Does It Matter Which Side Of Parchment Paper Faces Up?

Those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen know that parchment paper is a real time-saver. According to King Arthur Baking, parchment paper has a thin layer of nonstick silicone, making it perfect for keeping baking sheets, pans, and even air fryers clean. This silicone layer also allows parchment paper to be reused – until its color darkens anyway, at which point you should throw it out. Awesome stuff, right?

As you might expect, there are a couple of caveats to using parchment paper. Per Cook's Illustrated, most brands of parchment paper are rated for temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. When subjected to higher temperatures, parchment paper turns brittle and falls apart. So much for preventing messes. Another thing to keep in mind is which side of the parchment paper you place facing upward. At a glance, both sides look the same, but there is a particular side you might want on top.

For the easiest clean, this side up

We understand that the finer details of parchment paper — such as which side should face upward — rank fairly low on the average person's list of concerns. However, for parchment paper to really do its job of keeping things clean, you might want to take a closer look at its two sides.

As it turns out, leaving the wrong side facing up can be one of the biggest mistakes you make with parchment paper. Fortunately, according to Southern Living, there's a simple way to determine which side is which. Hold up a sheet of your go-to parchment paper, and note which side seems glossier. The glossier side is coated with nonstick silicone, like we mentioned earlier, and this is the side you want facing up.

That being said, some parchment paper is glossy on both sides, so it doesn't really matter which side faces upward. Just slap that parchment paper in a brownie pan and get to making the prettiest brownies the world has ever seen. Save one for us!