Can I put paper in the oven?

In this brief article, we answer the question “Can I put paper in the oven?”. This blog also explores the types and uses of paper in the oven in detail and what can be used instead. 

Can I put paper in the oven?

No, you cannot put most types of paper in the oven. They usually can catch fire quickly and can result in a major fire hazard that could potentially burn your house down. This is because the paper is quite thin in nature and its constituents (usually dry) make it very easy to catch fire. 

There are, however, various uses of paper in the oven, that shall be discussed further below. 

What are the types and uses of paper that can’t go in the oven?

There are a wide variety of papers known to us but for the sake of being relevant to the topic in question, we shall discuss only those kinds of paper that are used in the household, particularly in the kitchen. 

1. Paper Towels

Paper in the form of paper towels is usually used in the oven to soak up the grease in cooking (for example in the use of cooking bacon), as a layer between the food and the utensil, to help control the moisture content in the food being cooked, or to prevent the splashes of liquids from reaching far and dirtying the insides of the oven.

Although the paper towels can be dampened before using them in these ways, it is at a high risk of catching fire and is thus advisable to avoid them completely, and instead find safer alternatives that will get the job done. Despite paper towels claiming to be microwave-safe? They can still combust if left in the microwave for long periods or at high temperatures. 

2. Ordinary paper

Although the ordinary paper has a higher combusting temperature – at 218 C – it can be used for baking at lower temperatures such as 180 C such as in the baking of cookies and scones. This can be used as a last resort alternatives to the much preferred and safer, baking paper.

3. Wax paper

Ordinary wax paper can simply not be put in the microwave in any case whatsoever. You might think that it may be okay considering that the paper is protected by a layer of wax on either side, it has a very low melting point that can be quite hazardous as the wax first melts and can seep into the food, and the bursts into flames. 

It is important to note, however, that wax paper also generally includes parchment paper and baking paper but the kind being discussed here is the kind that is used for arts and crafts or non-heat uses. Some of the uses of wax paper in the kitchen that do not involve heat are: 

  • Making candy 
  • Dipping foods in chocolate
  • Rolling and storing dough and pie crusts
  • Storing and separating mounds of cookie dough
  • Protecting the countertop when adding crumb coatings to meat or fish
  • As an alternative to freezer paper 

What type of paper can be used in the oven?

Baking paper or parchment paper

Parchment paper, alternatively known as baking paper, is a relatively new addition to the baking world as it has been used since only the 20th century. It is quite different from wax paper in numerous ways. Parchment paper is coated by a dual layer of silicone, unlike the wax coating in wax paper. Silicone is much more heat resistant and can withstand much higher temperatures without melting or combusting.

Baking paper is a very common apparatus in baking that is used to prevent the baked good from sticking to the dish, primarily. 

What are other methods to avoid the use of paper in the oven?

For the purpose of degreasing food, you can simply place the food item – such as bacon – onto layers of paper towels to absorb the oil and grease. This works just as well and is a much safer method that doesn’t pose a threat to your kitchen and home.

Another effective alternative is using aluminium foil. Aluminium foil can be replaced by baking paper or paper towels in the making of baked goods as well as to prevent splashing. Aluminium foil is metal in nature and has a much larger resistance to heat which makes it ideal in the use of baking and cooking in the oven. 

For the purpose of baking cookies or chips and even cooking bacon, you can just use baking trays greased with olive oil or butter and this will work just as well.

Conclusion

Thus, in this article we have answered the question “can I put paper in the oven” and have discussed the various alternatives for safer cooking.

Citations

https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/what-can-i-use-instead-of-baking-paper-20150622-ghow4m#:~:text=Paper%20doesn’t%20ignite%20until,normal%20baking%20temperatures%20of%20180C.
https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/parchment-paper-vs-wax-paper-vs-foil
https://www.metsatissue.com/en/brands-products/baking-cooking-papers/paper-differencies/Pages/default.aspx

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.