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Parchment paper vs wax paper, here’s everything you need to know about their difference and whether you can substitute one for the other. Are they the same?

Ah, the good old question between the two papers in your kitchen that look the same: Parchment paper vs wax paper: Are they the same?

This is everything you need to know to settle the great debate between wax paper vs parchment paper, what’s best for baking, freezing, and how to use each paper safely.

Parchment Paper Vs Wax Paper

Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper: What Is The Difference?

To put it simply, the key difference between wax and parchment paper is their coating.

Parchment paper is coated in silicone, while wax paper is coated with, well, wax.

Because of this, you can’t always use wax paper as a parchment paper alternative. Read more to find out:

What Is Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper is a type of paper made from cotton fiber and/or chemical wood pulps. However, the reason why parchment paper is considered a kitchen staple is its silicone coating.

This feature makes parchment paper grease-resistant, moisture-resistant, and non-stick. Therefore, it’s very handy as a liner for sheet pans or as a wrapper for food.

Parchment Paper Vs Wax Paper

What Is Wax Paper?

The difference between parchment paper and wax paper is their coating, and the reason why wax paper is not a safe parchment paper alternative in cooking is because it’s coated in wax.

Usually, paraffin wax is used though some companies use soybean or beeswax. And if the thought of your food coming in contact with wax makes you nervous, we’ve answered the question of “Is wax paper toxic?” for you (I recommend giving that a quick read to ease your worries about this food-safe paper!)

is wax paper toxic?

But back to the question, “Can you use wax paper instead of parchment paper?” The answer is usually no, especially for lining your baking sheet.

The wax coating is likely to melt at a high temperature, and the paper can even burn. ?

When To Use Wax Paper Vs Parchment Paper

So how to use parchment paper vs wax paper? Are there times when they can be used interchangeably?

When to use parchment paper

Wax paper vs parchment paper for baking: What happens if you use wax paper instead of parchment paper?

When it comes to cooking, you want to use parchment paper and NOT wax paper unless you want your baked goodies to catch fire. ?

Keep your kitchen safe and line your baking pans with parchment paper because wax melts at high temperatures. In fact, parchment paper is super safe for cooking food, and there’s a technique called en Papillote.

This cooking technique wraps the protein or vegetable in parchment paper so the food is cooked at the exact temperature and doneness.

Is parchment paper and wax paper the same? They’re not, but because parchment paper is also non-stick like wax paper, you can use it to line your work surface when kneading dough to keep it from sticking.

When to use parchment paper

Parchment paper vs foil

Aluminum foil, like parchment paper, is safe to use while cooking. However, it doesn’t have any non-stick properties.

You’ll often find those annoying bits of foil stuck to your cookies and cakes, so parchment paper wins this round for us.

But if you’re wondering if you need to grease or spray parchment paper, check our discussion to make the most of this non-stick kitchen paper.

Do You Need to Grease or Spray Parchment Paper?

When to use wax paper

Can you use wax paper instead of parchment paper? For non-stick purposes, yes.

What I mean is you can put a piece of wax paper to line your countertops or tables when working the dough and keep it from sticking to the surface. However, remember that wax paper is not a safe parchment paper alternative for baking because it will smoke from the heat of the oven.

Are there other ways to use wax paper for baking, though? Well, you can line tins and pans that won’t be going in the hot oven.

For example, if you make fudge or cheesecake, you can line the tin with wax paper to stop the fudge from sticking as it hardens.

Can you freeze wax paper?

Wax paper fares well in cold storage, so you can wrap food in it for freezing, or you can place a bit of wax paper between items that you will freeze in a stack.

This is super handy for freezing strips of bacon or portioning out pastry. ?

You can also wrap food in wax paper to stop oils or grease from leaking into your bag. The wax acts as a barrier that prevents oily foods from staining containers.

Wax paper vs baking paper

Baking paper is just another term for parchment paper, so you can’t use wax paper for baking because it’s not designed to withstand high temperatures. But according to the USDA, you can use wax paper for lining cake pans because the batter will cover the wax paper completely.

Is Parchment Paper Wax Paper?

In this wax paper vs parchment paper showdown, we have discovered that parchment paper is not the same as wax paper.

At a glance, the two may look the same but remember that they have different uses.

Only parchment paper can safely go in the oven for recipes like these viral TikTok pasta chips because wax paper poses a fire hazard.

It should be easy to remember since wax paper, from the name itself, is coated with wax, and we all know wax melts.

Besides that, both papers have non-stick properties, so they’re useful in wrapping foods or covering surfaces like countertops and tables for dough.

Substitutes for parchment paper

If we can’t always substitute parchment paper with wax paper, what can you use to cook food safely if you don’t have parchment paper?

Don’t reach for wax paper; instead, check out these parchment paper substitutes.

In general, if you need an alternative for baking or roasting, you can use aluminum foil. But if you need something to prevent sticking, just use a non-stick cooking spray.

For baking, you can also invest in silicone baking mats. These products are worth it, especially for those who bake often.

Substitutes for wax paper

If you don’t have wax paper in the kitchen and the recipe requires you to work on a sticky dough, you can just go the traditional route and use butter, flour, or oil. What I like about these ingredients is they’re likely already in your pantry.

Wax paper is also often used to store food items in the freezer, so what better substitute than actual freezer paper?

In fact, freezer paper is best for wrapping and storing foods in the freezer, especially for long-term storage, because it has a plastic coating that helps preserve the items’ freshness. I suggest using freezer paper instead of wax paper when freezing portions of meat, seafood, or cheese.

What about short-term storage? You can just pack your food in plastic film if you don’t have wax paper.

But if you hate how flimsy plastic wraps are, especially for wrapping sandwiches like those made with our perfectly crusty French baguettes, I suggest sandwich paper.

Does Parchment Paper Have Wax?

The main difference in this debate of parchment paper vs wax paper is their coating. Parchment paper does not use wax like wax paper for its non-stick properties.

Instead, parchment paper is coated with silicone, so it’s also safe for cooking and is grease and moisture-resistant.

In fact, I can argue that if I need to choose between parchment paper and wax paper, I’ll be happy with just having a roll of parchment paper in my kitchen.

Can You Bake Wax Paper In The Oven?

Nope, you can’t and shouldn’t bake with wax paper. I really hope you remember our emphasis on this limitation of wax paper because it will melt from the high temperature in the oven.

Can You Bake Wax Paper In The Oven

The paper itself can even catch fire, so instead of trying to find the answer to what happens if you use wax paper instead of parchment paper for baking and risking your kitchen, just use other oven-safe parchment paper alternatives like silicone mats.

FAQ About Parchment Paper Vs Wax Paper

Can dry wax paper go in the oven?

Wax paper should never go in the oven because it’s not heat-resistant. That being said, you shouldn’t also use wax paper in the toaster or air fryer.

Can you use freezer paper instead of parchment paper?

Yes. Since parchment paper is sometimes used to wrap and store foods in the freezer, the next best thing for freezer storage is freezer paper itself. It’s designed for a cold environment, so freezer paper is even better than parchment paper for long-term storage.

Can freezer paper be used in the oven?

No, you can’t use freezer paper in the oven because of its plastic coating. For cooking in the oven, remember only to use parchment paper or foil.

Is delicatessen paper the same as parchment paper?

Delicatessen paper is not the same as parchment paper, meaning you can’t use it in the oven. Instead, use delicatessen paper for lining food trays or separating baked goods, cheeses, and deli meets.

Is deli paper the same as parchment paper?

Deli paper is not the same as parchment paper. You can use deli paper for its non-stick and moisture-resistant properties (e.g., food packaging, work surface protection.) But because it’s made with wax, you can’t use it in the oven.

Is deli paper the same as parchment paper

Wrap Up

So parchment paper vs wax paper, are they the same? Can they be used interchangeably?

To wrap things up (*wink), parchment paper and wax paper are not the same.

Parchment paper’s silicone coating makes it safe for high temperatures like baking, unlike wax paper, which is coated with wax.

However, both papers are non-stick and moisture-resistant, so you can use them to line work surfaces or store food items in the freezer.

Now that you know the difference between wax paper and parchment paper, visit our index of food-related questions and answers and learn more about cooking. Here are some things that might interest you:


Parchment Paper Vs Wax Paper 21
Parchment Paper Vs Wax Paper 20

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