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Kitchen tool of the day – Silpat

Silpat? What in the heck is that?

This:

Silpat-Silicon-Baking-Mats_7B60FC97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a silcone impregnated plastic baking mat.  It starts as woven fiberglass and then it’s coated with a heat-resistant silicone-impregnated plastic.

It’s a true time-saver when baking. Nothing sticks to it; not cookies, not melted cheese, not dough, not anything. To clean it, you simply wipe it with a cloth. Occasionally you might feel better about using a little detergent and a good rinse, but it usually doesn’t even need that.

It’s great because you don’t have to use any oil on a baking sheet – in fact you don’t use any oil whatsoever.

It is good up to 482º so it’s good for any possible baking that you might do.

It isn’t usable for roasting or broiling, although you can use it for slow roasting things like tomatoes and you can use it almost as a dehydrator in a very slow oven. You don’t want to put any hot pans on it, nor do you want to ever cut it “to fit”. Fiberglass is hazardous to the health. They also say that you shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher. Just a quick wipe will do. In line with this, don’t use any metal scrapers, knives, cutters or spatulas. You won’t need them anyway. Cookies and baked goods slide right off. All you might need is a little nudge from a plastic spatula.

If you have a large enough Silpat, you can use it for rolling out dough. The bottom of the mat is tacky, so it sticks to the countertop. You really don’t have to flour the dough very much to keep it from sticking.

You use the mat with the writing side up.

It will discolor over time through the oil that’s emitted by things like cookies and cheese (remember, most cookies are mostly butter). But that isn’t a problem.

Don’t use it with insulated or air-type baking sheets. Always use it with simple one layer baking sheets. 

You can use it for reheating pizza but you shouldn’t use it for baking pizza because a baking stone works a lot better and you won’t get a good crust with it (plus, frankly I cook pizza at the highest temperature possible anyway). Personally, I wouldn’t use it for anything that sits in a baking dish because I can just as easily put those on a bare metal baking sheet.

You should always use it with a baking sheet and you should always store it flat. Never fold it up. I actually roll mine loosely, which the manufacturer doesn’t recommend, or even comment on, but I suspect that it’s fine, since that’s how it’s packaged from the manufacturer.

One thing about baking cookies on this mat – they tend to end up flatter than when you cook on greased metal. The manufacturer says that this is because of the extreme slipperiness of the silicone. The dough moves easier as it heats up.  So, you might find that you might not want to use the Silpat for certain types of cookies. Feel free to use a greased metal sheet if the result that you’re looking for requires it.

There are other brands and they are probably just as good. But this is the original. It’s been used since the 60s in French kitchens. I don’t dismiss the others by recommending this, but this is the only one that I can recommend, since it’s the only one that I use.

There are some people who have concerns about using the product as things have come out recently about heating plastics (especially in baby bottles). I have no such concerns about this product, but if you do, then only you can decide whether you want to take the “risk”. There are also some people that claim that they can smell a rubber-like smell, but I’ve never really noticed anything like that.

I find the Silpat quite useful because, I’m basically a lazy git.  Plus, I like innovative “gadgets”. Guess I’m a sucker for them.

silpat

5 responses to “Kitchen tool of the day – Silpat

  1. Bundeg Blog Magazine August 28, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Nice review,.. its a good baking mat. Cheers,.. 🙂

  2. Hanna March 29, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I am a distributor of Demarle products, including the Silpat. I enjoyed your review, and would love to suggest cleaning options for the discoloring you mentioned. I would also enjoy introducing you the entire product line of molds, trays, and our rolling mat. You mentioned the Silpat as a rolling mat, however, we do offer much larger mats intended for rolling. Also, flip you Silpat over and use the other side when roasting (both sides have the same properties, the logo side is smoother, but both are suitable for baking)! The key component for optimal performance is the baking sheet that the Silpat will be lining. Baking sheets with large perforations are BEST, and will improve the performance of any size Silpat. Each size of the Silpat, has such a baking sheet, tailored to fit.
    Feel free to email with questions or to find additional information.
    Enjoyed the review!
    Hanna
    Demarle@mail.com

    • teleburst March 29, 2010 at 9:18 am

      Thanks for the clarifications, Hanna. I didn’t know that you could use it for roasting. That’s something that you might make known in the FAQs. Not sure how it would help much in roasting. You usually still have to put a roasting pan in the dishwasher anyway. Plus, a lot of times, you actually want a fond that sticks to the metal so that you can scrape it up to make sauces and gravies.

      Didn’t know that perforated baking sheets work better. Don’t know how you could improve the performance any better than it already is.

      Thanks for the information!

  3. Hanna March 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I don’t know that I would have a use for it in a roasting pan, either. I was referring to slow roasting… asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes,etc.
    The perforated baking sheet allows the air to pass through reaching every square inch of the Silpat at the same time, rather than traveling around a solid-bottomed baking sheet. The Silpat still performs well, but only as a non-stick mat. However, when paired with the appropriate baking sheet, the Silpat performs as designed!! This is what makes the Silpat ideal for slow roasting, crispy pizza crusts, etc.
    The Silpat was introduced as a lead generator for our company. As you already know, the Silpat is decades old and remained the best kept cullinary secret for most of those years! The key components, such as the baking sheet, can only be purchased from the company. Other benefits for purchasing direct include lower costs on the Silpat, opportunity for optimal use education, and the access to the rest of our current line.
    Some of my favorite uses for a Silpat include: piping chocolate, baking pastries of any kind, baking pizza, roasting veggies, sugar art, cookies, pressing flowers, and the list could go on….
    I have other products that cover ANYTHING you might not be able to fully accomplish with Silpat!
    I know many use the Silpat as a liner for a jelly roll pan…. I actually have another product to make jelly rolls even easier (hard to believe, I know!!), but imagine what you could do if the Silpat you own had sides!

  4. tom r. August 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Good review. I didn’t know as well that you could use it for roasting. Thanks for posting this review. 😉

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