The Real Reason You Should Never Grease Your Cookie Sheet

If you were taught to bake by your grandmother, chances are you have probably greased a cookie sheet at least once in your life, whether with butter, or a non-stick cooking spray. Greasing a pan can actually be very helpful in certain baking situations to help a cake or bread turn out. However, when it comes to the average batch of chocolate chip or sugar cookies, you might have been ill-informed.

According to Eat This, Not That! and pastry chef Eileen Gray, greasing a cookie sheet is actually a bad idea. It could lead to your cookies spreading too much, thinning out, and possibly even burning. Talk about disappointing! If you find that no matter which recipe you use, your cookies keep having these problems, greasing the cookie sheet might be the culprit. Don't worry too much, though, there is a cheap and simple solution: parchment paper!

Why you should always bake with parchment paper

Before you start reaching for that dusty old wax paper in the pantry, hold on. Wax paper and parchment paper are not the same thing. Martha Stewart does a pretty good job of distinguishing the two, but in short wax paper shouldn't be used in the oven since the wax isn't heat proof (meaning it could melt onto your cookies, or even catch fire!). Parchment paper, meanwhile, is made with silicone and treated specifically for oven use, meaning it will keep your cookies from sticking to your cookie sheet every time (via Southern Living). Plus, the parchment paper acts as a barrier between the baking sheet and the cookies, keeping your cookie sheets in good quality longer by preventing grease buildup (via Taste of Home). 

Removing cookies from a parchment paper-lined sheet might seem like couldn't get any easier, but it does: Try tearing off a piece of parchment paper large enough to leave an extra inch or so on each side of the cookie sheet. This will allow you to lift all of the cookies off of the sheet at once, which is great when working with a more fragile cookie recipe, or one that needs to cool quickly. You can even use this strategy with cakes or brownies (via Bon Appetit). As an added bonus, you won't have to make a mess or worry about impacting the outcome of the recipe by greasing the pan. Happy baking!