Parchment paper is a friend to many bakers and cooks, but for some of us, using parchment paper is still a bit new.
When working with the oven and high temperatures, it is always best to be safe and ask the questions you have, no matter how obvious they seem. In this article, we are focusing on trusted parchment paper.
Can you put parchment paper in the oven? You can put parchment paper in the oven, and most brands of parchment paper have a listed highest temperature of around 425°F. The temperature range does differ between brands, but as long as the oven isn’t overly hot, parchment paper is fine to use.
There are exceptions to this, and there are times when you should avoid using parchment paper, along with some safety tips you need to know.
Keep reading to find out just about everything you need to know about using parchment paper in the oven!
What Is Parchment Paper?
Parchment paper is prepared in a special way to ensure that it is safe to use in the oven.
The paper is initially formed through wood pulp being laid out, dried, and then rolled into large reams, but then both sides of the paper are coated with silicone.
The silicone coating on either side of the paper allows it to be heat resistant, as well as resistant to moisture and oil.
It is important to note that while the silicone coating gives the parchment paper some heat resistance, it is not flame retardant, and therefore will catch on fire if exposed to a flame or very high heat.
Silicone is a safe coating to use and does not react to food, so the parchment paper is safe to use to bake and cook with.
Is It Safe To Put Parchment Paper In The Oven?
Parchment paper was designed to be used in the oven, for cooking and baking. The components of parchment paper make it safe for oven use, and help to keep the paper oil, moisture, and heat resistant.
However, like with most things when cooking, there are times when parchment paper might not be so safe.
When using parchment paper, you need to follow the guidelines set out by the manufacturer, whether this is the maximum temperature or time spent in the oven.
Leaving parchment paper in an oven that is too hot, or leaving it in the oven on its own, could cause the parchment paper to burn.
Parchment paper should also be kept away from the edges of the oven and should be placed on a baking tray or cake tin.
Can Parchment Paper Catch Fire In The Oven?
There is a chance that parchment paper could catch on fire in the oven. The silicone coating of the parchment paper makes it heat-resistant to a certain degree, but it is not flame-retardant.
The most common scenarios which see parchment paper catching fire are when it is exposed to a direct flame, when it is exposed to the element in the oven, and when it is used in a toaster oven.
Parchment paper can catch fire, and it might actually burn faster than other types of paper. This is due to the added chemicals that make it heat resistant.
However parchment paper does not need to be exposed to a direct flame to catch alight. If it comes into contact with the heating element in the oven, there is a good chance it could catch on fire.
It is also advised not to use parchment paper in a toaster oven, as they are usually smaller than a traditional oven.
This means that there is more of a chance that the parchment paper could come into contact with the heating element, or even the side of the oven which may be too hot.
Following the temperature guidance, and preventing the parchment paper from touching the heating elements and side of the oven, as well as an open flame, is the best way to prevent the parchment paper from catching alight.
What Temperatures Is Parchment Paper Safe?
Different brands of parchment paper have different recommended heating points, with some being higher than others.
The average maximum temperature for parchment paper is around 400-450°F, which should be more than enough for most cooking and baking purposes.
However, no matter how well you follow the temperature guidance, you still need to follow the other safety tips to ensure that the parchment paper is safe to use in the oven.
How Long Can Parchment Paper Be In The Oven?
There isn’t much of a time constraint on how long parchment paper can be used in the oven, as long as you watch that the edges of the parchment paper do not begin to brown or burn.
Parchment paper can actually be reused, and you could get a few batches of cookies baked using one sheet of parchment paper.
You just need to ensure that the parchment paper does not become too brittle or brown, as this could be a sign that it is beginning to burn.
In the correct environment, the same sheet of parchment paper can be used to bake a few batches of cookies without burning.
However, if the parchment paper is too big for the baking tray, or is exposed to temperatures that are too high, it won’t last very long.
How long the parchment paper lasts in the oven depends on the environment, and how well it withstands the heat in the oven.
Just make sure to remove any parchment paper that seems burned, as you do not want an open flame in your oven!
Can Parchment Paper Be Toxic?
There is some concern that parchment paper is not safe to use for baking or cooking as it is coated with chemicals. This isn’t completely true, but there is some truth to it.
Whether the parchment paper has the possibility of being toxic depends on the type you use.
There are two main types of parchment paper, bleached and unbleached. Bleached parchment paper is white, and unbleached parchment paper is a brown color.
Bleached parchment paper might contain toxic dioxin, and there is a chance that this chemical might leach into your food when exposed to heat.
It’s important to be aware of the different chemicals and toxins found in food and cooking accessories, so it is best to stay away from bleached parchment paper where possible.
Unbleached parchment paper should not contain this chemical.
There is another chemical that parchment paper might contain which could leach into food, called Quilon.
However, most good parchment paper brands will state that the parchment paper is Quilon-free on the packaging, so make sure to look for this.
Safety Tips For Using Parchment Paper
While you might be totally comfortable using your oven daily, there are still some safety tips to follow, especially when using parchment paper.
To ensure that you get the best use from the parchment paper, and use it in the safest way possible, here are some safety tips to follow:
- When using an electric oven, do not place the parchment paper too close to the side of the oven or to the heating element. The temperature would be too high and the parchment paper will either burn and smoke or ignite into flames.
- When using a gas oven, the parchment paper should not be close to the open flame or flames. If the parchment paper comes into contact with the flame or is too close, it could ignite and this would burn anything you might be cooking. To avoid this, make sure to tuck in excess edges, or use pre-cut sheets of parchment paper to fit the pan or tin you are using exactly.
- Only reuse parchment paper sheets up to three times, especially if the recipe is high heat. Using the parchment paper again as it begins to brown, burn and disintegrate, could burn and ruin whatever it is that you are cooking on the sheet.
- Change parchment sheets as soon as you see smoke or that the parchment paper has turned brittle.
- At the first sign of smoke or burning, remove the parchment paper from the oven to avoid any excess smoke or even flames.
- Ensure that the parchment paper you are using fits the baking pan or tin. You can either use pre-cut sheets or measure the sheets and cut them down to size yourself. Tuck in any loose or overhanging edges too. Any edges hanging out the tin run the risk of coming into contact with the heating element or flame.
Best Ways To Use Parchment Paper
Parchment paper can be used in so many different ways in the kitchen, and it doesn’t always need to be used in the oven! Knowing some tips and tricks on how to use parchment paper allows you to make the most out of it.
When baking cookies, line the cookie pan with unbleached parchment paper. This helps prevent any mess when it comes to clean up and prevents the cookies from sticking to the pan.
Your cookies will also turn out beautifully when cooked on parchment paper.
Make sure that there aren’t bits of parchment paper hanging over the edge of the pan, to protect the paper from burning.
Your cookies will be soft and chewy with a lovely brown crisp and will lift off of the baking sheet perfectly.
You don’t have to spend ages fighting with your baking pans trying to get your cakes out once they are baked.
Parchment paper works wonderfully to stop cakes from sticking to the pan, meaning you have a perfectly shaped cake each time, without it falling apart.
The best way to measure the parchment paper for the cake is to lay the cake pan upside down onto a sheet of parchment paper.
Use a pencil to trace around the pan and then cut around this and fit it into the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter over this and bake.
When done, leave the cake to cool and then tip the cake pan upside down onto a cooling rack and the cake and the parchment paper should come out easily once you lift the pan back up. Make sure to wait for the cake to cool first!
Parchment paper doesn’t only need to be used in the oven! If you are rolling out dough or pastry, you can lay down some parchment paper, lightly flour it and then roll your dough or pastry out on the surface.
To make life even easier, you can cut cookies or pastry on the parchment paper as well, and then transfer the paper, with the cookies, onto the baking sheet you are using.
If you are trying to achieve a very thin pastry, you can place it between two pieces of parchment paper, and roll it out that way to achieve a thin finish without breaking the pastry.
You then remove the top layer of parchment paper and then transfer it to the pie plate.
Many people choose to line their kitchen counter with parchment paper when kneading bread or making pasta. This prevents your kitchen countertops from being covered in flour and eggs, but you still get to work the dough as you should.
When you are done, you can simply gather up the parchment paper with the mess on top of it, put it to the side or throw it away, and enjoy your sparkly clean countertops!
So, Can You Put Parchment Paper In The Oven?
Parchment paper is safe to use in the oven, and it is designed and made to be heat resistant. While parchment paper is a popular lining to use when baking and cooking, as it is heat-resistant, there are still some limitations.
Most brands of parchment paper cannot be used in temperatures exceeding 450°F, and you do need to be careful not to put the parchment paper at risk of catching alight, as it is not flame-retardant.
If you follow the right safety tips when using parchment paper, it could soon become your best friend when cooking and baking, preventing food from sticking to pans, and making clean up that much easier!
Now that we’ve gone over how to use parchment paper in the oven, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
Can I use parchment paper in place of aluminum foil?
There are many cases when parchment paper can be used in place of aluminum foil. Both are popular choices to prevent food and baked goods from sticking to pans and tins.
However, there are some things that parchment paper is better for, and some things that aluminum foil is better for.
When it comes to baking cakes and cookies, parchment paper is definitely better as the cookies and cake will not stick to the parchment paper like they might to foil.
What can I use in place of parchment paper?
If you do not have parchment paper at home, you could use aluminum foil. However, if you do not have either, you could just grease your baking pan with butter or oil, covering it in a thin layer to be non-stick.
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