If parchment paper and foil can go in the oven, can wax paper go in the oven, too? The short answer: no. While this type of paper is unlike most baking and cooking papers, you don’t want to miss out on what you CAN do with wax paper. Read on to learn more about its versatile use in the kitchen!
What’s the point if you can’t put wax paper in the oven? You might be asking the wrong question. If you instead ask, “Will wax paper give me an easier clean up?” Or, “Is wax paper a good way to line refrigerated baked goods?” you’ll be on your way to understanding the best ways to use this material.
The possibilities are endless—we’re just getting started!
What happens if you use wax paper instead of parchment paper?
If you happen to grab wax paper from your kitchen drawer instead of parchment paper, you will most definitely notice a difference in your food, likely before it’s finished cooking. Wax paper in a hot oven will start to melt right before your eyes. The coating will ruin your baking pan, cookie sheets, and cake pans.
Apparently you can put wax paper in the microwave, but it’s best to generally avoid any heat, even with a thin layer of wax.
Is wax paper the same as parchment paper?
These seem like the same products. They look the same, are sold in the same grocery store aisle, and they are usually the same price. Despite all these similarities, they have totally different uses. The main difference is that parchment paper can go in the oven in any circumstance, while wax paper is best for rolling things out and preventing sticking during refrigeration.
Learn more about the wax paper vs. parchment paper over here in this post.
At what temperature does wax paper melt?
Wax paper can withstand heat up to 180°F. Anything higher than that, and your wax paper will melt and can catch fire.
Some say that it can withstand high temperatures up to 420°F, but that would completely ruin your baking dishes, oven, and food. Wax paper is not designed for high temperatures for prolonged periods of time.
Is wax paper toxic when baked?
Wax paper is coated in paraffin wax which is actually edible. This food-safe wax makes the paper moisture resistant, unlike parchment paper.
This does not mean that wax paper is heat resistant (because it’s not!). It may only be used in the oven at extremely low temperatures for very little time. But to err on the side of caution, this is not recommended.
What is wax paper used for?
If you can’t put it in the oven, then what is wax paper good for? We can thank Martha Stewart and her many cooking shows for teaching us how to use this material. For example, wax paper can be used for letting things rest at room temperature or in the fridge. There are many ways you can utilize it!
If you’d like an easier and faster clean up, roll out your sugar cookie dough or pie crusts in between two sheets of wax paper. This allows for a smooth work surface. Additionally, your doughs will not stick to the rolling pin OR your counter. You won’t even need to sprinkle extra flour on your surfaces.
(Try out these Cut-Out Sugar Cookies using this method!)
Pounding and Storing Meats
To eliminate splatter, pound meats like boneless chicken or pork chops in between two sheets of wax paper. It won’t crinkle, shrink (like plastic wrap), or rip when you’re pounding away. You can also store uncooked burger patties covered with wax paper in the refrigerator—no container needed.
Baking with Dry Ingredients
Sifting dry ingredients like all-purpose flour or powdered sugar directly on wax paper makes it TEN TIMES EASIER to funnel them into your wet ingredients without a mess.
You can easily use wax paper to wrap cold foods like deli sandwiches or to chill cookies. Think no-bake cookies, rice crispy treats, chocolate bark, marshmallows, or even homemade meatballs. This is why that non-stick, moisture-resistant coating is genius.
You can also add your meats and cookies to gallon-sized bags and use wax paper to layer them, maximizing space in the bag and in your freezer.
Wax paper substitutes
If you’re looking for an oven-safe paper or material, a simple substitute would be aluminum foil or parchment paper. These kitchen papers do not have a non-stick coating, but you can easily spray them with cooking spray. Some parchment paper is even sold in pre-cut squares that easily line the bottom of the pan.
Can you put wax paper in the air fryer?
No, you cannot use wax paper in the air fryer. The thin layer of wax would splatter all over, especially if there’s no food to hold it down.
To learn more about how to use an air fryer or how to clean an air fryer, check out these posts. If you’re wondering what you can put in an air fryer instead of wax paper, check out these posts about foil in the air fryer and parchment paper in the air fryer.