When baking in a commercial kitchen, it’s crucial to have the right supplies. Most chefs are familiar with parchment and wax paper but may not know how they differ in their best uses. Wax and parchment paper are not created equal in the commercial kitchen and have one major difference. We discuss the ways that you can and cannot use parchment and wax paper when cooking and preparing food. 

Table of Contents

  • Parchment Paper
  • Wax Paper
  • Differences Between Parchment & Wax Paper
  • How to Cook with Parchment Paper
Person holding baking pan lined with paper

Parchment Paper Vs. Wax Paper

Both parchment and wax paper is designed to help make clean-up easier in the kitchen. They can each be used to keep food stains and leaks off storage or serving containers. These papers are also useful in food preparation for portioning and separating ingredients. 

What is Parchment Paper?

Also known as sulfurized paper, parchment paper is made by coating paper in sulfuric acid. The result is a smooth, durable, and heat-resistant baking paper that can be used in the oven or microwave. This paper is designed for performing heavy-duty tasks like lining baking sheets and pans or even creating pouches to cook fish and vegetables.

Can you bake parchment paper? – Yes!

What is Wax Paper?

Wax paper is the less-durable cousin of parchment paper. It’s made by coating tissue paper in paraffin (or sometimes beeswax) to make it resistant to moisture and grease. It works well as a liner in food storage containers, or even to separate portions for food prep. The appeal of wax paper is its nonstick property that will prevent sticky or oily food from sticking. While this paper can be used in a commercial kitchen, it isn’t nearly as heavy-duty as parchment paper. 

Can you bake wax paper? – No! 

Can Wax Paper Be Used Instead of Parchment Paper?

Not in some cases. These papers differ in their durability and will hold up differently to heavy commercial use.  The main difference between these two is their ability to be cooked in a microwave or oven that makes them not interchangeable. For some cases, however, you can use parchment and wax paper for the same tasks as in food prep and wrapping.

Differences Between Parchment & Wax Paper