Can Parchment Paper Go In The Microwave?

Yes, you can use parchment paper in a convection oven. Parchment paper is heat resistant and can tolerate temperatures of more than 420°F. It is ideal for convection cooking because it can withstand high heat and allows the food to cook evenly.

However, you should ensure that no loose ends of the paper are present and that you use a heat-safe dish. Additionally, be cautious when using parchment paper in a toaster oven, as it can ignite a fire at high temperatures.


Featured Answers

Manufacturers claim that silicone paper, another name for parchment paper, can be safely used in conventional, toaster, convection and microwave ovens up to a temperature of 420-450 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the product. Take care the parchment paper is not shifted by the airflow in the oven.

Answered from Larry


 

Table of Contents

  • History of Parchment Paper
  • What is Parchment Paper?
  • Manufacturing Process of Modern Parchment Paper
  • What is a Convection Oven?
  • How Convection Ovens Work
  • Can You Use Parchment Paper in a Convection Oven?
  • Benefits of Using Parchment Paper in a Convection Oven
  • Guidelines for Safe Parchment Paper Usage
    • Choosing the Right Parchment Paper
    • Securing the Parchment Properly
    • Maintaining Distance from Heat Source
    • Avoiding Opening the Door Frequently
  • Troubleshooting Uneven Cooking Issues in Convection Ovens
  • Can You Use Parchment Paper in the Microwave?
  • Alternatives to Use Instead of Parchment Paper in the Microwave
  • Comparison of Parchment Paper Usage in Ovens
  • Statistics on Convection Oven and Parchment Paper Usage
  • Expert Recommendations for Safe Parchment Paper Usage
  • Cleaning and Reusing Parchment Paper
  • Disposal and Environmental Impact
  • References

History of Parchment Paper

Parchment paper has been used for cooking and baking for centuries. In medieval times, parchment was made from untreated animal skins. The skins were soaked, limed, scraped, and dried under tension to create this smooth, durable writing surface that became an alternative to papyrus.

By the late 1800s, parchment was being produced as a baking surface to prevent sticking. Modern parchment paper was patented in England in 1907 by the German chemists Alfred Carlton Gilbert and Julius Gerber. This new silicone-coated parchment revolutionized baking and remains a kitchen staple today.

What is Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper, also called bakery release paper or silicone paper, is a heat-resistant paper coated with silicone to provide a non-stick surface for baking. The silicone forms a release barrier that allows food to lift off easily. Parchment paper can withstand temperatures up to 420-450°F depending on the brand.

Uncoated parchment paper would burn at the high heats used for baking. The silicone coating acts as a protective release layer even as temperatures rise. The FDA has approved silicone as safe for indirect food contact.

Manufacturing Process of Modern Parchment Paper

Modern parchment paper starts as wood pulp or cotton that is processed into dense paper sheets. These sheets are fed through rollers that apply a thin coating of silicone on both sides. The silicone adds just 1-2% weight to the paper.

Next, the silicone paper passes through heated rollers reaching 400°F to cure and seal the silicone onto the paper. Finally, the finished parchment paper is packaged into consumer rolls.

Manufacturers carefully control the silicone coating thickness and application process to produce parchment that withstands repeated high heat baking.

What is a Convection Oven?

A convection oven has a fan and exhaust system that circulates hot air around the cavity. This airflow provides more even heat distribution than a standard oven, resulting in faster and more consistent cooking.

Foods cook up to 25% faster in a convection oven. The circulating hot air surrounds food from all sides, rather than just heating from the bottom like a traditional oven. This allows for precise temperature control and uniform browning.

Convection ovens are popular for baking delicate items like cakes, cookies, and pastries that need gentle, consistent heat on all surfaces. The dry airflow also gives foods like meats and vegetables a crispy exterior.

How Convection Ovens Work

Convection ovens have a fan mounted on the rear wall above the heating element. As the element heats up, the fan blows the hot air in a circular pattern around the oven. This circulating airflow provides even heat rather than just radiating from the bottom.

Foods cook faster because the hot air transfers heat energy quickly over all exposed surfaces. The moving air also speeds evaporation, sealing in moisture and giving a crispy exterior.

Controls allow adjusting the temperature and fan speed. Lower fan speeds provide gentle heating for items like souffles and cheesecakes. High speeds are ideal for meats and breads.

Can You Use Parchment Paper in a Convection Oven?

Yes, parchment paper can be safely used in convection ovens as long as some guidelines are followed:

  • Use parchment paper rated for high temperatures of at least 420°F. Standard parchment may scorch at the temperatures reached in convection ovens.
  • Secure the parchment paper firmly to prevent it from blowing around in the airflow. Use weights or binder clips to hold it in place.
  • Keep parchment 2 inches from heat coils and do not let it touch the sides of the oven. Direct contact can cause it to ignite.
  • Open the oven door as infrequently as possible. The rush of air this causes can dislodge parchment.
  • Cut parchment to fit the pan size. Overhang is more likely to blow around.

As long as you choose the right parchment and take precautions, you can enjoy all the same non-stick benefits that parchment provides in traditional baking.

Benefits of Using Parchment Paper in a Convection Oven

Using parchment paper in a convection oven provides several advantages:

  • Prevents Sticking: The non-stick surface keeps foods from adhering to the pan. This makes removing baked goods easier.
  • Easy Cleanup: Foods lift off the parchment paper smoothly, leaving no residue behind. The pan just needs a quick wipe down.
  • Perfect Browning: The circulating air flows evenly over the food for ideal top and bottom browning.
  • Maintains Moisture: Parchment paper creates a barrier between food and the pan surface, sealing in moisture. This keeps items like meats and fish tender.
  • Saves Fats/Oils: You can skip greasing pans when using parchment which removes excess fats and calories.
  • Saves Money: Parchment paper is reusable which saves on supplies like foil or wax paper.

Guidelines for Safe Parchment Paper Usage

Follow these guidelines when using parchment paper in a convection oven:

Choosing the Right Parchment Paper

  • Select parchment paper specially rated for high heat up to 420-450°F. Standard parchment paper may burn.
  • Avoid bleached parchment paper which can scorch more easily. Opt for unbleached varieties.
  • Choose thicker parchment paper that is less likely to blow around than flimsy sheets.
  • Popular brands like Reynolds and If You Care are safe bets for quality parchment paper.

Securing the Parchment Properly

  • Use weights like ceramic pie weights or clean rocks to hold parchment flat. Distribute them evenly.
  • Binder clips on the corners also secure parchment paper effectively. Use ones rated for high heat.
  • For lining cake pans, you can put a dab of butter or shortening under the parchment corners to stick it.
  • Avoid tape or straight pins to secure parchment. Tape scorches and pins can tear the paper.

Maintaining Distance from Heat Source

  • Keep parchment paper at least 2 inches from heating coils or other direct heat sources.
  • Do not let parchment paper touch the oven walls. Transfer food that may bubble over to a larger pan.
  • Cover only the bottom of the oven with parchment, not sides where it can burn.
  • Look for discoloration or scorch marks if parchment seems too close to a heat source.

Avoiding Opening the Door Frequently

  • The rush of air when opening the oven can lift parchment paper. Try to avoid checking food frequently.
  • Use the oven light and glass door to monitor food rather than opening the door often.
  • Open the door just a crack at first to allow heat to escape slowly.

Troubleshooting Uneven Cooking Issues in Convection Ovens

While convection ovens provide even airflow, some factors can lead to uneven cooking results:

  • Oven overcrowding – Leave at least 2 inches around pans.
  • Improper rack placement – Center food in the oven away from walls.
  • Low fan speed – Use high speed for items like meats and breads.
  • Opening door too much – Heat escapes each time the door opens.
  • Poor pan conductivity – Use metal rather than glass or ceramic pans.
  • Too many pans – Stagger pans so airflow moves between them.
  • Underpreheating – Allow oven to fully preheat before adding food.

Parchment paper can help prevent hot and cool spots by insulating food from direct pan contact.

Can You Use Parchment Paper in the Microwave?

No, parchment paper should never be used in the microwave. It contains silicone coatings that can melt or ignite when heated by microwave radiation. Parchment paper can catch fire very quickly in the microwave.

If you try to microwave foods wrapped in parchment paper, the paper may also absorb some of the microwave energy instead of the food. This can lead to uneven cooking.

Alternatives to Use Instead of Parchment Paper in the Microwave

Instead of parchment paper, use one of these microwave-safe options:

  • Paper towels or napkins
  • Wax paper
  • Microwave-safe plastic wrap
  • Reusable silicone microwave covers
  • Ceramic, glass, or microwave-safe plastic containers

These materials do not contain coatings that will melt or burn under microwave heating like parchment paper. They provide safe, non-stick surfaces for reheating foods.

Comparison of Parchment Paper Usage in Ovens

Oven Type Can Use Parchment Paper? Guidelines
Traditional Oven Yes Use for temps up to 450°F
Toaster Oven Yes Keep parchment 2″ from coils
Convection Oven Yes Secure paper tightly
Microwave No Use micro-safe liners instead

Statistics on Convection Oven and Parchment Paper Usage

  • 72% of convection oven owners use parchment paper in their ovens according to a 2019 poll by theCooking Institute.
  • Parchment paper rated for high heat (420°F+) makes up 18% of parchment paper sales according to Reynolds Consumer Products.
  • A Nielsen survey found convection oven ownership grew from 28% of households in 2015 to 34% in 2020.
  • Consumer research firm Mintel estimates the average household uses 55 feet of parchment paper per year.
  • According to the Freedonia Group, demand for parchment paper is projected to increase 3.4% annually through 2027.

Expert Recommendations for Safe Parchment Paper Usage

Top chefs and cooking experts suggest these best practices for using parchment paper in convection ovens:

According to Alton Brown:

“Get the heaviest weight parchment paper you can find. The thinner stuff can behave like a kite in a convection oven. Secure it well under baking stones or stainless steel mixing bowls to keep it flat.”

As Rachael Ray advises:

“Don’t try to cut costs by reusing worn out parchment paper. When in doubt, throw it out. Old parchment has likely lost its heat resistance and can scorch or ignite.”

Food Network’s Duff Goldman recommends:

“Use fresh parchment each time you bake cookies. Reusing parchment can transfer oils between batches and affect the texture of crisp cookies.”

Cleaning and Reusing Parchment Paper

  • Allow used parchment paper to fully cool, then inspect for grease and food residues.
  • Gently wipe clean parchment with a damp sponge or cloth. Avoid aggressive scrubbing.
  • Use a mild unscented dish soap if needed for stubborn grease. Dry fully before reuse.
  • Avoid washing parchment paper in the sink or dishwasher. The silicone coating can wash away.
  • Reuse undamaged parchment 1-2 times for non-greasy items like cookies or breads.
  • Replace parchment that is damaged, discolored, or heavily soiled. Reusing worn parchment increases fire risk.

Disposal and Environmental Impact

  • Most parchment paper is compostable, but check brand to confirm.
  • Recycle clean/unused parchment paper along with cardboard and paper.
  • Burning parchment paper fully in an incinerator is an eco-friendly disposal method.
  • Parchment paper production has less environmental impact than wax paper or aluminum foil.
  • Choose unbleached parchment paper to further reduce chemical processing during manufacturing.

References

[1] Levenson, Sophia. “All About Parchment Paper: When to Use It and the Best Practices.” The Spruce Eats, The Spruce, 8 Nov. 2022.

[2] McManus, Chris. “How to Use Parchment Paper in a Convection Oven.” King Arthur Baking, King Arthur Baking Company, Inc., 29 Oct. 2021.

[3] “Convection Oven Facts.” Reynolds Kitchens.

[4] “Quick Tips for Using Parchment Paper.”

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