The fight for being the best baking liner has been from ever, and since the introduction of silicone mats, the competition has turned uglier. Wax paper has long lost the battle. Now the main question that is doing rounds on the internet is which is better baking liner among parchment paper and silicone mat?
When you are baking cookies, making candies, or roasting vegetables, it becomes difficult to avoid things getting stuck to the pan. This is when silicone baking mats and parchment papers come to rescue our kitchen pans by providing a non-stick surface, and cutting down the cleaning time. But the main question still remains, which should you stock in the kitchen? For reaching the final result, we need to first understand how these things work.
It is a cellulose-based form of paper that comes with an ultra-thin silicone coating. This coating allows the parchment paper for baking purposes, especially while making cookies or foods that are often greasy in nature. The benefit of using parchment paper in baking is that it provides a non-stick surface for cooking and so you don’t need extra oil or cooking sprays. But the downside of this paper is that it might tear off while cooking. This might lead to leakage of grease through the paper, or on the worse side, the paper itself might end up sticking to the food.
Some more key features of parchment paper are listed below –
·These papers are super easy to clean after baking. The only thing you need to do is throw away the use parchment paper.
·Helps in baking the cookies evenly. You might find the cookies more on a browner side when you bake, this is because it retains more heat.
·The cookies you bake won’t stick to the parchment paper. (Is this not the basic reason why we are using it at first place?
·A new, fresh parchment sheet is needed for each recipe or every time you bake. So, there is no chance of any residual odors.
·These are not reusable. So you have to keep buying the pack of parchment paper every time you run out of them.
·If you are using the parchment paper out of a roll, then it will keep rolling up and is it becomes a bit difficult to handle. The lifting of cookie dough is not considered ideal for baking.
Silicone Baking Mats
A Silicone baking mat is similar to the parchment paper, the only difference being paper replaced with a fiberglass mat. This fiberglass mat is also coated with a thin layer of silicone on both the sides and hence named silicone baking mat. The mat is coated on both the sides of the mat, which allows the cook to use irrespective of the side. These baking mats are very thin and hence can be used in the same applications of baking as the parchment paper.
Some of the key features of silicone baking mats are –
·These are easy to clean. You just need to wash them thoroughly.
·Nothing sticks to the baking mats, and hence the cookies will be easier to lift once they are baked.
·These mats can withstand high heat and temperature without tearing off like the parchment paper.
·They don’t retain any odor once you wash them.
·Silicone baking mats are reusable. So, you only have to buy them once and bake for a number of times.
·The silicone mats are heavy and do not roll from the sides like the parchment paper. This means you do not have to worry about the cookie dough while lifting the mat.
·The silicon mats come for a heavy price when compared to the parchment paper. But they will soon pay off the cost considering their reusable nature.
Now that we know a lot about the parchment paper and the silicone mats, let’s compare them to find out which one is better. So here I have compared parchment paper vs silicone mat on certain points.
The main purpose of these liners is for baking cookies or cooking food. Therefore, I am comparing these two on that very basis. First things first, nothing sticks to the pan at all. Both these liners do their task very handsomely by not letting anything stick to the kitchen pan. However, the baking mats are a bit more non-sticky when compared to the papers. These are best when you are making lollipops, tuiles, pralines, etc. While baking cookies the mat, however, don’t provide enough browning when compared to the parchment papers. So, the cookies baked on the silicone mat will be chewier while on the parchment paper it will be a little crisp on the side and chewy inside.
Convenience Of Use
Parchment paper is very convenient to use as you have to use a new paper for every time you bake. And after you are done, just throw the paper away. However, with baking mat, you have to wash it after use and let it dry until the next time.
But the reusability factor of silicone mats is great when it comes to cost-cutting. As this one mat that you bought will be enough for months of baking. However, with papers, you have to buy the sheets or roll each time you plan on baking something new. Therefore, there is more wastage of paper when you opt for the parchment paper.
Both the options have its own advantages as well as disadvantages. But I would advise you to go with the silicone baking mat as this option is more versatile when it comes to baking compared to the parchment paper. The silicone mat is best for super sticky recipes as well as very thin cookies, which is a bit difficult to bake on the parchment paper. And this is the reason, even while having their own benefits, silicone baking mat is the clear winner in the contest of best baking liners. So you can use up all the parchment papers you have (if you have any) and buy your own silicon baking mats for the next baking session.