We all know that feeling when we’re in the middle of baking and realize we’re out of parchment paper. You can probably find a suitable substitute in your kitchen, so you grab a roll of wax paper. They look the same and feel similar, but can you put wax paper in the oven?
No, you should never use wax paper in your oven. Wax paper is simply not designed to withstand the high heat of an oven. The wax will melt, stick to your food, and can potentially cause a fire. In addition, the paper itself can start to break down and release harmful chemicals into your food.
Is Wax Paper Oven Safe?
Nope! Wax paper is handy for many tasks, as long as those tasks don’t involve your oven.
Wax paper is a food-safe paper that is coated in paraffin wax, which is nonstick and moisture-resistant.
This makes wax paper great for storing food, wrapping goods, or even rolling dough. It is perfectly safe to use with food as long it stays cold or stays at room temperature.
Paraffin wax is not heat-resistant. This means the wax will melt, and the paper could ignite if it is used for baking or any other method of heating. The only exceptions are certain methods of microwave heating.
According to USDA, using wax paper in your microwave should be safe. This is handy for steaming vegetables or reheating leftovers. That being said, you should avoid heating wax paper for long lengths of time in your microwave.
Does Wax Paper Melt In The Oven?
Yes, wax paper is not heat-resistant, and when the paper is exposed to high heat, the wax coating will start to melt. This can ruin your food, ruin your pan, and potentially damage your oven.
The wax coating typically starts to melt at around 200°F. Most recipes require a temperature higher than this, so it’s best to use something other than wax paper, such as parchment paper in your oven.
Once the wax is completely melted, the thin paper is directly exposed to your oven’s heat. This can cause the paper to turn black, start smoking and ultimately catch fire inside your oven.
If your wax paper survived the high temperatures without setting off the smoke alarm, the melted wax would stick to your baked goods. This can alter the taste and texture of your food.
Although most brands of wax paper are not toxic, I’m sure that your baked goods wouldn’t taste pleasant.
Can You Bake With Wax Paper?
You should avoid baking with wax paper, as it has a very low melting point. However, there is one exception if you are in a real pinch. We know that wax paper can melt or ignite when it is directly exposed to heat, but what if it is completely covered? The USDA says it should be safe to use.
According to the brand Reynolds, their Cut-Rite Wax Paper can be used as a pan liner for muffins, cakes, bread, or any other food that completely coats the wax paper.
It is only safe to use wax paper for baking under these circumstances. If you are baking food that leaves wax paper exposed, it could result in melted wax, smoke, or even a flame.
Can You Bake Cookies On Wax Paper?
No, you should not use wax paper to line your cookie pan. Unlike a cake batter that would coat the entire paper, cookies will leave a lot of paper exposed, causing it to melt or worse.
Can You Use Wax Paper In Place Of Parchment Paper?
It depends. Wax paper and parchment paper are similar in many ways. They’re both nonstick, moisture-resistant, and safe for food. But, the big difference is that parchment paper is heat-resistant while wax paper is not.
Certain brands of parchment paper can withstand heat up to 450°F, while wax paper can withstand heat up to 200°F. This is a pretty significant difference, which is why wax paper cannot be used in place of parchment paper.
Wax paper can be used in place of parchment paper when it comes to storing food, freezing food, rolling dough, funneling ingredients, lining countertops, and many other things that do not involve heat.
I avoid putting waxed paper in the oven altogether, despite the few exceptions where it may be okay.
Parchment paper is the way to go when it comes to cooking and baking.
So next time you’re reaching for wax paper, think again and grab the parchment!