Both wax paper and parchment paper come in handy when it comes to kitchen activities. They are useful in many ways in food preparation as they are non-stick and moisture resistant.
While wax paper and parchment paper look pretty similar, the two products are actually different and they serve different purposes.
In particular, if you are planning to bake, you may be confused about what to buy between wax and parchment papers. Fortunately, this text will help you understand how the two papers differ, and which is the best for baking.
Difference between Wax paper and parchment paper
The main difference between wax and parchment papers is found in their coatings. Parchment paper comes with a silicone coating while the wax paper is coated with wax, which could be paraffin or soybean wax.
However, the two papers may be confusing, especially to new bakers. It is important to understand that parchment paper can be used in place of wax paper but vice versa is not true mainly in high heat applications.
Wax Paper Uses
Wax paper is covered with a thin wax coating on each side. It is a great product for food preparation since it is moisture resistant and non-stick.
It is cheaper than the parchment paper and you can find it at any supermarket near you. Though it is moist proof and does not allow food to stick, wax paper is not heat resistant.
Therefore, you should not use it in the oven for baking cakes as it could melt and spoil the taste of your food. You can use wax paper for rolling out any type of dough, pounding chicken chests into equal sizes, covering countertops when measuring messy ingredients, or decorating iced cookies to make the cleaning easy.
If you want to wrap your food like sandwiches and cheese for storage, you can use wax paper. Wax paper will help in preventing your food from sticking together when freezing it.
Many people also use wax paper to line cabinets shelves and top of the fridge to avoid scrubbing them every month. Once you line your cabinet shelves with wax paper, you will only need to replace the paper when it gets dirty.
Parchment Paper Uses
Parchment paper has a silicone coating which makes it heatproof, non-stick, moist-resistant, and grease-resistant. It can either be bleached (white) or unbleached (brown), but the color does not affect its applications.
The good thing with parchment paper is that it cannot melt when heated in high temperatures so you can even use parchment paper in the microwave.
Even if your oven is hotter than 450 degrees, parchment paper cannot melt or catch fire but it may darken. Parchment paper is the most suitable option for cooking in high temperatures.
When baking, most people use parchment paper to line cake pans, baking sheets, or pie pans. You can also use it to roast vegetables and bake your dinner fish.
Lining your pan with parchment paper will make the cleaning work easier as you won’t have to scrub the encrusted remnants. If you want to line your cookie sheets accurately to ensure prettier cookies and prevent them from breaking, you can use a parchment paper.
Can You Substitute Parchment Paper with Wax Paper in Every Task?
The answer to this is simply no. You can only use wax paper in place of parchment in cases where there is no heat involved. Wax paper is not heatproof and it can melt in high temperatures or even catch fire. So, if you want to line your baking pans, use parchment paper but not wax paper.
Final Thoughts on parchment paper vs wax paper
Wax paper and parchment paper are almost similar but a wax paper should not be used for baking in the oven. It can smoke and alter the taste of your food.