Parchment paper is used in a standard oven for baking, but can you put parchment paper in a toaster oven? Perhaps a better question for this scenario would be to what extent can you put parchment paper in a toaster oven.
If you haven’t got the hint yet, this question doesn’t have a black-and-white answer. So read on to find out why, when, and how to put parchment paper in your toaster oven without causing a disaster!
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Can you put parchment paper in a toaster oven?
The quick answer to this question is “kind of.” While you can technically put parchment paper in a toaster oven, there are far more risks than placing it in a standard oven. This is because toaster ovens are far smaller than the standard baking oven, so the heating element is closer to the baking sheet and bakeware.
As such, the parchment paper is at far greater risk of burning up and can even catch fire if not used appropriately.
Related: Baking paper vs. Parchment paper
Why put parchment paper in a toaster oven?
Parchment paper’s main advantage is providing a non stick surface to prevent foods from sticking to your baking trays. This baking sheet is also greaseproof so that it won’t affect the look or taste of your food. You can also save on unnecessary calories by removing the need for fatty seasoning oils.
Thus, parchment paper is a fantastic solution to maintaining the structure of your baked goods while also promoting healthier cooking alternatives.
Parchment paper shines brightest when used for dough-based cooking, like baking cookies or pizzas. These types of foods have their quality heavily reliant on their physical structure. Using baking paper in a toaster oven protects your baked goods from cracking and breaking when removing them at completion.
Using parchment paper inside a toaster oven, you can also avoid the terrors of burn marks on your baked foods.
Besides the benefits you get from cooking with parchment paper, it also makes clean-up time much easier. I know from experience the struggles of trying to scrape off pizza dough from a baking tray.
Using parchment paper properly inside a toaster oven protects your food from burning into it and your baking equipment from nasty stains that won’t budge.
Potential dangers of parchment paper in a toaster oven
Even though parchment paper is oven safe for up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, this benefit is typically only applicable to conventional ovens. When we bring in toaster ovens or convection ovens into the equation, even the durable silicone materials of baking paper can backfire and cause dangerous hazards.
This is because of the confined space of toaster ovens compared to regular ovens, which brings your food closer to the heat source. If the parchment paper is in an environment with high temperatures that exceed 420 degrees Fahrenheit, it can immediately be at risk of overheating and can burn easily.
Whether you bake cookies, cake, or pizza with baking paper, you should always avoid exceeding the 420-degree F mark. This is true whether the paper is used in a toaster oven, halogen toaster oven, convection oven, or even a regular oven.
As hot air accumulates, anything with poor air circulation and concentrated heating elements can cause a fire hazard with parchment paper.
You risk damage to your toaster oven and bakeware when incorrectly using parchment paper in a toaster oven. However, you also have to deal with burnt food and a waste of precious ingredients. Of course, danger to your food pales compared to the dangers of a household fire hazard that could occur if the parchment paper became inflamed.
A less extreme danger is that parchment paper can also dry up and crumble under a long baking period. This removes the potential to reuse it for another cooking session.
How to properly use parchment paper in a toaster oven
There are a few tips and tricks you should use if you’re intent on using parchment paper properly inside a toaster oven. While your toaster oven manufacturer may claim that parchment paper is compatible with safe use in their products, they often fail to mention any safety guidelines to do so.
Adhering to the following precautions below could be the difference between delicious baked cookies and a household fire.
Make a precise cut
One of the best preventative measures to use your toaster oven safely is to make accurate cutouts of your parchment baking sheets. This means measuring the size of your bakeware equipment and cutting out sheets of parchment paper that perfectly fit the tray without any bits sticking out.
You should also ensure the cutouts aren’t too small such that some of the food directly interacts with the bakeware, which can cause unwanted sticking.
This can be pivotal for safe use because any loose parchment paper could end up contacting the toaster oven’s heating element. This can catch fire and burn. A precise cut of the parchment paper will ensure this does not occur even when exposed to the maximum oven temperature range.
Most toaster ovens do not exceed 420 degrees Fahrenheit but double-check this just in case.
Avoid oily ingredients
Fortunately, parchment paper removes the need to add oil or another fatty seasoning (like butter) to the surface of your baking dishes. However, if your ingredients are high in oil content, then placing them on parchment paper could cause the sheets to become drenched in oils.
As a result, they will become more prone to catching fire or burning if exposed to direct heating elements such as that of a toaster oven.
Use the bottom shelf
Given the tight confinements of toaster ovens, you should keep your baked goods well out of harm’s way by using the bottom shelf. When you cook food on the top shelf, it has a higher risk of burning because it is closer to the heat.
Keeping your food, bakeware, and parchment paper on the bottom shelf can increase cooking time but helps to avoid hazards.
Don’t reuse parchment paper
One of the benefits of parchment paper is that it can be reused for multiple cooking sessions. This allows you to save on costs and resources. However, avoiding reusing parchment paper when cooking in a convection oven may be beneficial.
This is because constantly reusing it results in the build-up of food oils and crumbs. These slowly diminish the heat-resistant and non stick elements of the paper’s silicone coating.
Alternatives to parchment paper
Some alternative materials can work well with toaster ovens which you may want to consider before using parchment paper. These alternatives can be used with parchment paper or as an individual substitute.
Unlike fatty olive oils and butters, cooking sprays such as canola or coconut oil can be great for healthy cooking and baking (1). Of course, you will have to deal with the additional subtle flavor, but this can sometimes be a good thing.
For instance, I find that coconut oil works well with baked cookies by adding a nicely scented tropical flavor to it.
Cooking spray is quite versatile in that you can use it alongside parchment paper when cooking in a toaster oven. A great way of using the two is spraying the parchment paper’s bottom side to ensure nothing sticks to the tray.
Another great alternative is aluminum foil, which won’t catch fire in a toaster oven even if you surpass the temperature limit of 420 degrees F. Aluminum foil use can reap amazing rewards, such as not worrying about making precise cuts, catching fires, or foil sticking out.
However, aluminum foil is not as non stick as parchment paper, so you may need to lightly oil the surface to prevent foods from sticking to its surface.
The key ingredient of parchment paper is silicone, which is how it achieves a non stick surface resistant to high temperatures. A suitable alternative to parchment paper is silicon pads or silicon mats.
Made up of silicone and fiberglass, these pads essentially have the same elemental compounds as parchment paper. However, they don’t pose the risk of paper burning during the cooking process.
The great thing about silicon pads is that they are washable and reusable, offering far better recyclable potential than parchment paper. Not only that, but they have other uses outside of cooking, such as being used as coasters to rest coffee cups on (2).
These toaster oven-safe silicon pads should be purchased from a trusted brand with a good reputation. Poor quality designs could produce harmful toxins when exposed to extreme temperatures.
Can you put parchment paper in a toaster oven FAQ
Will paper catch fire in the toaster oven?
Yes, paper will catch fire in a toaster oven if not layered with a protective coating such as silicone. When using baking paper, you should ensure that you keep your goods as far from the heating element as possible, such as in the bottom toaster oven tray.
Can wax paper go in toaster oven?
Wax paper should be avoided when it comes to toaster oven cooking, as the element is likely to melt and cause an unwanted bond between the wax and your food. Wax also has the potential to catch fire when exposed to intense or concentrated heating elements, so it’s typically best to avoid putting them in toaster ovens altogether.
Can I put parchment paper in a convection oven?
With safe practice, you can use parchment paper in a convection oven or toaster oven, so long as you ensure no loose ends of the paper are present and that you use a heat-safe dish and avoid using glass bakeware and glass dishes. This is because most glass dishes are unsafe for oven use as they may randomly shatter when exposed to such environments.