Waxed paper is a versatile material. It’s the material of choice for baking enthusiasts and equally useful for packing and storing food. Considering it is versatile and needed so often, there might be times when you run out of it or run short of waxed paper. An easy fix in such a situation is to use a substitute for waxed paper.
Conventionally, wax paper is paper coated with thin layers of paraffin or soybean wax. This makes it water-resistant and non-stick, which is useful for baking and storing food. However, it isn’t heat-resistant, so that’s something to look out for.
A substitute should have similar qualities as waxed paper. While not every alternative can fit all aspects, most of them can fit specific requirements. So, keep your intended purpose in mind when choosing an alternative.
Let’s see what’s on offer!
Best Substitutes For Waxed Paper
1. Parchment Paper
For most scenarios, you can replace waxed paper with parchment paper or vice versa. Both these papers are incredibly similar, with a small change in their construction. While wax paper utilizes a coating of wax (paraffin or soybean), parchment paper is coated in silicone.
The use of silicone makes a big difference. Parchment paper can handle heat better and is heat-resistant to a degree. That’s why parchment paper works well for baking, while wax paper can’t handle the heat. Depending on the brand, you can find parchment papers that can withstand up to 450°F temperature.
In any case, parchment paper can take on most of the responsibilities of waxed paper. It is, however, a more expensive choice. But the silver lining is that parchment paper is available for reuse when used to substitute waxed paper as a pan liner. Reusing it still isn’t as cost-effective, but it lowers the overall expense.
2. Aluminum Foil
The common aluminum foil is a handy replacement for waxed paper. This thin sheet of aluminum is easy to manipulate and can take your preferred shape or form. It’s best used for packing food, where it provides water resistance and easy handling. Using foil can also prevent any dripping, spilling, or similar issues.
Aluminum foil doesn’t have a non-stick coating. Put in a thin layer of oil if you intend to use it for baking, this way, there are lower chances of food sticking to the coil. Still, it’s not a preferable solution for baking, as the frosted side of the foil can oxidize and alter the flavor of the food.
At this point, it’s not just about flavors, but also the doubt that chemicals might be present in the food due to the oxidation.
It is possible to reuse aluminum foil after washing. It’s also recyclable, so that’s less trouble for the environment.
3. Butter Paper
Butter paper, or sandwich paper, is another useful alternative, though its usage is relatively limited. It is good for packaging moist food and provides good protection in that capacity. It doesn’t have a non-stick surface, so it can’t be used for baking.
4. Silicone Rubber Pads Or Molds
Silicone rubber pads or molds are a useful choice for baking. They’re reusable and can withstand high temperatures. Plus, many molds also make it easier to shape confectionaries being baked. Some also include cool patterns to go along with the baking.
Being reusable makes them environmentally friendly and could lower the cost in the long run, especially since they’re significantly more expensive than waxed paper. Since these molds and pads are manufactured specifically for baking, they aren’t of much use in storing food.
5. Silpat Paper Or Silver Paper
Silver paper or silpat paper is sometimes also known as a baking mat. Made from silicone, this paper is more durable than waxed paper. Users can adjust it to a desired size for use in baking or lining.
Apart from being more durable, it’s also reusable, thus allowing for less wastage and easier preparation. Silpat paper is quite versatile and finds use in baking, lining, storing food, and wrapping food. Clean it by washing it through water after use and it’s ready for the next round.
It is more expensive than waxed paper, though its reuse can manage costs a bit. As we notice, it is quite similar to parchment paper in some of its uses and silicone coating. But there is a noticeable difference in how both of these affect baking. Most bakers seem to favor parchment paper over silpat paper for baking.
6. Paper Bags
The humble, unassuming paper bag is a useful choice for some situations. They’re best used for storing food and are readily available. Paper bags have low burning temperatures, so they can’t be used for baking.
Paper bags are easily available, recyclable, and generally biodegradable. Although not an ideal solution for packing food, they can come in handy in a pinch.
7. Freezer Paper
Freezer paper is practically a twin of waxed paper, with a small difference. These papers have plastic coating on a single side, while waxed paper is coated on both sides with wax. This small change goes a big way.
The plastic coat helps the structural integrity of the paper, allowing freezer paper to last a substantially longer time. It also helps with water resistance, making this paper resilient and a better choice for storing food long-term.
As its name implies, this paper is best used in a freezer. Bringing plastic in contact with anything hot or using it for baking is not a good idea.
8. Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is a thin film of plastic. It’s water-resistant and a good choice for storing food. It’s often used by restaurants or food outlets for deliveries. Plastic wrap also works very well for storing food in a freezer and provides adequate protection from freezer burn.
Of course, it’s not suitable for baking or heating as the plastic will melt.
9. Oil, Butter, Flour, Or Cooking Spray
These materials are cooking tricks that have been used in kitchens for decades, if not centuries. Well, cooking spray is newer, but it’s still essentially oil, so the usage is similar. You can employ oil or butter to grease the pan and sprinkle some flour on it. Though not a foolproof method, it is useful in preventing baked goods from sticking to the pan.
Some Details And FAQs
1. Can Wax Paper Go In The Freezer?
Yes, wax paper can go into the freezer and protect food. However, it’s best to use the stored food quickly since waxed paper won’t hold on very well for a long time. For long-term storage or use, it’s best to use a better alternative like freezer paper.
2. Can I Use Wax Paper For Baking?
Waxed paper shouldn’t be used for baking. It is not heat-resistant and the wax will melt quickly and likely find its way to your food. Though it’s not toxic, wax in food is best avoided!
3. Is It Okay To Use Parchment Paper In Place Of Waxed Paper?
Anything waxed paper can do, parchment paper can do better. Additionally, parchment paper is useful for baking as well as it has higher heat-resistance. It is also possible to reuse parchment paper, which makes it a good option.
Finding A Good Waxed Paper Substitute
Waxed paper is a useful and versatile item. We can expect similar qualities from a useful substitute for waxed paper. There are some quality substitutes like parchment paper, which can replace waxed paper for almost all its uses. Other substitutes like aluminum foil are useful for more specific instances but can be as handy as waxed paper.