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Parchment Paper or Silpat

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Should I invest in a Silpat mat or stick with parchment paper? What is the benefits of one to the other, and the drawbacks?

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  1. I use both. Parchment paper is the way to go when I need to line a cake or tart pan or the top of a pot to hold something being braised, but for most cookies I use my Silpats. They're so handy under meat or vegetables when I am slowly roasting them and know they will tend to glue to the hotel pan or baking sheet, particularly if I don't want to add any extra oil to keep them from sticking.

    One thing to check: make sure the Silpats you buy will actually fit on whatever baking sheets you have.

    1. I'm with Jillp -- I still use both but love my Silpats. There are also recipes where you need the parchment to absorb some of the fat (butter) for a crisp product which, on Silpat, makes some of the pastry soggy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Carrie 218

        I agree... I ADORE my silpats, but some cookies need the CRISP bottom, which Silpats seem to protect against. I made some Almond Blue Berry Cookies yesterday and they came out a big 'puffy', I wonder if I had done them on Parchment would they have been more crisp...

        --Dommy!

      2. Another vote for both, the silpats are good for really sticky/sugary things, but I like parchment when I am doing large or multiple batches. Silpats can take some time to cool between batches, parchment slides right off onto coling racks and can be reused.

        1. I use parchment for all my baking. I have two giant Silpats which I use for rolling pastry or any sticky dough. I haven't used them for baking because I find parchment works so well.

          1. Add me to the "Both" column. I love using silpat instead of greasing a baking sheet, but parchment is really handy to have for lining cake pans, rolling dough -- all those times when you need a particular shape or use.

            1. I agree with everyone about using both, but I have another question. No matter how well I think I wash my silpat it always feels greasy. Am I doing something wrong or is it supposed to be like that?

              1 Reply
              1. re: kate.s

                I think that's just the way they feel. Watch the way the water runs off the silpat when you rinse it--you can tell there's no actual grease there.

              2. I am in the both column and have a couple of Silpats in different sizes. I found 9" rounds of parchment paper at World Market and they are very handy to have. I tend to make a very light and sticky pizza dough and have found that patting the dough out on parchment and then leaving the parchment on when doing the first part of the baking is excellent. When I am about 3/4's done I pull it out and pull off the parchment before sliding it back onto the stone for the final few minutes and while I melt the top cheese. I too prefer it for cookies than the silpats.