Can you put paper towels in the oven? (+5 safer alternatives)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you put paper towels in the oven?”, and what are the safer alternatives to paper towels?

Can you put paper towels in the oven?

No, you can not put paper towels in the oven. It is extremely dangerous as paper easily catches fire. The ignition temperature of the paper is 451℉. You can keep the temperature of the oven below 451℉ but you cannot control the temperature of the heating elements. 

Besides some paper towels are made of recycled material including metal and It can be extremely dangerous If It leeches into your food.

Though you can use paper towels under extremely low temperatures, It is not worth the risk and perhaps you have better alternatives.

What is the potential reason for putting paper towels in the oven?

The most common reason to use paper towels in the oven is to absorb the excess grease off the bacon. A better and wise approach would be to transfer the baked bacon from the oven onto the paper towels to do the job.

Another reason why people put paper towels is an easier cleanup. This is achieved by putting a paper towel between the food and the plate. 

While this may sound tempting, there are better options like parchment paper that can do the same job pretty fine. Parchment paper can withstand temperatures more or less 450℉.

Safer alternatives to paper towels

Cotton napkins 

Cotton napkins are sustainable and reusable, unlike paper towels which have to be discarded after one use.

Beeswax wraps

These wax-infused cloths are reusable and moldable so they can be used to wrap any shape of food. Do not wash them vigorously or with hot water to avoid contaminating them.


These 11-13 inches square cloths are mostly used for drying dishes. They are made up of cotton or microfiber and unlike paper towels, they are reusable.

Linen napkins 

Linen napkins are similar to cotton napkins in terms of their uses but they are much stronger and can withhold vigorous washing and rubbing. They are more absorbent than cotton and do not contain lint, which makes them a great choice for drying glassware.

Ziplock bags 

Ziplock bags are made up of films that are made using clear and thin plastics from low-density polyethylene. These are also known by the name of sandwich bags, snack bags, resealable plastic bags, and simple food storage bags.

Uses of paper towels 

Saving the veggies 

Veggies like lettuce, kale, and cabbages wilt and rot easily. One way to keep them from wilting is to wrap them in a damp paper towel or put a damp towel in their container. This helps maintain a moderate humidity level that keeps the veggies fresh for longer.

Saving the bread

Bread slices or whole loaves kept in the fridge or freezers for longer periods can go moldy and become mush. To avoid this problem, wrap the slive for the whole loaf in a dry paper towel. This will soak the excess moisture from the bread and prevent mold growth.

Get rid of grease

Paper towels are made for this purpose. They can be used to remove the grease from your hands or suck the oil spills from kitchen tools, cooking surfaces, tables, countertops, and even your clothes. They can also be used for drying washed dishes as an alternative to napkins.

Seed stethoscopes

Paper towels have been used to test the viability of seeds for a long time. This is an old farmer’s trick where you wrap the seeds in damp paper towels and keep them in a warm place for 2 weeks. If the seeds sprout, they are viable and are worth taking up space in a nursery garden.

Clean pans 

The coating of expensive cast iron pans will wear off If you keep washing them using bristly sponges. Instead, use paper towels to remove the food residues and the leftover grease. 

Keep the pans wrapped in paper towels to prevent rusting. You can also dry them after washing with paper towels dipped in oil so as to preserve the surface varnish.

Can paper towels go into the microwave?

Yes, paper towels can be used in the microwave as long as the manufacturer has labeled them ‘microwave-safe. As a precaution, put a dampened paper towel in the oven If It is to be kept for a little longer in the microwave.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you put paper towels in the oven?”, and what are the safer alternatives to paper towels?