When it comes to cooking, parchment provides a convenient and non-stick surface. Parchment, also known as baking paper, is basically paper treated with silicone. Many people line the roasting pan with parchment paper before baking or wrap the roast in parchment paper. But what about microwaves? Can you use parchment in the microwave oven?
The short answer is YES. Unlike aluminum foil or plastic wrap, parchment paper can be microwaved safely.
What is Parchment Paper?
Many bakers use parchment paper for their cookies because it creates a non-stick barrier between the baking paper and the cookies. It could be used in a similar way for cakes, bread, and other baked goods.
But it’s hard to tell it apart from other baking paper products like waxed paper, let alone figure out if it can be microwaved. So what exactly is this product?
Parchment, or baking paper, as it is also known, is typically silicon-covered paper. The cellulose pulp made from it is treated with sulfuric acid or zinc chloride to enhance its heat resistance and famous non-stick properties.
While waxed paper also prevents food from sticking together, it is very different from waxed paper because it has a waxy substance on it. However, both waxed paper and parchment paper can be microwaved.
What Are The Uses of Parchment Paper in the Microwave Oven?
Parchment has a wide range of uses in microwave ovens. Here are some of the most common uses:
- You can use it to heat any leftover food.
- You can use it to wrap fish or other meats for cooking in the oven.
- You can also use it to line your baking sheets.
- You can use it to cover the food you’re microwaving to keep it from splashing.
- You can use it to separate foods that you want to freeze.
- You can use it to defrost food in the microwave.
Is It Worth Use Parchment Paper in the Microwave Oven
Here are some reasons you should consider using parchment paper to cook food in the microwave:
- Widely used: You can use parchment for a wide range of applications. For example, you can use it to store meat and fish, wrap food before cooking it in the oven, line a baking tray in the oven to prevent staining during baking or even use it as a lid for your microwave. As you gain more experience with parchment, you will discover new ways to use parchment.
- Non-stick: One thing that makes people fall in love with parchment is that it’s non-sticky. You can avoid the stress of washing sticky pans or lining them with parchment paper before cooking.
- Not easy to burn. Unlike ordinary wax paper, parchment paper has high melting resistance. It can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit without burning.
Different Types of Parchment Paper Products
Not all parchment products are created equal. All parchment on the market can be divided into two broad categories: bleached and unbleached. The main difference between the two is color.
The bleached color is bleached to white and the unbleached color is brown.
Both types of parchment, bleached or not, are safe to use in the microwave and should not affect their microwave properties.
You may be concerned about the possible use of toxic chemicals in the bleached paper, rest assured that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service considers parchment paper to be microwave heated.
How Do You Know If a Paper Product Is Microwave Safe or Not?
Now you know that parchment is microwave-safe, but not all paper products are.
Be sure to check the package for microwave safety labels or markings. If the package doesn’t mention microwave safety, don’t assume it is. Look for any label that shows microwave ovens with wavy lines and the words “microwave safe,” “Microwavable,” or “Microwave only.
You can also check the manufacturer’s website or contact them to inquire about the product. In particular, visit the product’s FREQUENTLY asked Questions page. If there is no claim on the package or on the company’s website, it is best not to risk using them in the microwave as they could pose a danger.
Tips for Using Parchment Paper in the Microwave Oven
- Check periodically during the microwave. You should check your parchment periodically to make sure it doesn’t catch fire or spark.
- Always check the parchment paper for microwave safety before using it. By scanning the packaging, you’ll know exactly whether the paper products you’re using are safe to use in the microwave. Pay special attention to the microwave-safe or microwavable label and read the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, the manufacturer will clearly state whether the paper is safe.
- Do not place parchment paper near the heating element. Parchment is heat resistant but not flame retardant. Avoid placing paper near the heating element as it may catch fire and damage the microwave. While you don’t have to worry about putting parchment in a separate microwave, it’s a different story if you place it near a convection or barbecue microwave, as both come equipped with heating elements.
Difference Between Parchment Paper and Wax Paper
Parchment and wax paper are the two substances that are most often questioned about microwave oven safety, and while they are similar products, they do have one big safety difference.
Parchment is paper coated with silicone that is non-sticky and heat resistant. Waxed paper is a multi-layer thin paper impregnated with food-safe paraffin wax or soy wax. While both products are non-stick and are often used by bakers, it’s important to note that wax paper is less heat resistant and may actually melt when placed in an oven or other extremely hot source. Parchment paper is specially designed to withstand high temperatures.
While the wax paper is better than parchment for covering surfaces and storing food (parchment is better for cooking), both products can be safely put in the microwave. According to Kitchen Appliance Answers, the wax paper melts at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is close to the maximum temperature most objects can reach in microwaves. As a result, it’s impossible to do with wax paper — especially in the short time, it takes to microwave it.
While there’s no need to worry that most paper products will spontaneously burn under microwaves, if you’re still upset about the time you didn’t realize there was a metal coating on your sandwich wrapper, rest assured that parchment is always your safest bet.
In short, it is safe to cook or heat food with parchment in the microwave. The only exception is when you want to cook something high in fat like bacon because it needs to be at a very high temperature to cook well.