Can I Use Wax Paper Instead of Parchment Paper?

By: Stacy Fraser  |  Thursday, June 9, 2016

Q. Can I use wax paper instead of parchment paper? —D. Piazza, San Diego, CA
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A. Wax paper and parchment paper can be used interchangeably in many applications, but not all. Wax paper melts when exposed to heat, while parchment can withstand temperatures up to 450°F, depending on the brand. Both types of paper are a great surface for rolling out pastry dough to prevent sticking and for layering cookies and candies when storing. But parchment paper is the one to choose when lining a baking sheet for a batch of cookies or a pan for roasting meat or vegetables. It’s also the only paper to use when cooking en papillote (i.e., when you fold food in a packet and bake it). There’s one exception to the rule of keeping wax paper away from heat: it can be used to line the bottom of cake pans because the cake batter absorbs much of the heat and prevents the wax from melting.
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