All You Need To Know About Parchment Paper Vs Foil: Which Is A Better Choice?

Confused with what to use between a parchment paper and foil in cooking? The truth is, these two kitchen staples have various uses that can turn the cooking time easier. Parchment paper vs foil - this comparison might be the best way to determine which of the two is a better and safer choice for cooking.

I started with a limited knowledge of parchment paper and foil. All I know is that a parchment paper is somewhat waxy, while a foil looks silvery. Since I’m embarrassed that my knowledge ends there, I did extensive research to learn more about them.


What Are Parchment Paper And Foil?

What Are Parchment Paper And Foil?

Parchment paper is a cellulose-based paper that’s oven-safe up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t confuse parchment paper with wax paper because the latter can’t endure high temperatures and may even melt in the oven. The heat resistance of parchment paper makes it a popular choice for baking, roasting vegetables, and steaming fish.

On the other hand, a foil is essentially just a thin aluminum in various thickness. You can use heavy duty foil to roast poultry, grill food, and cook fish in the oven. You can even use this material to package food in the fridge and even for thermal insulation. So when it comes to versatility, the foil is a sure winner.

Roasting With Parchment Paper Vs Foil

When roasting vegetables, either parchment paper or foil is okay to use. However, if you’ll roast vegetables above 420 degrees Fahrenheit, a nonstick foil might be a better choice. To use either material, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season lightly to bring out the flavors.

Some vegetables, like corn, potatoes, and carrots, might need to be wrapped in aluminum foil to cook them tenderly. Test kitchen manager Charry Brown suggests placing a few ice cubes in the pan to add moisture to the vegetables.

If you’re roasting chicken or turkey, a heavy-duty foil is a preferred choice over parchment paper because of its malleability. Before you wrap the turkey with foil, brush it with oil and add some seasonings. You can also keep the turkey moist by basting it and then tenting it with foil, as shown in this video.

Steaming And Grilling With Parchment Paper Vs Foil

Steaming And Grilling With Parchment Paper Vs Foil


If you’ll be steaming a whole fish or fillet in an oven, use parchment paper to lock in the moisture and flavor. Even if the parchment paper gets wet, it will remain strong. However, if you’ll be broiling fish on high temperature, opt for a nonstick foil to minimize cleanup and sticking.

For any grilling recipes, you may consider using a foil instead of parchment paper. Foil works great in tenting steaks or burgers. To steam fruits, vegetables, or seafood, place them in the center of a foil and roll the sides to create a packet.

Baking With Parchment Paper Vs Foil

Baking With Parchment Paper Vs Foil

When baking cookies and cakes, parchment paper is a better choice than foil. The paper will hold the shape of the cookies even better without any cracks. If you’re baking sugar cookies, you can make it a lot simpler by rolling the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.

To bake a cake more evenly, choose parchment paper over foil because the latter makes it hard to line a round cake pan. Since lining the sides of a round pan is also tricky with parchment paper, you can just grease the sides and line the bottom of the pan separately.

For baking brownies, a nonstick foil may be a better option because it can easily mold to the shape of a pan. After the brownies are done baking, you can just easily lift the foil out of the pan to create perfect brownie cuts.

Are There Any Health Risks To Foil?

Are There Any Health Risks To Foil?

Although foil offers great versatility, it may not be safe to use on high temperatures because some aluminum might percolate into your food, according to International Journal Of Electrochemical Science. High concentrations of aluminum in the body may be linked to several health risks, such Alzheimer’s disease, renal impairments, and bone diseases.

The amount of percolation was discovered to be high in acidic solutions and spices. Therefore, if you like to stay on the safe side, avoid cooking with aluminum foil if you’ll be using spices and acidic solutions, like tomato juice and vinegar.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Parchment paper vs foil - which is better? I would say, foil for versatility and parchment paper for safety. Now that you know the health dangers of cooking with aluminum on high temperatures, it might be best to avoid using acidic solutions and spices to avoid any chemical reaction.

If you have any questions about or suggestions for this article, get them heard in the comments section and we’ll make sure to reply as soon as possible. Don’t be shy to share this article if you found it informative.

Paula Hughes

I’m Paula, and I’m absolutely in love with food blogs. I’m a foodie at heart but being the mother of two small boys, it’s not always easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so I rely on the support of other blogging moms like me to help along the way.

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