Food grade silica gel is a non-toxic polymer, mainly made of silica (sand).
It is generally considered safe and non-toxic, so there is no need to worry about baking with a silicone pad.
Although people generally believe that silicone is safe for baking, I find it difficult to find a clear and
unambiguous statement from the FDA.
There is this document, which includes silicones in the list of materials that "can be safely used in the production,
manufacturing, packaging, processing, preparation, handling, packaging, transportation or preservation of food."
The Canadian government’s guidance is clearly more clear:
There are no known health hazards associated with the use of silicone cookware.
Silicone rubber does not react with food or beverages, nor does it produce any harmful fumes.
Although silicone baking mats are considered safe to bake, you still need to make sure to use them under
the manufacturer's instructions.
Generally speaking, most silicone baking mats should not be used under broilers.
They are usually designed to withstand temperatures up to 450°F (232°C).
They are also not intended to be used directly in oven racks and toaster ovens.
Be sure to check the manufacturer's specifications for the particular mat you are buying.
How to clean the silicone baking mat:
The silicone baking mat is super easy to clean.
Just put it in warm soapy water and wipe it with a sponge or soft cloth.
Rinse with clean water.
Use a clean towel to gently wipe off the excess water, and then let it dry completely before
storing (even after cleaning, a slight greasy feeling is normal).
You can roll them up for storage, but I like to lay them flat to make sure I don’t accidentally put
the crease inside.
A note on dishwasher cleaning:
Many manufacturers say that their silicone pads can be washed in a dishwasher, so I think I will
However, I find it interesting that the most well-known premium brand Silpat does not recommend
the use of dishwashers.
You can clean the silicone baking mat in the dishwasher, but I personally choose to wash it by hand to ensure
that I get the most vitality from the baking mat.
As I mentioned before, over time, silicone baking mats will begin to retain the smell of strong foods.
If you start to notice this, there are two simple ways to eliminate the odor:
Mix warm water and baking soda to make a paste.
Use a soft cloth or sponge to massage the paste onto the baking mat.
After application, let it stand for 5-10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Or, you can squeeze a few lemons into some hot water and let the silicone pad soak in the lemonade bath
for 5-10 minutes.
But keep in mind that the acid in lemon juice may be bad for silicone materials, so I only recommend using
it to remove stubborn odors.
Whether you decide to clean the mat, make sure not to use a scraper or brush that could damage the silicone
coating and expose the fiberglass mesh underneath.
Find the best silicone baking mat for you
Like many other changes I made, this environmentally friendly option proved to be a cheap and convenient
option, so long live!
If you have not used a silicone baking mat, you will be very happy that you have used it.