The Parchment Paper Tearing Mistake That Causes Jagged Edges

Constantly tearing off sheets of parchment paper with uneven edges may seem like a purely aesthetic problem at first, but there are actually a couple reasons why one should aim for a straight cut. If your sheet has wonky sides, lining the parchment paper perfectly onto baking pans will be nearly impossible. To counteract this, you end up having to use more parchment, causing you to run out of the product faster. Uneven edges are especially problematic if it leaves a lot of excess paper dangling over the edge of the pan, which can be a fire hazard. And of course, there's nothing wrong with simply wanting your cooking station to look nice and neat.


The solution to uneven parchment paper edges comes down to how you place the roll in the box. Most people don't give this step too much thought — just open up the box, tug a bit of paper out, and leave the open box flap to flop over the paper. However, if you want sheets of parchment paper that are cut with engineer-level precision, tuck the box flap in between the roll and the outside wall of the box, so that a little paper still sticks out. With this set up, getting clean tears will be exponentially easier.

Set the roll up for success

Once you've properly adjusted your parchment paper box, firmly grasp it with one hand and use the other to tear the paper down against the sharp edge at a slight angle. The sheet should rip off smoothly, but if you're still getting some jagged ends, try flipping the roll over in the box to see if that helps. If the box you're using has tabs on either side to hold the roll in place, make sure to punch those in as well. This hack works because when the box flap is left out to dangle, it's too easy to pull more parchment paper out while you're trying to tear off a piece, leading to a sloppy cut. By tucking the flap in and pressing down on it, you are essentially creating a clamp so that you can make a smooth tear without inadvertently tugging out more paper.


You can also try to apply this trick to similar kitchen supplies like aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and wax paper. It may be easy to overlook, but parchment paper is a cooking workhorse. From lining baking trays to helping you store bacon mess-free, this stuff runs out fast for busy home cooks, so save it a few inches at a time by making perfectly clean tears.