If you’re like me, you find yourself baking or cooking in a kitchen without parchment paper on more than one occasion.
If it’s not because I ran out of my supply, then it was because I forgot to buy some at the store.
Either way, it can be frustrating and leave you feeling like your hands are tied when trying to cook something that normally requires parchment paper.
But don’t worry. There are plenty of parchment paper substitutes that will do just the trick.
In this article, I’m sharing my 9 favorite substitutes for parchment paper that will work just as well as the original. I have also shared some bonus substitution ideas at the end.
Warning: Do not use paper grocery bags as a substitute for parchment paper. It’s a very bad idea as a paper bag can catch fire in the oven. They also have ink on them which can become toxic when mixed with food items.
Table of Contents
- Parchment Paper Substitutes: 9 Easy Swaps for Baking, Cooking, and Storing
- What is Parchment Paper?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
Parchment Paper Substitutes: 9 Easy Swaps for Baking, Cooking, and Storing
The best substitutes for parchment paper are Silpat paper and Pyrex baking sheets. You can also use reusable baking sheets, wax paper, and aluminum foil as parchment paper alternatives while cooking.
Read on to find how you can swap these handy items in place of parchment paper safely and get the best results.
1. Silpat Paper
Unlike traditional waxed sheets, Silpat papers provide more protection for you and your recipes.
They are made with silicone that gives them a more rubbery feel, which allows them to withstand large temperature changes without ripping or tearing through use.
The non-stick properties of the Silpat paper make it ideal for all kinds of baking projects since it won’t leave any substances behind on the surface. This makes cleanup a breeze.
Silpat papers can also be used in place of parchment paper when working on other sorts of crafts and DIY projects as well.
It’s flexible, versatile, and durable while still providing a smooth finish overall. Moreover, you can easily store it in a roll for easy access and storage.
2. Pyrex Baking Sheet
A Pyrex baking sheet is an excellent parchment paper substitute if you’re looking for something that’s reusable, non-toxic, and can withstand large temperature changes.
Pyrex sheets are made of borosilicate glass which makes them resistant to high heat. The surface is also non-stick which makes it very convenient for use with foods.
You can place your Pyrex baking sheet on top of a casserole dish while cooking in the oven for additional protection from the heat.
It is also dishwasher safe, which is ideal for those who aren’t very fond of handwashing dishes.
3. Reusable Baking Sheets
Reusable baking sheets are great for just about any kind of baking or cooking project. Essentially, it’s a reusable greaseproof paper that comes in large sheets that you cut in desired sizes.
They function like normal baking sheets, but they’re more cost-effective since you can wash them and use them again once you have finished your projects.
Reusable baking sheets can be used as a parchment paper substitute for all sorts of dishes, so they’re a great investment if you bake or cook often.
4. Wax Paper
Wax or waxed paper can be used as a substitute for parchment paper. It’s made of wax and comes in various sizes and shapes just like parchment paper does.
However, it doesn’t have the same non-stick properties that parchment does, so you might have to grease or spray this one before using it depending on what you’re working with.
The good thing about using wax paper is that it folds easily into three layers for even more protection when cooking or baking with your food items.
Aside from being able to hold hot foods without sticking to waxed paper, the material is also non-toxic which makes it safe for use with foods.
Wax paper is also cheaper than parchment paper, and you can buy it in bulk without breaking the bank.
The only downside is that you can’t use waxed paper in the oven due to its low melting point. So make sure to keep that in mind.
5. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil can function quite similarly to parchment paper at times. It’s also very inexpensive to buy, which is a huge plus for those looking to save some money.
Aluminum foil is best used in baking or cooking projects that require the use of the oven. It can be placed on top of casseroles, baked goods, and other dishes that need to be protected when cooked.
The only downside of using aluminum foil as a substitute for parchment paper is that it doesn’t have any non-stick properties.
So if you want don’t want your food sticking to whatever you’re working on, oil, spray, or grease the project first before laying down the aluminum foil.
6. Greased Pan
If you have a non-stick baking pan or sheet and don’t want to purchase anything else, just use some oil to wipe down the surface!
Greasing a pan is an excellent way to get many of the same qualities that parchment paper provides. It’s also cheaper than buying individual sheets of parchment paper or other substitutes.
The downside to greasing your baking pans with oil is that it may leave a residue that can alter the taste of certain foods over time.
So if you cook frequently, consider investing in an alternative solution instead which will not add any strange flavors to your food items.
7. Cooking Spray
Cooking spray is another effective parchment paper alternative. It is made to withstand high heat and is non-toxic, which makes it safe for use with food items.
It functions similarly to greasing a pan but can also be used in other food crafts, like cooking and baking with cookies.
However, the cooking spray does not prevent foods from sticking to your project. Instead, it provides a glossy finish that prevents food from soaking into the surface of whatever you’re working on.
When using the cooking spray as a substitute for parchment paper, make sure you select the right kind of product.
There are many different varieties on the market that range from butter-flavored sprays to oil sprays that contain vegetable or soybean oils.
So if you want to avoid certain ingredients in your cooking spray (like gluten), it’s best to look at some labels before purchasing one.
If you can’t find any of the above substitutes, it’s time to go basic and use oil.
Olive oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil make great substitutes for parchment paper since they are non-stick and will prevent the food you’re working with from soaking into your project.
Just simply use a pastry brush to apply the product liberally across the surface of what you’re crafting with your food.
The downside to using oils as a substitute is that they may not be completely safe if heated too long or in excess amounts. So make sure you aren’t cooking at high temperatures when using this type of alternative.
Similar to oil, butter also makes a great replacement for parchment paper.
Butter can be applied liberally to the surface of your project and will prevent food from soaking into whatever you’re working on.
It’s great for when you need an alternative that won’t interact with the food while it is being cooked or baked.
Just like oil, butter shouldn’t be heated during cooking if you want to ensure its safety as a parchment paper substitute. So just use it in recipes where heating isn’t required, such as cookies and pastries.
Other Bonus Ideas
In addition to the above list, there are plenty of other items that can swap parchment paper depending on your needs.
- Flour: Can be used to roll out dough on a countertop
- Icing Sugar: Good option for sweet goods such as fondant
- Paper Bag: Do not use it for cooking! But, if your purpose is to wrap or store food, a paper bag is a cheaper and more handy option
- Banana Leaf: A natural substitute that works when you want to make baking parcels
- Soaked Corn Husks and Bamboo Leaves: Eco-friendly and sustainable swaps
What is Parchment Paper?
If you’ve never used parchment paper before, it’s basically a flat sheet made of oiled cotton fibers that can be found in most grocery stores.
The good thing about this product is that it comes pre-cut into different sizes and shapes which makes it ideal for use with food.
Parchment paper is often used for baking due to its non-stick abilities as well as its resistance to heat.
However, it can also be a very useful tool when working on any kind of project or recipe requiring a sturdy surface for work.
It’s also easy to use and can provide a smooth finish over any area you put it on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are parchment paper and wax paper the same?
Wax paper and parchment paper are actually two different things. Although they may look similar, the materials used to make them one is natural and another is synthetic!
Parchment Paper: It’s a high-quality type of baking sheet that is made from animal skins like cows or sheep. The finished product looks very smooth and has non-stick properties.
It can be used for cooking or baking as it can withstand harsh conditions without getting damaged. Moreover, it can be cleaned easily when dirty by rinsing with water
Wax Paper: Made from paraffin (a byproduct of petroleum), also known as waxed paper. A cheaper alternative to parchment paper that acts as a barrier between foods.
It does not conduct heat well so it should never be used when baking or cooking. Gives a shiny finish but should not be used with acidic foods as it can cause the wax to dissolve!
Is parchment paper safe for cooking?
Parchment paper can be used while you are baking cookies or similar treats since it has a high-temperature tolerance.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to use parchment paper as directed by the manufacturer. But yes, in most cases, it is safe for cooking and baking.
However, you should not try to double up layer parchment paper while trying to bake a cake or bread. This can make your baking results soggy and ineffective since the top layer will soften and render useless.
Precaution should also be taken when using parchment paper if you are planning on cooking certain dishes.
Certain acidic ingredients in food may react with the parchment (such as lemon, vinegar, and tomato) and cause it to render useless.
Is parchment paper safe in the oven?
Most parchment paper sold in the market is rated to use at temperatures no higher than 420 to 450 degrees.
So, parchment paper can be used but the real concern about using parchment paper in the oven is that it will not withstand very high temperatures.
If you are planning on baking or cooking dishes with temperatures over 450 degrees, then parchment paper is not suitable for your needs.
Can I use regular paper instead of parchment paper?
No, you should never try to substitute parchment paper with regular paper. Regular paper is made with wood pulp, it will not stand high temperatures and could cause fire hazards when used in an oven.
However, you can use regular paper for wrapping or storing food. It can also work for freezing.
But keep it away from cooking and baking at all costs. Not only it’s hazardous, but it also contains ink which will ruin the taste of your otherwise delicious food.
How to clean parchment paper?
Cleaning parchment paper is simple, although you should make sure that your cleaning solution is non-abrasive (to prevent discoloration and damage).
Wash the parchment paper with warm water and a soft sponge or cloth. This will help you clean off any dirt or residue when you are done using it.
If the parchment paper has come into contact with foods like oils and butter, these should be cleaned separately before washing the entire sheet.
How to store parchment paper?
When not being used in cooking and baking, parchment paper can be stored in a dry place.
Take note that parchment paper should be stored separately from aluminum foil as they may react with each other and cause issues.
Moisture can affect the material of parchment paper and make it lose its non-stick properties.
Parchment paper vs butcher paper
Butcher paper is made for usage in food preparation. It’s a strong, sturdy material that can effectively protect the hands of people while preparing meat and poultry.
Butcher paper is usually used by butchers and restaurants to wrap up meat for easy storage and transportation. Also, it acts as a great label for food items, which is the main reason why most users use butcher paper in their kitchen.
On the other hand, parchment paper has become common in households due to its non-stick properties. Parchment paper is not made specifically for food preparation or storage and handling.
Butcher paper may also be non-stick-like parchment paper but not as efficient at preventing messes.
Parchment paper is no doubt a great addition to any kitchen. Not only does it provide non-stick properties but can also be used as food labels and storage wraps.
Even if you do not have parchment paper in your kitchen, there are many alternatives that you can use instead.
With the 9 best substitutes for parchment paper shared above, you will always have something to use instead of the original.