Can You Put Paper Towels In The Oven? (Find Out Now!)

Emily Carr
by Emily Carr

Paper towels are a kitchen staple for nearly every home. They’re an inexpensive, versatile, and easy-to-find item that is great for various tasks, from drying dishes to cleaning up spills.

However, there is one question that has been asked more times than not: Can you put paper towels in the oven?

You can never put paper towels in the oven, as they will catch on fire due to excessively high temperatures. Instead, use aluminum foil, parchment paper, or oven mitts to cover or handle your oven-cooked dish. Contrary to the oven, paper towels are microwave-safe; just opt for plain white brands free of fragrance and dye.

Continue reading to learn if it’s safe to use paper towels in the oven or microwave. We’ll also touch on alternatives to doing so!

Is It Safe to Put Paper Towels in the Oven?

Safety is the most important part of cooking. Burning down your kitchen isn’t the goal here, so is it okay to put paper towels in the oven?

You should never put paper towels in the oven. Unfortunately, the immense heat from the oven can cause the paper towel to ignite and spread a fire quickly.

This is a major problem for you and the rest of your appliances. The only way paper towels are semi-safe is if they are dampened first, then used to cover a dish. Even then, you must watch them carefully.

You don’t have to use paper towels, though; there are other options for keeping your food cooked evenly.

Alternatives to Putting Paper Towels in the Oven

If you want to use a paper towel-like material in your oven, you have some choices.

Here are the best paper towel alternative for using inside your oven:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven mitts

Aluminum foil is a great option, and it doesn’t pose the risk of fire like paper towels do. It is also more versatile in the sense that you can mold it to fit whatever dish you’re using.

The best part is that there are many different types of aluminum foils, including regular, non-stick, and heavy-duty. If you’re baking a lot at once or simply need more than just one sheet of foil, then heavy-duty is the best option for you.

Plus, it won’t tear as easily as regular foil while you’re using it.

Parchment paper is another “safe for the oven” alternative to paper towels. It’s usually made of silicone which won’t catch on fire when exposed to heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

This type of oven-friendly paper doesn’t ignite as easily as paper towels, but it can still burn if left unchecked.

Oven mitts are your best bet when it comes to avoiding any accidents while cooking. They’re also great for handling hot pans and dishes. Invest in some durable oven gloves instead of using paper towels to remove hot items.

I promise- your fingers will thank you later!

Can You Put Paper Towels in the Microwave?

Since the oven is a no-go, what about using paper towels with microwaves?

Actually, it’s totally fine to do this- most paper towels are safe to be used inside of a microwave. Paper has an ignition point of around 451 degrees Fahrenheit, and fortunately, microwaves only reach about 212 °F. However, avoid paper towels that include logos with bright colors, scents, or recycled materials.

When heated, dye or fragrance (which generally aren’t dangerous in minimal doses) may sometimes seep into your meal and make it poisonous to eat. Additionally, don’t use recycled paper towels because they may contain other, flammable ingredients.

Plain white paper towels are the ideal option according to USDA recommendations. Most importantly, double-check the package to see if the brand you purchased can be warmed in the microwave.

Related Questions

Are paper towels biodegradable?

Most paper towels are biodegradable because they’re made up of a plant material called cellulose. How does this work?The ingredients used to make paper towels will break down and decompose in the presence of microorganisms and other factors such as air, soil, and water. They are also quite carbon-efficient, particularly when utilized in moderation.However, not all paper towels are biodegradable, so check for this label before purchasing.If you’re searching for an environmentally responsible alternative, consider purchasing paper towels that are manufactured from recycled materials or use a regular hand towel that can be thrown in the washing machine.

Can you flush paper towels down the toilet?

No, do not flush paper towels down the toilet, as they will clog the pipes and cause an annoying (and difficult) mess for your plumber to clean up.Paper towels can also damage septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants by blocking the machinery that processes sewage. Ultimately, they’re tougher than toilet paper and take longer to break down.Instead, throw your used paper towels in a trash bin just like you would with any other item of trash. If there’s no bin nearby, try to find a public trash can or take the garbage home with you.

Do paper towels dissolve in water?

Eventually, paper towels will dissolve in water- it just takes some time.Paper towels absorb moisture easily, as the water molecules hurry to bind to present cellulose fibers.A small number of paper towels in water will become soggy and begin to break down over the course of 25 to 30 minutes. However, for them to completely disintegrate, it takes about 8 days.

The Bottom Line

Mostly everyone uses paper towels every day in the kitchen, but can you put them in the oven?

The answer to this question is: no. An alternative to using paper towels in your oven would be parchment paper, which won’t catch on fire when exposed to heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Just because paper towels can’t go in the oven doesn’t mean you need to avoid microwaves too.

Just make sure you’re using a plain white brand that is free of scents and dye if you want your microwaved meal to be non-toxic. Remember this tip next time you’re heating up some leftover pizza or a burrito for lunch!

Emily Carr
Emily Carr

Emily is a copywriter with over five years of experience in crafting content for the home renovation and remodeling industry. She loves house projects, whether it be painting a room or tweaking small design elements to transform a space. Her favorite aesthetic is french modern because of its clean lines and airy feeling! When not writing, Emily loves to travel and check out architectural details all over the world.

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