Parchment is a heavy paper used to cook fish, line baking trays and hold icing for cake decoration. It is more expensive than aluminium foil or waxed paper, but it has the best non-stick surface due to its silicone coating. You can purchase parchment paper form your local grocery or baking supply store.
Waxed paper is the most similar substitute to parchment. Waxed paper is paper that has been coated in wax so that it's waterproof. Because of its wax content it cannot be used in an oven. When heated, waxed paper smokes and melts, making food inedible. Use waxed paper if you need a non-stick surface for no-bake cookie recipes. You can also use it in the making of fudge or candies that are made on the hob and then set aside to cool. Coating waxed paper with butter will ensure that nothing sticks to it.
Rice paper is more commonly used in crafts but it can be used as a substitute to parchment paper. Rice paper can go in the oven and is best when used to line baking pans and trays. Make sure you're using rice paper and not rice wrappers. Rice wrappers look similar to rice paper when dry but are used to make spring rolls and other appetizers. Rice wrappers will dissolve or burn if used in place of parchment paper. Rice paper, however, will stand up to oven temperatures.
Aluminium foil can be used to line baking trays and pans. It is important to grease the aluminium foil first so that baked goods do not stick to it. Aluminium foil, like parchment paper, provides insulation when used to line a tray. It keeps baked items from browning too much on the bottom.
Greased or Non-Stick Pans
Greased or non-stick pans can often replace parchment paper. Prepare batter as usual and then watch carefully while it bakes to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom or crisp too much on the sides. A combination of non-stick pans and a lower oven temperature will usually yield the same result as baking with parchment.