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Can You Microwave Parchment Paper? A How-To Guide

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When we think about using parchment paper in the kitchen, we usually think about baking. But its use goes far beyond the cookie tray! We’re here to explore this simple question: Can you microwave parchment paper?

The short answer is yes; you can microwave parchment paper.

However, there are a few things you need to know to do so safely – covered belowTo quickly name a few, ensure you see “microwave-safe” labeling and avoid cooking fatty foods from scratch on this paper.

Let’s get into the rest now:

Yes, Parchment Paper Can Go in the Microwave (But Follow These Guidelines):


While you can microwave most parchment paper, checking the label is still essential to ensure safety.

Check your package for microwave-safe labels or logos:

  • These “labels” may include a written notice, a small picture of a microwave, or three wavy, horizontal lines. See the above image.

If unsure, you can check the manufacturer’s website, contact the manufacturer, or even check government websites like the USDA for food safety information.

Also, check recycled parchment paper packaging for a microwave-safe label. Recycled papers can differ slightly from brand new.

Parchment Paper’s Heat Tolerance


Most parchment paper brands are oven-safe up to roughly 420(215.5°C). This is good news for microwave users since food rarely exceeds that temperature when heating. It also means you can safely use parchment paper in an air fryer under this temperature.

While parchment paper won’t burn in the microwave, it can get hot to the touch. Be careful when removing it. However, if you’re using it in the oven, ensure not to exceed 420℉, as the paper can burn.

It’s also important not to bake with parchment paper near a heat source in the oven, as it can scorch if too close.

However, there is one exception to parchment paper microwave safety. That is:

Avoid cooking fatty (think: greasy) foods like bacon.

Fatty foods can get extremely hot when cooked, burning the parchment paper. It’s safest to avoid cooking greasy foods on parchment paper in the microwave.

What Is Parchment Paper and How Is It Used?


Now that we know how parchment paper is safe to microwave, it’s essential to understand what it is and how it works.

Parchment paper, sometimes called baking or bakery paper, is covered in silicone, making it nonstick and heat-resistant. These properties make it a popular choice for baking that demands a slick surface, such as lining cookie trays. It’s most commonly sold as a roll, making tearing off the length you need easy.

People use parchment paper for various functions, including baking and protecting countertops. It is grease-resistant, making it a popular way to package food or separate sticky items. Many also use it as a surface to heat food in the microwave.

Bleached Vs. Unbleached

There are two types of parchment paper: bleached and unbleached.

Bleached parchment paper is white because of a chlorine treatment, while unbleached is brown. They’re often used interchangeably, and the difference will not affect your recipe.

You can microwave both unbleached and bleached parchment paper.

But it’s important not to confuse silicone-coated parchment paper with wax paper

Wax paper begins to melt even at temperatures as low as 200℉. So, it should stay out of both microwaves and ovens.

Double-check the packaging to ensure you have “parchment” paper, not “wax” paper.

Is Microwaving Parchment Paper Safe for Your Health?

There is some debate on the health impacts of parchment paper.

Unbleached options are entirely non-toxic, as it’s just silicone-coated paper.

However, some sources report that bleached parchment paper contains the toxin dioxin, although scientific research has not confirmed this.

Other parchment papers may contain PFAS, a class of toxic chemicals that can have serious adverse health effects when ingested in large quantities. However, according to a Safer Chemicals report, most available options do not contain PFAS. Or, it’s present in such small amounts that health impacts are unlikely.

Finally, some non-silicone parchment papers contain Quilon, a coating that some argue can become toxic when heated. The label will usually note if a paper is Quilon-coated rather than silicone-coated.

Can You Microwave Other Types Of Paper? What to Avoid:

It’s important to note that not all types of paper can go in the microwave.

Always check the packaging for a microwave-safe label. If you’re unsure if something is microwave-safe, follow this rule of thumb: when in doubt, leave it out!

These items are okay to put in the microwave:

  • Paper towels: At medium power for ~2 minutes.
  • Uncoated, white paper plates: At medium power for ~2 minutes (Read more about microwaving paper plates).

Don’t put the following paper items in the microwave:

  • Wax paper: This is different from parchment paper and may catch fire.
  • Newspapers: Newspapers may catch fire. They also contain ink that can contaminate food.
  • Brown paper bags: These are more likely to catch fire in the microwave.
  • Decorative paper plates or napkins (with designs): These may contain flammable or toxic inks.
  • Coated paper plates: Some paper plates are coated with a waxy plastic or PFAS substance to prevent moisture absorption. If your dish is shiny or feels a little waxy, or if it has any design on it, don’t put it in the microwave.

Other types of food packaging, including paper food packaging, may also contain dangerous chemicals that can leach into your food.

While some international regulations govern what chemicals companies can use in food packaging, you should avoid microwaving anything not labeled “microwave-safe.”

Conclusion & Recap

So, can you microwave parchment paper? Yes, but carefully!

Always make sure you follow these four safety tips to prevent mishaps:

  1. Check for microwave-safe labeling or logos.
  2. Do not microwave parchment paper with fatty, greasy foods like bacon.
  3. Do not microwave wax paper or similar materials that might melt or burn.
  4. Never use parchment paper above 420℉ (food in the microwave will stay below this temperature, so that’s safe).
Picture of Adam Heck
Adam Heck

Hi there! I'm Adam, author and founder of TGL. Since 2016, I've produced and sold non-toxic kitchenware throughout the US. Today, I'm using my passion and experience in sustainable product manufacturing to help families avoid unsafe reusable foodware. When I'm not writing, you'll find me hiking or camping throughout Appalachia!

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