How To Make Parchment Paper Lay Flat

How To Make Parchment Paper Lay Flat

Struggling with an unruly roll of parchment paper?
Here are some handy tips for making parchment paper lay flat.

With countless hours of culinary-based programming on the television these days along with the endless depths of the internet, there are very few secrets left when it comes to preparing, cooking, or storing your favorite foods.

A long time favorite in restaurants, delis, and other commercial kitchens, parchment paper is one of the last secrets out of the bag and now the silicone-coated, non-stick solution has earned its spot in most home kitchens, too.

However, for far too many folks, the routine usually goes a little something like this…

They wrestle the elongated box out of an overstuffed drawer full of foil, plastic wraps, zipper bags, and more. Then they find the edge of the parchment paper, pull the desired length from the box, and try in vain to tear it cleanly across the edge of the box. It never works.

Now they unfurl their length of parchment paper into their cooking pan, tray, sheet, or vessel and it instantly curls back up from being on the roll for its entire existence. The closer the roll gets to the end, the worse the problem will be.

At this point, many amateur and aspiring chefs will wonder what all the hype is about when the darn paper won’t tear straight, won’t lay flat, and won’t do anything but frustrate even the most patient person.

Simply put, they’re doing it wrong and have been all along, but they’re not alone.

Here are two simple solutions to put and end to the parchment paper funny business.


The days of the long cardboard box with the safely dull metal cutting teeth on the edge are over. That feature stayed the same for generations before consumers realized that they rarely, if ever, need a sheet of parchment paper longer than 24 inches.

With that in mind and knowing the most widely used dimensions for baking sheets and pans, pre-cut parchment paper sheets are the newest secret to make its way from world-class bakeries to residential kitchens.

parchment paper pan liners

Packaged flat, they lay flat and they require no cutting or unfurling or unfolding, providing four clean, straight edges on pre-cut parchment sheets available in the most commonly used sizes. They will never need to be weighed down or greased up to keep them lying flat.

Never miss that moving target again! Pouring batter has never been easier (or more accurate!) than it is when pre-cut parchment paper sheets are used as the landing surface.

Of course, if someone still wants to roll it up – like to make a funnel for piping icing – that’s easy to do, too!

STORAGE TIP: Store a stack of pre-cut parchment paper sheets flat in a rimmed cookie sheet. If the kitchen does not have the drawer or cabinet space for a baking sheet to lay flat like that, clip some pre-cut parchment sheets on the inside of a cabinet or pantry door.


A quick fix for unruly rolls of parchment paper is the crumple technique.

crumpled parchment paper cookies

Just as the name implies, just take the desired length of parchment paper, freshly torn from the roll, and crumple it up into a ball. When it is flattened back out, the parchment paper will be creased in virtually all directions, but it will lay pretty darn flat!

If there is still a roll of parchment paper to get rid of before making the switch to flat, pre-cut parchment paper sheets, just automatically make a parchment paper snowball out of that poorly-torn length of paper, then flatten it back out and get busy.

crumpled parchment paper muffins

The parchment paper will still “function” the same as it always has. It may leave a slight crisscross pattern on the bottom of baked goods, but it will still retain its revered oven-safe, freezer-safe, non-stick, non-toxic traits that foodies love it for.

In fact, it is that silicone coating that gives it the “memory” to stay curled up after sitting on a roll, but also replaces that “memory” once it is crumpled up a bit.

Pie makers will admit that this is one of their oldest tricks. Instead of using foil, which transfers too much heat, they will use a layer of crumpled parchment paper between the pre-baked pie crust and light weights on top. This prevents the crust from bubbling as it bakes, and the parchment paper is pulled away easily at the end.

Reclaim that overstuffed drawer! Toss the box and get rid of the rolls! Pre-cut parchment paper sheets are such a simple way to level up one’s culinary skills.

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