Parchment paper is a versatile and popular choice when baking. But can you put parchment paper in the oven? Is it safe, or will it catch on fire?
Yes. And probably not. This article will shed light on these common kitchen queries.
I will cover what you need to know about parchment paper. Including how long it can stay in the oven and more.
I also include a guide to common parchment paper brands and their maximum temps.
So, if you want to know everything about parchment paper, keep reading.
Can You Put Parchment Paper in the Oven?
You absolutely can put parchment paper in the oven. In fact, that is what they make it for!
They designed parchment paper to withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
However, most manufacturers recommend using it only at 400 degrees F or lower.
Parchment paper has a heat-resistant design to lock in moisture and oil to prevent fires. Use it properly to prevent fires.
For example, parchment paper should always be on a baking sheet or something similar. Putting it directly on the oven racks is a huge no-no.
It also helps to keep the paper away from the sides of the oven.
And always monitor the oven/stove when cooking. (Do not leave the house when cooking something.)
How Long Can Parchment Paper Be In The Oven?
Parchment paper can stay in the oven if its edges are not turning brown or burning.
You can even use the same sheet of paper for multiple batches.
In other words, there are no set time limits. Just monitor it while using it. If it becomes brittle or browns, remove it.
The higher the oven temperature, the less time the parchment paper can stay. (Higher temperatures put more strain on the parchment.)
Certain brands will withstand the heat better than others.
What Temperature Is Parchment Paper Safe?
As mentioned, parchment paper can withstand temperatures of up to 450 degrees F.
However, manufacturers do not recommend using it at temperatures above 400 degrees F.
If you have to use it at higher temperatures, keep its exposure to heat brief.
Each brand of parchment paper will have its own recommended temperatures.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Use it at 420 degrees F for brief periods. If your recipe calls for a 420-degree temp, only use parchment paper for short periods. Lengthy exposure to temps higher than 400 degrees risks burning the parchment.
- Use it for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees F. Is the cooking time over 35 minutes? Remove the tray after 35 minutes and discard the parchment paper.
- Then, return the food to the tray and finish cooking it without parchment paper.
- Use it for the entire time at 375 degrees F. This is true for most things, like roasting veggies or baking. However, skip the parchment if your dish needs to cook for hours at 375 degrees.
- Baking cookies? Remove the parchment for the last few minutes. This ensures the bottoms of the cookies get crispy.
- Use it indefinitely at temperatures lower than 250 degrees F. The parchment paper should last for hours at temperatures this low.
Common Parchment Paper Brands and Their Temperature Range
Unfortunately, I have not tested every single brand of parchment paper out there. I have, however, tried out the most popular ones.
Here are the maximum temperatures for each well-known brand:
- Glad: 450 degrees
- Reynolds Unbleached: 425 degrees
- Reynolds with SmartGrid: 425 degrees
- Wilton: 450 degrees
- Berkley Jensen: 420 degrees
- Big Chef New & Improved: 425 degrees
- If You Care Unbleached: 428 degrees
- Baklicious Unbleached: 425 degrees
All temperatures are in Fahrenheit.
Can Parchment Paper Catch Fire In The Oven?
Strictly speaking, yes, parchment paper can catch fire in the oven.
However, it is unlikely. Just follow the guidelines listed above and monitor it.
Here are the most likely reasons parchment paper would catch on fire:
- If it touches the edges of the oven
- If it touches the heating element in the oven
- If it comes in contact with an open flame
- If you use it in a toaster oven
There is one big thing to keep in mind.
If parchment paper catches on fire, it will burn faster than regular paper. Parchment has a chemical coating that will burn fast if it catches fire.
What to Do If Your Parchment Paper Catches Fire
The first thing to do in any fire is stay calm!
Whether it is a kitchen fire, a house fire, or something else, do NOT panic! Panicking leads to poor decision-making and can make things worse.
How you react after that depends on the situation.
First, turn off the oven immediately.
Then, if possible, move the parchment to the kitchen sink and run water over it.
However, don’t risk burning yourself to do that.
If moving the parchment paper isn’t an option, spray it with a fire extinguisher instead.
Yes, it will ruin your recipe. But that is better than burning your house down. Turn on your kitchen fan or hood fan to help clear the smoke.
Don’t have a kitchen fan? Borrow a free-standing fan from another room. Open the windows to give the smoke somewhere to go.
No fire extinguisher? Pour baking soda over the burning paper instead.
- It’ll serve the same purpose. (As long as the fire isn’t too big and you have enough baking soda.)
If you cannot extinguish the fire, leave your house and call 911. This is not the optimal situation, but remember, safety first!
Can Parchment Paper Be Toxic?
Parchment paper is food-safe. So, it is not typically toxic- even at high temperatures.
However, bleached parchment paper does sometimes contain dioxin.
The chances of this chemical leaking into your food are slim. But some people still worry about it.
Don’t want to risk it?
Use unbleached parchment paper only. It is brown because it has never undergone a bleaching process.
Therefore, it contains no dioxin.
Also, look for parchment paper labeled Quilon-free. This is safer to use than parchment paper with Quilon.
Again, the chances of Quilon leaking into your food are rare. But why risk it when you can purchase Quilon-free parchment paper instead?
Safety Tips for Using Parchment Paper in the Oven
Let me reiterate some of the most vital safety tips for using parchment paper.
Keep these in mind every time for the safest cooking experience:
- Use Quilon-free, unbleached parchment paper. This ensures you don’t need to worry about harmful chemicals seeping into your food.
- Fit the parchment paper to the pan or sheet pan. Don’t let it hang too far off the edges. That presents a fire risk.
- Do not use parchment paper at temps higher than 420 degrees F. Using it at 400 degrees F or lower is even safer.
- Keep the paper away from open flames and heating elements. If the parchment touches either of these, it will almost certainly catch fire.
- Do not reuse parchment paper too often. Usually, three batches are the max when reusing parchment paper.
- And do that only if the temperature is lower. And the paper is not too brittle or burned on the edges.
- Discard parchment paper right away if it begins to smoke. Where there is smoke, there will soon be fire. Trash it before that happens.
Keep these tips in mind, and your kitchen experience should be safe!
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