Parchment paper is too often treated as a precious kitchen item, something that's bought only for baking and special recipes. That's because it's long been thought of as a professional product and sold only to home cooks in tiny rolls at high prices.
But if you keep a generous supply on hand and use it often, it will make much of your cooking -- and clean-up -- significantly easier and more successful. If you need a reminder of parchment paper's versatility, read our separate article that's full of tips and examples.
Parchment paper is coated with silicone, a safe non-organic product that lets the paper remain unburned at tempereatures as high as 400 degrees, and it is biodegradable. Some manufacturers go a step further by using coatings that do not contain a product called Quilon, a chemical that contains chrome, a heavy metal that when incinerated becomes toxic to the environment, such as a landfill. Quilon-free paper says so on its packaging.
Other variables include bleached versus non-bleached and still other papers are deemed kosher. The paper is more commonly sold on a roll -- you tear or cut off what you need as with a roll of plastic wrap -- but you can get great values if you buy sheets that have been pre-cut to approximately the size of large professional sheet pans; for the half-sized pans we use in our home kitchens, just cut the pre-cut sheets in half.
You can also buy parchment paper pre-cut into common baking shapes and sizes, including circles for 8 to 9" cake pans and others that have a hole in the center for tube and angel food cake pans. If you do lots of baking, these are a huge convenience.
Almost any supermarket sells parchment paper. It's sold alongside plastic wrap, waxed paper and aluminum foil. Parchment is also sold in houseware stores like Gracious Home, Home Depot, and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and cookware stores like Williams-Sonoma. But their prices make this basic kitchen product a luxury when instead it should be an affordable staple.
If you can spare a little storage space by buying in larger quantities, you'll save a lot. Plus with a supply on-hand, you'll use it more often.
- Bridge Kitchenware
711 Third Avenue, Manhattan (see our listing for more details)
80 pre-cut sheets, 16" x 24" (213 square feet)
$9.60 (available in-store or on-line)
Each of these sheets can be cut in half to easily fit commonly-sized cookie sheets and rimmed sheet pans. That means you're really getting 160 sheets.
- Amazon.com/Golda's Kitchen
Generic non-branded 100 pre-cut sheets, 15" x 21" (219 square feet)
$12.50 plus $11.04 shipping
100 sheets too many? Buy and split the order with a friend and you'll get a hefty supply (enough for a year if you use 2 sheets a week) for $12.00. Biodegradable and Kosher.
"If You Care" brand parchment paper
5 jumbo rolls, each 13" x 65 ft. (70 square feet) or a total of 350 square feet
$17.07 for 5 rolls (eligible for Amazon Prime free shipping; otherwise Amazon shipping rates apply)
At $3.41 average price per roll, it's 25% cheaper than Fresh Direct which sells this brand at $4.29/roll
Unbleached, Quilon-free and biodegradable.
100 pre-cut sheets, 16 1/2" x 12 1/4" (140 square feet)
$19.95 plus shipping (approx. $8.00)
From one of the most loved baking resources in the country. The same folks who bring you King Arthur Flour also have a splendid on-line store for flours, other baking ingredients, and all types of baking tools and cookware.