Can metal baking trays go from fridge to oven? | Guide for Cookie Trays

Metal baking trays can be moved from the fridge straight into the oven to bake cakes, pies and savory dishes like lasagna. Metal trays will cool quickly in the fridge helping to set your cookie dough or pastry. The tray can then go straight into a pre-heated oven to bake.

The tray may make noises or even bend when it heats up but it will return to its original shape when it cools.

It is best not to store food in the fridge on metal baking trays for a long period of time. It is ideal to use them to chill your food for a period of hours and then move them into the oven.

This article will explore all you need to know about moving metal baking trays from the fridge to oven. Find out some great tips to make the move from fridge to oven easier and protect your baking trays.

Top tips before moving metal baking trays from the fridge to oven

Here are my top tips for moving metal baking trays from the fridge to oven. This will help to get the best out of your baking and to protect the metal baking trays.

1. Preheat the oven

Always preheat the oven to the desired temperature before putting your baking tray into the oven. This will avoid exposing the tray to the very hot blasts of heat that can come from the oven heating up. Most ovens will blast heat higher than the temperature that it will ultimately reach.

Placing the tray into the oven after it has reached the desired temperature will help to reduce warping and protect the oven tray.

2. Use a good quality baking tray

Always choose the best quality baking tray that you can when moving them from the fridge to the oven. The thicker the metal, the less likely it is to bend and warp when it changes temperature and heats up.

Good quality aluminum or stainless steel trays are both great for setting cookies in the fridge and moving them straight to the oven. Thicker trays will transfer better without bending. I always like to line my trays first with eco friendly baking paper. Non-stick pans can go straight in without baking paper.

3. Let the tray sit for 5 minutes on the bench if you can

To minimize the amount of bending and warping that your tray does in the oven it is best to place it on your bench for 5 minutes before placing it into the oven. Allowing the tray to heat up slightly closer to room temperature will help the tray stay in shape when it heats up.

What happens when you put a cold baking tray in the oven

Baking trays can be put in the fridge to chill to set cookies, chill pie crusts or keep a lasagna cool before baking. Metal trays with a non-stick coating or plain aluminum or stainless steel pans can all successfully go from the fridge to the oven.

When you move a thinner tray from the fridge to the oven it can make all sorts of noises including ticking and banging. As the tray heats up and the metal expands it will start to tick or even pop as the metal moves and changes shape.

The edges of metal trays are usually bent over which makes them thicker and less likely to bend. If you see any part of the tray bend it usually is the center part which is thinner. The tray can twist but don’t worry, when it cools down it will return to its original shape.

Can baking trays go in the fridge?

Baking trays can go safely in the fridge to set cookie dough or pie crusts. They may change shape when they cool down but it should be minimal. The tray will return to its original shape when it returns to room temperature or is heated up in the oven.

Are stainless steel baking trays good?

Stainless steel baking trays are a good choice, are tough and can be moved from the fridge to the oven. Stainless steel baking trays can have a non-stick coating which means that you can skip or use minimal oil or butter.

Stainless steel baking trays may also come without a non-stick coating so remember to use baking paper or to oil or butter the tray well before baking.

Top quality stainless steel baking trays are more expensive but can last a lifetime. They are some of the toughest and longest lasting metals. They will keep their shape and can be passed down to your kids.

Tips when storing metal trays in the fridge

It is best not to store food for a long time on aluminum trays. Any acid in the food can damage the tray or metal materials may leech into the food. It is fine to put baking trays in the fridge to chill cookies or pastry but it is best to get onto baking the food.

If you want to store food on baking trays over a longer period of time choose stainless steel trays or line the tray with baking paper.  

Metal baking trays are perfectly find to move from the fridge to the oven. They may bend or warp temporarily when they heat up but will return back to their original shape when they cool down. The better quality, thicker trays are better for this process as they will keep and return to their shape better.

Can metal baking trays go from fridge to oven? | Summary

Metal baking trays can go from the fridge to the oven when you are ready to cook chilled cookies or pastry. Baking trays are perfect for cooling cookies before you bake them or setting pastry. The tray will be fine if the oven is preheated. You may notice a small about of bending on thin trays but it will return to its original shape when the tray returns to room temperature.

Happy cooking.