“Can you grab the parchment paper?” If you’re not frequent baker or veg roaster, having this question directed at you may induce panic. Your eyes dart around the cabinet filled with long cardboard-housed rolls of kitchen papers. Is it this one? Nope, that’s foil. This one, then? It’s see-through, so no, that’s plastic wrap—rats! OK, it *must* be this one then. Wrong again, it's wax paper. You finally pick up the last box and there it is, parchment paper. (TBH, it looks exactly like wax paper.)
We promise you’re not being punk’d; there is actually a reason why you were told specifically to use parchment paper. Let us break it down for you.
What the heck is it?
When is it used?
Parchment paper is typically used to line baking pans, removing the need for grease. Since the paper is nonstick, it’s easy to quickly make multiple batches of baked goods or roasted vegetables. Plus, the paper is disposable, which makes for infinitely faster and easier cleanup.
Why can’t I swap in wax paper?
What's the most creative way to use it?
Can it be used in other ways around the kitchen?
Parchment paper can be used to cook en papillote—literally “in parchment,”—a method of steaming food (typically fish, poultry, or veggies, but sometimes even pasta) in the oven.
Want to try it? Here are a few of our favorite recipes.