Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper Thumbnail

This topic is very popular in the baking community. Many people want to replace one with another. But don’t mix these two products.

Are you planning for baking? And are you confused with these questions, Is wax paper the same as parchment paper? Can I use wax paper instead of parchment paper? Can I put wax paper in the oven?

I might stop you there because the wax paper is not the same as parchment paper. You can not use them with one another in every task. There are some differences between them that you should know or you might end up with a mess. So, let’s see parchment paper vs wax paper what’s the difference.

Some people might think there’s no difference between them. They are just paper, but it is not the case. These items can be found in many kitchens and they might look the same. But they are used for different purposes.

So, can you use wax paper instead of parchment paper in every task? The answer is no, you can’t use wax paper just the same as parchment paper. But in some tasks yes they can be interchangeably used with one another. But it should be done without any high heating procedure.

Because wax paper is not heat resistant and the wax can be melt in high heat or it can catch fire. So you should not put wax paper in the oven. And it is not recommended to use wax paper if you are lining baking sheets or pans and put it at high temperature in the oven.

But you can put parchment paper in the oven. It is heat resistant and widely used in baking purposes. Here’s a table that you can compare side by side between wax paper and parchment paper.

FeaturesParchment PaperWax Paper
MaterialPaper pulpPaper
CoatingSiliconeWax
Non-stickYesYes
Moist-resistantYesYes
Grease ResistantYesNo
Heat ResistantYesNo
ReusableYesNo
CompostableYesNo
RecyclableNoNo
PriceMore expensiveLess Expensive
Bleach & UnbleachedYesYes
Main Using PurposesWarping foods,
covering countertops
Baking, cooking, also other
uses of wax paper

If you try to bake with wax paper it may start with blackening, you may see smoke, and sometimes it may also catch on fire. It can ruin your whole baking process.

If you want a happy baking season, you should defiantly know the difference between parchment paper and wax paper. This will also help you to come one step closer to be a pro baker. Let’s drive into it.

Similarities and differences between wax paper & parchment paper

Parchment paper and wax paper are not the same they made with different materials and they have different characteristics. Here are some similarities and differences between these two papers:

Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper Infographic

Wax Paper

Wax paper is a paper coated with paraffin wax or organic wax. It has a thin layer of wax both sides. This coating of wax makes it nonstick, greaseproof, waterproof, moisture-resistant, and a great tool for your kitchen.

Wax paper is non-stick and moist-resistant. It may look same as parchment paper but it does not serve all purposes of parchment paper. You can use it in most tasks if you are not cooking or baking at high temperatures.

Because wax paper is not heat-resistant. You should never put it in an oven or use it in any process that needs high heat. It will melt when exposed to high heat.

It can be used in warping foods, storing foods, sandwich bags, covering countertops, etc. It has a nonstick surface good for nonstick baking needs. It can also be used in rolling dough, use it as a board to put meat on any ingredients on it and mix them with your hand. You can It is less expansive than parchment paper and easily found in stores.

It is a useful tool for kitchen and an excellent substitute for parchment paper without any heating process including. You can use it for fridge applications also. It can be ideal for storing and warping foods. Wax paper can be used for a protective barrier for your cooking table.

It has a very low melting point and wax can stick to your food. This stuck wax to your food may taste disgusting. So, you should be careful about putting wax paper in the oven.

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is a paper that is coated with silicone. It is treated with chemicals. It is undergone by a process called the parchmentizing process. In this process, the paper is gone through sulphuric acid.

This is all in one baking paper. You can use it in almost any task. You can use it in the oven also. It can take heat up to 450F. Which is sufficient for almost any kind of baking recipes. If you raise the temperature some more it can take it. By increasing temperature a little more, your parchment paper will usually darken but not burn. It is safe to use it at the recommended temperature.

The silicone coating makes this paper greaseproof, waterproof, moisture-proof and heatproof also. The silicone coating makes it non stick and suitable for high heat. It comes with two variants bleached and unbleached. Bleached one color is white and the unbleached one is brown.

Parchment paper can fulfill your all baking paper needs. It protects pan and saves you cleaning by preventing foods from sticking. you can use it lining pans, bake or steam food, piping bag and so on. With parchment paper, you can bake cookies without greasing the pan. You can use it for lining cakes and secure your cake from sticking.

Using parchment paper you can make low-fat food by not using oil or grease. Because usually you don’t need oil or grease to bake with parchment paper. Though you can use them for some extra benefits.

Parchment paper is also used for cooking en papillote. It’s a cooking technique, where the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel then bake it. Learn more about en papillote on Wikipedia. But parchment paper is expensive than wax paper. Usually, you can get 75 square feet of wax paper less than 2 dollars and 60 square feet of parchment paper can cost 4 to 5 dollars.

So, now you know the basic concept of parchment paper and wax paper. Now I will describe more about between parchment paper & wax paper comparison. Why they are different from each other and I will give you more in-depth details.

What is parchment paper used for?

Parchment paper is used in many tasks and I think the number can be uncountable. Because you can create and invent many new ideas to use it for your own using purpose. Here are some important and common ways:

Fit the pans for cakes

Parchment paper used in lining pan

For those who are not fond of greasy bakeries or cake, you could replace the greasy layer with the parchment paper layer. Parchment paper usually comes with specific sizes of cut to ease you to fit the pan. You can even re-use parchment paper for another batch.

Layer for sticky stuff

Whether you make cookies or candies, you can rely on parchment paper to provide the layer to prevent your creations to stick together. You can simply put a sheet of parchment paper in between.

The good thing here is that you can re-use the parchment paper for any other purpose. It is a perfect way of saving your money.

Piping bag

Hardly finding the conventional piping bag nearby? Why not use your parchment paper to make a good one?

Made of parchment paper, it will greatly hold the liquid ingredients without leaking or burning. With parchment paper, it would be easier to make a good cornet.

Easy workspace

If you are looking for a good cover for your workspace, then parchment paper will do better. Simply place a sheet of the paper on the counter and you will have the good work surface to support you in making any dish you want.

Whether you are processing the donut dough, glide the chicken meat, forming the meatballs, or anything else it will be fantastic.

Steam food

Have you ever considered steaming your fish or chicken in the parchment pouch?

Parchment paper offers such great flexibility in providing the anti-leaking ouch in which you can add your meat and the ingredients easily.

Distribute marination

You might want to marinate your meat but cannot find a good shaker in your kitchen. Replace it with parchment paper.

You surely get the idea. All you need to do is just to form the paper in a way you like it, then add your meat and pour the spices and other ingredients. Do a little shake and you’re good.

Make cookie sheets grease-free

cookie batter on parchment paper

If you are tried with removing grease on cookie sheets, parchment paper is a great replacement. You can line the cookies with your parchment paper.

It will save you time and money because there is no need to use butter to grease the cookie sheets. Not to mention that once the cookies are done, you just need to slide it from the paper.

In cooking

People have been raving about the benefits of using parchment paper for cooking. Many households have added the paper in their essentials because of its effectiveness and efficiency. Cooking in parchment can make your food flavorful and delicious.

Normally, you can use the parchment paper for steaming the ingredients by making the pocket and seal it. The design of the paper packet can depend on the portion, ingredients, amongst other things you choose.

But the way it works is pretty much the same. The aim here is to steam the ingredients by using their own moisture. Since all of the ingredients placed inside the paper, your kitchen will be much less messy than before.

But if you don’t want to be bothered by it, you could find parchment cooking bags or roasting bags available on Amazon or department stores. The packet is usually sized in single-serve portion so it will be easier to measure the meal for all your family members.

When to Use Parchment Paper?

Whenever you need to bake a recipe on your own at home, I suggest you use parchment paper for baking pans and sheets. In this section, I would like to highlight when you should use parchment paper. Here are some tasks when you need parchment paper:

  • Bake: Some baking pans are good for baking over the complete surface according to the material used in construction. When you have not these high-quality baking pans then you can use this paper inside.
  • Reduce undesired spreading: It is not good to see greasy cookies. Do you want to reduce the undesired spreading of cookies in the pan? Use the parchment paper in baking pans, when you want to bake fuller cookies.
  • Eliminate sticking: When you are looking for the method to eliminate the baking products sticking to pan bottom, use parchment paper to let the cookies and cakes flip easily after baking.
  • Clean cutting: If you want your cakes and brownies not messy or squashed, line your pan with parchment paper before putting the pan in the oven. This way, you can take the complete sheet out of the pan without disturbing the treats.
  • Cleanup: If you do not want to see your baking pans with burnt or crusty bottom, line the pan with parchment paper to makes cleanup easy after baking!
  • Insulation: When you need to bake meat, poultry, and fish and do not want to get them to stick to oven grills or baking pans then envelope them in parchment paper before baking.

What is wax paper used for?

Here are some tasks where wax paper is used. Wax paper can be used in more than theses tasks but these are the common tasks where you can use wax paper:

Baked-cookies-in-a-basket

Rolling dough

You can rolling dough on wax paper without using extra flour. You can put your dough between two sheets of wax paper. And start rolling with a rolling pin. You don’t need to flour the rolling pin. With this, you can eliminate sticking and avoid extra flour to the dough and which may make the crust dry.

Cake decorating

You can use wax paper when you are decorating cake. For this you need a wax paper sheet and design or write directly on the wax paper. After this freeze it for some time then gently peel of the design or letter and place them on you cake.

Covering countertops

You can use wax paper when you are transferring food from one bowl to another or when your tasks can spoil your countertops. You can just cover your countertop with wax paper and make the countertops clean and safe from spill food.

Storing

You can put your stuff on wax paper sheets and cover the whole of it with the wax paper. You can store it in also in cold freezer.

Wraps

You can use wax paper wraps to warp your foods. You can wrap a sandwich with wax paper. For these tasks, reusable beeswax wraps can be a perfect choice.

Line cabinet

It can be used in lining cabinet. You can line cabinet shelves with wax paper. It will grab dust that fall on it and you can change the paper after a long time instead of scrubbing .

Cleaning

It can be used in many cleaning tasks. You can cover your stuff with wax paper. It can be also used in shining your faucet. You can wipe your faucet and other fixtures with wax paper and it will make them water spot-free and fingerprint free.

Material & Coating

The wax paper is made of paper which is coated with wax. Some wax papers are made with unbleached paper and coated with soybean wax. These wax papers are good for health also for the environment. Conventional wax papers are coated with petroleum-based wax like paraffin wax. The wax coating makes the paper non-stick and water-resistant.

On the other side, the parchment paper is made of paper pulp and it is undergone by an acid bath. The acid bath fills up holes on the paper. Then the paper goes thought the silicone coating. The silicone coating gives it more strong durability. It makes it nonstick. water-resistant and also heat resistant.

Both papers have a nonstick coating. Parchment paper is coated with silicone on both sides. Wax paper is also coated with wax on both sides. This wax can be organic wax like beeswax or petroleum-based wax like paraffin wax.

Sometimes the coating on parchment paper or wax paper can be on one side. Some products may have it but now most companies coated their paper on both sides. Before you buy, make sure yours is coated on both sides to avoid further trouble.

Also Read: How to Use & Clean Silicone Baking Mat

Bleached vs Unbleached

Both came with bleached and unbleached variants. The unbleached variant is brown colored and the bleached variant is white. Wax paper can not be recycled and it is not compostable. Because of its wax coating. Parchment paper is not recyclable but you can compost it.

Both papers are easy to clean when reusing. You just need to clean extra flour, sugar or anything on the paper with a wet cloth or tissue and you are ready to go

In oven, the wax paper can be burnt because of its low melting point. But parchment paper can withstand heat up to 450F and its made for baking needs.

Eco-friendly & Good for Health

Both papers can be toxic or non-toxic. The bleached one that is treaded with chlorine is toxic and the unbleached one is non-toxic. Both papers can be eco-friendly if you use the right one that is unbleached and for parchment paper also FDA approved silicone coating.

Check our detail post on is wax paper and parchment paper are safe or they have any toxic?

You can use both papers in many more different ways besides baking. Like warping, storing foods, lining pan, fold foods, use between table and food and so on. Because parchment paper is heat resistant you can use it in also baking processes. Also cooking fish, chicken or pizza.

Both papers are nonstick. You can put dough, batter, chocolate or candies on them. They will not stick because of the nonstick coating.

You can use both papers on the fridge also. You can warp or store food in these papers and put them in the fridge. these papers are moisture-proof so your food will be safe.

FAQs

Can you use wax paper instead of parchment paper?

You can not use wax paper instead of parchment paper in all tasks. Wax paper is not heat resistant. So you should not use wax paper at high temperature.

Is wax paper and parchment paper interchangeable?

You can use wax paper and parchment paper interchangeably if you are not your tasks do not have heating process. Wax paper can burn or melt at high temperatures. It is better to use it in non-heating tasks.

Can I substitute wax paper for parchment paper when baking?

No, never use wax paper as a substitute for parchment paper when baking. Wax paper has a wax coating that will melt in the oven because of heat and the wax can stick to your foods also.

What can i use instead of parchment paper?

You can use different products for different tasks to substitute parchment paper. Check this post for parchment paper substitutes.

What can i use instead of wax paper?

There some products that can be used as wax paper substitutes. Check this post for wax paper substitute.

Also Read:

What do you think about our parchment paper vs wax paper comparison? And which one do you like to use most? Let us know in the comments section below.

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