In the kitchen, you can use parchment paper for nearly everything. It has loads of applications ranging from helping roast vegetables in toaster ovens or serving as a steaming packet for cooking salmon in a conventional oven.
You can also put it on frying pan surfaces to cook chicken breasts in a nonstick fashion. However, can its versatility apply to microwaves as well? To be more specific, is Reynolds parchment paper microwave safe? Keep on reading to learn how microwavable parchment paper is.
Is Reynolds Parchment Paper Microwave-Safe?
Reynolds parchment paper is microwave-safe for reheating and cooking purposes. It’s arguably more microwave-safe than Reynolds wrap’s world-famous plastic wrap product. Parchment is unaffected by microwave radiation to the point of being transparent to it.
Further reading: Can You Microwave Parchment Paper?
Parchment paper particles, like ceramic particles, can’t absorb the short-frequency radiowaves. Therefore, it doesn’t heat up directly from the microwave rays. It does heat up and gets messed up by the grease and water from the food being heated though.
It’s okay because it can withstand the highest temperatures, as though it’s comparable to wax paper or baking paper (more the latter than the former).
How High a Temperature Can Reynolds Parchment Paper Stand?
The Reynolds parchment paper product is capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 450°F. As disposable as the paper wrap is, it won’t easily fold or tear apart into pulp from hot foods and whatnot due to its silicone coating.
The food heating hardly affects it, thus it’s a good splatter or splash guard for microwaveable containers lacking lids or if the pie you’re heating up lacks a dish to carry it during the microwaving process.
The beauty of Reynolds parchment paper is that it’s transparent to microwave radiation, making it a good microwaving companion the same way baking paper is the baker’s best friend when baking.
Parchment paper is less likely to disintegrate like wax paper when wrapped around fatty or oily food like hamburgers or pork chops you wish to “fry” by cooking them with their own fats and juices.
How Do Microwaves Work Relative to Its Ineffectiveness Against Parchment Paper?
Microwave ovens have a magnetron that generates low-energy short-frequency radiowaves or microwave radiation. This is absorbed easily by polar molecules in food, particularly their water molecules, to induce raised temperature, heating, and cooking.
Polar molecules have two or more areas of differing electrical charges or permanent dipoles (two-sided poles). The water molecule is one such example of a polar molecule. Others are oil, grease, and fat (which are less efficient at microwave energy absorption).
Parchment Paper is Transparent against Microwave Rays
Like how glass is transparent and allows light to pass through, parchment paper and its silicone coating allow microwave rays to pass through it as well. The low-energy radiation mainly creates an oscillating electromagnetic field affecting food’s water content.
The particles of parchment paper don’t fulfill the criteria needed for microwave absorption. This then results in radiation passing through it like it’s not there, with little to no heating occurring.
What are the Uses of Parchment Paper in the Microwave?
Parchment paper is usually used in the microwave oven as a means to assist in reheating cooked food. To be more specific, it covers dishes like a plastic cover, but this time it is parchment paper.
- Holds Moist Heat: It also holds back the moist heat emanating from the food. This helps kill bacteria and even out the spread of heat.
- Absorb Grease: You can even line your microwave plates with it when cooking greasy food like bacon or pork chops. Those shoot off hot grease everywhere when cooked.
- Splatter Shield: It defends against food splatter as well. Melting butter won’t splatter thanks to this covering. However, plastic covers are better suited against heavy soup splatter.
- Defrosting: Additionally, it can also cover the food you intend to defrost. It’s better and safer to defrost food covered in parchment paper versus food covered in its original plastic tray and wrappings.
- Wrap for Cooking Foods: It also serves as a wrap or packet for cooking foods like hot dogs, corn, potato chips, chicken, boneless meat, fish, and salmon. It can also be used in packet form in order to roast garlic.
How Sturdy is Parchment Paper Inside a Microwave Oven?
The Reynolds parchment paper covering your food is pretty sturdy thanks to its silicone coating. The air inside the microwave oven doesn’t match any of the energies emanating from the microwave radiation, so therefore the air molecules are as transparent as parchment paper.
This means that it’s less likely for parchment paper to heat up and burn due to the microwaved air. The air heats up after cooking due to the radiating energy from food. The air can only heat up inside the microwave if the device has a convection mode.
Parchment paper won’t easily turn to pulp from the hot steam of the food due to its silicone coating and its 450°F heat resistance. Moist heat needs to be above 450°F in order to destroy this paper.
Can Food Heat Up Above 450°F in Temperature?
Most food doesn’t heat up above 450°F, especially if you’re heating it from a tepid temperature or right out of the fridge. Only food heated by microwave radiation can heat parchment paper past its heating threshold of 450°F.
Oily foods and fatty tissues are capable of reaching temperatures above 400°F. This is in contrast to most water-based food that can hardly go above 212°F (so it’s fine to cover them in parchment paper to assist in cooking them).
When the food reaches the point of burning, then they can reach past the 450°F as well, which causes smoking or browning unto the paper.
Unlike wax paper (covered in paraffin wax), the heat-resistant, silicone-coated Reynolds parchment paper can survive bathing in microwave rays without risking smoking, going brittle, or getting sopping wet with water, steam, or grease.
The Final Conclusion
The microwave’s electric field and magnetic field moving in tandem at right angles to one another, such that they’re constantly alternating between two directions on their respective axis. This oscillation is super-fast—it happens 2.45 billion times every second.
This cooks the goose of most microwaved foods at controlled intervals determined by wattage/power level and microwave radiation exposure time. However, microwave rays pass through Reynolds parchment paper like light would a transparent plate of glass.
- “Can you microwave parchment paper?” The Wise Baker, December 29, 2020