Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper: Which One Do You Need?

A common dilemma a lot of new bakers stumble upon happens at the grocery store. The idea of baking some cookies sounds pretty good so you head to the store for supplies. One thing you don’t want to happen is to have your cookies stuck on the pan when you try to get them off. So you head over to grab some wax paper, or is it parchment paper? Which one are we supposed to grab for baking cookies: parchment paper vs wax paper?

These two products are so similar to one another that it’s understandable if you stand there scratching your head for a moment. You may even think to throw both in the cart, just in case. Today we’re going to go over the parchment paper vs wax paper debate so you know exactly which one you need to put in your cart next time you go shopping.

What Is Wax Paper?

You don’t have all day to decide whether it’s parchment paper or wax paper that you need. So let’s sum it up by answering for you, what is wax paper? Well, wax paper is paper that has been covered in a wax coating to make it waterproof and greaseproof.

Wax paper is not heat resistant, so you can’t use it to line a pan for baking cookies. It’s more commonly used for wrapping food or covering a counter when preparing food. If you sprinkle flour over something, it’s easy to use the wax paper to pour the remaining flour back into the bowl.

Here are some other great uses for wax paper:

  • Line your cabinets to keep the dust away from dishes
  • Polish chrome fixtures around the house
  • Wax your can opener blade to keep it working like new
  • Protect wooden utensils
  • DIY funnel
  • Cover food that’s about to be microwaved to avoid splatter
  • DIY wine bottle cork
  • Rub zipper teeth to avoid sticking
  • Wax the curtain rod for an easy glide
  • Polish your iron
  • Wrap up candles

Even though wax paper can’t go into the oven, it still comes in handy around the house for many things.

Check out my simple recipe for sugar cookies.

What Is Parchment Paper?

Now that you know what wax paper is  it’s time to answer the question of what is parchment paper? Is there really that much of a difference?

Parchment paper is similar to wax paper because it is moisture proof and grease proof. However, parchment paper is lined with silicone so you can put it in the oven.The silicone layer makes parchment paper heat resistant so you don’t have to worry about any wax or plastic bits melting onto your food.

If you don’t want your baked goods to stick to the pan, then lining it with a layer of parchment paper will save you a mess every time.

Here are some other great uses for parchment paper:

  • Line your baking pans
  • Wrap up food
  • Roll up logs of cookie dough for freezing
  • DIY cupcake liners
  • DIY snack comes
  • Separate frozen burgers
  • Protect surfaces
  • Use it as a mat to collect spills from baking, crafts, ect.
  • Weigh food on kitchen scale
  • Drying mat for chocolate dipped fruit
  • Rolling dough

Parchment paper has a lot of great uses. It is very similar to wax paper, only a much better choice for baking. Any cookies you bake belong in your mouth, not stuck on the pan!

What Can Be Used Instead Of Parchment Paper?

Since wax paper can not be used in the oven, what can be used instead of parchment paper?

If you don’t have parchment paper on hand you can use silicone baking pads instead. They are a fantastic reusable replacement for parchment paper. You can place one on your baking sheet so whatever you’re making won’t stick to the pan. They are heat resistant and stick proof, making them the perfect parchment paper substitute.

Silicone baking pads are a great substitute if you are looking for a more environmentally friendly product. The only downside is you can’t wrap your food to go like you can with either wax or parchment paper.

Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper: Which One Should You Choose?

To figure out whether it’s parchment paper or wax paper that you need will all depend on what purpose you need it for. Although they are very similar to one another, they both serve a different function in the house.

Parchment paper is a better choice if you are looking for something to line your baking pans or cake tins. It won’t burn or melt in the oven keeping your food safe since the paper is lined with a protective silicone sealing.

Wax paper is more affordable so it is a better choice if you are looking for a food wrap. Unlike plastic cling wrap, wax paper can be cleaned and reused multiple times. More people are switching from plastic cling wrap to wax paper for their to-go sandwiches.

When it comes to parchment paper vs wax paper, they both have useful purposes in the kitchen. It won’t hurt to put both in your shopping cart next time you are at the store.

Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper: Final Thoughts

If you can only have one, parchment paper is capable of doing more tasks than wax paper. It may be a little bit more money, but it can withstand heat saving all your cookies from burning onto the pan. If you do a lot of baking you may want to consider a silicone baking tray to save money on parchment paper.

However, both types of paper are excellent for wrapping food and keeping surfaces clean while prepping food. Both wax paper and parchment paper can easily be cleaned and reused as food wrappers as well, which makes them a better alternative to plastic cling wrap. What are your main uses for wax paper and parchment paper? Let us know in the comments.

Like ginger bread cookies? Check my other article on Ginger bread cookies recipe.

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