Parchment paper is a kitchen staple. It has so many uses! It comes in handy whether you’re making brownies , baked cod with lemons and artichokes , a drop-dead gorgeous strawberry meringue cake , or almost anything that needs some time in the oven. It also makes for easy packaging for tucking a sandwich in a lunchbox, can be used as an impromptu piping bag for icing a cake, and, when swapped for plastic wrap, can make your fancy cheeses last longer in the fridge. It also makes clean-up a breeze, which makes it downright indispensable. However, there’s one thing that parchment paper can’t do—tell you which side goes up! That’s what we’re here for.
What is Parchment Paper?
Like wax paper, parchment paper is moisture-resistant and non-stick, however, parchment doesn’t contain wax, which is why it works so well for baking. The wax in wax paper melts in heat, making it unsuitable for cooking. Parchment paper, though, has a light silicone coating that makes it heat resistant, prevents the paper from absorbing grease and moisture, and can keep baked goods fresh longer.
Which Side Goes Up?
Here’s the good news: most parchment paper is coated on both sides. “I can’t speak for other brands, but our parchment—both the roll and sheets—is double sided meaning you can use either side,” Jenna Davis, Director of Brand Marketing at If You Care , explained in an email. That’s right: there is no right side up!
However, some parchment papers are only coated on one side of the paper. Since parchment paper doesn’t have a helpful “this end up” sign with an arrow, it takes a little detective work. Just hold the paper up to the light and look for the side that’s slightly glossier or shinier. It is the shiny or glossy side of the parchment paper that should be face up on your baking sheet or cake pan . That way the shiny side can be in contact with your food and make the clean-up easy.
As to whether you need parchment, aluminum foil, or wax paper, don’t worry, we have you covered .