Spend enough time in the kitchen, and you’ll quickly realize that there are some choices that you have to make during your journey as an aspiring cook.
As a chef, I’ve always liked experimenting with different tools to get the best out of my cooking experience. I’ve always had different comparison questions; should I use a plastic or metal Freezer Container? Are Single Cup Coffee Makers better than Programmable Coffee Makers? Which is easier, using a Salt and Pepper Grinder Set or different Spice Grinders for each purpose?
The thing is, I’ve quickly come to a decision for most of those choices, but there’s this one question that kept roaming my head before I came to a conclusion (that you’ll discover later on); which is better and healthier; parchment paper or foil?
I mean, they look similar, right? Wrong, just like an Apple Slicer is different from an Avocado Slicer, parchment paper and foil have some fundamental differences that distinguish them from each other, which Is why I’m writing this article
Let’s Start with Parchment Paper
To put it simply, parchment paper is composed of a sheet that’s covered with a thin silicone layer, which makes the paper non-sticky and resistant to high oven heat level. That basically means that using parchment paper will reduce the likelihood of burning your food. Besides, these sheets are excellent for baking, and are a great addon to your Baking Tools, whether you’re a cookies lover or more of a pizza enthusiast.
What Can You Use Parchment Paper For?
Although it’s great for baking, parchment paper has many other uses, including:
Preserving Baking Leftovers
Unlike Plastic Wrap, parchment paper allows both moisture and air to get out, which makes it the best solution for preserving your baked muffins, bread, or cookies for later consumption.
Protecting Your Microwave
As mentioned above, parchment paper can resist high temperature and is composed of silicone, not metal, which makes it microwave-friendly. So, next time you want to reheat a dish In the Microwave without ruining it with splatter, use parchment paper, and it will save you from the cleaning aftermath.
Rolling Out Dough
Don’t you hate it when you start rolling out your pizza or Pasta dough just to end up with a great mess afterward? Well, parchment paper can help with this as well. All you got to do is place the dough between two sheets and kiss the mess goodbye.
Storing or Freezing Food
When you’re storing cookies or freshly-baked biscuits, it’s essential to separate the different layers. To do so, simply use parchment paper, and you’re good to go. The process also works for separating burgers or sandwiches before putting them in the Food Storage Container.
There’s no sense denying it; aluminum foil is the most used food wrapper all across the world. After all, it’s convenient for both cooking and cleaning, and using it doesn’t require knowledge nor effort. Besides, foil is recyclable, which makes it the favorite choice for people who care about nature, not only those on a budget.
But to keep things clear, the only reason why foil is the most used wrapper is that people aren’t really exploring the other available options and alternatives. I mean, yeah, foil is versatile, but it doesn’t feature extra characteristics. It isn’t non-sticky, despite being thin and smooth.
The biggest downside of foil is that aluminum may leach into your food and slightly alter its taste, making it a bit metallic. While that isn’t necessarily harmful, it’s essential to know the foods that don’t go well with aluminum is you use foil frequently.
What Can You Use Foil For?
What’s convenient about aluminum is how it can distribute heat evenly without becoming too hot on the surface, which makes it suitable for several applications, such as:
Reheating, Reheating, Reheating!
If you want to reheat meat without burning the surface, wrapping it in foil can deliver great results as meat, be it beef or pork, doesn’t come in direct contact with the heat. Additionally, the heat is evenly distributed as mentioned above, so you don’t have to worry about getting an unevenly-hot steak at the end.
Grilling is Also an Option
Besides reheating, foil is great for grilling as well, be it meat or veggies, as all you have to do is make food packets that you can wrap around anything; meat, fish, veggies, or even delicate and small items such as mushrooms and shrimps. That way, your food will remain tender while roasting, which will ultimately result in an excellent dish.
Don’t Forget Roasting
If you’re a fan of roasting food in the oven, you can use foil to wrap whatever it is you’re cooking, be it pie or meat, so it doesn’t become brown too fast on the surface.
It’s Also Leftovers-Friendly
Foil is a great FoodSaver because it blocks oxygen and light which ensures long preservation of your leftovers.
Parchment Paper Vs. Foil: Which is Healthier?
When it comes to cooking, paying special attention to the health impact of every aspect is crucial as this is food we’re talking about. Unfortunately, both parchment paper and foil aren’t totally innocent health-wise.
Foil, on one hand, is made o aluminum, which is known to leach into food when cooking according to a study published by the International Journal of Electrochemical Science. The higher the heat and acidity, the more aluminum you get in your dishes. That’s one of the reasons that led to the increased usage of parchment paper in recent years. Don’t let that scare you off though, as the quantity of aluminum that leaches into your food is way smaller than that that exists in our diet in the first place, which makes foil quite safe to use.
Parchment paper, on the other hand, is covered in silicone, which isn’t well-loved in the food health industry. To stay safe, opt for natural sheets instead of bleached ones that pose the highest risk.
Parchment Paper Vs. Foil: Which is Better?
Sadly, we cannot answer that question for you. There’s no better option. Both parchment paper and foil are useful, each for specific purposes and uses. So, the best thing for you to do is to keep both in your kitchen as that will make your cooking journey much easier.
While it’s essential to make a choice between certain variations of some kitchen tools, there are situations where you have to accept all the options, which is the case for parchment paper and foil. Both are great, both come with pros and cons, and both will find their uses in your kitchen.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!