Can You Put Parchment Paper in the Microwave Or Not?

Microwaves are essential, everyday kitchen equipment used for baking, roasting meat, steaming food, boiling liquid like tea and coffee, reheating foods, and lots more. But, because microwaves are highly sensitive and inflammable, it can be tricky to decipher what can go into the microwave and what cannot.

In this case, the question is whether you can put parchment paper in the microwave or not? The simple answer is yes. Parchment paper is heat-proof and non-stick, so it is safe to use in the microwave. Other varieties of paper like wax paper, paper towels, as well as disposable napkins, are also safe to go into the microwave.

This article explains why you can use parchment paper in the microwave and highlights those items that should go into the microwave and those that shouldn’t.

What is parchment paper and why should it go into the microwave?

Parchment papers also known as baking papers are cellulose pulp that is treated and coated with silicone. They are processed in sulphuric acid to become non-stick and highly heat-resistant making them excellent for cooking all kinds of food in the microwave. It doesn’t pose any risk of fire since it can withstand heat up to 450-degree Fahrenheit in regular microwaves including convection microwaves.

Because of its superior heat-proof features, most individuals go for parchment paper when cooking in the oven too. It provides a non-stick surface between lined baking sheets and sticky desserts like cookies, brownies, and cakes.

Additionally, it can serve as a countertop cover during messy tasks. Plus, you can use it to transfer ingredients into the mixer. If you’re doing a lot of baking, parchment paper is one material you want to use because it is reusable and easy to dispose of.

There are few other materials that can substitute parchment paper in the oven, wax paper being one of them. It is also non-stick but it doesn’t have the level of heat resistance of parchment paper. You can check the article on parchment paper vs wax paper to learn more about their differences and uses.

SEE: Differences Between Microwave and Oven You Don’t Know

Safety tips for using parchment paper in the oven?

Before putting parchment paper in the oven, there are a few things you should keep in mind, which are:

1. Always confirm the microwave status of your parchment paper

There are different makes and brands of parchment paper. Therefore, before putting any parchment paper in the microwave, confirm from its label or instructions if it is microwave-safe to avoid any fire hazards.

2. Keep parchment paper away from the heat source

Parchment paper has high heat-resistant and is safe in regular thermal microwaves at about 200-degree Fahrenheit. But in a convection microwave, avoid putting it too close to the heat source as this microwave can heat up to 500-degree Fahrenheit.

3. Don’t forget that you’re microwaving

One general safety rule when microwaving is to keep in mind that you are using the microwave. Be careful not to get too distracted with your favorite television show or game that you forget you have something in the microwave.

Parchment paper cannot stop your microwave from getting engulfed in a fire if you leave it working for too long.

SEE: Can You Reuse Parchment Paper In The Oven?

What can go into the microwave aside from parchment paper?

As aforementioned, microwaves can go up in fire if you’re not careful what you put in them. Apart from parchment paper, here is a list of safe items that you can use for baking, cooking, and reheating your food in the microwave:

1. Wax paper

Wax paper is a special paper coated with wax to make it greaseproof and moisture-resistant. They are basically used to wrap or cover food items for storage in the fridge and to protect food from sticking to surfaces.

Bearing its heat-resistant property, it can also be used for cooking in the microwave. Only that wax paper cannot resist heat beyond 200-degree Fahrenheit. But it’s still safe to put in the microwave because most foods cook at 200-degree Fahrenheit.

However, you need to check regularly and ensure that your oven doesn’t go beyond the acceptable threshold to prevent it from melting or going up in fire.

2. Paper towel

Paper towels are thick and soft papers that can soak up moisture. They are useful for drying hands, cleaning up spills, and covering pastry or any liquid to stop it from splattering and messing up your microwave.

You can use it to cover your bacon to prevent its fat from spilling in the microwave. However, one should not use it in a convection microwave as it will burn. Paper towels can get really soaked and dip into the food because of their weight, so it’s best to use multiple folded towels or ensure that the towels are far above the food.

Keep in mind that the towel gets really hot when wet, so be careful when taking it off, so it doesn’t burn you. You can use oven mitts to take off the paper towel safely from the oven.

3. Paper plates and bowls

A paper plate or bowl are disposable plate made of wood pulp and other paper-based materials which makes it greaseproof. It is commonly used to serve or dish food at casual dinners, picnics, or any event.

Paper plates are microwaveable but, since the materials can vary, it is best that you confirm if the paper plate is microwave-safe before putting it in the microwave. 

SEE: Can You Microwave Paper Plates

4. Plastic

Most plastics are microwaveable but be sure to confirm that it’s labeled microwave-safe before using them. Also, heating dry food may cause the plastic to melt and I’d advise that you avoid using single-use containers like those of yogurt, margarine, and the likes because they can melt easily.

To avoid steam burn when covering your food with plastic wraps, simply cover the plate lightly so steam can escape.

5. Glazed ceramics

Glazed ceramics like china and stoneware are safe to go into the microwave if properly glazed. Glass cookware and corning ware are also safe. But, those with over-glazed metal are not microwave-safe in any way. 

To be sure that your ceramic is safe to use in the microwave, check underneath the ceramic for a symbol with wavy horizontal lines. If you cannot find it and you still wish to test further, simply fill it with water and microwave it for 30 seconds per time, while you keep checking for the outcome.

6. Styrofoam

Many people wonder if styrofoam is safe for use in the microwave because of its soft texture. The good news is that it is microwave safe only if you’re heating pure liquid like water or coffee.

What you should avoid is heating food with fat contents or solids such as soup or chickens in styrofoam. These foods have a tendency to heat beyond the temperature threshold of styrofoam and can cause a fire.

What shouldn’t go into the microwave?

Here’s a list of things that you should avoid putting in the microwave:

1. Brown paper

These types of papers are a minute resistant to heat, as such putting them in the microwave will cause a fire. It also contains toxic chemicals and germs which can leach onto your food. So, avoid using it in the microwave at all costs.

2. Metal pans

Using metal pans for microwaving is not necessarily unsafe but it is not efficient. In non-metal containers, the heat from the microwave is able to penetrate all sides and cook your food evenly.

Conversely, the heat from the microwave is not enough to penetrate metals, hence, your food will only cook at the top while the underneath remains uncooked.

3. Aluminum foil

Although aluminum foil is safe to go into the oven, it can arc and spark in the microwave especially if it’s close to the sides. Aluminum contains thin metals that can heat up really fast and ignite a fire due to the electric current flows in the microwave.

The best you can do with aluminum paper in the microwave is to place them underneath your foot. But avoid putting food wrap with aluminum foil in the microwave. I will advise that you avoid using aluminum foil in any case. Instead, go for parchment paper or wax paper.

SEE: Can You Put Aluminum Foil in the Microwave

FAQs

Is parchment paper the same as baking paper?

Yes, they are the same.

Can you use parchment paper in a convection microwave?

Yes. Parchment paper is safe to use in a convection microwave because it can withstand heat up to 450-degree Fahrenheit.

Is parchment paper unhealthy?

No. Parchment paper doesn’t pose any health threat.

Summary

Parchment paper is completely safe to use in the microwave because of its heat-resistant capacity. It also prevents your food from sticking in the microwave or on plates. But be careful not to put it too close to the heat source in a convection microwave.

You can use wax paper instead too but it is not as safe as parchment paper. You can also use glazed ceramics, paper plates, styrofoam, and paper towels as substitutes for parchment paper too.

Finally, should read this article to know if it is safe to put pizza directly on your oven rack.

Thanks for reading. I hope this article helped.