What Is Parchment Paper and Why Is It So Useful?

Are you one of the many people who found a new passion for baking and cooking last year?

As a beginner, there are always questions you’ll have as you expand your cooking experience. One of the most important questions any new chef needs to ask is: “What is parchment paper and how do I use it?”

Parchment paper is such a great tool in the kitchen. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever went without it. Keep reading to learn all about it!

The Properties of Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is a type of kitchen paper that is both grease and heat resistant. This makes it a great asset for a wide variety of things.

If you’re familiar with wax paper, parchment is similar since foods don’t stick to the treated paper. 

However, unlike wax paper, parchment paper is heat-resistant. This means you’re able to use it in the oven without any fears of it burning or catching fire.

It’s better than using aluminum foil as well since the parchment doesn’t affect cooking temperatures.

What Is Parchment Paper Used For?

Due to these properties, parchment paper is a great tool for many things in the kitchen. We’ve collected some of the top reasons you should start using this in your baking and cooking supplies down below. However, don’t be afraid to try other ways!

Easy Cleanup

One of the biggest benefits of this type of paper is how easy it makes the cleanup process. Place this on any surface while you’re cooking and let it collect all of the drippings and grease. It’s also the perfect material to line things like glass dishes and baking sheets.

Once you’re done cooking, it’s easy to peel the paper from your food and the dish. This reveals the clean surface underneath. No scrubbing necessary!

Protect Cookware

When you use this special paper during your cooking and baking, you’re providing an extra layer of protection to your dishes and pans. Since there’s never any food sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan, you won’t need to scrub. Scrubbing results in minor damage to your pans every time you need to clean them.

By using parchment to line your pans, you’ll get far more use out of your tools and supplies for many years to come.

Baking Champion

Many new bakers use aluminum foil to keep their pans clean while baking things like cookies and cakes. The problem with this is that aluminum heats up and affects the temperature of whatever you’re baking. Baking is such an exacting science that even a small change like this can result in a bad bake.

That’s why parchment paper is the perfect assistant to any baking endeavor. It goes in the oven without any risks and helps achieve even baking temperatures.

Next time you bake, line your baking sheet with some of this paper to make baking batches of cookies a breeze. For even more convenience, try placing pre-cut 8 inch parchment circles at the bottom of your cake tin. It’ll give you the perfect consistency in your cake and it’ll be easy to clean up!

Funnel Substitute

Sifting is an important part of many recipes. However, sometimes we need those sifted ingredients in a specific bowl that’s too small for our sifter.

This is where parchment paper saves the day.

Sift your ingredients onto the paper and then create a makeshift funnel and pour those ingredients into the small bowl. It’s a no-hassle shortcut!

Icing Bag Replacement

How many of us have an icing bag in our baking supplies? This tool is a great help for creating beautiful decorations, but sometimes we forget to buy more icing bags.

When you’re in a pinch, parchment paper is a great replacement for an icing bag. Roll the paper into a cone and tape it in place. This gives you the perfect shape for your piping tips and lets you decorate your baked goods without any worries.

Shape Dough and Butter

When you create dough or compound butter, it’s not easy to figure out how to get those things into the shape you want. Butter is a finicky material to work with and, if you’re not careful, it’ll start to melt before you achieve your intended results.

Parchment lets you shape these materials and put them into the fridge to harden without making a mess.

Although it’s possible to achieve similar results with plastic wrap, the plastic tends to stick and ruin the edges of your shape. The special coating on parchment paper makes it easy to pull the paper away without ruining your fun shapes.

Perfect Steam Pouch

Do you love steamed fish or vegetables but hate the cleanup process? Are you looking for a way to achieve delicious results with minimal effort?

Wrapping foods in this type of paper traps the steam while you cook it, while still allowing it to expel any excess air or heat. All you need to do is fold the paper into the right shape and crimp the edges. Then you’re ready to cook your favorite steamed dish!

Maintain Crispiness

After you’re done baking, it’s often a struggle to figure out how to keep those delicious treats tasting fresh. If you pack them away in a sealed box or wrap them in plastic, you’ll lose that crispy texture that’s so enjoyable. No one wants a soggy cookie.

The good news is that wrapping foods in parchment paper allows them to breathe. This prevents the crispiness from disappearing since there’s no trapped moisture.

The next time you bring a bunch of baked goods to a party, wrap them in parchment paper to preserve their texture!

Always Stock Your Kitchen With High-Quality Parchment Paper

With all of these different uses in the kitchen, it’s easy to see why parchment paper is such a well-loved tool. Every chef needs some of this versatile paper in their pantry at all times.

Don’t forget to inform your friends all about this amazing kitchen supply whenever they ask: “What is parchment paper?” They’ll thank you every time they create something new in the kitchen!

For everything you could ever want to learn about food, check out the rest of our blog!