Wax Paper vs Parchment Paper
Wax paper and parchment papers are widely used in preparations of food items, especially bakery items. There are advantages as well as disadvantages of both that decide the use of either in baking food items. This article attempts to highlight the differences between a wax paper and a parchment paper.
Instead of jumping the gun and figuring differences between the two, it is prudent to understand how these papers are being made, and uses in baking of different food items.
As the name implies, wax paper is a paper that has a coating of wax or paraffin. In appearance, it looks like a tissue paper with 2-3 coatings of wax on both sides. Actually, wax paper undergoes supercalendering, which is the process of compression that causes it to become transparent. It is virtually waterproof because of wax coating. However, wax paper cannot be used in an oven as the wax applied over it will soon melt. Wax paper is meant to be used in cold storage of food items and is seen as a wrapping for sandwiches and other similar items. Wax paper is also used for tracing patterns over it. Before tracing, hot iron is pressed over the paper to make it stick to the fabric.
Parchment paper is created by making sheets of paper pulp take a bath in sulfuric acid. Sometimes, zinc chloride is used instead of H2SO4. Acid causes the paper to become heat resistant while some of the paper gets dissolved in the acid. This is one property that makes parchment paper ideal for use in baking. Before baking, tray or pan is mostly greased but if parchment paper is used, there is no need for greasing as this paper is non stick. Because of this property, the paper does not stick to the pan and the food, and there is no mess after the food item has been prepared.
What is the difference between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper?
• Parchment paper is dipped in acid to make it heat resistant, and the silicon coating makes it non-stick. On the other hand, wax paper is coated with wax to make it greasy.
• Wax paper cannot be used in the microwave, as its coating melts away, while parchment paper being heat resistant can be easily used for baking.
• Parchment paper obliterates the need for greasing a tray or pan, and the paper does not stick to either pan or food item, and thus leaving no mess behind.
• Wax paper sometimes leaves a waxy taste, which is never the case with parchment paper.