Q: What is parchment paper?
A: Parchment paper is a specially made, heavy-duty paper sold on rolls in boxes, like aluminum foil and plastic wrap. It is both moisture and grease-resistant, and can be used for baking, cooking, steaming, roasting, and even boiling foods. It's primarily used for lining baking pans to guarantee that cakes, cookies and baked goods won't stick to the pan, but many chefs use it for steaming fish, cooking poultry and even boiling certain foodstuffs.
Q: What is the difference between wax paper and parchment paper?
A: Wax paper is tissue paper that has been impregnated or triple coated with paraffin wax. That's why it smokes, blackens and burns at high temperatures. It has a very, very low heat resistance. Parchment paper is actually a heavy-duty paper. It's created by pressing paper into sheets and then dipping them into an acid bath. The paper is then washed and passed over several hot rotating drums, which realign the fibers. It's the realignment of fibers that gives the parchment paper its strength. After that the parchment paper is either coated with silicone, or not.
Q: Why do people use parchment paper?
A: The primary reason most chefs use parchment is for the ease in clean up. You don't need to soap and scour pans when you line them with parchment. There is also no need to use oil, butter or spray lubricants to keep food from sticking when you use parchment. Palisades Parchment comes in two types—with a silicone coating, or without. Both mean there's no clean up needed and both ensure non-stick cooking and baking. The second reason chefs prefer parchment is, unlike foil and bare pans, which require an oily lubricant like butter or oil, parchment paper doesn't affect the flavor of whatever is being cooked.
Q: Can I use parchment paper more than once?
A: Yes! The temperature at which you use it determines how many times you can use it, but yes, many chefs use a parchment sheet 2—4 times when baking bread or cookies.
Q: Will parchment paper make my food taste different?
A: Parchment paper will actually make your food taste better! Because some cooking oils, sprays and butter can go rancid or be stale or "off," they can affect the taste of the food. The flavor of the oil soaks into the food as it cooks, particularly if the food is a baked good like bread or pastries. Parchment paper eliminates the need for oils, sprays or butter to keep food from sticking to a pan. So, you also eliminate the possibility of getting a secondary flavor from your cooking lubricant, whether it's oil, butter or a spray lubricant.
Q: What can I cook on Palisades Parchment paper?
A: Palisades Parchment paper can be used to steam fish, cook chicken, steaks, roasts or vegetables. It can be used for baking bread, cookies, pastry and even heating up soup!
Q: Can't I just use wax paper instead of parchment?
A: No. Wax paper will blacken, smoke and impart an off taste to food when used for baking. Palisades Parchment paper will not. Palisades Parchment paper can be used in commercial ovens up to 500 degrees for single use, and up to 425 for multiple uses.
Q: Is parchment paper better than foil?
A: Many chefs and professional bakers think so. Palisades Parchment Paper is a higher quality than almost any other parchment paper on the market today and provides the best cooking surface for every kind of food, whether baked, broiled, steamed, or roasted. It's not only a better surface for cooking; it's also a safer surface health wise.
Q: Is Palisades Parchment paper microwave safe?
A: Yes. Palisades Parchment can be used in microwave ovens and is safer than using paper towels or Styrofoam when reheating or cooking foods.
Q: What does Kosher certified mean?
A: In Hebrew, "Kashrus," from the root kosher (or "kasher"), means suitable and/or "pure", thus ensuring fitness for consumption. Because there are so many items and ingredients that go into making parchment paper, not all parchment paper on the market is Kosher. However, all Palisades Parchment paper is Star-K certified Kosher.
Q: How can paper be non-Kosher?
A: Many ingredients go into making parchment paper — items like animal fats or oils that, according to strict orthodox standards, are not Kosher. Kosher isn't just about milk and meat. Kosher also refers to the manufacturing and production process as well. Palisades Parchment paper is manufactured in a rabbinical certified facility to ensure all their products are Kosher.
Q: What is the difference between silicone coated and non-silicone parchment?
A: The primary difference is the "stiffness" of the paper. Silicone coated parchment tends to be stiffer than non-silicone coated. Parchment paper gets it's "non-stick" surface through the production process. The non-stick surface is actually a gelatinous surface that results from the manufacturing process. The silicone just gives an extra weight to the paper, making it a little more heavy duty at higher temperatures.
Q: Should I use silicone coated parchment or non-silicone parchment paper?
A: That's up to you. Silicone is an element found in nature, in sand quartz and rock. After oxygen, it is the most abundant element on earth. It is also the most environmentally friendly non-stick surface, as well as the most effective non-stick surface. It is inert, and non-toxic to people, wildlife and the planet. Adding silicone to already stick-free parchment just makes it a little stiffer and easier to handle, as well as a bit more durable through repeated uses.
Q: Is parchment environmentally safe?
A: Definitely! Parchment breaks down rapidly in a landfill, as opposed to aluminum foil, which can last for hundreds of years.
Q: Is parchment paper less expensive than foil?
A: Yes and no. Many thinner sheets of parchment may be equivalent to the cost of aluminum foil, and higher grade, more durable parchment may be much more expensive. However, the higher quality (thicker) sheets of parchment may be used 15-20 times before needing to be replaced, making them a less expensive alternative than foil. You may find other brands of parchment paper that are less expensive than foil, but you may not be getting true parchment paper. We regularly test other parchment papers on the market and have found that many are not true parchment and tend to brown or not perform nearly as well as Palisades Parchment. Make sure you're getting true parchment paper, buy Palisades Parchment. We guarantee it!
Q: Why should I use Palisades Parchment Paper rather than foil?
A: Aluminum foil is a "metal," meaning it is a potentially toxic element with a high atomic number. Aluminum's atomic number is only 13 as compared with mercury's atomic number of 80, lead's number of 82, and plutonium's at 94. Yet, aluminum is still considered a significant health risk by many experts. Once aluminum has been ingested, aluminum accumulates in various tissues in the body. It can settle into the kidneys, brain, lungs, liver and thyroid. Aluminum also competes with calcium in our bodies for absorption and interferes with our body's ability to absorb phosphorous, zinc and selenium — all needed for healthy bones and brain function. Aluminum ingestion in infants retards growth.
Q: How does aluminum get into our systems?
A: Aluminum comes in many cooking products already, including baking powder, self-rising flour and even table salt, processed cheese and cake mix! Cooking in or on aluminum only adds to the amount of aluminum in our bodies. For many people eating things cooked in aluminum pans or on aluminum foil can cause an upset stomach, inflamed colon or headaches. Even storing foods in aluminum can be dangerous.
Q: Is aluminum foil really a health hazard?
A: Many experts believe it is. Limiting your exposure to aluminum foil by using parchment paper is one way to protect your health and that of your customers.
Q: Where can I buy Palisades Parchment?
A: Palisades Parchment papers and all our packaging products are available online and through selected retailers.