Can You Put Parchment Paper In The Microwave?

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Parchment paper is a handy kitchen tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, like lining baking sheets and wrapping foods. It’s a non-stick paper that makes cooking and baking easier.

But one common question many people have is: can you put parchment paper in the microwave?

The short answer is yes; parchment paper is safe to use in the microwave. Parchment paper is heat-resistant and can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for the microwave.

What is Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper is a cellulose-based paper that is coated with silicone. The silicone coating gives it non-stick properties and makes it heat-resistant. Parchment paper can withstand temperatures up to 420°F.

Parchment paper is often confused with wax paper. But wax paper contains paraffin wax and is not suitable for cooking purposes. The wax can melt at high temperatures. Parchment and wax paper look similar but have very different purposes.

Benefits of Using Parchment Paper in the Microwave

There are several advantages to using parchment paper in the microwave:

  • Prevents foods from sticking and burning: The non-stick surface keeps foods from adhering to plates or the microwave. No more scrubbing burned-on foods!
  • Makes cleanup easy: Parchment paper can help minimize messes since food won’t spill over or leave residue. Just throw away the parchment paper after cooking.
  • Saves dishes: For small meals like a microwaved potato or fish fillet, parchment paper can act as a plate. There is no need for extra dishes.
  • Retains moisture: The paper helps keep steam in and prevents foods from drying out.
  • Can be reused: One sheet of parchment paper can be reused several times for microwave cooking. Just avoid letting it get heavily soiled.

Foods You Can Cook on Parchment Paper in the Microwave

Many different foods can be cooked directly on parchment paper in the microwave safely:

  • Vegetables like asparagus, green beans, and broccoli
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash
  • Fish fillets or seafood
  • Chicken or other meat pieces
  • Bacon
  • Nachos or other appetizers
  • Pizza, quesadillas, or other breads
  • Fruit crisps or crumbles
  • Desserts like cakes, brownies, or cookies
  • Eggs
  • Sauces or boiled foods that may splatter

The non-stick surface prevents burning on the bottom and makes food release easily. The paper also creates a protective barrier between the food and the microwave surface.

Tips for Cooking with Parchment Paper in the Microwave

Here are some handy tips to get the best results when cooking on parchment paper in the microwave:

  • Cut the parchment to fit your dish or plate. Having it fit your cookware helps keep splatters contained.
  • For large sheets, fold up the edges. This prevents the paper from flopping around.
  • Place food in the center of the paper. Don’t let it touch the edges, which could scorch.
  • For layered dishes or casseroles, use two sheets. Put one on top and one on bottom to prevent sogginess.
  • Spritz paper with oil for more browning. The oil helps conduct heat better for crisper results.
  • Wait 5 seconds before removing the paper. This helps prevent steam burns. Carefully lift one edge using tongs.
  • Avoid cheap imitation parchment. Make sure yours is silicone-coated for proper non-stick capabilities.
  • Don’t reuse paper after cooking meat. The fatty juices can seep into the paper and cause smoke or fire.

Microwave Parchment Paper Safety Tips

Parchment paper is generally safe for microwave use, but there are a few precautions to take:

  • Don’t let paper touch the sides of the oven. This can cause sparks or ignition, so leave some space around the edges.
  • Watch closely. Check the cooking progress frequently so it doesn’t burn. This is especially important for longer cooking times.
  • Don’t use it with high-sugar foods. Foods with lots of sugar, like syrups, caramel, or jam, can overheat and damage the silcone coating.
  • Avoid parchment with wrinkles or folds. Creases concentrate heat and are prone to scorching.
  • Don’t reuse heavily soiled paper. Food residue will stain and eventually burn into the parchment.
  • Skip paper with metallic decor. Any metal can spark, cause arcing, and damage the microwave.

Troubleshooting Parchment Paper Problems

Here are some common problems that can occur with parchment paper in the microwave and how to avoid them:

  • Burning or scorching: Use thicker parchment meant for cooking. Thin papers can overheat too quickly. Don’t reuse paper with residue buildup.
  • Catching fire: This is rare but can happen if paper is touching the oven sides. Ensure proper clearance. Watch closely as it microwaves.
  • Smoking: Discard paper with fat or grease residue baked on. Use lightly soiled parchment only, and skip very fatty foods.
  • Sparking: Avoid cheap papers with random metallic decor. Leaving ample space around parchment edges can also prevent arcing.
  • Microwave interior damage: Don’t use overly large sheets that conform too closely to interior walls. Heat can transfer through the parchment.
  • Food sticks: Mist paper lightly with cooking spray before adding food. Use thicker parchment sheets and don’t overload the paper.

Frequently Asked Questions About Parchment Paper in the Microwave

Can parchment paper go in the microwave?

No, you want to use parchment paper specifically made for cooking. The silicone coating gives it the right heat resistance. Craft parchment or other thin papers are prone to scorching.

Does parchment paper catch on fire in the microwave?

It’s very rare but possible if the paper makes direct contact with the oven walls. Proper clearance will prevent this. Don’t let the paper flop onto its sides. Watch closely as it microwaves, just in case.

Can the ink on parchment paper be toxic when heated?

Potentially, but quality cooking parchment uses inks made specifically for high heat. Basic uncoated craft paper with standard inks could release chemicals when heated. Play it safe by using reputable, branded parchment.

Does microwave heat destroy the silicone on parchment paper?

Not with normal, moderate use. The silicone holds up to 420°F. Extreme, prolonged heat may eventually degrade it. Avoid caramelizing sugars or other scenarios that can overheat the parchment excessively when microwaving.

Can wax paper be substituted for parchment paper in the microwave?

No, wax paper should never go in the microwave. The wax can melt, ruin food, or even catch fire at high temperatures. Only use non-stick parchment paper meant for baking or cooking in the microwave.

The Bottom Line

Parchment paper is a safe, convenient choice for microwave cooking. It prevents sticking, controls splatters, and makes cleanup a breeze.

Just be sure to use quality parchment designed for high heat and follow proper precautions. With the right techniques, parchment paper can make microwaving foods much easier!


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