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JLeslie's avatar

When do you use wax paper vs parchment paper?

Asked by JLeslie (65329points) December 24th, 2021 from iPhone

My grandmother used to use wax paper, my mom never used either. I’ve never really understood when to use parchment over wax or vice versa. They’re both so the food doesn’t stick right?

What do you use either one for?

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19 Answers

jca2's avatar

My mom used to wrap my sandwiches in wax paper when she’d send me to school with lunch (this was in the 70’s). Parchment paper is for baking. I wouldn’t use wax paper for baking because the wax would melt on the food and the pans. Maybe you can use it in some circumstances, but I would just use parchment, which is also thicker. Wax paper can be used for the microwave.

canidmajor's avatar

I use waxed paper to separate things that would otherwise stick together in packages in the freezer, like homemade waffles in one large freezer zip-lock style bag, or pieces of chicken, stuff like that.
I use parchment paper for baking bread.

kritiper's avatar

I use wax paper when I’m gluing a book repair.
My mom never had parchment paper. If the recipe called for it I would get some…

janbb's avatar

I haven’t used waxed paper in years. I think of it as something my mother used. I do use parchment paper on cookie sheets or cake pans to stop sticking. Otherwise, I use Saran wrap or aluminum foil.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I use wax paper but they are both grease-proof and used as liners for fish, cookies and other purposes.
My pumpkin rolls are best in wax paper to keep the edges and long, thin cake nice-looking.

chyna's avatar

I have wax paper. The only thing I use it for is when I make chocolate covered peanut balls once a year. After I dip it in chocolate, I set them out on the wax paper to be able to remove easily.
@jca2 you reminded me that my mom wrapped our sandwiches in wax paper when we were kids too. Good memories.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t bake so I don’t use either. I’ve been after myself for 4 years to make pralines. If I ever get around to it I’ll drip them out on waxed paper to cool.
Same with oatmeal cookies which Rick makes once in a while.
I have no use for parchment paper what so ever. However, Rick picked some up and I have no idea why. We’ve never used it.
My mom put my sammiches in plastic baggies.
Oh boy. Now I want a peanut butter and honey sammich.

Forever_Free's avatar

Parchment paper is coated with silicone to give it a nonstick, heat-resistant surface, and wax paper is coated with a soybean or paraffin wax.
Wax paper is not meant for use in the oven as the wax coating on it will melt if the paper is exposed to direct heat. Use wax paper for wrapping up sandwiches or food for cold storage, or for spreading out things like homemade candy and chocolate based items to cool.
Parchment paper is the best choice for cooking and can withstand temperatures up to about 420 degrees Fahrenheit. Parchment paper is good for lining cookie sheets when baking, roasting veggies or making sheet pan dinners. It eliminates the need to grease them plus it keeps you from having to scrub the pan.

chyna's avatar

^I want to live with @Forwver_Free where he can cook and bake for me daily.

janbb's avatar

@chyna But it will all be healthy alternatives. Do you really want that?

chyna's avatar

Geez, no! Who ruins food like that!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

My only complaint is that you throw the parchment paper into the landfill to save yourself a tiny, tiny bit of work.
I know people who only use paper plates so they don’t have to wash dishes. :(

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’ll do my saving on the scalding water and using the dishwasher. The parchment paper keeps the cookies from spreading and sticking. It has very little to do with saving work for a baker.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was replying to @Forever_Free‘s reasons “It eliminates the need to grease them plus it keeps you from having to scrub the pan.
Who cares if the cookies spread?

SnipSnip's avatar

No…parchment is not to keep food from sticking during cooking unless I just don’t know it. I bake individual meals wrapped in parchment.

I use wax paper to separate things like steaks before freezing them. I don’t use it in cooking but my mother used to line cake pans with wax paper so the cake would pop right out. When we were kids we would slide down the slide sitting on wax paper…......that slide would get slick and we would fly.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Some cookies will spread out really flat and then be crispy, when the goal is for them to be puffy and cake-like.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wish I’d thought of that @SnipSnip!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca2, I’m no baker but I’ve heard using butter instead of shortning (or vise versa) helps with spread.
Also refrigerating the dough for several hours does too.
But I don’t know cuz I don’t bake!
Going to ask a question.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@SnipSnip, parchment paper works the same for baked goods as cupcake liners work for cupcakes. With cakes, line the bottom of the pan, pour batter on top. Edges pull away easily usually, but if not, use a butter knife. Once the edges are free, you can turn the pan over, and the cake pops right out. Yo then slowly peel the paper right off the cake. It is best to to flip it onto your hand, then after removing the paper, you can flip it topside up onto your serving plate.
It works for biscuits, rolls, sticky buns, pizza, anything bakery related.
No bakery I know of doesn’t use it.

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