By Food*Dude

Parchment paper is a great pro tool that makes baking and other tasks faster and less messy. Similar to wax paper, it is impregnated with silicone rather than wax. The silicon in parchment gives it excellent nonstick qualities, so cookies and candies release with little effort. Silicone-impregnated parchment is suitable for use in the oven to temperatures over 425 degrees F.

Photo by Sydney

Parchment paper is generally sold in supermarkets in rolls alongside aluminum foil, waxed paper, and cling wrap. The rolls will work, but in my opinion, flat sheets are easier to use.

While you're probably not in the market for a restaurant-sized box of 1000 16X24-inch sheets, you can buy smaller quantities of half-size sheets at specialty stores. My favorite local specialty store is Amazon.com, which sells nice flat parchment in quantities of 100 sheets. Stretch your buck even further: a single sheet of parchment paper can be used a handful of times before becoming too browned and brittle (your mileage may vary).

These sheets can save time when baking massive amounts of cookies, and you'll only need a couple baking sheets. When you have one oven-full of cookies going, set up the next batch of cookie dough portions onto their own parchment sheets. When the first set is done baking, remove the whole sheet of finished cookies from the pan and set them on your counter to cool. Place the sheet of portioned dough onto the now freed up baking sheet and continue baking. [ProTip: many cookies aren't going to like being put onto a screaming hot baking sheet. Cool it off with cold water in the sink. Dry it thoroughly, and back to baking!]

A parchment-lined baking sheet is how a restaurant will generally cook their large quantities of bacon. The sheetpans are layered with bacon then baked in a hot oven until the bacon is at the desired degree of doneness. Once done, the grease is poured from the sheetpan, and the bacon is lifted off of the parchment paper. Bacon won't stick with this method, and the slices come out flat and straight.

King Arthur Flour shows you a whole bunch of uses in the kitchen for parchment paper on their blog. They also sell half-sheets directly from their online store.

Parchment paper is the king of easy clean up, and Brian Kilby shows us. Not limited merely to baking on sheetpans, he found parchment paper to be an easy clean up liner for his George Foreman grill:

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