Sunday, April 24, 2011

Parchment Paper

     One of the greatest inventions known to cooks and bakers is parchment paper.  It is durable, non-stick, and heat resistant up to 425 degrees.  Compared to the dutch oven liners that are on the market today it is fairly inexpensive.  I often use it for baking, it makes removing your cakes and pies a lot easier plus clean up is a snap, especially when you're camping.  I used to tear off a piece and just tuck it into my oven.  The edges would stick out under the lid, trapping the ash and funneling it into my dish.  Now I use this simple method of cutting the paper to fit my oven.  First, measure a piece large enough to cover the diameter of your oven, allowing an inch or two of an overhang on each side. 
Once you've cut your piece of paper,
fold it in half then half again
to make a square.

Fold two more times from
the point of fold.

Unfold and press circle into
corners of oven.  Press firmly
to ensure pleats are flat
against sides.

Holding point in center of oven,
measure how high you want it to
cover the sides and cut.

     If you use a full circle of parchment paper it can leave crease marks in the sides of your cake.  This method of cutting and folding strips of parchment is used in cook-offs to prevent the wrinkling of the dessert and for easier removal of those delicate tarts and pies.  


  1. I love this guide! The only thing is, I'm struggling (total operator error). So do I roll out the parchment paper across the top of our dutch oven, with one or two inches extra, then cut that piece and fold it? The first piece I tried wasn't square. I'm having the hardest time with this, lol.

  2. Hi Megan, sometimes the parchment doesn't come out a perfect square, I still fold it in half then in half again. Once you fold it a couple more times, take the smaller end and place it in the center of the base of your oven. If you want to be exact, press it into the wall of the oven and mark with your eye how much you need to cut off of the rough edge. After a while you can just eyeball it. If it's too big when I unfold it and place it in the oven, I just refold it again and trim a little more off the edge. Or you could just trim it all the way around like a big flattened circle but that seems like too much trouble. Lots of times I don't get it right on the first try so don't feel bad. Try not to have the liner coming up and over the side of your oven, ash will funnel in there and into your food. Good luck! Liddy

  3. Where do I find parchment paper wide enough? Wal-Mart only has 15" wide paper.

  4. Tina, thanks for stopping by. I use Reynolds which is 15 inches wide, the base of your oven is always smaller than the rim. Also, the paper does not need to come completely up the side of your oven, you only need it to prevent whatever you are baking from sticking and for easier removal. Liddy

  5. Liddy, me again! :) I'm wondering if you could share with me a guide, template, chart or whatnot you have for choosing your coals for your recipes. It seems like your methods for coals/temperature have always worked for us, but when I find a different recipe that doesn't list coals (or doesn't use the same method), I end up disappointed! Thanks for any help you can provide. LOVE your website!

    1. Hi Megan, thanks so much for your nice comments. I don't really have a set chart per se for coal counting. I use Kingsford charcoal and tend to add more coals than is usually recommended on the temperature charts. Seems like I usually place the same number of coals as the diameter of the oven around the outside of the base of the oven. For the lid, I often start out with a few extra coals to heat up the oven quickly then remove as needed if something I am baking is browning too quickly. If you hold your hand 6 inches above your top coals and can count to 3 before it gets too hot, it is probably around 350 degrees. It also depends on the wind and the outside air temperature. A good rule of thumb for me is to add a few extra at the start, you can always remove a few coals as needed. Thanks for stopping by and happy cooking! Liddy

    2. Dear Megan,
      I have come across a site that can give a basic chart to go by for different temps. I hope you find this helpful.

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