If you are a baker then you are with the silicone baking mat vs parchment paper debate. Each one serves a good purpose, but some are better than others. We will go down the list of pros and cons of each product so that you can choose which one will work for you.
Silicone baking mats are made of silicone which is made of synthetic inert compounds. It is heat-resistant, which makes it perfect for cookware. It has low thermal conductivity which means it won’t burn your hands when you touch it. It has low chemical reactivity which means it won’t react negatively to your food. It has low toxicity, which means it won’t leach into your foods.
Parchment paper is made of cellulose. Paper pulp is run through a bath of either sulfuric acid or zinc chloride; this gelatinizes the paper. This also makes the paper very dense, very stable and pretty heat-resistant. The low surface energy of the product now makes it non-stick, just like silicone baking mats.
Silicone baking mats are best for even baking, greaseless baking and easy clean up after the baking. It prevents food from sticking to your pots and can be using thousands of times. Cookies are a popular way to use these baking mats. You preheat the oven, then place the baking sheet on a cookie sheet, name side up. Do not add grease, shortening or cooking spray. Place the cookies on the mat.
Never put the mat under a broiler, on a stove, or on a grill. Remove the cookies from the mat. Shake off extra crumbs. When removing the cookies, be sure not to use sharp tools. You don’t want to cut your mat. Once you are done, it’s a good idea to wash your mat with warm, soapy warm. Roll it up and stand it to let it dry. Expect the cookies to spread a little more than if you were using a cookie sheet alone.Read more tips on the use of silicon baking mats http://www.kitchenvixen.ca/tips-for-the-use-and-care-of-silicone-baking-mats/
Parchment paper on the other hand does not have as many uses as a silicone baking mat. You will have to buy it several times over. Remember, sulfuric acid and zinc chloride are used to soften the parchment paper. If you are a person who is concerned with chemical leaking into your product, you may want to rethink the use of parchment paper in your baking. Parchment paper helps to prevent stick and helps food to bake evenly, just like a silicone baking mat, but you may want to consider a silicone baking mat because it is more cost-effective than buying roll after roll of parchment paper.
Usually, once people start using non-stick methods of cooking, they stick with it. If you are concerned with the chemicals used in some parchment papers, know that they also come in an unbleached variety. Some people say that at very high heats, you will get a parchment taste to your product. Also, parchment, at $13 per roll is more reasonable, initially. In the long run a silicone baking mat at $20 for two is a much more economically sound purchase.