Growing up, I watched Martha Stewart quite often. Her show was a wealth of information for anyone who wanted to learn about cooking and homemaking. And one of the questions she was asked was whether or not you could microwave wax paper. So, can you microwave wax paper?
The answer is yes. You can microwave wax paper safely with a few caveats.
I’ll explain everything you need to know about microwaving wax paper in this article.
Can You Use Wax Paper In The Microwave?
According to the USDA, wax paper can be used for microwaving food but not used in an oven because oven temperatures are much too high. Although there is a little wiggle room in the oven if the paper is completely covered by a cake batter, for example.
However, I know that when microwaving certain foods such as oils, butter, sugar, and cheese, the temperatures of those ingredients may rise to a level that can affect wax paper. Often these are the ingredients that are the first to burn when microwaving for long periods of time.
Is Wax Paper Microwave Safe?
Yes, wax paper is generally safe when using sheets that are made with paraffin wax and no dyes.
What is paraffin wax? According to The Spruce Eats, it’s often used as a preservative that is safe to eat and found on the coatings of many fruits and vegetables to give them a protective layer and shine.
Similar to parchment paper, in order to safely microwave wax paper, you will need to ensure that the paper product you are using is food-safe and rated for microwave use.
You’ll have to keep an eye out because there are wax papers designed for sandwiches, raw meats, and finished baked goods which are not microwave-safe. Any papers that contain dyes are probably not safe either.
Best Wax Papers For Microwaving
Two brands of wax paper that say right on the box that they are microwave-safe are Reynolds Cut-rite Wax Paper and Hostess Innovative Wax Paper.
For some reason, other popular brands that I’ve come across don’t list much information about the use and safety of the product itself.
What Temperature Does Wax Paper Melt?
While the paper itself won’t melt, the paraffin wax coating can. According to Science Direct, paraffin wax can melt between 115°F and 154°F.
So it doesn’t appear to take much heat to melt the wax, which is probably why Reynolds says on their website that its wax paper shouldn’t be exposed to direct heat from inside your oven.
The problem with melted paraffin wax is that it will stick to your food. You can peel your food off the paper, but the wax will likely be stuck to your food. The texture will probably be similar to eating beeswax.
It’s probably not an ingredient you want to add to your meal, and it could make you sick if you eat enough of it.
What Can You Use Wax Paper For In The Microwave?
You can use wax paper for several things in the microwave. But don’t be confused with wax-coated items such as cups, bowls, and plates. They may not be safe to use in the microwave.
You can use wax paper to cover food to help prevent splattering. It can be a little difficult to cover a plate and keep it there while it’s heating. So try using a longer piece of wax paper so that you can place a microwave-safe mug on each side of your plate to hold it down.
Use it as a liner for your plate or container to make cleanup easier. To prevent your plastic containers from turning orange from pasta sauce, line it with wax paper before storing or microwaving.
Just remember that wax paper is probably best used for reheating food in the microwave and not prolonged cooking at high power settings or wattages.