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Parchment vs. Wax Paper

Martha Stewart Living Television

Q: What is the difference between parchment paper and wax paper?
--Elaine Hanan, Teaneck, New Jersey

Martha loves using parchment paper in the kitchen. Parchment paper is grease- and moisture-resistant paper specially treated for oven use. It is very versatile -- use it to line cake molds and baking sheets, to wrap fish and other dishes that are cooked en papillote, and to cover countertops during messy tasks to make cleanup easy. If you're sifting or grating a small amount of an ingredient, you can simply let it fall onto the paper, then pick up the paper and pour it into a dish. Parchment paper can be purchased in rolls, sheets, or precut rounds to fit cake pans; look for it at gourmet kitchenware stores or many supermarkets.

Wax paper has a thin coating of wax on each side, making it nonstick and moisture-resistant; it is a good, less-expensive substitute for parchment paper for tasks such as covering countertops, and is available at any supermarket. Unlike parchment paper, however, it is not heat-resistant and therefore should not be used in the oven, as the wax could melt, or even ignite.

Another good option for lining baking sheets is a Silpat baking mat. Made of flexible, heat-resistant silicon, they are much more expensive than either parchment paper or wax paper, but last for years.


Comments (6)

  • Dorien Reed 11 Mar, 2014

    Can wax paper be used for lining cake tins or baking trays when making biscuits? There's so many papers here in the UK. Baking paper, grease proof paper, silicone paper, parchment paper & wax paper. I want to wrap toffees & line cake tins, which do I use?

  • paper expert 14 Nov, 2014

    If you can afford it always buy parchment (true parchment ) Parchment paper is rare and expensive. It is created by dissolving the base paper in a special treatment in order to fuse the fibers into an impermeable sheet. the way you can tell the difference between true parchment and "grease Proof "alternatives is by tearing the paper. parchment will essentially fracture and you will not see individual fibers as you will with all the alternatives, which are treated with surface chemicals instead

  • John chef 10 Dec, 2013

    I am a professional chef and used many different "Parchment Paper" i just got a hold of some genuine vegetable parchment paper from palisades paper.... gota tell you their paper is amazing smooth, and very easy to use. i called them and ordered an entire case
    check them out

  • Kokki 5 Aug, 2013

    Hi Alwyseva,
    Yes, SAGA Baking & Cooking papers are same as parchment paper.

  • ayahme2000 24 Jul, 2013

    Thank You very helpful

  • Alwyseva 12 May, 2013

    Hi, may I know whether Saga cooking paper can be considered as parchment paper?