own issues.

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    Correct. Just bought a new oven and the old trays are a few cm too short. That was in The Netherlands and you can assume equipment is the same for the entire European market. Maybe even for the entire 220V market.
    – user34961
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 7:25
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    not only this, but in parts of Europe, nobody ever uses sheet pans. I am not sure we had one when I was growing up, but if we did, my mother must have assumed it is a tray to catch dirt/protect the oven floor. We baked casseroles and stews in rimmed pans (round or rectangular) in different sizes, sometimes almost as wide as the oven, and baked our cookies in them too.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 7:33
  • In the US, sheet pans originated in professional kitchens before moving to the home market. So is there also no comparable convention in commercial kitchens in Europe?
    – crmdgn
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:47
  • @rumtscho thank you for sharing that tidbit. I never would have guessed that. If you were baking three batches of cookies would you just have to pause between batches? Cook with a hot pan? My whole life I’ve lived in kitchens with 5+ sheet pans for different uses and redundancies.
    – Preston
    Commented Apr 20, 2022 at 16:14
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According to Wikipedia, sheet pan dimensions in Europe follow the GN convention, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_pan#European_sizes

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    Does the Gastronorm also apply to your common household oven? To my understanding the GN is found in commercial grade equipment only. In the German Wiki of the sheet pan article of is also mentioned that there is no standard at all. This is consistent with my experience (only household Ofens, no professional equipment
    – jmk
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 23:32
  • Sheet pans as the one that Alex buys in the video linked by the OP are essentially commercial grade equipment. They have been popularized for home cooking by Serious Eats and others, but the size is still related to commercial grade baking racks/trolleys. It doesn't mean that you can't buy any size that fits inside your oven and lay them on a rack. Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 16:08
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There are a number of typical sizes for common sheet pans used for baking:

France: 400 x 600 mm

UK: 460 x 760 mm

US: 330 x 460 mm (13" x 18")

GN 2/1: 530 x 650 mm
GN 1/1: 530 × 325 mm

GN is short for GastroNorm. In my experience the French and US sizes (French sizes also come in 1/2 and 1/4 sizes) are the easiest to find baking equipment for.

What sizes Silpats are available in is a good way of finding the common sizes: https://www.sasademarle.com/store/silicone-liners/silpat-premium-liners/silpat/silpat-uk/

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