The various application of parchment paper is vast. But it can be unavailable at your worst possible time. It has a thing for that!
Luckily, substitute for parchment paper for baking, freezing, crafts and cookies is big too. And you can get away with them pretty well!
So in this article, I will talk about those parchment paper alternatives with their most suitable applications. Keep reading!
Parchment Paper Substitutes
- Aluminum Foil
- Wax Paper
- Silicone Baking Mat
- Cooking Spray
- Paper Mat
Alternatives For Parchment Paper In Detail
In cooking and baking, the usage of parchment paper is innumerable. Sadly, this food wrapper won’t be readily available in the kitchen when you need them most sometimes.
But don’t be frustrated when it happens to you. You can achieve the result using its closest alternatives mentioned-below:
- Aluminum Foil
To be a better alternative, the substitute should have a better tolerance for high temperatures. Being coated with silicone, the aluminum foil can tolerate higher temperatures of your air fryer and oven.
This is by far the closest alternative to parchment paper that you can use for wrapping to satisfy your cooking and baking needs.
Like the parchment paper, you can use aluminum foil in the air fryer or oven to steam fish, chicken, veggies. Also, you can use it to wrap meat for freezing purposes, cover dishes to keep your food warm, wrap your sandwiches, etc.
It is also widely used to line the stove plates for the purpose of keeping them clean. It can really keep the mess in check when used inside the oven.
Aluminum foil works like a charm for all of your insulating uses and the most beautiful thing about aluminum foil is that you can recycle it!
Yes, being a thin foil of aluminum, it can be a good alternative when you run out of parchment paper. However, there are some disadvantages of using aluminum foil in lieu of parchment paper.
First of all, it’s not non-sticky. Since it’s not non-stick, you can find pieces of aluminum foil attached to your foods!
Also, putting aluminum foil inside the oven to keep the mess at a minimum can prevent air circulation and affect the taste and quality of the foods.
So, if you want to have the same non-sticky benefit as parchment paper and do enormous things with aluminum foil, you must grease it well with oil first.
You are welcome to use cooking spray or butter for the greasing purpose too!
Is There Any Toxic Side Of Aluminum Foil?
There is a misconception about choosing the sides of aluminum foil among some people that I need to address. It does not really whether you keep the shiny side of the aluminum foil up or down.
Both sides are okay to use and there is no toxic side of aluminum foil. Yes, you can notice variations of sides like shiny and matte but these differences happen due to the manufacturing process.
The shiny side comes in contact with the polished steel rollers but it does not happen for the matte side.
- Wax Paper
Apart from being not heat-resistant, the wax paper has almost the same characteristics as the parchment papers like non-sticky characteristics. It’s a good choice for wrapping, storing, and presenting your foods.
As you can guess from the name, it has a wax coating on each side and that’s why it’s so good to prevent your food from sticking.
So, it can be a good substitute for parchment paper as long as your work does not require heat. Let’s see some of the areas of wax paper applications.
First of all, it’s a cheap and good alternative to parchment paper when it comes to cleaning up your refrigerator. Simply replace the wax paper when you notice the splatter, spillover, or any kind of mess with a new one.
It’s very useful to pound meat into cutlets, lining your baking pan, layering items, even to make a no-bake cake.
Wax paper is pretty handy for wrapping your food items like fish & chips, tacos, potato wedge, sandwiches, etc.
Besides, wax paper is a good choice to store your cheese. It will prevent the cheese from drying and it helps to keep it fresh just like the parchment paper!
Wax paper can help you to roll your dough and save a lot of flour. You can take the full advantage to roll out your dough for your next baking project using wax paper.
So, there are so many good applications of wax paper but it can never replace the heat tolerance feature of parchment paper.
So, can you use wax paper instead of parchment paper? Yes, you can but with some limitations!
In short, if you mainly use parchment paper for anything involving heat, you have to use wax paper for something that does not involve heat.
And I strongly recommend NOT using wax paper with food items that have anything to do with heat. Having a very low melting point, food with wax is very poisonous for health.
- Silicone Baking Mat
You may have heard the brand name ‘Silpat’ before. And silicon baking mat like Silpat is definitely another great parchment paper substitute to consider when you are out of luck!
The beauty of this alternative is that these silicon sheets are designed to be used for roasting and baking. So, the major functions of the parchment paper can be effectively achieved with them.
Now, being non-stick and heat-resistant, such silicon mats will help you to bake cookies and cook veggies. In fact, they are tougher than aluminum foil!
If you begin to use it on a regular basis, you will notice it’s even better than parchment paper in so many ways.
According to your requirement, you can adjust such mats. Besides, you don’t have to grease anything on its surface because it’s completely non-stick. And that’s why it’s so popular.
Some households love to bake cookies on a flat tray. In such a case, the silicone-based baking mat will be better than the parchment paper.
Other than cookies, you can use the same for your other kitchen purposes like kneading pizza dough, making candies, rolling dough, etc.
Not just that, silicone baking mats are durable, long-lasting, and more importantly – reusable! Because of these features, commercials, bakers use this and it’s a popular option for many households too.
Yes, it’s expensive but you can use it for years! So, your average cost will not that much higher.
But it has some downsides that you need to be aware of.
Silicone baking mats can make your roasted vegetables soggier which would not be the case for parchment paper. Your cookies will also lack a delicate crunch!
So, to cook something roasted and crispy I would either use parchment paper or aluminum paper. Also, silicon mats are costlier than the parchment paper ☹
- Cooking Spray
Before the parchment paper came into play and replaced all of its substitutes, a cooking spray used to be widely used to bake cookies.
This is what our grandparents used to use to bake cookies for us!
So, it can be a good substitute for parchment paper till today! Just grease your cooking pan with the cooking spray and it will be a great alternative for parchment paper for baking!
When you spray a good amount of cooking spray, it can work as a good coat to prevent the good ingredients from sticking to pans or molds.
Most of the time, you can find the cooking spray in your kitchen. So, whenever you run out of parchment paper, you can use the cooking spray and still offer good cookies to your family!
However, just keep in mind that when you use cooking spray for baking, the cookies tend to spread!
And they are notorious to have additives like dimethyl silicone (for anti-foaming feature), soy lecithin (acts as emulsifying agent), propellants (to make it non-stick).
I am not sure about the dimethyl silicone, but soy lecithin believes to contain pesticides and may be harmful to health.
Lastly, if you have GMOs, this is not for you since oil used to make such cooking sprays are derived from GM crops. Besides, there is a serious environmental impact of such cooking sprays.
But if you spend some time and willing to have additives, you can get Non-GMO derived cooking spray easily.
- Paper Bag
Well, you can consider it as another parchment paper substitute but I would not call it a good alternative for sure. But if you want to use it to wrap your food items only, then yes, you can go ahead to use it.
But do not use it for cooking or baking purposes since it has the lowest heat-resistance capacity among all the parchment paper alternatives. Still, it can be a great parchment paper substitute for freezing or storing food!
Paper bag is still a good option to wrap and store foods and sometimes that’s all you need, right? So, if this is all that you need from the parchment paper, you can get away with the paper bag too.
Being environmentally friendly, this is what you actually should use to wrap and store foods in the kitchen. It’s easily recyclable and paper bags decompose pretty fast!
But that’s not all…
It’s insanely cheap! In fact, I recommend using paper bags to wrap foods and use parchment papers for other functions like cooking and baking. That way, it will more cost-saving for you.
- Make Your Own Anti-Stick Spread
You never know when the parchment paper will run out and its closest alternatives may not be readily available too. So,
it’s just good thinking to keep some sort of anti-stick spread in the freezer as your replacement for parchment paper.
Don’t worry. It’s fairly easy to make this anti-stick spread. You need to mix an equal amount of oil, flour, and shortening. Use a stand mixer to mix it very well.
Now, put it in your refrigerator so that you can use it later as an alternative to the parchment paper. You can use a pastry brush or paper towel to spread the mix.
How about an old-school parchment paper substitute for baking? Greasing your aluminum baking pan may be old school but that’s a professional baking approach used widely.
Greasing your pan will serve your better when your batter tends to stick easily or the cookies you make easily stick to the baking sheets.
You can use shortening or butter for the greasing. Both are solid fat but if you need to add more flavors, you should grease with butter.
But when you are sure that you will need more heat for your baking, you should use the shortening to grease your pan to protect it from burning.
But what if you are a vegan and you are not okay to use butter or shortening?
Well, you can use coconut oil as their alternative and achieve the same result.
To achieve a more exciting result, you can add flour in addition to the greasing and the flour will prevent your cookies from sticking.
However, greasing comes with some disadvantages too. It will create a mess that most people can’t accept! Not everyone is in the mood of cleaning up such messes!
Besides, if you need precise baking, greasing your pan may not be a viable option.
- Dusting Flour
If you are in a mood to bake something like sourdough bread and there is no parchment paper at your hand, dusting flour on the baking pan can be a great parchment paper alternative for baking!
The flour dust will create a non-stick surface so your dough and baked bread won’t stick to the baking vessel.
Yes, it’s a bit of a challenge when you will transfer the proofed dough onto the hot baking surface using the dusting flour method.
Use a baking peel to load the dough onto the oven if you are using a baking stone. That will save you from burning yourself. If you don’t have a baking peel, use the flour-dusted baking tray.
- Coat With Oil
If your objective is to prevent the dough from sticking, you can simply oil the surface of your baking stone or baking tray. Yes, oiling the surface can be a great replacement for parchment paper!
But there is a catch…
Coating the baking surface with oil will increase the thermal activity between the baking surface and the dough. So, the temperature will rise quickly and the bottom of the dough may be burned.
To prevent this from happening, you need to do something to prevent the direct heat from burning the bottom of the loaf.
And you can easily achieve this by placing a baking tray between the heating element bottom and the baking surface.
- Use Nothing!
Sometimes, you may not need to look for a parchment paper alternative at all. There are plenty of recipes where you don’t need to use any parchment paper.
Even some baking recipes will instruct you not to grease your baking pans! The same is true for other baked goods like angel food cake and sponge cake.
In fact, adding grease to the pans will ruin your sponge cake and angel food cake. So, before you decide to add any grease or parchment, check the recipe carefully.
You may not need to have any parchment paper or its alternative at all!
How About Freezer Paper As Parchment Paper?
It may sound tempting to use freezer paper when you don’t have parchment paper. In fact, many people did try to use freezer paper instead of parchment paper.
But let me tell you something…. it’s a bad idea!
Both the parchment paper and freezer paper have completely difference purposes. So, they are manufactured that way.
Whereas freezer paper is used to freeze stuff in the freezer, parchment paper is mainly used for baking or heating.
There are some valid reasons why some people might think freezer paper as the parchment paper substitute. One of the main reasons is freeze papers look deceptively similar to wax paper!
The obvious distinction between wax paper and freezer paper is that the former one does has coating on both sides but the freezer paper has coating only one side.
And the parchment paper has no coating at all!
So, when you use the freezer paper, the coating side has to come in contact with the meat, seafood, and other food items like cheese to retain moisture.
In a nutshell, you can’t use the freezer paper as an alternative to parchment paper for cooking, heating, baking, or anything else that involve heat.
Be Wise Using Parchment Paper Alternatives
I just shared several substitutes for parchment papers and it’s easy to get confused when you have so many options. So, I want you to remind of something regarding these substitutes.
When it comes to food items, do not use paper grocery bags or wax paper instead of parchment paper. You can grease the surface or use oil coating.
Yes, you may be familiar with using brown paper bags to bake chicken and turkey in the oven.
But keep in mind that in such cases, the oven is set to lower temperature like below 200 Celsius to prevent the paper from burning.
But it’s not recommended to use paper bags if you plan to bake sourdough bread. Because baking sourdough bread requires setting the temperature around 235 Celsius which will burn the paper.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can use as a substitute for parchment paper. So, don’t fret over having any parchment paper whenever you run out of it.
But, you should learn all the applications of such alternatives with their potential negative sides. When it comes to something you eat and feed your family members, you have to be extra careful!