Kitchen Hint: Baking with parchment paper

Strained lard in parchment paper-lined mold

by Catherine Haug, March 19, 2017 (photo, right by Cat and Shelli, for our tutorial on rendering lard)

This hint comes from Janet and Edd Blacker of our core team:

“We have found that using parchment paper on cookie sheets and other pans in the oven when baking things works great.  No sticking and it makes the pans easier to clean.

It’s important to use actual parchment paper, not waxed paper for several reasons; read on for those and for other kitchen uses of parchment paper.

Why use parchment paper instead of waxed paper:

  • Waxed paper may ignite in a hot oven;
  • The wax on waxed paper is made from petroleum and may have toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds);
  • Parchment is not waxed with anything, but is fairly non-stick.

I also use it in this way for baked goodies. I also use parchment paper when baking meats, but then I grease the top side with butter of coconut oil; home-rendered lard or duck fat are other options.

Related uses for parchment paper:

  • When I reheat a leftover, I place it in an oven-safe container. If it doesn’t have a lid, I cover it with a piece of parchment that draws over the sides of the container, then a piece of aluminum foil on top to hold the parchment in place while the leftover is warmed in my steamer or oven. The parchment paper keeps toxic aluminum from leaching into the leftover; the parchment/foil combination acts as a lid for even heating.
  • Wrapping ingredients for an ‘en papillote‘ dish with parchment paper. For example, see this recipe on my food blog: Lamb Shank Braised with Vegetables en Papillote.
  • When making home-rendered lard, line a mold with parchment paper, then pour in the melted lard. When the lard cools and solidifies, fold the parchment around the chunk of lard for freezing. See photo, above, and see Rendering Lard in a Crockpot for more detail.



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