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Why Doesn't Parchment Paper Burn

Why Doesn’t Parchment Paper Burn? Answered (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by Shari Mason

Have you ever wondered why parchment paper doesn’t burn? It’s a good question. 

After all, the purpose of parchment paper is to prevent food from sticking to it, so it should be able to withstand high temperatures without burning. Read on to know more.

Reason Why Parchment Paper Doesn’t Burn

parchment paper

Parchment paper is a heat-resistant, non-stick material often used in baking and cooking. Despite its name, parchment paper is not made from animal skin like its namesake. 

Instead, it is usually made from wood pulp treated with chemicals. Parchment paper is coated with silicone, which gives it its non-stick properties and helps to prevent burning. 

When exposed to high temperatures, the silicone releases a gas that forms a barrier between the food and the heat source. 

This barrier prevents the food from directly contacting the heat, allowing it to cook evenly without burning. 

While parchment paper is not completely fireproof, it can withstand temperatures up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit without burning or smoking.

What is Parchment Paper Made Of?

Parchment paper is a type of paper that is treated with an agent to make it resistant to heat, grease, and moisture. The agent is usually a silicone compound, which gives the paper a non-stick surface. 

Parchment paper is often used in cooking, preventing food from sticking to the cooking surface and making cleanup much easier. 

It can also be used for crafting, providing a smooth surface for drawing or painting. Parchment paper is available in most supermarkets and craft stores. 

Factors To Consider

rolled parchment paper

Parchment Paper is Not Flame Retardant

Many people don’t realize that parchment paper is not flame-retardant. This means it will catch fire if it comes into contact with an open flame. 

While the fire may not spread to the food, it can cause the parchment paper to disintegrate, releasing harmful chemicals into the air. 

For this reason, it’s important to exercise caution when using parchment paper near an open flame. 

If possible, use a different type of cooking paper, such as foil or wax paper. Or, keep a close eye on the parchment paper to make sure that it doesn’t come into contact with any flames.

Parchment Paper is Heat Resistant (But Only Up To A Point)

Parchment paper is a heat-resistant, non-stick paper used in cooking and baking. It’s made from paper that’s been treated with a silicone coating, which gives it a non-stick surface. 

Parchment paper can withstand temperatures up to 420°F, but it starts to break down at higher temperatures. 

The parchment paper will begin to darken as it approaches its smoking point, eventually catching fire. 

Parchment Paper Should Not Be Left Near An Open Stove

If you’ve ever baked cookies, you’ve probably used parchment paper. This thin, lightweight paper is coated with a silicone film that prevents sticking and makes cleanup a breeze. 

However, you should never leave parchment paper near an open flame. The silicone film can easily catch fire, and the paper will quickly ignite. 

In addition, the fumes from burning parchment paper are toxic and can harm your health. So next time you’re baking cookies, keep the parchment paper away from the stove.

FAQs

Is parchment paper toxic when burned?

It depends. Parchment paper is not toxic when burned, but the fumes from burning parchment paper are. 

In addition, the silicone film that gives parchment paper its non-stick properties can easily catch fire, so it’s important to keep the paper away from open flames. 

When using parchment paper for cooking, it’s important to take the food out of the oven before the paper starts to smoke or catch fire.

Can I use parchment paper in the microwave?

Yes, you can use parchment paper in the microwave. Parchment paper is heat-resistant and won’t catch fire like other types of cooking paper. 

Is parchment paper safe to use for cooking?

Yes, parchment paper is safe to use for cooking. It’s made from paper that’s been treated with a silicone coating, which gives it a non-stick surface. 

Is parchment paper better than aluminum foil?

Parchment paper and aluminum foil are both great options for cooking. Parchment paper is non-stick and heat-resistant, while aluminum foil is durable and provides a good barrier to light and oxygen. [1]

Ultimately, your best option depends on what you’re cooking and your personal preferences.

Will parchment paper burn on the grill?

It depends. Parchment paper can withstand temperatures up to 420°F, but it starts to break down at higher temperatures. 

At what temperature does parchment paper burn?

Parchment paper starts to break down at temperatures above 420°F. So if you’re cooking food at a high temperature, it’s important to keep a close eye on the parchment paper. 

How do you stop parchment paper from burning?

You can try putting a layer of foil or another type of cooking paper between the food and the parchment paper to help protect it from the heat.

What can I use if I don’t have parchment paper?

If you don’t have parchment paper, you can use aluminum foil, waxed paper, or a Silpat mat. However, keep in mind that each of these options has its own set of pros and cons. 

Aluminum foil is durable and provides a good barrier to light and oxygen, but it can be difficult to work with. Waxed paper is non-stick but is not as heat-resistant as parchment paper. And a Silpat mat is great for baking, but it’s not reusable like parchment paper. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know a little bit more about parchment paper, you can see why it’s such a useful tool in the kitchen. 

Whether baking cookies or grilling food, parchment paper can help make your cooking experience easier and mess-free. 

Just be sure to keep it away from open flames, and you’ll be all set.

Do you have any questions about parchment paper? Leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Reference:

  1. https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-is-aluminum-foil-made
Shari Mason

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