Parchment paper can handle temperatures of 420 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit before you start experiencing any problems with it. But this ultimately depends on the brand you use. Some parchment paper products can withstand temperatures higher than 450 F (which is useful if you’re cooking a pizza extra-hot). Ultimately, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Parchment Paper: Max. Temperature
Most manufacturers recommend sticking to a temperature range of 420-450° F. So if your brand says not to go higher than 420 F, it’s best to keep the oven below that temperature so the paper doesn’t catch on fire. If your brand suggests you can go up to 450 F or higher, then it’s acceptable to do so.
Many manufacturers admit that you can increase the temperature of the oven just a bit higher than what is recommended, but it’s safer to stick with the recommended maximum temperature and never go above it.
Can Parchment Paper Catch on Fire?
Yes, some parchment paper products can catch on fire, but this usually won’t happen at temperatures below 500 F. The paper will turn brown or black and will curl up before it catches fire. If you notice the paper or sheets curling up and turning a darker color, it’s a good idea to remove it from the oven or, at the very least, turn the oven down some.
Keep in mind that the closer the paper gets to the heating element, the more likely it is to catch fire. This is why parchment sheets are usually not recommended for use in a toaster oven or a broiler, regardless of the temperature.
And in case this doesn’t go without saying: Never use parchment paper in an oven with an exposed flame.
Fast FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Parchment Paper
How Do I Prevent Parchment Paper From Burning?
Parchment products usually won’t burn if the oven is at the temperature suggested by the manufacturer and the tray isn’t too close to the walls of the oven. When using parchment paper, make sure the tray is in the middle of the oven, far from the heating element. Keep the oven at 420-450 F, depending on the brand.
Parchment paper is more likely to catch on fire when used in ovens that are dry or too hot, or with trays that are too close to the top, bottom, and sides of the oven. Stick to the “better safe than sorry” rule when working with parchment paper.
Why Did My Parchment Paper Catch on Fire?
As noted above, if your parchment paper ever catches on fire, it’s likely because the oven temperature exceeded the paper manufacturer’s guidelines or because the paper was too close to the heating element. If you followed the safety rules but the paper caught fire anyway, then there might be something wrong with the product. Consider chucking it and purchasing a higher-quality paper brand.
Why Does My Parchment Paper Smoke in the Oven?
Parchment paper may smoke in the oven for the same reasons it may catch on fire—when it’s exposed to temperatures exceeding the manufacturer’s guidelines or when it’s too close to the heating element. Other reasons for why your parchment paper smokes in the oven may be:
- Excess paper is draped over the sheet or pan.
- Paper is touching the oven rack or sides of the oven.
- You used the paper more times than allowed by the manufacturer.
- You used wax paper instead of parchment paper. Wax melts at higher temperatures and may smoke or catch fire, so never use wax paper in the oven.
Can I Use Parchment Paper Under the Broiler?
No, parchment paper should never be used under a broiler because that may put the paper too close to the heating element. Also, broiling food usually requires extreme temperatures of 500 F or higher, which is too high for most parchment paper products to be used safely.
Can Parchment Paper Touch the Side of the Oven?
Parchment paper should not touch the side of the oven. It should only make contact with an oven-safe dish and the food.
Can Parchment Paper Touch the Oven Rack?
It’s generally recommended that you never place parchment paper directly on the oven rack. Some people may have different opinions about this, but ultimately, it’s not worth the risk of the paper catching fire or smoking up.
How Many Times Can Parchment Paper Be Used?
Your product’s packaging will usually indicate if a sheet of parchment paper can be used more than once. For example, Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper can be reused up to three times:See Deal
Not sure which side of the paper to put your food on? See our post about which side of parchment paper goes up.