Given that parchment paper can be used for a variety of different food prep purposes, it has become a staple for many households. However, when you are in the middle of baking and you can’t seem to find a piece of parchment paper in your kitchen, there’s no need to worry as you might have a great alternative laying around.
What is Parchment Paper?
Parchment paper is a piece of paper coated with a layer of silicone to give it a non-stick characteristic. The silicone coating is what also makes parchment paper heat-resistant and water-resistant. Additionally, the silicone layer also regulates the temperature and promotes even heating of the food during baking.
Parchment paper is typically sold in a rolled pack just like wax paper and aluminum foil. You can purchase parchment paper in grocery stores, convenience stores, or in your local baking supplies shop.
What Do You Use Parchment Paper For?
Parchment paper can be used for a wide array of food prep tasks. Ones with good quality can be used for baking food dishes such as cakes, brownies, roasted veggies, roasted meat, and more. Moreover, parchment paper can also be used for lining a steamer’s bottom when steaming veggies and meats.
Parchment Paper Substitutes You Can Use
1. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil can be a life-saver if you are out of parchment paper. With this alternative, you can prepare loads of dishes, especially baked ones.
Aluminum foil is a great parchment paper replacement especially for baking given that it can tolerate very high temperatures because of its silicone coating. However, aluminum foil doesn’t have non-stick characteristics so there’s a high chance of food being stuck to the foil. To prevent that from happening, coat the foil’s surfaces with butter or oil before placing it with the food in the oven.
Moreover, aside from baking, here are a few other aluminum foils uses that make it a perfect parchment paper alternative:
- Dessert Plating: Aluminum foil can be used to decorate dessert platings.
- Steaming Foods: You can steam meats, veggies, and other food ingredients by using aluminum foil instead of parchment paper.
- Cleaner Oven: Aluminum foil can be used to prevent spilling and dripping of foods inside the oven. Wrapping food items whilst baking inside the oven minimizes the amount of mess that you will need to clean afterward.
2. Silicone Rubber Molds
A silicon rubber mold is another great substitute for parchment paper for baking. What’s good about silicon rubber molds is the flexibility it offers. It is great for baking cupcakes, cakes, and cookies of various sizes and shapes. Silicon rubber molds are especially great for baking since they can withstand high temperatures.
Although silicone rubber molds are more expensive than parchment paper, it is a more cost-efficient option since you can reuse it overtime, unlike parchment paper.
Moreover, silicon rubber molds are also eco-friendly and sustainable. But not all parchment papers sold on the market are biodegradable. On the other hand, bleached parchment papers, although they are biodegradable, they offer several health-related risks.
Thus, if you are looking for a more sustainable and waste-free way to bake your favorite homemade goodies, using silicone rubber molds is a great choice.
3. Cooking Spray
Another waste-free alternative to using parchment paper is cooking spray. It is a conventional way of preventing food ingredients from sticking to baking molds or cooking pans especially those that don’t have non-stick characteristics.
Additionally, there’s a high chance you have a bottle of cooking spray laying around in your kitchen cabinet. Thus, it is one of the easiest and most affordable substitutes for parchment paper.
4. Silpat Paper
Silpat is essentially a silicone mat made mainly for baking. Silpat is a popular choice among many commercial and home bakers due to its dependability, reusability, and longevity.
One of the main advantages of Silpat over parchment paper is its reusability which makes it a more cost-efficient option. You can use Silpat multiple times for a vast range of tasks. This tool can be used for baking and cooking and it’s also 100% safe to use. Furthermore, since Silpat is made from silicone, it is completely non-stick.
Lastly, because Silpat is reusable and long-lasting, it is, therefore, eco-friendlier and sustainable than parchment paper.
5. Butter, Oil or Flour
If you are looking for another parchment paper substitute that is waste-free and inexpensive, then you probably have these in your kitchen. Butter, oil, and flour are three great alternatives in place of parchment paper for baking.
You can use oil or butter to grease your pan before placing it in the oven. You can use a kitchen towel or your hands to evenly spread the oil or butter into your baking mold or cooking pan.
On the other hand, you can also use flour to prevent dough from adhering to your baking molds or pan when you are baking. Take a handful of flour and gently sprinkle it on the pan’s surface.
6. Wax Paper
Wax paper offers similar attributes to parchment paper. This paper has a thin coating that allows you to cook dishes without the use of oil. However, keep in mind that wax paper should not be used for baking as it doesn’t have resistance to very high heat and has a low melting point. Only use it as a parchment paper substitute for tasks that don’t involve heating.
Although wax paper is a great parchment paper alternative for non-heat food preparation, it is not the most sustainable option. Based on Montana State University Extension’s study, the wax paper does not decompose efficiently.
7. Grocery Bags
Paper grocery bags are other great alternatives to parchment paper for any task that does not involve heat. You can use them when wrapping food to store them neatly in the fridge.
However, be sure to only use clean paper bags to avoid food contamination. Make sure to only use ones that do not have prints since inks can be toxic and should not be mixed with food.
Now that you know which parchment paper alternatives to use, you will never worry anymore when you run out of one while preparing your family’s meal. Moreover, be sure to only source your food preparation tools such as a cake pan from a reputable kitchen supplies store to ensure quality and reliability.