Parchment Paper and Wax Paper: Learn The Difference

A wide variety of papers can be used for cooking purposes, including parchment paper and wax paper. Parchment paper is also known as baking paper. It’s just that it has different names in different parts of the world.

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It is a cellulose-based composite that has been treated so it has additional properties such as non-stick, grease resistance, and humidity resistance. Parchment paper is sometimes marketed as baking paper.[1]

Applications in cooking and baking

It is commonly used to eliminate the need to grease sheet pans. In most cases, parchment paper can be used to replace wax paper as a non-stick surface. However, the reverse is not true.  

cooking cookies on a white Parchment paper
Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

Paper that has been waxed to make it moisture-proof. Wax paper does not withstand high temperatures. The wax will melt and the paper can catch fire at high temperatures.[2][3][4]

Applications in cooking and baking

Commonly used to prevent food from sticking to pans; it is also used to wrap food to keep it fresh. When working with melted chocolate, rolling out dough of any kind, or dusting recipes with powdered sugar. Dry ingredients can be sifted onto wax paper, then lifted and poured into a mixing bowl.

Wax paper is used to cover the food when heating in a microwave, which helps to prevent splatters. As the paper is generally unaffected by microwaves, it will not burn under normal usage. Using waxed paper in a microwave is a better choice than aluminum foil or plastic wrap because waxed is less likely to melt at high temperatures.


chef covering dough with wax paper

The Difference Between Parchment Paper and Wax Paper.

Both papers are non-stick proof. The difference is that wax paper is not heat resistant. It will catch fire at high temperatures level. Do not put wax paper in the oven!

Parchment paper can substitute wax paper for a non-stick surface. However, parchment paper cannot be substituted for wax paper. When there is heat, always use parchment paper. It is recommended to use wax paper for “cold” preparation of food and parchment paper for baking.

Diamond brand Parchment paper and wax paper package

Substitutes for Parchment Paper and Wax Paper

Below are some common kitchen items that can be used in place of parchment paper and wax paper.

Parchment paper substitutes:

Grease the pan

Use the classic method and grease the pan. You can line your pan with butter in most cases. If butter is not available, you can use oil or cooking spray. This alternative could be less effective in precision baking.

To prevent sticking, it’s often a good idea to shake some flour around in the pan.

grease cake pan

Aluminum foil

Heat is not a problem for aluminum foil, it resists very high temperatures. However, aluminum foil is not the best choice for baking, so we don’t recommend it.

using aluminum foil on a steel pan for cake

Silicone baking mats

Silicone baking mats are flexible, nonstick mats made from high-quality food grade silicone and fiberglass. They are perfect for baking sticky concoctions. Silicone baking mats are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit different sizes of pans. 

chef pressing yellow cream on a baking silicon mat

Silicone rubber molds

It is a stretchy material. Most silicone molds can be used to make food such as chocolate, cake, and more. They remain heat-safe at baking temperatures.

chef purring mousse into a silicon rubber mold
Photo by Tanya Gorelova from Pexels

Wax paper substitutes:

Parchment paper

As stated before, for as long as the paper won’t be put in the oven, parchment paper can replace wax paper. 

chocolate cookies on stainless steel pan
Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

Aluminum foil

It is reusable, and it keeps things fresh

chef pulling aluminum foil sheet from its package


  1. Parchment paper on Wiki.
  2. Wax paper on Wiki.
  3. [1] Reynolds company, frequently asked questions. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  4. “Waxed paper”www.tis-gdv.de. Retrieved 2017-05-17.

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