Parchment paper is one of the most beloved items in a baker or cooker’s possession- let it be professionals or someone who recently found their passion for baking and cooking. Parchment paper is more commonly known as baking paper, as it is widely used in baking as a non-stick grease-proof surface.
However, you might be getting disheartened having to throw away almost fresh-looking parchment papers after each round of baking or usage. The question, can I reuse parchment paper, might have crossed your mind. The answer is, yes, you can.
And, we are here to explain how to reuse parchment paper- so you will not have to discard or waste them the next time.
A Little About Parchment Paper
Even though you know what this widely used item is called and how to use it- it is highly likely you do not know why it’s called by this name or why it functions in certain ways.
It’s a cellulose-based paper with low levels pH of acid. These are the man components that make this paper thin yet dense, with no loose fibers and low surface energy.
Additionally, and more importantly, these are some of the main components that give the paper the characteristics of being heat resistance, grease resistance, and (almost) water resistance.
Many may confuse it with wax paper- but those are covered with thin layers of wax. This wax may melt into food quite easily. Parchment paper, on the other hand, has no such characteristic and is completely non-toxic.
How to Reuse Parchment Paper
We are glad to inform you that there are several ways you can reuse your already-used baking paper, aka parchment paper. Let’s learn what they are:
Baking Batches of Cookies
You can easily and conveniently use the same parchment paper if you are making multiple batches of cookies on the same day. After a batch is done, simply take the cookies off of the pan and prep a new batch on the same sheet.
If you are following a certain recipe, make sure to read it thoroughly. Some recipes require the dough to be placed on a cold/room temperature surface. In that case, wait a few minutes after taking a batch for the parchment paper to cool down. After a while, proceed as instructed.
Even though parchment paper is widely called baking paper, it can be used in cooking methods other than baking.
Slide your used baking paper on the roasting pan before you begin roasting. It collects grease, helps distribute heat evenly. Most importantly, after you are done cooking, it will be extremely easy and time-saving to clean up!
If you crave roasted veggies but hate cleaning up the greasy mess, parchment paper is the easiest solution for you. You can simply cover your baking tray with a previously used parchment paper and place your veggies—then season as per your preference.
As you will be using baking paper, you will not need to add any extra oil, spray, or grease to prevent your veggies from sticking to the surface. This not only reduces your intake of oil; it also leaves less for you to clean up.
Step up your decorating game with the use of parchment paper. You can use it as a surface to decorate your cookies, cakes, and other bakes.
It collects all the crumbs and mishaps, and you can clean up your kitchen counter easily. However, we recommend that you use extremely brittle papers for this- as parchment papers used only 2-3 times are still fresh enough to use in other baking.
Another great use of baking paper in decorating is to use them instead of piping bags. As these papers are square-shaped, it is easy to fold them into cone shapes to hold frosting. As these papers are quite dense, they don’t tear or leak easily.
When to STOP Reusing Your Parchment Paper
Even though reusing your parchment paper is great for saving bucks and time, you still should know when to stop reusing them.
When It Wears Out
You should not keep reusing your parchment paper once it starts wearing out. You can spot a paper wearing out when they start turning brown. They can also get brittle and start falling apart. At this point, it is time to throw to in the bin.
When Leftover Is Sticking to It
When there are any remnants from the previous batch(es) sticking to the paper, you should not use it anymore. The reason is if you reuse and put it back in the oven, it will burn and may essentially ruin your new batch. In this process, the paper loses its non-sticky nature and is not of use as much as before.
When Using Strong Flavors
If you are using different strong flavors of something, the baking paper may transfer the strong smell and flavor from one batch to the other if reused. So, it is better to use new or different parchment papers while working with several strong, different flavors.
Working with High Heat
The recommended temperature for parchment papers is up to 425 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. Above this, you should use foil. Using and especially reusing it over this temperature may cause it to darken and get brittle sooner and faster.
Cleaning and Recycling of Parchment Paper
Unfortunately, most parchment papers are not recyclable. There are two types of parchment papers- the unbleached ones that are brown and the bleached ones that are white.
Unbleached parchment paper is biodegradable. Bleached parchment paper is the one that’s heavily used, and they are not biodegradable most of the time. Even if they are biodegradable- they can cause health issues.
Rest assured, as parchment paper is used as the surface; even the bleached ones are not toxic. They do not transfer any toxic material onto food while baking. However, these papers are not washable either.
In today’s world, we should all take time to optimize the utility of products and minimize waste as much as possible. Every small step counts and plays a role in the economy as well as the environment.
Reusing parchment papers is not only easy on your pockets, but it can also save you some time and reduce mess cleanup work. Now that you don’t have to ask yourself, ‘can I reuse parchment paper’ anymore- you can reuse and will not have to waste them unnecessarily again!