Wax Paper vs Parchment Paper vs Butcher Paper | Which one is better?


Many food lovers love to try different cooking techniques in their home. However, cooking and baking can be a big headache if not done properly.

There are several tricks and tips that if not applied can ruin your whole cooking. Long ago people have been applying different techniques to reserve their food while keeping it in the oven as well as during cooking in the oven.

Some techniques will work but you will have to pay great costs for them to work. Here we introduce you to the cooking items that are already present in your kitchen cabinets.

There are a lot of BBQ techniques that can be used for grilling and smoking. However, the most cost-effective and reliable way is to use rolls of parchment paper, wax paper, or butcher paper.  Professional cooks use these papers for smoking or grilling during BBQing.

They warp meat or veggies that can help avoid brisket stall and also reduces cooking time. These papers also keep the food moist and juicy and help the food retain its color.  These papers come with different uses.

However, knowing their properties before using them in cooking is important. In this article, you will know all the details about these three kinds of paper and you will get the answers to most of the questions you have in mind.

Wax Paper:


wax paper vs parchment paper

Wax paper is best used for lining tables and countertops before rolling out anything on them to prevent mess.

It is also used for wrapping food before storing it in the cold storage or lining a pan for making something like fudge.

You can also use this paper for placing it between two items you are freezing to prevent sticking.

This paper I coated with wax from both sides. This paper is not safe for ovens. If you put it in the oven, the wax coating on paper can melt or ignite.

So, it’s not useful to use as a non-stick barrier while using any heat source.

Parchment Paper:

Professional bakers and chefs have long been using parchment paper for a range of reasons. Now that it is readily available, it is also being used in home cooking.

This paper can be found in the bleached and unbleached form. The reason why it is non-stick and heat resistant is that it is coated with silicon.

It is treated with an acid on one side that makes the surface of the paper a gelatinous layer of cross-linked, dense fibers which after drying become slick, non-sticky, and heat resistant. The non-stick quality allows food to be readily removed after cooking.

Most parchment papers are even safe up to 420 F oven heating. It often comes in small rolls from where it can easily be torn off as much as needed. It is also available in pre-cut sheets which are safe to use.

Parchment paper can also be used for freezing. You can use it for protecting fruits and vegetables. Can be used for wrapping goods by folding the paper or can use pre-cut sheets. You can also write on this paper with the parchment market to label your goods. The parchment paper texture is velvet-like. When you turn its pages, it makes some rustling sound.

Butcher Paper:

Butcher paper vs parchement paper

Butcher paper is a special kind of paper used for protecting meats and fish from flavor contamination and airborne contamination. It is also useful for wrapping sandwiches and subs.

This is originated from Kraft pulp that makes it a resilient and durable paper that doesn’t tear easily.  It is an inexpensive paper that comes in a roll that is torn off easily to cut the right length.

There are a lot of colors and sizes for this paper. Other than wrapping food it can also be used in craft projects in art classes. With a wide range of options available, you can choose the perfect butcher paper type that suits your business needs.

Whether your business is related to the grocery store, deli, butcher shop, farmers market, or a restaurant, knowing the different kinds of paper is necessary to safely store your goods in it.

This paper cannot be used directly on the grill as its only purpose is to keep the grille meat or fish warm. For smoking meats, butcher paper serves as a great alternative to tin foil.

One good news for butcher paper users is that you can also write on it with markers, pens, pencils, or chalk.  But you can only write to the outside of paper due to its polyethylene coating on the interior side.

Except for white butcher paper and pink butcher paper, all others are coated with sizing (a chemical-free coating) that provides leak resistance and strength when wet. Large paper rolls are generally left untreated with sizing.

So which one is the winner?

The biggest difference between the parchment paper and the wax paper is the silicon coating. Parchment paper is silicon-coated and can resist heat up to 420 F while the wax paper is coated with paraffin wax due to which it can melt or even burn.

Parchment paper is primarily used for baking purposes to help the good not stick to the pan or cookie sheet. Butcher paper is mostly used for wrapping meat or fish purchased from a butcher.

Wax paper as its name suggests is coated with wax, usually Soybean or paraffin wax.  The non-stick nature of parchment paper makes it useful for lining pans. However, this lining technique cannot work with wax paper as the wax will melt and will ruin everything you are cooking.

Wax paper is usually used for cold applications while parchment paper is used for hot applications. This paper can also help grill as well as line a sheet pan. Neither parchment paper nor butcher paper is given paraffin coating to make it waterproof. On the other hand, wax paper is coated with paraffin on both sides.

Parchment paper and butcher paper can be handy for both food preparations as well as during cooking. Low temperatures do not affect parchment paper, but some professionals recommend using wax paper for freezing purposes. Wax paper can serve this purpose without affecting your budget.

Common things between Parchment and Butcher paper:

Parchment paper and butcher paper have few similarities, but they also have some considerable differences. The major difference between them is their construction and chemicals.

Parchment consists of Sulphuric acid with silicone along with paper pulp that gives it different properties. Butcher paper uses caustic soda and sulfide along with the paper pulp.

They are also used for different purposes. Butcher paper is used to protect cooking meats while parchment paper is generally used in an oven. However, you can use these papers as alternatives as both will serve your needs.

There are a lot of color options for this butcher paper. You can choose anyone as this will not affect your cooking requirements.  In comparing the difference between parchment paper and butcher paper, as butcher paper comes in different colors, parchment paper is only available in one color.

This feature allows you to care about the aesthetics of your food dishes as you can use the paper color that matches with the meat color. Other than this, unlike parchment paper, butcher paper is not moisture-resistant, so it is not non-stick.

So, the bottom line is that, if your need is to wrap your meat or fish then you should go for butcher paper. Use parchment paper for lining your pan during baking. Wax paper on the other hand is best suitable for wrapping food to keep them safe in the cold.


There are a lot of techniques and tools that are used in cooking for wrapping. It includes wax paper, parchment paper, butcher paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and more. All of these different papers are used in different processes according to their properties.

Most common of these are the first three i.e. wax paper, parchment paper, and butcher paper. These papers come with different applications, but the most common and useful application of these papers is cooking.

Butcher paper and parchment paper are most used in baking or barbequing. While the wax paper is more suitable for cooling things as heat can melt the coating on wax paper.

You have different types of kitchen staples that can help you make your cooking much simpler. Using the wrong one at the wrong time can disaster your cooking. So, knowing their use before actually using them is important.

When you have gone through our all wax paper vs parchment paper vs butcher paper differences details, you can easily determine the perfect choice for you. You will also find answers to a lot of questions in our article.

Frequently asked questions:

1. Is butcher paper and parchment paper the same?

These papers are not the same however they sometimes can be used for the same purposes. Butcher paper is generally used to wrap meat when you buy meat from a butcher shop. While parchment paper is coated with a fine wax that is used in baking.

2. What color is the butcher paper?

Butcher paper is a cheap but sturdy paper that is usually sold in large rolls. This paper is made from kraft pulp and it is usually white or brown. It has an average density between 30 lb/3000 sq ft (45 g/m2) and 50 lb/3000 sq ft (81 g/m2).

3. Can you smoke meat in butcher paper?

You can use butcher paper to wrap meat as it decreases the cooking time. When you smoke the brisket, the butcher paper will braise the meat and save it from drying out. However, unlike foil, the butcher paper lets the meat breathe.

4. Can I wrap the brisket in parchment paper instead of butcher paper?

You can use butcher paper for wrapping brisket instead of foil. However, you cannot use parchment paper as the only purpose of parchment paper is to wrap food during baking.

5. Is wax paper the same as baking paper?

As the wax paper is coated with a wax, it cannot be used for baking. It will cause the smoke in the oven and affect the taste.

6. Can you put wax paper in the oven?

You can’t use wax paper in the oven. Wax paper is not heat resistant. It will melt at high temperatures and it may catch fire. You should never use wax paper to line baking sheets or pans to put in a hot oven. You can only use parchment paper for baking needs. It is sold bleached and unbleached and will not make a big difference in your cooking.

7. At what temperature does wax paper melt?

Wax paper cannot resist heat as high as 450 degrees.

8. What is the parchment paper used for?

This paper is grease and moisture resistant paper that is specially made for oven use. However, it is a very versatile paper that is used for lining cake molds and sheets and to wrap fish and other things during messy tasks to make cleanup easy.

9. Is parchment paper safe to use?

This paper is certified food safe. It means that its components will not dissolve into the food and will not change the flavor or texture of your food.

10. What can be substituted for parchment paper?

Silicon baking pads are a great replacement for parchment paper. You can use them to line your sheets and whatever you cook, or bake will come right off. Even there is no need to grease the pan and there is very little cleanup required.

11. Is parchment paper compostable?

As parchment paper doesn’t have a wax coating so it will break down faster. Most of the parchment paper brands are compostable.

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