Can You Put Parchment Paper in the Dehydrator?

fresh-raw-meat-on-parchment-paper

Dehydrators always come in handy. They’re a reliable solution to food storage problems, and they consume less energy too. In addition, the presence of moisture in food is partly responsible for its deterioration, so if you want to preserve food without putting it in a freezer, smoking it or resorting to other conventional methods, a dehydrator is your best bet.

On the other hand, parchment paper is excellent for packaging food. If you’re wary about placing your food in a dehydrator without covering it, then you’re likely wondering if parchment paper is suitable for this feat. A dehydrator uses heat to remove the moisture in food, so is that heat strong enough to melt the parchment paper?

A very common question comes to mind: can you put parchment paper in the dehydrator. Well, we’ll answer that question extensively in this blog post. We’ll also tell you how safe it is and discuss other options you can use as substitutes. So please, let’s get started!

Is it Safe to Put Parchment Paper in a Dehydrator?

Parchment paper has a non-stick feature that manufacturers use silicone to achieve. It’s also pretty resistant to heat, at least to a large extent. Parchment paper can withstand a temperature as high as 450° F.

Another feature that makes parchment paper endearing is its affordability. It’s also pretty versatile. Aside from using it to package food, you can use it as a base for cutting food, kneading dough, baking a batch of cookies, and several other purposes we’re certain you already know.

Considering its versatility, you may also wonder if it’s a suitable option for packaging any food you intend to dehydrate. Well, we’ll get right into that.

You see, a dehydrator uses heat to extract the moisture in fruits and foods, thereby extending its shelf life. In fact, after dehydrating food, you don’t need other preservation methods to prevent it from spoiling. That’s how efficient it is.

If you dehydrate your food correctly, it can last as long as five years. Then, of course, you’ll package it properly, and you can use a Tupperware or glass jar. On the other hand, if you vacuum-seal the dehydrated food, it can last as long as thirty years.

If you’re wary of putting exposed food in the dehydrator, then parchment paper is available. A dehydrator typically never exceeds a temperature of 150°. But, as we mentioned earlier, parchment paper can withstand the heat that’s three times higher.

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As such, if you wrap your food with parchment paper and place it in a dehydrator, you don’t have to worry about it melting on your food or catching on fire. It’s a very safe option.

Benefits of Using Parchment Paper in a Dehydrator

Parchment paper is so versatile that you’l\hardly come across a home that doesn’t have it. There’s hardly anything you can’t use it for, and that includes putting it in a dehydrator.

In subsequent sections, we’ll explore several benefits of putting parchment paper in a dehydrator.

1. Prolongs the Lifespan of Your Tray

Typically, after using your dehydrator, you have to clean the tray. It entails taking it out and scrubbing it. Of course, the more times you use it, the more you have to take it out to clean it.

However, if there’s protective padding between the tray and your food, all you have to do is take out the food and the parchment paper. 

Aside from frequent washing, oil and dried sugar can spoil your tray over time. Some foods can also change the tray’s color. As such, using parchment paper helps you maintain and keep it in good condition for a very long time.  

This way, you can clean the tray on occasion. You’ll be extending its lifespan by adopting this method.

2. It’s Easier to Clean

Sometimes, when you dehydrate food, it can get sticky and attach itself to your tray, and you’ll have to scrape off the goo from the tray when cleaning it.

However, you can save time and energy, no matter how minute, by placing parchment paper between your food and the tray. Parchment paper has a non-stick feature, and you can use it to your advantage.

Just as you use parchment paper to prevent the batter from sticking to your baking pan, you can also apply that strategy to dehydrating food.

3. It Blocks the Extra Spaces

If your dehydrator brand was designed with spaces that allow air to circulate your food, then you’ll find parchment paper super helpful. Typically, the holes are small, and food may hardly fall through them.

However, some fruits like grapes, strawberries, or other foods that can get small when they’re fully shrunk can fall through these holes. Of course, that’ll leave you with some extra cleaning to do. You also need to consider the foods that’ll be wasting as a result.

Additionally, the juices from your food can seep through these holes. For example, if you’re dehydrating extra juicy foods like meat or some fruits, their moisture can seep through.

As such, you can use parchment paper to prevent this ordeal. Place parchment paper between your food and the tray before you start dehydrating it, and when it comes out, no piece will be missing. You’ll also have less cleaning up to do.

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4. It Gives Your Food Breathing Space

Covering your food with parchment paper gives it breathing space. Suppose you don’t like exposing your food when dehydrating it; you can use parchment paper instead of wax paper or plastic wrap.

It’s easier for air to penetrate parchment paper than those other options, and you don’t want anything to prevent it from reaching your food adequately.

5. An Extra Juicy Taste

When your food cooks in its juices, you can be sure that it’ll absorb the moisture it emits and dry in it. That’ll surely give the food an extra juicy taste.

Can You Use Parchment Paper in the Freezer?

It’s general knowledge that a freezer uses different gases to maintain its extremely low temperature and preserve food. As such, it’s best to avoid letting these chemicals touch your food.

There are several ways to cover your food before putting it in the freezer. Tupperware is one of the most common options. Then, we have parchment paper.

Parchment paper is so versatile; it can withstand extreme temperatures. Just as it can go in an oven, you can also put it in a freezer.

You can use it for packaging virtually any food too. However, it has a downside. Parchment paper has a non-stick feature that’s both an advantage and a disadvantage.

When you wrap it around food, for instance, meat, it’ll not stick to itself. As such, it can unwrap or gape open suddenly, thereby exposing the meat to the gases in the freezer. Now, that entirely defeats the purpose of using a wrap in the first place.

Well, there’s a cheat sheet for that, and trust us to hand it to you. You can use seal tape to hold the parchment paper in place after wrapping it around your food. Of course, you’ll have to use a large amount as it can get weakened in the freezer or if it gets exposed to water.

Use several layers of seal tape to hold the paper in place. Alternatively, you can place the food wrapped in parchment paper in a Ziplock bag or plastic wrap. That way, your food is doubly protected.

Can You Use Aluminum Foil in a Dehydrator?

Parchment paper is the ideal choice for a dehydrator. It’s non-stick and can withstand the heat of the dehydrator. However, we sometimes run out of it and may have to resort to other available options.

If your available option is aluminum foil, then go for it! You can put aluminum foil in the dehydrator without worrying about chemical or food poisoning. However, there’s a downside to this.

Aluminum foil isn’t non-stick, unlike parchment paper. As such, if you’re dehydrating sticky foods, then it’s best to refrain from using aluminum foil. However, if you’re not opposed to scraping the goo off the foil, then you can still go for it.

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Here’s a way around this. If you’ve got a plastic screen at home, you can place it between the sticky food and the aluminum paper. That way, you can easily separate them when you’re done dehydrating your food.

There’s another downside – aluminum foil is not as porous as parchment paper. As such, it can prevent the hot air the dehydrator releases from entering into your food correctly, thereby prolonging the dehydration period. As a result, your food may spend double or even triple the time it should spend if you wrap it in aluminum foil.

If the food you’re dehydrating has a high acidic content, then you shouldn’t bring it near aluminum foil. It can cause a chemical reaction with the foil, and you certainly don’t want to put this in your mouth.

Aluminum foil works as a suitable substitute for parchment paper. It also prevents goo from sticking to your tray. In addition, the foil is thick enough to prevent the moisture in the food from seeping through the holes in the tray.

Is Parchment Paper and Wax Paper the Same Thing?

It’s not uncommon to mix up the parchment paper and wax paper. In fact, a large number of people cannot differentiate the two.

Well, that’s perfectly understandable, considering that they’re both similar in color and composition. However, there’s a massive difference between the two.

Parchment paper is lined with a thin layer of silicon, and that’s what gives it its non-stick feature. It’s also highly resistant to heat, which means you can use it in an oven, a microwave, or a dehydrator.

On the other hand, wax paper is lined with a thin layer of paraffin wax, which gives it its non-stick feature. But you see, it cannot withstand a high temperature. It’ll catch on fire shortly after you begin to smell smoke. Even the slightest heat will cause it to catch on fire.

However, the wax paper has a redeeming feature; it’s water-resistant. As such, you can put it in a freezer. Wax paper is also suitable as a base for sticky substances like dough and batter.

Although parchment paper and wax paper are very similar in structure, you should never put the latter in a dehydrator. It’ll catch on fire almost instantly.

Conclusion

A dehydrator is an innovative method of preserving food for years. It’s also effortless to operate; you don’t need tech-savvy skills for it. Dehydrators ate relatively affordable too.

You can preserve food for several years with a dehydrator. There are also many meals and snacks that we use dehydrators to make. In this article, we’ve delved into the suitable materials we can put in a dehydrator. Adequate knowledge can prevent accidents, so we trust you’ve equipped yourself with enough information to make better choices.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)