Can You Microwave Parchment Paper?

Can you microwave parchment paper? Yes! 

You might assume that parchment paper, like any other paper or – infamously – aluminum foil is a no-go when it comes to the microwave.

In fact, the leading parchment paper brands are designed to tolerate heat to a temperature of up to 425F / 218C. This offers plenty of wiggle room for high temperature cooking.

There are a few things to keep in mind, however

  • Fatty foods like bacon get extremely hot in the microwave. This is the kind of stuff that will push the heat tolerance of your parchment paper. Find an alternative method if at all possible
  • It can take a lot of heat punishment, but the parchment paper will be extremely hot to handle when the cooking process has finished. Wait a few seconds before removing everything, and consider using an oven mitt when you do so.

That’s the simple answer to this question. In the rest of my guide I’m going to go into greater detail about using parchment paper in your microwave.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll have a much better understanding of the dos and don’ts of working with this material.

Two pieces of salmon on parchment paper, on a cutting board with vegetables

What Is Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper is a type of baking material designed to resist both grease and moisture. It can also be used at high temperatures, making it an ideal material for baking.

It’s a versatile material used in home and professional kitchens alike. Think baking cakes, wrapping fish, or just covering up the kitchen workspace to keep messy, greasy tasks away from your countertop.

Parchment paper is coated with silicone, which provides it with its non-stick properties. It’s commonly available as a bleached product (white), or unbleached – the brown version you’ll most likely be familiar with.

Beyond baking, it’s particularly popular for low-fat cooking too as you don’t need to use a lot of oil.

Will Parchment Paper Burn In The Microwave?

Most parchment paper brands have a maximum heat tolerance of 425F / 218C. To put that in context, that’s almost twice the boiling point of water!

Unless you run the microwave at high heat for an extremely long period of time, you’re unlikely to exceed that limit.

Just watch out for fatty foods like bacon and hamburgers. The fats in these products get extremely hot when microwaved, which will naturally spread to any parchment paper it comes into contact with.

Microwaving Different Food Types In Parchment Paper

What about microwaving different foods in parchment paper?

Can You Microwave Bacon In Parchment Paper?

I don’t recommend microwaving bacon in parchment paper, as this is a fatty food that can reach pretty ferocious temperatures in the microwave.

There’s no way of saying for certainty that the paper will burn, but fatty foods increase the risk more than any others.

Can You Cook Fish In The Microwave With Parchment Paper?

Yes, you can cook fish – including salmon – in the microwave using parchment paper! 

Using this material reduces the need for cooking oil, making it a popular choice for those working towards a healthier diet.

The topic is beyond the scope of this guide, but I found an excellent guide to microwaving fish which I think will be a great primer for anyone getting started.

A batch of biscuits sitting on wax baking paper

Microwaving Different Brands Of Parchment Paper

Reynolds and Kirkland are two of the most popular parchment paper brands. Here’s what you need to know about using them in your microwave.

Is Reynolds Parchment Paper Microwave Safe?

Yes! According to the official Reynolds site, its parchment paper brands are microwave-safe, with a maximum heat tolerance of 425F / 218C

Is Kirkland Parchment Paper Microwave Safe?

Kirkland is a Costco brand, and its parchment paper brand is microwave safe. Just keep within the temperature limits I set out in the Reynolds answer above.

How To Be Sure Your Parchment Paper Is Microwave Safe

Those are the two most common brands, but what about other types of parchment paper?

The best advice, as always, is to take a look at the packaging and check the product is advertised as microwave safe. 

The manufacturer will either spell it out in words, or include the standard microwave-safe logo. This is a small box with a handful of wavy lines inside.

What’s The Difference Between Wax Paper & Parchment Paper?

The simple difference between wax and parchment paper is heat tolerance.

On wax paper you’ll find – naturally enough – a thin coating of wax. This makes it even better for non-stick work, and it’s often cheaper than parchment paper.

You cannot use wax paper in a conventional oven, however.

It just doesn’t have the same heat-resistant properties that parchment paper does.

Can Parchment Paper Be Used Like Wax Paper?

Parchment paper is actually more versatile than wax paper. The main difference is cost, with wax paper typically being a little cheaper.

They both share non-stick properties, but the main difference is their ability to cope with heat. They’re both fine to use in the microwave for short periods, but you can’t put wax paper in the oven.

It’ll either melt, or ignite – not a good outcome in either case!

When To Use Wax Paper Vs Parchment Paper

You should use wax paper when you don’t need to add anything to the oven, and parchment paper when you do.

You might assume parchment paper is what every kitchen should opt, but if you’re not doing any oven cooking you can save a few pennies by going down the wax paper route.

Wrapping Up

So, to summarize everything we’ve covered here:

  • Parchment paper is safe to use in the microwave under almost all circumstances.
  • Fatty foods require a little more care and attention, and alternative methods should be considered if you can.
  • The most popular parchment paper brands are microwave-safe, but it never hurts to check the packaging first!
  • Wax paper is less expensive than parchment paper, but can’t be used in the oven.

That should be everything you need to know about using this versatile material in your microwave!