Why It Might Be Dangerous To Put Parchment Paper Under Your Broiler

Parchment paper can be helpful in so many ways in the kitchen. It's nonstick, it simplifies cleanup as it catches any crumbs or mess that your baked goods might leave behind, and it ensures uniform cooking throughout whatever recipe you've decided to create. This handy roll of paper is the reason you may never have to grease another cookie sheet again.

From roasting whole garlic to baking chocolate chip cookies, parchment paper is the MVP of the oven. While some haven't yet embraced the powers of parchment, the versatile paper has been around since the second century BC, when it was used as writing material (via Britannica). It was originally made from the skins of animals, like sheep, goats, and calves. Today, Parchment is made from wood pulp and is used for a variety of purposes both in and out of the kitchen.

And, while it can accomplish many different culinary goals, parchment paper should never be put in an air fryer. After all, it's not completely indestructible.

The burning point of parchment paper

According to Cooks Illustrated, parchment paper can withstand oven temperatures of up to 450 degrees. Under a broiler, however, parchment paper is likely to ignite. 

Broiling is a great way to achieve an outer crunch and complex flavor in the food you're cooking. It's great for fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables. In fact, the broiler is the high-tech way Ruth's Chris keeps its steaks sizzling. It can also add complex texture to the outer layer of something that's already been cooked using another method.

But, a broiler set to a high temperature can reach 550 degrees Fahrenheit (per Healthline). That's too hot for parchment paper to survive without catching fire and posing a major safety hazard. When broiling, experts recommend using aluminum foil instead (via Epicurious). Aluminum foil can withstand temperatures of 1,220 degrees before it catches fire. But, CNET reports, it may stick to whatever you're cooking.

If you do need to heat your oven beyond the burning point of parchment paper, a greased baking sheet is a slightly more high-maintenance alternative. You will have to scrub the pan once your cooking is finished, but your goodies won't stick, and there's very little risk of inducing a flame.