When to Use Parchment Paper, Wax Paper, or Foil Around the Kitchen
One trip down the baking supplies aisle in any grocery store or supermarket in America presents enough options to overwhelm anyone. From the floor to well over most folks’ heads, row after row and shelf after shelf are stacked with long, rectangular boxes of different options of rolled up wraps.
Mountains of competing aluminum foil brands, pileups of wax paper, freezer paper, and parchment paper, and never-ending plastic wrap – it’s enough to drive a person crazy!
What if you were moving into an empty house and could only choose one?
Not one of each… just one box to rule them all? What would you choose?
Let’s take a closer look at the different uses of tin foil, wax paper, parchment paper and more and see if any one of them proves to be the one you just should not live (or at least cook) without.
Parchment Paper vs. Wax Paper
Too many people are unaware of the differences between parchment paper and wax paper, assuming that whatever differences they have must be insignificant since they look alike.
The main difference, however, makes all the difference in the world!
Wax paper, as the name clearly implies, is simple heavyweight paper coated on one or both sides with wax – typically soy based.
Parchment paper, on the other hand, is coated with an ultra-thin, perfectly uniform silicone coating on both sides of the paper.
Both parchment paper and wax paper are technically “non-stick”, but the similarities end there, particularly if you are cooking or baking.
Parchment paper is totally oven or freezer safe, leaving its non-stick silicone surface undisturbed throughout either application. Excellent for baking cookies, pies, cakes, and more, you can rest assured that your high quality American made parchment paper will never leach or gas off anything that could affect your meal… or your health!
Wax paper will have its waxy coating melt if introduced to heat, such as in an oven or microwave, so it is not very useful for baking or cooking other than using it to protect countertops or to wrap leftovers in.
Simply put, anything wax paper can do, parchment paper can do… usually better.
Parchment Paper vs. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil has been a staple in American kitchens for decades for its convenience and, well, because your parents always had some around, so you got some too.
Well, that same generation came up smoking cigarettes on airplanes and holding the baby on their lap for car rides. We, as a society, have taken a hard look at all of that and we did something about most of it, yet we still cook and wrap our food in this potentially toxic metal for some reason.
Aside from the fact that it is easy to wrap around the edges of a bowl, plate, or casserole dish, there are very few good reasons for choosing aluminum foil over parchment paper when prepping, cooking, or storing your food.
Some people take the extra step of wrapping their choice cuts of meat in plastic THEN in aluminum foil, to avoid the telltale metallic taste that wrapping with foil alone often leads to.
Seems like a waste of everything, including time.
While researching this blog, we were actually shocked to learn that research by the International Journal of Electrochemical Science found that small amounts of aluminum foil can potentially leach into food as it is cooking. For this reason, however small the possibility may be, just like with wax paper if there is heat involved in your recipe, you should be using parchment paper.
I used to wrap all sorts of foods in aluminum foil and cook them on a grill or campfire, but I will think twice before I ever do that again.
Freezer Paper, Plastic Wrap, Etc.
C’mon, folks. It is time to enter the new century and stop fiddling with freezer paper or playing around with plastic wrap. Let’s face it, is there anything more annoying than when that stuff sticks to itself?
The simple fact is, parchment paper beats freezer paper in any category you would like to compare the two, and plastic wrap should be a thing of the past.
Obviously, you probably don’t have to settle for only buying one box or one product in that baking supplies aisle, but hopefully this article showed you that there absolutely is one product that can make many more kitchen tasks that much easier, and it is parchment paper.The only thing better than parchment paper, in fact, is parchment paper made in the USA like what you’ll find here at www.ParchmentPaper.com, your one stop shop for pre-cut sheets and handy rolls of the highest quality non-stick, oven safe, freezer safe chef and baker’s best friend – parchment paper!