Can You Use Parchment Paper in a Food Dehydrator?
Parchment paper is the ideal way to line up a dehydrator when you're making fruit leather or dehydrating sticky fruits or meats. Parchment paper not only helps in keeping the dehydrator clean, but it also makes it easy to remove the dried food products from the trays of the dehydrator. It's a really no mess solution for dehydrating all kinds of foods and you can always easily cut up the parchment paper to fit any size of dehydrator.
Parchment paper has high resistance to heat and as it is treated with an acid during the production of paper which also lends it high stability. Parchment paper is also treated with silicone that makes it resistant to heat and perfect for use in dehydrators. If you're thinking about dehydrating anything sticky, you can always use parchment paper in your dehydrator to minimize the fuss and maximize the drying output of your dehydrator.
Differences Between Parchment Paper and Wax Paper
While on the surface and in terms of usage parchment paper and wax paper look almost similar, there are many differences between these two. Let's have a look at these differences to understand why parchment paper is the only choice for dehydrators.
- Wax Paper Can Ignite
Yes, you read it right. Do not place waxed paper in any kind of oven or dehydrator as it will heat up and catch fire. Wax paper is coated with wax that melts when it is exposed to heat. At higher temperatures, it can catch fire which is why you should use wax paper only for wrapping food but not in your oven or dehydrator. Parchment paper, on the other hand, is heat resistant and it can be used in dehydrators or ovens.
- Different Coating
Parchment paper is coated with silicone which makes it heat resistant and nonstick. Wax paper is coated with wax that has low melting point and is ideal only for wrapping foods for storage. Wax paper is moisture proof and it can keep foods dry for a long time.
While wax paper is pretty cheap, parchment paper can be a bit on the expensive side. But if you look at it in terms of usage, there are many different ways in which you can use parchment paper.
- Usage Differences
Both wax paper and parchment paper should be used in different environments. You can simply remember that parchment paper is to be used for hot foods, while wax paper should be used with cold food items.
Wax paper is for one-time use only. But you can use parchment paper multiple times before discarding it. Simply wipe off the paper and you can use it for dehydrating or baking once again.
Reasons to Use Parchment Paper in a Dehydrator
Parchment paper has many uses and while it is best used for baking, there are many reasons why you should use these while drying different food items in your dehydrator too. Here's a look at some of the reasons to use parchment paper in your dehydrator.
- Easy Cleanup
Cleaning up dehydrator trays is one of the most boring and difficult tasks about dehydrating. But once you line up your dehydrator trays with parchment paper, clean up is a breeze. As the food items don't stick to the paper, cleaning the trays is as easy as wiping them off with a wet cloth.
- Dried Food Doesn't Stick to Parchment Paper
As with any other kind of lining, you might find pieces of lining or food stuck to each other after drying for long hours. But there is no such problem with parchment paper. You can simply lift the food items off the paper and wipe the paper clean.
- Parchment Paper Adds to the Life of Dehydrator Trays
Dehydrator trays often get oil or sugar residue from the foods and this can damage these trays in the long run. But when you use parchment paper, the trays stay safe from the excess oil or dried sugars. It's easy to clean these trays and you can use them for a much longer time.
- Versatile Uses
When it comes to drying different kinds of foods in the dehydrator, parchment paper really adds to the versatility. You can use it for making fruit leathers, fruit rollups and drying jerky and much more. With parchment paper, drying food becomes easy and convenient.
- Food Particles Don't Fall Through the Trays
At times, with small sized fruits, small particle can slip through the trays and it becomes difficult to clean them from the base of the dehydrator. But with a parchment paper, the food particles stay on top of the sheet and there is no worry about cleaning up the mess.
How to Use Parchment Paper in Your Dehydrator
Parchment paper is already available in form of rolls or sheets and you can buy sheets depending on the size of your dehydrator trays. Here's how you can make the best use of parchment paper in your dehydrator.
- Take out the parchment paper from the roll and measure it according to the size of your dehydrator trays.
- Use scissors to cut parchment paper to the size that'd fit insides the dehydrator trays.
- Put the parchment paper in the trays and place the food you want to dry on the sheet in a well-organized manner. There is no need to grease the sheets as the parchment paper is coated with silicone to make it non-sticky.
- Switch on the dehydrator and let the food dry completely.
- Pick the parchment paper sheet and remove the dried fruit from it. It's much more hygienic and convenient than picking food directly from the dehydrator tray. If you're making fruit rollups, you can simply cut the parchment paper in rolled up shape so that it covers each rollup.
- You can always use the parchment paper for 3-4 more times till the paper starts becoming brittle or black. Then it's time to replace the paper with a new one.
Is It Safe to Use Parchment Paper in Dehydrator?
It is absolutely safe to use parchment paper in your dehydrator. As the paper is reusable, it anyway starts becoming brittle after a few uses and that's a sign that you need to change the paper for the next batch. Here are some reasons why it is safe to use parchment paper in your dehydrator.
- High Temperature Resistance
The melting point of silicone is very high and the parchment paper coated with silicone thus becomes perfect for use in dehydrators.
There is high utility associated with parchment paper as it can be easily reused many times over. There is also no “up” side for these sheets, you can use them any way you like in your dehydrator.
- Simply made
There are no complex chemicals involved with creating parchment paper. It is just bleached and coated with silicone that lends it high temperatures resistance. You can also buy unbleached variation of parchment paper.
- Safe for High Temperatures
Parchment paper is safe for use in temperatures up to 420-450°F. Most dehydrators don't reach these temperatures and dry foods at temperatures much below this range.
- Easy to Cut
Despite having high resistance to high temperatures, parchment paper is very easy to cut and shape as per the design of your dehydrator trays. You can measure and cut the paper in appropriate size, you can also cut the paper in a round size for circular dehydrators. There are round parchment paper sheets available in the market, too.
- Safe for the Environment
Unlike plastic and glass, parchment paper simply breaks away in garbage dumps and no harmful chemicals are released into the soil This is especially useful in the long run as there is minimal impact on the environment.
Popular Parchment Paper Brands
Parchment paper is not just popular for baking, but it is also a great way to add a measure of cleanliness and control to your dehydrating sessions. Let's have a look at some of the popular parchment paper brands that are available in the market.
- Kirkland Signature Non Stick Parchment Paper
This parchment paper roll is perfect for those instances when you want to dry something small. Its non-stick features make it easy to use this paper in any kind of dehydrator. You can simply take as much paper is needed and cut it in size of your dehydrator trays.
- Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets Parchment Paper
The Reynolds parchment paper comes in pre-cut 12”x 16” size and it has a non-stick coating on it. It is marked safe for temperatures up to 420°. As the sheets are already divided into a set size, there is no risk of paper rolling from corners.
- If You Care FSC Certified Parchment Baking Paper
This parchment paper in certified compostable and unbleached. This is completely safe for use with all kinds of food. The natural color and the texture of the paper make it easy to tear it off and use in a size that's most suitable for a dehydrator tray.
- Regency Parchment Rounds
If you're using a circular dehydrator, you might want to take a look at these sheets. As the sheets are already cut into circular shape, it is easy to simply make a hole in the middle and use it for making fruit loops or fruit leathers.
- Kitchen Supply Parchment Paper
This non-stick parchment is a no frill roll of parchment that can be cut as per your needs. Once you're done using it to dehydrate the foods of your choice, you can wash and reuse it.
Using parchment paper in your dehydrator is a great way to make the whole drying process very easy. There is no tension of cleaning up the dehydrator trays of all the residue left over from the sugars, meats, and oils.
With the range of parchment paper available in the market, it is very easy to choose one that best suits your purposes. As parchment paper is a little more expensive than wax paper or aluminum foil, it comes with the advantage that it can be used multiple times till it becomes dark and brittle.
Also, parchment paper can be used at high temperature while aluminum foil and wax paper don't do that well at high temperatures. If you're looking to add a new facet to your kitchen life, then get a roll of parchment paper today. Simply choose from the many brands available and enjoy dehydrating foods without any kind of mess.