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very stupid question

smilingal Nov 12, 2010 06:08 PM

I don't use parchment paper much at all. After recently learning that wax paper does not replace parchment, I was also told that parchment can be reused. UGH - really? I think perhaps, only for very limited things - like just used it last night to roast some squash with oil and rosemary. I looked at the paper after, and into the garbage it immediately went. And what's with the pan getting all greasy anyway???

  1. s
    smilingal Nov 13, 2010 10:03 AM

    Thank you all for your helpful advice and sharing your knowledge. I will go and buy some more parchment to use in the future - and will be aware of the temperature restrictions. I will also check out those nifty re-usuable links.

    1. w
      walker Nov 13, 2010 09:05 AM

      Just a tip: I order the parchment sheets from King Arthur and love them; they stay flat -- can't stand to deal with the parchment that comes rolled up.

      1. blue room Nov 13, 2010 08:30 AM

        One thing to consider--I'm pretty sure that parchment is way better for the environment than foil. Of course, foil is just the thing to cover or enclose some dishes. I keep both, along with plastic wrap, waxed paper, freezer paper, baggies, ziplocs, paper towels, etc. But I *try* to think before I fling them around. There is a "CHOW Tip" on my screen now showing a "roasting rack" made of scrunched-up foil. I think it would be possible to use a few forks and spoons to achieve the same end?

        1 Reply
        1. re: blue room
          monavano Nov 13, 2010 08:56 AM

          You could use carrots and celery to be the rack. Once, at a vacation home at the beach, I improvised and used wooden crab hammers!
          I think the best choice is a proper rack. I have one that folds flat. Best thing ever.

        2. monavano Nov 13, 2010 07:53 AM

          I reuse parchment for baking. For example, when I make no knead bread, I save the paper and wrap the bread in it to keep on my counter for several days.
          When baking cookies, the paper lasts for 3 or more uses.

          1. Caroline1 Nov 13, 2010 05:10 AM

            Okay, I gotta start reading with my glasses on! I suspect it could make a big difference. So after reading you again, smilingal, it appears the parchment was just used as a pan liner to roast the squash on. Is that correct? I was assuming it was all tucked inside a parchment enclosure and roasted. If that's not the case, then I have a general question for all: Why would you use a sheet of parchment on a roasting tray or jelly roll pan to simply sit a squash on to roast? That's one time I would use aluminum foil and never give a thought to parchment. The roasting oil is going to spread and if it reaches the edge of the pan, it will ooze under parchment and can burn/bond the parchment to the pan. Aluminum foil comes up the side of the pan and cannot do that. So I'm curious if the squash was cooked ON or IN the parchment?

            Curious minds, and all that. And you can color me dense if you so choose. '-)

            5 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1
              blue room Nov 13, 2010 05:18 AM

              I put squash 'n things ON parchment to bake all the time--
              the juice almost always runs underneath and sticks paper to pan--me dense too!

              But it does keep the squash itself from sticking to the pan, and I know I'm gonna wash the pan anyway..

              1. re: blue room
                Caroline1 Nov 13, 2010 07:42 AM

                Yeah but if you cover the pan with aluminum foil and tuck it around the sides, you can do the same thing then just throw away the aluminum foil and not even need to wash the pan! See what being lazy can think up for you? '-)

                1. re: Caroline1
                  smilingal Nov 13, 2010 10:00 AM

                  Caroline - not lazy - just gives us more time to do other fun things rather than clean the pan! And yes - I am wondering why the recipe called for lining the pan with the parchment myself. I did learn from this experience and now all the wonderful people here giving helpful advice that the parchment is not like lining with aluminum foil and moisture/grease will seep thru onto the pan.

                  1. re: smilingal
                    KarenDW Nov 13, 2010 04:30 PM

                    One of the reasons that I prefer parchment to foil: in the event that a bit of the pan-liner sticks to the food; one could bite into a piece of parchment with no ill effect, but biting down on a bit of foil?... shudder

                    1. re: KarenDW
                      Caroline1 Nov 13, 2010 06:16 PM

                      Pam! '-)

            2. Chemicalkinetics Nov 13, 2010 03:17 AM


              Just like many have stated, you can reuse parchment paper for many bake goods. For example, if are you going to bake two batches of cookies, you may not need to put a new one for your second batch. This of course depends on the condition of the parchment paper from your batch. I often do so.

              1. j
                janniecooks Nov 13, 2010 02:29 AM

                I took a ten-week class at a bakery (on baking, of course) and the bakery rarely replaced the parchment that was used to line the sheet pans in which they baked breads and rolls - not sweet things, but floury or cornmeal dusted italian breads and the like. The parchment would get a little singed around the edges, but it continued to be usable for many many many bakings.

                2 Replies
                1. re: janniecooks
                  ZenSojourner Nov 13, 2010 02:38 AM

                  Be careful of the rating of the particular parchment paper you are using. My son had some Reynolds parchment paper that comes on a small roll. I used it one time and I don't know why it didn't catch fire. Checked the box - which I should have done first and at my age I should know better by now - and it was only rated to 375F. I had put it in a 450F oven. It was burnt to a scary crisp. BLACK and charred! There but for the grace of god . . .

                  The one bushwickgirl gave a link to is rated to 450F. I don't know if paper parchment paper goes any higher than that. My super parchment (not paper) will go up to 500F.

                  Here's a link to a lengthy discussion on paper parchment paper on the Fresh Loaf site:


                  If anyone is interested.

                  1. re: ZenSojourner
                    bushwickgirl Nov 13, 2010 03:02 AM

                    Great posts and good points. One comment, parchment paper is generally used for baking and an oven temperature of over 450° for baked goods is pretty unusual, but a higher rated paper is certainly useful for pizza.

                    For janniecooks, and that was probably just plain old parchment paper, nothing special.

                2. ZenSojourner Nov 13, 2010 02:07 AM

                  I have a Super Parchment with which I am very happy. I've been using it for bread and pizza. I've been wondering if I couldn't cut small strips and use it for making the little individual cheese cakes in muffin tins. It really is reusable. Just wipe it off and roll it up (don't fold it, it will crease). Use a (clean) small pony tail ring (the fiber covered kind) to keep it from unrolling or tie a soft ribbon around it.

                  It really does stand up to 500 degrees and has made pizza a snap. If, like me, you never could quite get the hang of the pizza peel when trying to get the pizza into the oven, the Super Parchment solves that problem perfectly. Just make the pizza on the Super Parchment and the peel will slide right under there so you can lift it into the oven. Just be careful sliding it back off because it is SLICK and it will slide right off - give it a hearty jerk and you'll have pizza rocketing off the peel and all over the back of your oven, LOL!

                  It's also solved my problem of how to get baguettes into the oven without collapsing them after the last rise. Hasn't solved my OTHER problems with baguettes, but now I can concentrate on other things besides the immediately obvious problem of squashed flat baguettes, LOL! I love it! I want to get more and cut to fit for every baking pan.



                  Simlilar product, different brand, 19x16:


                  I really do love this stuff! If you want to, it slides out easily when baking pizza or bread, but I really haven't seen any difference in crust, crispness, or browning if you just leave it. I do pull it out in order to try to make it last as long as possible. I must have used it a couple dozen times already and it still looks and acts like new, so maybe the "1000 uses" promo might turn out to be true. Holding up well so far. It has been cut to fit the baking stone.

                  It does get very hot, hot enough to burn you if you just grab it right away, but if you just lift a corner and give it a second, it cools right down and you can grab it barehanded and pull it out, or adjust its position on the stone or tray.

                  I don't know how it would hold up to the kind of use you're talking about. I don't see why you couldn't use it that way - if it can handle pizza (and spilling over sauce/cheese) on a stone at 500F, it should be able to handle roasting oiled veggies at 400F or so.

                  BTW, this does not seem to be porous. I've not had anything "leak through". It's like a piece of film. I haven't tried it with anything like you're talking about (roasting oiled veggies), but nothing I've cooked on it so far has leaked through. Had a piece of pepperoni slide off unnoticed and it left grease on the Super Parchment, but none on the stone.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ZenSojourner
                    smilingal Nov 13, 2010 09:55 AM

                    Zen - wow - that's the best reason to use your product - I can never get the right movement down to slide that pizza off the peel onto the stone - so --- you make the pizza on the parchment - slide the peel under the parchment - put the peel onto the stone in the oven - then???? you pull the pizza off the parchment and remove the parchment and peel? Is this correct?

                    1. re: smilingal
                      ZenSojourner Nov 13, 2010 03:36 PM

                      Nope, just slide parchment and all right on top of the stone. I love this stuff! Wish it had been my idea.

                      If you want, you can remove the Super Parchment after a few minutes. I do this just because I want to extend the life of the SP as much as possible. But if you leave it in the oven, the pizza browns up just fine.

                  2. bushwickgirl Nov 13, 2010 01:00 AM

                    I think the other posters have said it all, it depends on what you're baking on parchment
                    as to whether you save it or chuck it. Baking dry cookies, save, roasting wet veggies, chuck.

                    There is "reusable" parchment paper available, a product one step beyond reusing a normal sheet a few times; it probably has a heavier silicone coating and a different fiber content than regular parchment, if you're baking quantities of cookies or rolls/breads frequently:


                    1. goodhealthgourmet Nov 12, 2010 07:22 PM

                      it's not a stupid question. as Philly Ray said, the point of the parchment in this instance was simply to prevent the squash from getting baked onto the pan.

                      parchment paper is porous, it's not going to keep oil or butter from leaching through and dirtying your pan, it's just meant to make release/removal easier. i use it all the time in baking. it's a godsend with cakes and bars, because you can just flip the pan over, release the cake, and peel off the paper. in those cases i toss the paper because it gets wet or greasy, but when lining a baking sheet with it for cookies or granola, it's typically reusable.

                      1. blue room Nov 12, 2010 07:22 PM

                        I think "can be reused" means use it for an entire batch of cookies, don't reach for a fresh sheet after the first dozen are baked and off the sheet. But no, not "reused" like put it away for next week.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: blue room
                          Becca Porter Nov 13, 2010 12:53 PM

                          The butter/crumbs residue can easily be wiped off with a paper towel. I wipe down, fold up, and store parchment for my next batch of cookies if it looks good. If it browns at all or doesn't seem worth the trouble I just toss it.

                          I also roll out my crusts on a piece of parchment. I always save these to reuse.

                          However, my sister does make fun of me for my frugality.

                        2. p
                          Philly Ray Nov 12, 2010 06:30 PM

                          If you are just baking cookies or something dry, then parchment can be reused.

                          But if you are roasting something coated with oil, then I would line the pan with aluminum foil if you want to minimize cleanup afterwards

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Philly Ray
                            smilingal Nov 12, 2010 06:38 PM

                            why would the recipe have called for using the parchment for the roasted squash with the oil - any particular reason?

                            1. re: smilingal
                              Philly Ray Nov 12, 2010 06:42 PM

                              Probably so it wouldn't stick to the pan. But in that case, you wouldn't be able to reuse the paper.

                              1. re: smilingal
                                Caroline1 Nov 12, 2010 08:00 PM

                                Parchment is traditional for anything cooked "en papilotte," which I assume is the cooking method under discussion here as opposed to simply setting the squash on the parchement. It predates aluminum foil by a lot of years, which is called for in some "modern" recipes and used by some restaurants. I don't use it simply because aluminum can interact with acids and sometimes -- not always -- changes the flavor of the food content. For example, onions cooked in aluminum can take on an off flavor. That never happens with parchment. Restaurants use parchment because it makes a prettier presentation than foil. But parchment used for en papilotte dishes is NOT reusable. The usual way of serving en papilotte is with the food still wrapped in the paper package, which balloons in the oven, then the top is split open just prior to presentation or sometimes actually at the table (one package per person), so the parchment is pretty much wiped out when its split open. GREAT cooking method!.

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