If you don’t want baking goods and foot to stick to trays or other baking surfaces it’s only logical that you would want to use parchment paper or substitutes for parchment paper.
Aren’t you just completely disappointed when you discover that no drawer in your house holds parchment paper? Fear not, that’s what substitutes are for, your ingredients will not be wasted and the results will be the same.
What Is Parchment Paper?
I just love using parchment paper because it’s easy, quick, and there’s no cleaning to be done afterwards. No dishes to wash or scrub, that’s the beauty of it.
Its non-stick quality and the ease of use make it an absolute must-have in the kitchen. It is coated with silicon in order to confer it its non-stick heat-resistant qualities.
Basically, we already know why parchment paper is so incredibly useful tut we’re here to talk about substitutes for parchment paper. Let’s move on to doing that.
Top 7 Substitutes for Parchment Paper
There are plenty of substitutes for parchment paper. I must say that using parchment paper is still my favorite but the alternatives are really good, too.
There are actually 7 parchment paper substitutes, you’ll be able to find a replacement easily enough.
Greasing the baking surface remains my favorite substitute for parchment paper. It works every time for most baking surfaces and tools.
Even so, you should know about all these substitutes for parchment paper for situations where you can’t grease the baking surface. One exception to that that comes to my mind are pizza stones.
Or when you want a substitute that can be used over and over again for years to come without the inconvenience of replacing it.
Any type of oil works. I prefer olive oil because that’s my favorite to add when making bread dough and for cooking in general but whatever type you have or like works.
Coconut oil works better as a substitute for parchment paper when you’re making desserts. That’s in case you don’t want to use butter.
Just don’t use oil on a baking stone.
2. Cooking Spray
It’s the same as using oil only for spreading the oil you have to use your fingers or a paper towel. The cooking spray with its mist quality is very easy to use.
I don’t use any because there’s no point in paying extra on a cooking spray but it works very well.
Our last option for greasing the pan is using butter. Just like the oil and the cooking spray, it works perfectly and easily as a substitute for parchment paper.
Sprinkling flour works for all kinds of baking goods. When it comes to breads, you can just sprinkle flour on the bottom of the pan and it will be a failproof parchment paper substitute.
The good news is that flour can also be used on a baking stone. It’s either flour or cornmeal.
If you’re using baking molds, first grease the mold by using butter/oil/cooking spray and then sprinkle flour. Move the mold around until the flour sticks to the grease. Then tap the mold gently on the side to release the excess flour.
Works great for breads and pizzas but I don’t always have it in the house. People especially associate cornmeal with making pizza.
6. Aluminum Foil
It’s definitely not my favorite because, unlike with parchment paper, aluminum foil doesn’t have a non-stick surface.
You still have to grease the aluminum foil to prevent sticking or you can end up with bits of foil stuck to the food, which means that I only use aluminum foil for steaming and not as a parchment paper substitute.
7. Silicone baking mats
They work great and are reusable, read just below to discover what exactly silicone baking mats are and if they’re worth buying.
Let’s talk a bit about the fact that I left out silicone baking mats as my last option when it comes to substitutes for parchment paper.
Why is that?
It’s actually very simple: not everyone owns silicone baking mats. And many people aren’t even aware that these kind of nonstick mats that are also heat resistant even exist.
So, silicone baking mats are nonstick surfaces that can withstand high temperatures. They are a great substitute for parchment paper.
High quality silicone baking mats can withstand temperatures as high as 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) or even up to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). It varies from model to model so, make sure to check out the maximum temperature that the mat works for.
They are non-stick so you don’t need to grease the mats.
You can actually put a baking mat directly on the oven rack but it will be a trick in getting a good stability, it depends what you’re actually baking on it. Placing them on a baking sheet is the safer way to do it.
What’s the biggest advantage of silicone baking mats?
That you only pay for them once and get to use them for years to come. You just simply wash the mats with warm soapy water and they’re good to be used again.
The price can be a bit high but the fact that you don’t throw them away after a single or multiple uses, makes up for it.
A sheet of parchment paper can only be used once or, I guess you can use the same sheet of parchment paper a few times when it comes to baking breads or some pastries.
Even so, parchment paper is a consumable, which can get a bit pricey, and that it’s main disadvantage for parchment paper. One that silicone baking mats definitely don’t suffer from.
What’s the biggest disadvantage for silicone baking mats?
That they can only be used on baking sheets.
Parchment paper can be used absolutely everywhere, it’s not constricted only to flat baking surfaces and it can be easily cut to fit absolutely everywhere, it molds to every surface, no matter its shape.
It works on baking stones, loaf pans, baking sheets, Dutch ovens, and the list can go on to include all baking surfaces. It’s not restricted to any material, shape or form.
Best Silicone Baking Mats
If I’ve made you interested in silicone baking mats, let’s see which are some of the best silicone baking mats that can be used for years to come.
There are many on the market but some can emit unpleasant odors or they can’t withstand very high temperatures.
That translates into the fact that I decided to only recommend one best silicone baking mat. You might find others that work for you but this suggestion is what works for me.
My second recommendation is actually a bit different but I thought it would be fun to include it here.
1. Silpat Premium Non-Stick Silicon Baking Mat – Overall Best Silicone Baking Mat
The Silpat silicon baking mat is one of the most expensive best silicone baking mats but it’s also truly great.
There won’t be any greasing needed no mater what you’re baking or roasting. Once you’re done with it, just rinse it with soapy water and let it dry.
You can then store it by laying it flat or rolling it.
Its main attribute, besides the very good quality, is the fact that it can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees F. You will not find many that are capable of withstanding such high temperatures, most are only good for up to 450 degrees.
It also withstands freezing temperatures, it covers the whole wide range.
The price is pretty high and you only get one mat but this one has the potential to last for many years to come, saving you the expenditure on parchment paper.
It’s made for 13″ x 18″ pans and the mat measures 11-5/8″ x 16-1/2″. It also seems that Silpat is the original non-stick baking mat, it’s no wonder why the name is so easily recognizable by some.
These are products made in France. And the manufacturer assures us that their mats are made with fiberglass mesh and the highest quality food grade silicone.
They also have the Silpat Perfect Pastry Non-Stick Silicone Countertop Workstation Mat. It’s a mat with measurement inscribed on it, used for making dough and rolling it just the right needed size. This type of non-stick silicone mat cannot be used in the oven, just for kneading the dough and rolling it.
2. Gucuji 4Pcs 10 inch Non stick Silicone Steamer Liners
These are made for steaming Asian foods, like dumplings, and can be used to line bamboo steamers.
They’re not exactly silicone baking mats but silicone steamer liners so, they don’t fit exactly fit into this category but I found them interesting and if you want non-stick silicone round liners for steaming buns, dumplings, these work perfectly.
For a pretty affordable price you get 4 pieces, which makes this quite the nice set to have around if you use bamboo steamers often. They withstand temperatures of up to 220℃ (approx. 420F).
Parchment Paper Substitutes for Baking Stones
You must keep in mind that you can’t use oil or butter on a baking stone. It’s best to sprinkle either flour or cornmeal. Although, the parchment paper has one major advantage: there’s no cleaning to be done afterwards.
But at least cornmeal works very well to prevent loaves or pizza from sticking to the baking stone. And if you don’t have any cornmeal, flour will work just as well.
Just like it’s the case when using a proofing basket. Users have declared that rice flour works perfectly for protecting the dough from sticking to the coils of the basket. If you’re using parchment paper to line a proofing basket, those beautiful coil marks won’t be as noticeable once the loaf is done baking.
What Not to Use as a Parchment Paper Substitute
I just want to make one thing clear because when we talked about my favourite substitutes I left some options out.
Although paper grocery bags and wax paper can be considered parchment paper substitutes, I strongly advise you against it. Let’s see why is that.
With paper grocery bags the reason is simple: they can catch fire and they don’t have any nonstick property. They’re simply a bad idea.
Wax paper gets its name because it has wax on it and it should not be used in the oven. Wax paper is not a proper parchment paper substitute since it can’t be used in the oven where it can cause smoke but parchment paper is a perfect substitute to wax paper.
Wax paper is a cheaper alternative if you’re into the habit of covering countertops with something to prevent making a mess.
Instead of attempting to use wax paper or paper grocery bags, choose greasing-the-pan option instead because you can be 100% sure that nothing will stick to your baking products to ruin them.
Plus, grease of any kind (oil, butter etc.) enhances the flavor and, in the case of breads, it can create a very nice crust, there’s nothing to lose with grease as a substitute for parchment paper, which also makes it my go-to parchment paper alternative, even though baking mats are nice, too.