Why You Shouldn't Use Parchment Paper For Roasting Vegetables

Think of the basic home cooking tasks you've likely mastered if you like to spend time in the kitchen. Perhaps you make perfect hard-boiled eggs every time, have a sixth sense for draining pasta when it's just al dente, or can poach chicken that's always succulent and never dry. Or maybe you're an expert at roasting vegetables, that handy, high-heat technique that deepens the flavor and brings out the sweetness of so many of our favorite veggies.

Not only do they seem to go with everything, roasted vegetables are also easy to prepare, making them a great choice when you need a side dish and are stumped on what to serve. The dish requires only some basic knife skills, a hot oven, and some cooking fat — but as is the case with many basic dishes, there are opportunities to trip up, notes Bon Appétit, from overcrowding the pan, to using too little oil, to neglecting to toss them with a spatula every once in a while. Another roasted vegetable mistake you can add to that list? Lining your sheet pan with parchment paper.

Parchment paper can keep your vegetables from browning

What makes roasted vegetables so darn delicious? Most of us would agree it's their deeply browned caramelization, which concentrates the veggies' natural sweetness and also brings some texture to the party (via ChefWorks). There are a few ways to ensure that the chopped vegetables you'll slide into the oven will turn out nicely browned, including cooking them right on the (very hot) floor of your oven and spacing out the vegetables so they roast instead of steam. But one additional tip you'll want to remember is skipping the parchment paper for this particular preparation.

As Insider explains, parchment paper is food-safe, moisture-resistant, and has a nonstick coating, lending itself to many handy uses in the kitchen, from lining cake pans to wrapping fish in a packet for steaming. But as noted by MasterClass, the paper is also slightly heat resistant, which can create a bit of a barrier between the hot pan and the chopped vegetables and impede their browning. So although you might be tempted to slip some onto your sheet pan in order to make cleanup easier post-roasting, you'll want to save the parchment paper for a different task.