Nowadays, everyone is thinking about cutting waste and saving money, but that can seem challenging in the kitchen.
One easy and often overlooked way to go green at home is reusing your parchment paper.
If handled properly, you can safely use the same parchment paper twice when it comes to baked goods such as cakes, cookies, or bread. For wrapping foods you want to store in the fridge, you can reuse it for as long as it won’t get dirty or soggy.
Keep reading and learn everything you need to know about parchment paper and how to reuse it smartly and efficiently!
How Many Times Can You Reuse Parchment Paper?
Parchment paper is great for lining baking dishes to ensure your cakes and cookies release easily.
Apart from baking, you can also use it to wrap food or for crafting. With so many uses, it’s easy to wonder how many times you can actually use this type of paper.
If you don’t use your parchment paper for baking in the oven, it can be reused as long as it’s intact.
If you want to swap the plastic in your lunch box for paper, definitely try parchment! You can use the same piece of paper to wrap your sandwich all week if it hasn’t been cut or soaked in grease or liquid.
When it comes to baking, parchment paper has a shorter lifespan. Paper burns and becomes more brittle and breakable the more it’s heated.
Hence, you can reuse most parchment paper brands for lining baking sheets. However, you should only use the paper two times maximum. Any further uses can make the paper very dry and likely to tear.
How Do You Clean Parchment Paper?
If you’re planning to reuse parchment paper, cleaning it is the most important thing to do.
The cleaning is easy and helps to revitalize the paper for its next use. A few extra steps ensure that this paper is tidy and ready to be used again.
To clean it, start by removing the loose scraps and crumbs. Be sure to trim any burnt edges from the parchment paper.
It is totally okay if the parchment has browned a little! Just look out for charred areas and trim those.
Wipe the parchment with a clean, damp cloth, but try not to get the paper wet! Just wipe it down and then hang or drape the parchment paper somewhere to dry.
Once dried, your parchment paper is ready to be used another time.
Of course, this only applies to baking relatively dry foods that aren’t too liquid or greasy.
Parchment paper used to bake a cheesy, oily pizza can probably not be used more than once, as it’ll be too greasy after the time in the oven.
On the contrary, baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or bread won’t do much harm to your parchment paper, and most of the time, it can go for a second round in the oven!
Is It Okay if Parchment Paper Turns Brown?
If your cleaned, reusable parchment paper is a little darker in color than the first use, that is okay!
Average kitchen-friendly parchment paper is made for high temperatures. It might change color, but it will not release any harmful chemicals.
That said, it is perfectly normal to see some color changes on the paper after baking, and it’s perfectly fine to use it again.
Most parchment paper boxes or bags will have a temperature rating label on them.
Most average brands have a temperature rating between 420°F to 450°F, meaning they can take high heat. If cared for as described above and not exposed to temperatures higher than their rating, parchment papers are fine to reuse even after a slight color change.
What Happens if Parchment Paper Gets Wet?
Parchment paper is made for heating but not for water.
Water can have devastating effects on most paper types, including parchment paper, as it can get soggy and limp. If your parchment paper gets too wet, it may not be usable anymore.
Water can make the parchment paper change color. It can also change the surface coating on the paper, which helps keep it safe to bake. All in all, storing unused and reusable parchment away from water is best.
And as mentioned above, try not to get it wet when wiping it with a damp cloth.
Which Side of Parchment Paper Goes Up?
Just about everyone who has used parchment paper has wondered: is there a top side, and if so, which side is it!?
Yes, parchment paper has top and bottom sides, and there is a right side to face up.
When you unroll the parchment paper, you will see that one side is shinier and the other side is duller. This shiny side is the top, and the dull side is the bottom.
The shiny side of the parchment has a special treatment that helps foods bake evenly and not stick.
The shiny side is ready to take the heat, whereas the dull side can burn if used face-out. Using the parchment paper correctly is essential to reusing it, so be sure to face the shiny side up!
How Do You Get Parchment Paper to Lay Flat?
One of the biggest challenges of using parchment paper is getting it to lay flat after being rolled up for so long!
Luckily, expert bakers have devised some clever tricks to help make your parchment paper lay nice and flat.
Try these tricks to help your parchment paper lay perfectly flat:
Crumple it up
The best and easiest way of flattening parchment paper is probably by crumpling it.
When you crush and crumple the paper and then flatten it out, the tendency to roll is no longer present.
It doesn’t look as pretty, but you’ll have a much easier time baking with it!
Put a small dab of grease (butter or oil) in each corner of the baking sheet, then lay the parchment on it. The grease will hold it in place, but it may leave a residue, making reusing the paper less likely.
Cut the sheet of parchment and press it between baking sheets or heavy cookbooks.
If you have plain metal magnets on hand, you can use one set per corner to help hold the paper. Remove the magnets after filling the sheet with baked goods but before baking.
With these simple tricks, your parchment should be nice and flat.
If that is too much trouble, consider buying parchment paper sheets.
Some manufacturers sell pre-cut sheets of parchment paper that are occasionally sold in flat packages. With this option, the paper is already flat, with no extra steps.