This article may contain links from our affiliate partners. Please read how we make money!
Have you ever started to prep your favorite meal and come to the disappointing realization that you’re out of parchment paper? Darn it. This is more than inconvenient and frustrating, as parchment paper is used for so many things.
Or maybe you’re looking for the perfect parchment paper substitute because let’s face it, it can be quite expensive, and it’s not exactly ec0-friendly. You can maybe reuse it once, but then it’s probably only fit for the bin. This creates a lot of unnecessary waste and expense for you.
But not to worry, I’ve put together this guide to show you some great alternatives to use instead of parchment paper and help you to save time and money. I’ve also included a handy FAQ section in case you have any last questions.
From aluminum foil and wax paper to Silpat paper and even making your own, read on to find out more about parchment paper substitutes!
What Is Parchment Paper Used For?
So what is parchment, and what is it commonly used for? It’s essentially paper with a silicone coating that makes it resistant to water and heat and gives it its non-stick nature. You can also choose between bleached or unbleached.
This non-stick silicone coating makes the parchment paper wonderfully versatile. It’s perfect for baking bread, lining baking molds, or protecting your workspace if you’re battling messy baking projects.
You can even use it for decorating! Simply roll it into a little piping bag to ice your cakes or desserts! Because of its multipurpose nature, it’s no wonder parchment paper has become essential in the kitchen.
If that’s not enough, you can also use it to steam cook fish and chicken, plus it’s the perfect way to line your baking pan when you don’t want a huge mess to clean up.
Parchment paper is your weapon against the dreaded kitchen mess and makes it much easier to clean up afterward. To make it even more convenient, parchment paper can be bought pre-cut!
Why Would You Need A Substitute For Parchment Paper?
So, if parchment paper is so brilliant, why would you need to look for alternatives? Well, as we mentioned earlier, parchment paper isn’t the most environmentally-friendly kitchen item. Because of this, it can work out very expensive, especially if you cook or bake daily.
It’s also a good idea to have parchment paper substitutes to hand in case you suddenly find you’ve run out. This saves time and the inconvenience of having to take a trip to the store to get some, because who’s got time for that?
So there you have it, as fantastic as parchment paper is, it’s always good to have backups. Whether you’re trying to go green, on a budget, or just want to be prepared, parchment paper substitutes can always have a place in your kitchen.
If you want to find out about some great alternatives to use instead of parchment paper, be sure to read the next section!
Best Parchment Paper Substitutes
Here, I’ve rounded up some of the best substitutes for parchment paper. There are many alternatives out there, but they’re not all equal. They each have their positives and drawbacks, such as some of them can’t cope with heat or aren’t non-stick.
For this reason, which alternative you choose will depend on what you’re going to be using it for. Read on to find out more!
The first alternative is some good old-fashioned greasing in the form of butter or oil. This is a very traditional method of stopping food from sticking to the tray. Cover the tray or sheet with a thin layer of butter or oil to create lubrication between the tray and the food.
Use a kitchen towel, cooking brush, or just your hand to spread the butter or oil. But be careful not to overdo it as too much will make your food incredibly greasy! Many people prefer butter over oil as it’s easier to control how much you use.
Using a butter stick to coat the pan or mold will give the exterior a lovely brown coat when it’s finished baking too. With that said, I only recommend you to use butter if you’re baking cakes or cookies.
This is because the butter will stick to the flour, but keep in mind that regular butter can taste very salty. If you don’t like that, opt for unsalted butter.
2. Cooking Spray
Another method of greasing is to use cooking spray. This is another traditional method to use instead of parchment paper, especially when it comes to baking. It’s also a good option if you’re worried about making the pan too greasy, which can happen with things like oil.
Using cooking spray means you can coat the baking tray evenly, resulting in a non-stick surface. This means you can cook your food without it ending up too greasy! You can use any cooking spray you want, such as coconut or olive oil.
3. Reusable parchment paper
Reusable parchment paper is your eco-friendly answer to baking paper! It typically comes in large sheets that you can cut to whichever size you want. You can get them in all kinds of shapes, including squares, rectangles, circles, or even strips.
Unlike regular parchment paper, the reusable kind may last for a few years, depending on how much you use it. It’s heat resistant and safe for oven use. Most brands of reusable parchment paper can also be washed in the dishwasher because they’re manufactured from a fabric coated with PTFE plastic.
4. Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil is a great alternative to replace parchment paper, but it does depend on what you’ll be using it for. As the name suggests, foil is a very thin sheet of aluminum, and it’s great for lining trays and pans when you’re cooking to make the clean-up easier.
Unfortunately, unlike parchment paper, foil isn’t non-stick, so you could end up with food sticking to it at the end. The good news is that foil is great for steam-cooking food such as fish, chicken, or vegetables in your oven.
Additionally, you can use it for wrapping food, covering dishes to stop them from going cold, and wrapping meat that you want to freeze. So, as you can see, foil can be used for many things that parchment paper is used for; just be aware that it’s not non-stick like parchment paper is!
5. Wax paper
Like parchment paper, waxed paper has the same thin coating, making it non-stick and moisture resistant. It’s a budget-friendly alternative to parchment, particularly if you need it to layer under desserts or line baking trays.
Additionally, it’s an affordable way to keep the mess levels down. You can use wax paper to protect your countertops like you would with parchment paper. You can also use it for measuring dry ingredients.
Not only can you use wax paper to measure your ingredients, but you can also use it to tip any extra ingredient back into its packet or container. You can then save the wax paper for later use.
The big difference between waxed paper and parchment paper is that wax paper can’t withstand high temperatures. This means you should never use it for cooking or baking because the wax coating could melt or, worse, catch fire in your oven!
If you want a parchment paper alternative you can use for baking, then a Silpat baking mat is for you. Although these baking mats, also known as Silpat paper, are pricier than parchment paper, they are incredibly long-lasting!
They’re crafted from silicone and boast heat resistance and flexibility, making them another great option for messy baking projects such as baking cookies or bread.
Silpat paper is also straightforward to clean. For everyday cleaning, soap and water will work perfectly fine. If you want to give it a deep clean after using it a few times, simply mix some vinegar and baking soda to form a paste.
Using a sponge or a scrubbing brush, gently clean the surface of the Silpat paper while it’s warm. Let the mat soak in the mixture for 10 minutes, rinse with water, and your mat will be as good as new!
However, keep in mind that you can’t use these silicone baking mats for steam cooking in the oven. Another slight downside is that they can’t be adjusted or cut to size to suit each baking project. This means you’d have to buy a variety of sizes, unlike parchment or wax paper that can easily be cut to size.
However, if you’re looking for an alternative to parchment paper that’s eco-friendly and long-lasting, Silpat paper is where it’s at!
7. Pyrex/Glass baking sheet
The manufacturer Pyrex has designed a borosilicate glass sheet that doesn’t need to be used in conjunction with a liner. It’s colorless and free from odors, which means it won’t affect the flavor of your food.
It’s super tough and durable, and you can cut directly on it without it getting damaged. This makes it ideal for things like pizza or loaves of bread; plus, it’s safe to use in the dishwasher!
The Pyrex baking sheet can handle high temperatures from minus 40 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect for any environment. It’s also thermal shock resistant which means you can take it out of the freezer and put it into the preheated oven, and it won’t crack!
Although it can’t be used to line trays and dishes as parchment paper can, it is a great replacement for lining baking sheets.
How To Make Your Own Heat-Resistant Parchment Paper
If you’re trying to be a bit more eco-friendly, knowing that parchment paper is covered in plastic can be very annoying! Finding an alternative can be difficult. Silicone baking trays may be too fiddly, and trying to find uncoated paper in stores can be impossible.
Even those advertised as “compostable” or “eco” still contain silicone, which is still plastic, and it can still contribute to the world’s microplastics crisis. Fortunately, there is a way to make your own using just an old paper bag and some oil.
Simply cut the bag open, so it’s lying flat on a baking tray. Add a tablespoon of oil and use a pastry or cooking brush to quickly spread it all over the bag, making sure the oil is fully absorbed. Put it in storage and allow it to sit, and afterward, you can use it as your base for baking.
Making your own parchment paper is also a great solution if you suddenly find that you’ve run out and don’t fancy another trip to the store!
What’s The Best Parchment Paper Substitute For Air Fryers?
Thanks to their amazing versatility, air fryers have become extremely popular in the kitchen. You can use them to make a huge range of food, from brownies to french fries. Using strong air circulation, air fryers can cook the food quickly, and they don’t need preheating.
Parchment paper is great for use with an air fryer as you can cut it to the right size, so it fits in the basket. Parchment is also tough enough to hold its shape, so the food won’t spill everywhere, even when you make brownies.
So if you’re searching for the best substitute, look for a material that’s structured, heat-proof, and that can be cut to size. The first thing that springs to mind is aluminum foil. If you’re cooking meat, vegetables, or anything that doesn’t involve baking or dough, aluminum foil can be used as it is.
Remember, though; food can stick to aluminum foil, so be sure to grease it with butter, oil, or some cooking spray when baking, so you don’t end up with bits of dough stuck to it!
Silpat paper may work, too, although using an air fryer can be very messy. If you use Silpat paper, you’ll have a lot of cleaning up afterward, unlike aluminum foil that you can just throw away. The high price may put you off, too, so aluminum foil is probably your best alternative for convenience.
- Can You Put Parchment Paper In An Air Fryer?
- Can You Put Aluminum Foil In An Air Fryer?
- Is Parchment Paper Compostable?
Can I use a paper bag as a substitute for parchment paper?
You should never use paper grocery bags in place of parchment paper! This can be extremely dangerous because the paper bag is likely to catch fire inside the oven even with low temperatures.
Additionally, paper bags are made from fibrous materials that can alter how the food cooks, and not in a good way. They also have absolutely no non-stick properties, which means you’d end up with food firmly stuck to it!
You wouldn’t even be able to grease it with anything because it would soak straight into the paper bag and be completely useless.
Another reason to never use paper bags for cooking is that they usually have ink printed onto them which becomes toxic when mixed with food. The only thing I recommend you utilize paper bags as is food wrappers for storage.
To summarise, using paper bags for cooking and baking is very dangerous. Keep them for storage but away from heat at all costs. There are much better and safer alternatives as a replacement for parchment paper.
Is parchment baking paper recyclable?
Unfortunately, parchment paper isn’t easy to recycle because it contains silicone to make it non-stick. Not only that, but food contamination also makes it difficult to recycle. The grease, oil, and residues from the food reduce the quality during the recycling process.
Anything with this kind of contamination should not be put into the recycling bin. On the bright side, you can recycle the box or carton that the paper came in because it’s cardboard! If you’re a regular baker and want to be more green, the Silpat baking mat is a good option to decrease waste.
What’s the best parchment paper alternative for wrapping food?
If you’re looking for a great parchment alternative to wrap food up with, I’d suggest aluminum foil, especially if you’re storing food in the freezer. This is because aluminum prevents freezer burn. It’s also sturdy, so there’ll be no liquid seeping out and creating a mess.
Some additional things you could use to wrap foods up include soaked corn husks, banana leaves, or even dried bamboo leaves. As these probably aren’t items you’ll have just lying around the house; you’d have to plan ahead if you wanted to use them as a replacement for parchment paper.
Can I line my baking mold with aluminum foil?
Parchment paper is amazing for lining baking molds, dishes, and trays, thanks to its non-stick properties, but what happens if you run out? Can you line a baking mold with aluminum foil?
In short, yes, you can! However, because the aluminum foil doesn’t have the anti-stick nature of parchment, I’d recommend you grease it first to prevent your bakes from sticking to it and being ruined.
Simply use some butter or oil to create a non-stick layer on the foil. Also, keep in mind that foil conducts heat very quickly, so you may need to decrease the baking time, so you don’t end up with burnt cakes!
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.