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The difference between parchment paper and wax paper in the kitchen

At a first glace, to most people, parchment paper and wax paper seem to be interchangeable. For some tasks, this is true. For others, wax paper can be ineffective or dangerous. Before you decide which one to pick up, we're going to explain the one major difference between them both beyond the price tag.

What is wax paper?

Like the name suggests, it's paper coated in wax. It's actually not all that easy to find in Australia, because the main reason people use these types of products for has an application of heat (usually the oven). The wax on wax paper will melt in an oven. It may even catch on fire. Parchment paper / baking paper is far more common.

Wax paper is moisture-proof (as it parchment paper) so it's suitable for wrapping sandwiches, rolling out dough in baking and many more applications. Wax paper can be used in the microwave (it's mostly unaffected) in place of cling film which melts at high temperatures and aluminium foil which will spark in a microwave. Parchment paper is still more versatile and the preferred option for most.

Wax paper that only has natural waxes is biodegradable, but it's not recyclable. We do not sell wax paper at Shop Naturally. Think of it as the paper version of beeswax wraps, which are fabric coated in wax, but the fabric beeswax wraps are designed to be reusable and use a lot more wax.

What is parchment paper?

Also called baking paper & greaseproof paper by some, parchment paper uses silicone for its non-stick qualities. Most parchment papers are oven safe up to around 220°C, but check with the manufacturer of the brand you pick up. Some commercial baking papers can use Quilon for the non-stick properties. Quilon contains heavy metals and are best avoided in this type of product.

Why If You Care?

Not all parchment paper is created equal though. We have chosen to stock just one brand in store, and that's If You Care. They only use FSC certified trees to create the paper. Since this is a single use item, the eco options surrounding the growth of the trees is important to our customers. The paper is also unbleached and chlorine free. When products are manufactured without closed loop systems, these chemicals can wash in to water ways.

What's in the range?

  • Flat paper in a single roll just under 20 metres in length
  • Flat paper cut in to sheets (approx 31 x 40cm each)
  • Baking Cups in Mini, Large and Jumbo. Large is your standard cupcake size
  • Roasting Bags to lock the moisture and flavour in to a roast

Multi-use alternatives

In the War On Waste, many people are choosing to opt out of single use items wherever possible, even when they're made from renewable resources like FSC Certified Timber. We have 100% silicone reusable options in cupcake cups, muffin cups and flat baking sheets. We have a blog post called 'The Versatility of Silicone Reusables Over Single Use Plastic' that outline options from silicone straws to food covers and even smoothie cups that collapse down and fit in your back pocket.

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