Parchment paper is a lifesaver in the kitchen when you don’t want your food to stick to the sheet pan, you need a clean surface to work on, or you are out of plates and need something to eat from. Because parchment paper is so versatile, when you run out, it can feel like a complete disaster, especially if you are already in the middle of baking, cooking, meal prep, or a project.
So, if you are asking yourself, “What can I use if I don’t have parchment paper?” we have the answers you are looking for! Just keep in mind that not all alternatives will be appropriate for all usages when looking for a substitute for parchment paper.
Check out our top parchment paper alternatives below.
Best Substitutes for Parchment Paper
You cannot use wax paper in the oven, or any other heat source for that matter. However, wax paper is a great alternative to parchment paper if you are using the paper as a surface to prepare food on or even eat from.
Wax paper is nonstick so many parents love to use wax paper for covering their tables before letting the kids get out playdough, paints, or other sticky play. Wax paper has many other alternative uses. These include: use wax paper to wrap cheese, use as shelf liners in cabinets or the fridge, or to roll out dough when baking.
If you use parchment paper to wrap up food, aluminum foil can serve the same purpose. Foil can be molded for a variety of shapes and sizes to prevent spillage, contain cooking messes, and can even be used for campfire cooking.
Many people line their grills with foil which cannot be done with parchment paper because it will catch fire. However, you must keep in mind that aluminum foil is not nonstick, so it is not great for baking on top of or anything else that demands a nonstick cooking surface.
Related Content: Can You Put Aluminum Foil in Air Fryer
Silpat Paper or Silicone Mat
Silpat paper or silicone baking mats are very popular because they are durable and make cleaning up baking sheets no hassle at all. Silicone mats or Silpat paper can be placed on top of baking sheets to ensure that nothing sticks. They are also easy to clean in soap and water, super flexible, and great to use under high heat.
Flour, Butter or Oil
When you are using parchment paper to cook and need to find out what can I use if I do not have parchment paper, the best and often easiest alternative is to use butter, oil, or flour to create your nonstick surface.
No matter what you cook, whether you are baking, roasting, grilling, sauteing, or broiling, you want to ensure the food does not stick to the surface of your cookware and ruin it. Fish, baked goods, and eggs are notorious for sticking if the surface is not prepped first. Flour, oil, or butter, depending on what you are making, can do the trick. If you are baking, make sure to use unsalted butter.
Our grandparents and parents swore by cooking sprays that were easy to use and could coat a pan or baking dish quickly. However, many cooks tend to overspray and cause their foods can become greasy and the edges can become too crisp.
Cooking sprays are still one of the best ways to make sure your food does not stick to the pans, especially if you are in a rush.
Brown Paper Bags
Not only are brown paper lunch bags recyclable and compostable, but they are also reusable and can be used in pinch when you are out of parchment paper. Brown papers bags can be deconstructed to have a large surface area to be able to work on.
Reminder: If you stock up on parchment paper, you don’t have to worry about substitutions!
- REYNOLDS PARCHMENT PAPER: Contains one roll of Reynolds kitchens parchment paper, measuring 60 square feet
- FITS MOST BAKING PANS: 12-inch width fits perfectly into most standard baking pans
- BEST VALUE: If You Care Parchment Paper comes as pack of one box, providing a total of 70 sq ft of unbleached baking paper. Compare to other brands that only offer 30-45 sq ft.
- SILICONE COATED: What makes our parchment paper unique is that it is coated with silicone, unlike most parchment papers that are coated with Quilon, which contains heavy metal that can leave toxic trace elements in your food and baked goods.
- This package contains 30 Reynolds kitchens pop-up parchment paper sheets, each measuring 10.7 x 13.6 inches
- Pop-up dispensing makes these precut nonstick parchment paper sheets easy to grab for quick, single-handed access
What Should You Avoiding Using Instead of Parchment Paper? Freezer Paper!
Some people mistakenly use freezer paper instead of parchment paper; however, although they look alike, they are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably.
Example of Freezer Paper
- FREEZE WITH EASE when you use Meat Hugger Butcher Freezer Wrap for wild game, the catch of the day, or when you buy in bulk from your local butcher. This sturdy freezer paper is perfect for venison, beef, pork, poultry and more.
- LEAKPROOF poly-coating prevents meat juices from seeping through during transport or in your refrigerator. A matte side for affixing labels or writing with a marker makes Meat Hugger Freezer Paper perfect for commercial and home meat processing.
Freezer paper is thick and coated with either plastic or wax on one side and will not be safe for use in baking or on heated surfaces. Freezer paper is used to wrap food for storage in your freezer and the coating is designed to keep the moisture in so that meat or cheese does not dry out or get freezer burned.
The choices you make to answer the question of, what can I use if I do not have parchment paper, will always depend on the intended purpose. Do not forget that some of the alternatives are not safe to use in the oven or on heated surfaces.
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