Plus, how is it different from parchment paper?

By Corey Williams
Updated September 16, 2020
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Sure, wax paper is handy for all sorts of kitchen tasks—but is it oven-safe? Here’s everything you need to know about when to use (and when not to use) wax paper:

What Is Wax Paper?

Credit: Lucy Lambriex/Getty Images

Lucy Lambriex/Getty Images

Wax paper is triple-waxed tissue paper that is made with food-safe paraffin wax. The wax is forced into the pores of the paper, according to the USDA, and spread over the outside as a coating. Wax paper has a non-stick surface, which makes it handy for rolling out dough or wrapping food for storage.

Can You Bake With Wax Paper?

Credit: istetiana/Getty Images

istetiana/Getty Images

No, you should not use wax paper in the oven. Wax paper is moisture-resistant, not heat-resistant. The wax will melt at high temperatures and the paper could catch on fire. Always use parchment paper when it comes to baking.

That said, wax paper is safe for use in the microwave, per the USDA—it is often used to cover foods and prevent splatter.

Wax Paper vs. Parchment Paper: When to Use Which

Credit: Arx0nt/Getty Images

Arx0nt/Getty Images

Still unsure? Let's clear up any confusion:

Wax Paper

  • Moisture-resistant
  • Non-stick
  • Used to roll out dough, line pans for no-bake recipes, pound meat, cover counters, and wrap food for storage.

Parchment Paper

  • Moisture-resistant
  • Non-stick
  • Heat-resistant (up to 450°—if you’re cooking with temperatures higher than that, use aluminum foil)
  • Used to line pans for baking recipes, roast vegetables and meats, roll out dough, pound meat, and cover counters.

When in doubt, just remember that wax paper can do anything parchment paper can do—except go in the oven.

Eco-Friendly Wax Paper Alternatives

As convenient as both wax and parchment papers can be, disposable products aren’t great for the environment. That’s why eco-conscious bakers and cooks are opting for reusable alternatives instead (as we all know by now, less waste means a happier planet!).

Trying to clean up your act in the kitchen? Reusable wax paper is just as functional as single-use wax paper, but it’s much more sustainable. Vermont-based company Bee’s Wrap uses ethically sourced ingredients to produce washable, reusable, and biodegradable alternatives to wax paper and plastic wrap. Not to mention, you actually save money in the long run: A set of three costs $18, but each wrap lasts for a year.