Here’s a nifty idea: for all those who are sick of trying to pry WAY over-baked blobs of blackened pie and casserole filling off the their oven floor, a flexible catch-all liner. It’s a coated fabric sort of thing (technical term), 23″ x 16.25″ inches, though it can be trimmed to match the size of your oven’s interior if need be. The nonstick surface resisted pretty much every bubbly, crumbly thing I threw at it over the holidays, surviving with only a few small dents. Any time I didn’t feel like washing off splatters of au gratin potato, I just threw it in the dishwasher. Problem solved.
So in all those senses it did everything it was supposed to do. I have only one caveat about it and here it is: it can only survive oven temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit or below. That’s plenty high for most bakers…except me. I routinely raise my oven temperature to 550 to make biscuits and bread. Being a space cadet, I generally don’t open the oven door to check what’s inside of it before I turn on the heat. A bad habit to be sure, but it’s mine. And that leaves me open to a potential oven liner breakdown situation. I don’t know if melts or what, but I’m not especially keen to find out.
The good news is that a lot of ovens don’t even go over 500. Yours might be one of them, in which case you could potentially leave one of these inside full time with nothing to worry about (provided the liner doesn’t get close to a heating element). For my part I’ll keep mine in the box in a cabinet, and only pull it out when I’m baking things with goo in the middle. It’ll be worth twenty bucks even so. Get’em at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and chefscatalog.com.