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Lining Your Baking Sheets: Parchment Paper vs. Foil

Baking is one of the best joys of life. There’s nothing quite like pulling your baking sheet out of the oven to reveal delicious pastries baked to perfection. To get the best bake possible with your baking sheet, it’s important to know what you should use to line your baking sheet. There are two main contenders, parchment paper and aluminum foil, and although people oftentimes use them interchangeably, they each have unique pros and cons. Today, we’re going to compare parchment paper and aluminum foil to see which option is the best for lining your baking sheets. By the end of this article, you should have a good idea of which one to pull out of your kitchen drawer next time your family-favorite chocolate chip cookies are going into the oven. Let’s jump right into it. 

Parchment Paper 

To start us off, we’ll be discussing parchment paper. Chances are, you probably already have a roll or two of parchment paper in your kitchen because it can be used for a wide variety of different purposes. It’s important to note that we’re not talking about waxed paper here, although the two tend to get confused a lot. Despite their similar appearance and feel, waxed paper and parchment paper serve different purposes and cannot be used interchangeably. Specifically, waxed paper has a delicate nonstick coating that melts in the oven, so you definitely don’t want to line your baking sheets with waxed paper. Parchment paper, on the other hand, is engineered in such a way that the nonstick coating can withstand heat of up to 450 degrees. By lining your baking sheet with parchment paper, you can save a whole lot of time on clean-up and also have your bakes come off the baking sheet smoothly. Don’t be alarmed if your parchment paper darkens during your bake; that is bound to happen and does not mean the nonstick coating is melting. Clearly, parchment paper has a ton of benefits. Let’s see how aluminum foil compares. 

Aluminum Foil 

If you don’t already have a roll of aluminum foil in your kitchen, make sure to add it to your next shopping list because you’ll need it in your life after reading this article. As expected, foil is heat-resistant and oven-safe, making it a popular choice among avid bakers for lining baking sheets. One perk that is unique to aluminum foil is that it is moldable and can hold a particular shape. You might be wondering why that would be useful; well, think about the options for different shapes of cake! By molding a new shape within a cake tin, you can create almost any shaped cake you want, from a heart to a football and much more. Aluminum foil will help unleash your creativity in the kitchen in ways you could have never imagined. However, there is a disadvantage of using aluminum foil to line baking sheets, though it’s a small obstacle. Foil doesn’t match up to the nonstick surface of parchment paper. Parchment paper is naturally nonstick while aluminum foil is not. However, to make your foil nonstick, all you have to do is lightly spritz your foil-lined baking sheet, and you’ll have the perfect nonstick surface to work with. Make sure you don’t forget to spritz your foil with cooking spray, or else you’ll have a chaotic time trying to get your bakes off the foil once they come out of the oven. 

Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil? 

We’ve presented you with all the details you need to know about both our main contenders: parchment paper and aluminum foil. Now, the question remains: which one should you use? As you might have guessed, the answer will depend on what you need it for! When it comes to lining baking sheets, both have unique benefits. Parchment paper is naturally nonstick, meaning no need to worry about spritzing with cooking spray, and aluminum foil is firmer and more moldable, allowing for a useful seal around the edges of the baking sheet. The best way to figure out which one works best for you is to try them for yourself with a couple of test bakes. Either way, you really can’t go wrong with either of these great options! 


We hope that article has helped shed light on what you should use to line your baking sheets. As with most things in life, there is no obvious, one-size-fits-all answer, but we’ve presented the pros and cons of both in such a way that you should have no trouble at all deciding which is right for your needs. Here’s to all the bakes you’ll create with your perfectly-lined baking sheets!

Categories: Life