Anyone else look at the price of a Silpat Baking Mat and roll their eyes? Admittedly, I am one of those people. I know that you get what you pay for, but at the same time, I wholly believe that sometimes, quality can be found in more affordable products.
Amazon.com has a line of products called AmazonBasics. Today, I am going to share with you my review of the AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat.
First, lets establish what kind of review this is going to be so you don’t waste your time. If you’re looking for a technical review, you will probably be better served searching YouTube for a video review. There are plenty of reviews for this specific product on YouTube, so if you want to see the product in action, you can find something better geared toward that. The standard for this review is whether this product is satisfactory for use by someone who casually bakes.
Like many of us out there, we try to base our purchases on the reviews provided to us on the site we’re shopping. The only problem is many consumers don’t know how to give a proper review. I have found that there are four major categories of bad reviews.
- The Customer Service Review: While I understand that customer service is a big part of ordering a product online, many consumers often fail to disclose whether they actually liked or disliked the item leaving us with an incomplete review. We get you’re angry, but could you at least let us know if the thing worked? Know what I mean?
- The Quick-Draw McGraw Review: We all know the sort. “Great item.” Or, “Loved it!” Or, my personal favorite, “It sucked.” And, that’s it. No explanation of why they loved it or hated it. Just two words and a low rating.
- The Unrealistic Review: You’ve all seen this type of review. “I bought this $10 flashlight and it didn’t last as long as my $100 Mac flashlight! It’s junk!” Well, yeah. Were you really expecting it to be comparable?
- The User Error Review: This is the review that leaves a low rating because they simply did not know how to use whatever it was they ordered.
When you combine all of these things, plus the reviews of people who just want to bring a brand down for no other reason than personal prejudice, it is becoming more difficult to trust the reviews left on websites.
My intention is to hit the realistic questions you may have about a product. In this review, I will hit these basic topics:
- First Impressions
- The Test
- The Results
- Final Judgment
Let’s talk shipping. My item was shipped by Amazon Prime. It arrived in two days. I even received a picture of where the delivery person left my package on the porch. Unfortunately, all delivery services in my neighborhood have a fear of the doorbell. The fear is so great that not one delivery service person (USPS, UPS, FedEx, delivery chicken…) has the intestinal fortitude to ring it. But, in this world of the ever-growing fear of ringing their customer’s doorbell, at least Amazon e-mails me a picture of it on the porch so I can message my husband through Line to grab it before it gets stolen. Thankfully, he works from home.
I had no shipping issues, or customer services issues related to Amazon.com or USPS.
The item was well packaged. No complaints there. It was inside a fitted box that was placed within a bubble mailer.
Before I get into my impressions, let me explain what a silicone baking mat is and what it isn’t. A silicone baking mat is made of food-grade silicone making the mat nonstick and reusable. If you are conscious about waste, it is a great alternative to parchment paper. Because it is silicone, it also had a higher tolerance to heat than parchment paper.
I am a casual baker. I have owned a Silpat brand mat before that got damaged and I never replaced. If you don’t know, Silpat is arguably the industry standard brand for silicone mats. My first impression is a Silpat mat is slightly thicker, but other than that, it’s a silicone mat. It fit perfectly in my very loved half-sheet baking pan.
I decided to bake a batch of store-bought cookie dough. (Stop judging me. I’m looking at you, Carol.) I chose a cookie that had caramel inside so I could test whether the AmazonBasics mat could stand up to sticky, gooey, sugary caramel. The whole draw to silicone mats is the easy clean up and nonstick properties. These cookies were baked in a 350 degree oven for 13 minutes on the center rack.
Here are the things I observed:
- No warping of the mat during baking.
- I saw no mat movement of the mat during the baking process.
- Once the cookies were cooled, they required very minimal effort to detach from the mat.
- Worked as expected.
When reading the reviews for this product on Amazon.com, I feel I have to point out a few things that immediately popped into my mind when reading the negative reviews. Most of the negative reviews I read were, in my opinion, “user error” reviews. I could tell from some of their photographs that they did not use the product properly.
Things not to do with your new silicone baking mat:
- Do not put your mat under a broiler.
- Even if it says top rack, do not put your mat in the dishwasher. Hand wash with soapy water and air dry. If you use powdered dishwasher soap and your machine doesn’t get hot enough to dissolve that soap, it will etch your mats and you will have issues with sticking.
- Do not use cooking sprays on your mat! NEVER, EVER! Even with proper washing, the chemicals from the sprays will cause a gunky buildup that will cause your mat to discolor and possibly stick.
- Do not use over direct flame or heat.
- Always use with a baking sheet. There was somebody that left a negative review on Amazon with a picture of their raw cookie dough on the silicone mat placed directly on the oven rack with no baking sheet. No. Just, no.
- Even if it says you can use metal utensils on your mat, DON’T. Do not use any utensil that will scratch it.
- Try to avoid using it with oily things. In my opinion, silicone mats should only be used for non-greasy baked goods, candy making, or roasting vegetables. People use them to oven bake bacon, but I personally do not think that is what the silicone baking mats are intended for. I believe cooking the mat within those high grease content items deteriorate your mat over time.
- DO have a separate mat for sweet, baked goods and separate mat for meats/vegetables. You will thank me!
- DO wash your silicone mats thoroughly. Leave no residues behind.
Also, there were quite a few reviews that lowered their review because the mat did not fit their baking sheets. These mats fit on a standard half-sheet baking pan. A half-sheet pan is the baking industry standard, not the smaller cookie sheets you purchase from a retail store. You can also measure your pans before purchasing. The dimensions of the mat are on Amazon.com.
The Silpat brand mat will run you $24 for one mat. The AmazonBasics mats will run you $9 for two. Both are amazing silicone baking mats. You can’t go wrong purchasing either mat. However, for the casual baker who doesn’t want to invest $20+ on a mat you use three times a year, you simply cannot go wrong with the AmazonBasics.
Final Judgment: CASUAL APPROVED!
Please consider purchasing the AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat through my affiliate link below. I appreciate the support!
AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat – 2-Pack (AFFILIATE LINK).