Paper created from parchment that has been waxed to make it resistant to moisture and microorganisms is the basis for parchment paper. Paper that has been wax-treated to make it lubricating and moisture-resistant is known as wax paper. Both wax paper and parchment paper have applications in the kitchen.
Baking paper, cake baking paper, and candy coating paper are further names for wax paper. Because of its non-stick properties, parchment papers are frequently used in baking, particularly when making cakes or pastries. So, what is the difference between wax paper and parchment paper? Which is better, then? You have the choice!
What Is Wax Paper
Cooking with parchment paper is the way to go. Many cooks prefer it because it absorbs flavors and scents. On the other hand, busy cooks who need a rapid cleanup should use wax paper.
Additionally, it doesn’t stick to food, making it a fantastic option for multitasking cooks. Furthermore, the wax paper lacks a surface that is thin and non-perforated, which makes it simple to remove food from plates. Wax paper is a good alternative to parchment paper if that’s not your preferred type of paper.
What Is Parchment Paper
When it comes to cooking, wax paper just can’t compare to parchment paper. Not only is parchment paper better for recipes that will be baked or cooked, but it’s also great for use in place of an oilcloth for stovetop cooking.
Additionally, parchment paper can also be used as a baking sheet—just heat it in the oven before adding your ingredients! Parchment paper is also a type of wax paper that has been treated with acid to make it thin and glossy. All in all, parchment paper is a great choice for people who want an easier cleanup when cooking!
The Difference Between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper
When cooking, there are a few important distinctions between wax paper and parchment paper to be aware of. The most popular use for wax paper, a paper-based wrapping material, is to package food. On the other hand, parchment paper is a paper-based baking sheet that is frequently used in baking. The following are the main variations between parchment paper and wax paper:
Wax paper is a versatile and useful product for many different reasons. It is perfect for use with delicate or fragile items, such as fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the wax paper makes sushi rolls without making a mess and doesn’t tear easily.
For baking purposes, parchment paper is the best choice as it doesn’t stick to the heat of the oven or stovetop, which helps make sure foods come out evenly cooked. Finally, parchment paper can be used for all sorts of cooking dishes—from sauces and gravies to cake baking—but it’s especially great when cooking meats because it won’t absorb their flavors.
Resistance is an important attribute when choosing paper for cooking. Wax paper is less resistant to water and oil than parchment paper, meaning that it will absorb more moisture and start to tear more easily. Parchment paper can be used for delicate foods like sushi or asparagus, but wax paper has a higher water absorption rate, which makes it better suited for use with wet ingredients.
When it comes to paper, parchment paper is generally more expensive than wax paper, and wax paper also tends to last longer, meaning it doesn’t need to be replaced as often.
Baking is an all-inclusive term that covers a wide variety of cooking tasks. However, when it comes to cake or cookies, there are definite preferences people have. For example, some prefer a softer crust while others want theirs crispy and golden on the outside. Wax paper is firmer than parchment paper, and this makes it better for making delicate dishes like cakes. On the other hand, parchment paper absorbs more water, which in turn produces a nicer texture for meatloaf as well as cookies. If you’re looking for a non-stick surface, then the wax paper should definitely be your go-to!
To learn more about each paper’s pros and cons in baking, you can read this article about Which One is Better for Baking? Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper.
Other Differences Between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper
The surface finishes of wax paper and parchment paper are what distinguishes them most from one another. Wax paper (or waxed paper) is, as the name implies, coated with soybean or paraffin wax. Parchment paper is coated with silicone to give it a nonstick, heat-resistant surface.
Because of this coating, the wax paper should not be used in the oven because it will melt if exposed to heat directly. Therefore, use wax paper to spread out items like homemade candies and chocolate-covered confections to cool as well as to wrap sandwiches or food for cold storage.
Similar to foil or plastic wrap, wax paper often comes in rolls. However, it is also available as sandwich bags and pre-cut squares, which are useful for separating burger patties before freezing.
The best option for cooking is parchment paper because the majority of brands can tolerate temperatures of up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because it avoids the need to grease the pans, parchment paper is excellent for lining cookie sheets for baking as well as when roasting vegetables or preparing sheet pan dinners (great for those who want to reduce fat or calories, plus it keeps you from having to scrub crusted-on baking pans).
Additionally, it is employed in the cooking method known as “en papillote,” which involves baking food in a packet. It is perfect for lining circular pans, folding neat packets to steam in the oven, and putting as “lids” on braises and stews since it allows some moisture to escape but not enough for your liquid to evaporate too rapidly. Parchment paper is available on a roll, in pre-cut sheets, and even in rounds.
Rolling out the dough on the parchment before transferring it all to the cookie sheet is an option if you’re using it to bake a free-form tart like our rustic blueberry tart.
The manner the sheets are treated before being coated is the other difference between them.
Reynolds Consumer Products Pat Schweitzer claims that before the silicone coating is placed, the company’s parchment paper is flattened into a sheet, then immersed into an acid bath, cleansed, and “passed over a series of hot rotating drums that realign the fibers and give the paper its strength,”
Reynolds’ waxed paper, on the other hand, is compressed to give it its transparency before being coated in wax. This process is known as supercalendering.
Bleached vs Unbleached
You can buy wax paper or parchment paper that has been bleached or not. In contrast to their respective coatings, unbleached items are brown in color and have undergone less processing, and bleached items have undergone chlorine treatment to turn them white.
An Eco-Friendly Alternative
Due to the coating, wax paper cannot be recycled and cannot be composted. Food stains on parchment paper prevent it from being recycled, but it can still be composted.
If you’re searching for a more environmentally friendly option, you may also line your baking pans with a Silpat silicone baking mat (or a comparable brand) for little cleanup and grease-free baking. A Silpat is more expensive initially, but it lasts for years.
When Should You Use Wax Paper
Food won’t stick to wax paper since it has a small layer of moisture-resistant wax on each side. It cannot withstand heat.
Before rolling out dough or decorating cookies, wax paper is the ideal material to line the counters with. It also works well for candy that is sticky. Basically, it can perform all the same tasks as parchment paper with the exception of baking.
Best Uses for Wax Paper
Performing a dirty task, such as decorating cookies (particularly with children)? Michelle Weaver, chef at Charleston Grill in South Carolina advises laying down a couple of sheets of wax paper to cover your table or tabletop. When you’re finished, you may simply roll up any leftover material and throw it away.
This is useful, especially if you’re using sprinkles to decorate! When rolling out cookie dough or bread dough, you can follow the same procedure to prevent flour and dough from getting on your tabletop, advises Jessica Rothacker, owner and head chef at Heirloom Café in Athens, Georgia.
According to Kristen Tomlan, founder and CEO of DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections, the wax paper makes a great surface for dipping items like strawberries or pretzels into chocolate and needing a place for the chocolate to set before removing them.
Prepare a picnic? Weaver advises using wax paper to wrap individual sandwiches rather than plastic wraps or bags. It will prevent your sandwich from getting soggy and look gorgeous, especially if you tie it with a pretty ribbon (plus, you can preserve the piece to wipe off and reuse later!).
Wax paper has a wonderful way of making things slide more smoothly outside of the kitchen; consider releasing a stuck zipper or improving the efficiency of a can opener. “Just rub it along the edge, and the wax will transfer and help glide things along,” says Tomlan.
When Shouldn’t You Use Wax Paper
On the grill or in the oven, never use wax paper. But any use that doesn’t require heat is acceptable. While there are many uses for wax paper in the kitchen, Weaver advises against using it close to any heat source since the wax coating can melt off and contaminate your food.
When Should You Use Parchment Paper
Do you enjoy baking but detest washing filthy pans? Your best friend is parchment paper. It is made to be used in ovens and is resistant to moisture and oil.
Use parchment to line your baking sheets and pans for easy cleanup. It’s ideal for:
- baking granola, cake, brownies, cookies, and quick bread.
- fish being baked in the oven.
- Vegetables are roasted in the oven (up to 420 degrees).
Best Uses for Parchment Paper
One of the most useful items you can have in your kitchen for baking is a roll of parchment paper. In addition to being non-stick, it is also heat resistant (to a point), giving all of your favorite baked items the ideal texture.
According to Tomlan, insert a portion inside your square or round pans for brownies and cakes that will pop out easily after they are baked. This will help your cookies bake evenly and prevent the bottoms from being too brown.
For quick, wholesome dinners that are packaged individually, like these can’t-miss parchment packet dinners, parchment is a useful cooking tool.
This is a technique called “en papillote” that the French employ. For instance, you may wrap a fish filet in parchment paper along with herbs, lemon slices, and chopped vegetables before placing it in a hot oven.
“This allows for a hybrid of baking and steaming, keeping moisture and flavor concentrated in the fish without having to use oil or butter,” says Rothacker.
Another unexpected application for parchment paper? As you bake and prepare, it works well to keep your kitchen tidy, according to Tomlan.
To save subsequent cleaning of the insides of your kitchen scale, panini press, waffle maker, or other appliance, just add a small piece to the top.
When shouldn’t you use Parchment Paper
It is okay to use parchment paper up to 420 degrees. Grab a roll of aluminum foil if you’re cooking something at a temperature greater than that. Never put parchment on a hot grill; this will start a fire.
Two types of paper are used in cooking: wax paper and parchment paper. While parchment paper is a thick sheet of paper that is frequently used for baking, wrapping, or cooking, wax paper is a thin sheet of paper that is used for baking. Wax paper is non-stick and simple to clean, but it is less absorbent than parchment paper.
On the other hand, parchment paper can be more challenging to clean but is more absorbent and non-stick. Additionally, because it has a coating of baking powder that makes it rise, parchment paper is frequently used in baking. We appreciate you taking the time to read this blog.