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Old 01-24-2021, 08:33 AM   #1
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Parchment Paper vs Silicone Mat

When baking cookies or anything on a baking pan, often the recipe calls to line the pan with parchment paper.

My question is, can parchment paper and a silicone mat be used interchangeably ? or are there situations where one would be preferred too the other ?

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Old 01-24-2021, 08:46 AM   #2
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Personally, I think i get better browning on parchment. But that could be my imagination.

I would put cookies on buttered parchment, but macarons on silicone .
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:14 AM   #3
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Stella Parks from Serious Eats says there's a big difference. They conduct heat to the dough differently, so the results are different.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2019/10/...-silicone.html
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:07 PM   #4
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I definitely prefer parchment to the silicone mat, for the browning reason, plus the cookies took longer to bake on the mat. Back when I used to bake thousands of cookies every Christmas time, there were a few softer cookies, that I didn't want the darker, crisper bottom on, and the mat would be better for those, but I usually baked crispy cookies, since they stored well.

One thing it is good for, some of which will even stick to parchment, are macaroons. These are notorious stickers, and in my old books they told us to bake them on brown paper, cool them on the paper, then soak the paper with water, and peel them off! (No, I never really did this!) They tend to stick to anything I tried, and I never really baked many of them, until I found a recipe of Maida Heatter (I think in her first chocolate book) - Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons. The bottom browns (the toffee like flavor is one of the good things about it) but sticks to foil, parchment, Baker's Secret, and any greased pan. It's ok on the silicone mat, but hardly any browning. But something I found years ago, before the silicone mats, or Nonstick Foil (more on this later), were teflon sheets, which these macaroons would not stick to! I only used them for these, and other macaroons, and a couple other "stickers", but they worked, and the things still browned, since the sheets were so thin.
Teflon baking mats by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I found out, later on, that nonstick foil - the kind with one side coated with silicone - worked even better for these macaroons. I could bake 3 consecutive batches on the same sheet, before they would start sticking (wiping it clean in between probably removes some silicone). But then, it's been years since I made that many of those things! Not that I don't want to.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:50 PM   #5
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I almost never bake cookies. I like the silicon mats for roasting vegis, for making smashed [potatoes, and for meat. I also have some black, mats that are very thin and made for using on a grill. Depending on the size of the pan, I might use those instead of the silicon mat. I don't mind cutting the grilling mats to fit the pan. I have parchment. I bought it years ago and didn't realize I should check how hot an oven it's good for. The stuff I got starts to scorch at less than 400F.
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Old 01-24-2021, 02:21 PM   #6
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I prefer my Silpat liners, mainly because you only have to buy them once, and you never run out in the middle of a baking project.
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Old 01-24-2021, 05:18 PM   #7
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I prefer parchment for most things, especially drop cookies. With drop cookies, they tend to spread too much because they are getting too much ambient heat before getting heat from the pan.

For certain things like macarons this is an advantage and the silicone liner works well, also with something sticky like a Florentine lace cookie, this is the best.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:03 PM   #8
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Parchment paper for me.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:07 PM   #9
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which ever one I happen to grab.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:13 PM   #10
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Always parchment. I don't have a Silpat.

BTW, 99% of the cookies we make here don't require anything other than a cookie sheet.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:23 PM   #11
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I like siliconized parchment (also called bakery release paper) and use it now exclusively. Example: https://www.amazon.com/Zenlogy-Unble.../dp/B0742M7KR7

It has the browning advantage of regular parchment and a nice non-stick vibe. Easily available online in various sizes. I also love that it comes in a stiff carboard box dispenser that fits in along the sheet pans in my skinny cupboard.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:36 PM   #12
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I've learned not all parchment paper is made equal.

I've tried several brands and settled on Costco's Kirkland Signature brand. It's the least expensive of the brands I've tried and is best at releasing foods. A combination that's hard to beat.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I've learned not all parchment paper is made equal.

I've tried several brands and settled on Costco's Kirkland Signature brand. It's the least expensive of the brands I've tried and is best at releasing foods. A combination that's hard to beat.
Yup. Parchment paper used to be just that - parchment paper. Food stuck. Bakery Release paper is similar and has a thin coating of silicon. It's commonly labeled now as parchment or non-stick parchment (like the costco brand).
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:54 PM   #14
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I use both, just depends on what I'm cooking/baking.
Oh and tin foil too has it's place.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:28 PM   #15
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The parchment paper I got was from a restaurant supply place, so it works well (though still not with macaroons).
I got a box of a hundred sheets, packed flat - the best way to get it, as you don't have to try getting it to flatten, after being rolled up! I got full sheet size, for when I used to bake all those cookies in my larger oven. I cut a bunch in half, and keep them on top of the rest. The only bad thing about the flat storage is storing the flat box - if I didn't have that high, wide liquor cabinet in my dining room, that I put it on top of, I don't know where I could put it flat.
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Old 01-25-2021, 11:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I like siliconized parchment (also called bakery release paper) and use it now exclusively. Example: https://www.amazon.com/Zenlogy-Unble.../dp/B0742M7KR7

It has the browning advantage of regular parchment and a nice non-stick vibe. Easily available online in various sizes. I also love that it comes in a stiff carboard box dispenser that fits in along the sheet pans in my skinny cupboard.
That's what I use. After working in bakeries I learned the benefits of coated parchment. I like the pre-cut , quick and easy.
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