There are quite a few amazing options that can serve as a substitute for wax paper and these can be found pretty much anywhere.
We’ll first cover the best wax paper substitutes that we pretty much already have in our house at any given time, unless we forgot to grab a roll at some point during our shopping trips. After that, we’ll talk about what exactly wax paper is.
Just so you know from the beginning: wax paper is perfect for doing things that don’t involve any heat, it’s very good for cold use because it’s not heat-resistant. It will melt if it comes in contact with low heat so, don’t cover very hot foods with it, use aluminum foil if you want to keep them warm. At high temperatures it will burn like any paper that we write on.
Substitute for Wax Paper: Best Picks
Some of the most popular replacements are wax paper substitutes that we already have in our house: parchment paper, plastic wrap or aluminum foil. These 3 are indeed some of the best replacement options and we’ve all used them throughout our lives during cooking or after cooking.
For those who don’t want to read more, let’s shortly cover how these substitutes for wax paper work, the exact situations in which they are used as replacements:
- parchment paper – this is the most popular substitute for wax paper when baking, it’s used for lining baking sheets, cake pans, in a Dutch oven or on a baking stone because wax paper never goes in the oven
- plastic wrap – just as the name suggests, this is used for food wrapping, just don’t let it touch hot foods/surfaces
- aluminum foil – also for food wrapping, great for its insulation properties, it can also be used to line pans and baking sheets but, unlike wax paper and parchment paper, aluminum foil is not non-stick, I seriously advise against using it for baking unless you grease it well
For baking, if I’m not using parchment paper, I apply a uniform thin layer of flour or I use olive oil. You can use any other type of grease. Greasing is definitely a fantastic way of baking, a favorite for making pizza in my case.
Moreover, when baking, you can also use a silicone mat. One instance where a silicone mat works as the perfect parchment paper substitute is when making cookies. But it applies to other desserts, as well, because it helps bake uniformly.
Is Wax Paper the Same as Parchment Paper?
Parchment paper is probably the most popular substitute for wax paper but they’re definitely not the same.
There is one major difference: parchment paper is used for baking, for dishes that go in the oven, it is heat-resistant.
What they have in common is that they’re both non-stick.
Can I Use Aluminum Foil Instead of Wax Paper?
Yes, you can. As a substitute for wax paper, it’s great for wrapping.
Aluminum foil can actually be used in the oven for steaming chicken, fish, vegetables.
Aluminum foil can also be used for covering food in order to keep it warm for longer. It has really awesome insulation properties.
Some of us even line our stove plates with aluminum foil in order to keep them clean. Otherwise, you might find yourself cleaning the stove after every cooking.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t use it to line the inside of an oven because it can prevent proper air circulation and it might even cause damage to the oven.
What Is Wax Paper?
The easiest way to figure out by yourself which substitute for wax paper you have in your house and would work best for your needs, we should establish exactly what is wax paper.
Other names for it are waxed paper, paraffin paper. As all these names suggest, it’s paper that’s coated on both sides with wax.
It’s non-stick, water resistant but not heat resistant.
You can also definitely reuse it if you’re just using it for something like shredding cheese or to grate lemon peel. It depends how dirty it gets.
Not for the oven
Wax paper is used for lining dishes that don’t go into the oven.
So, if you’re making desserts that don’t require baking, like no-bake cookies, then you can wax paper to line your pan or baking sheet or whatever else you’re using.
Food preparation without making a mess
But that’s not the most frequent way in which it’s used. It’s actually mainly used in order to avoid making a mess.
Wax paper is used for lining countertops or your working station, for rolling pie crusts or kneading bread, if you want to avoid making a complete mess on the whole table/countertop.
I must admit that I just sprinkle a very generous layer of flour all over my table and that’s how I roll pizza dough or knead bread. I’m not really an expert at making pastry so, the rolling of pie crusts happens seldom.
If we go to Reynolds’ page for their Cut-Rite wax paper, they state that it can be used for making candy or dipping strawberries, pretzels or cookies in chocolate.
You can also shred cheese, peel vegetables or grate lemon peel on wax paper.
This manufacturer offers us an interesting tip: to cover the pages of our cookbooks with wax paper in order to avoid splatters or stains. I guess, nowadays, we’re going to cover our electronic devices to avoid getting them dirty or damaged.
In the microwave
It’s also used for covering foods heated in the microwave oven in order to prevent splatters. That’s definitely pretty much the only way I use it.
I must admit that for all the other things, I just go for the above most popular substitutes for wax paper.
Line your fridge
You can simply line the refrigerator drawers and shelves to keep them clean. Just throw the sheets of paper away when they get dirty.
On the bottom of the drawers and on the top of shelves, you can add a double layer to stop condensation.
It is non-stick
Wax paper is non-stick so you can lift the dishes/dough/desserts you prepared on it without any problems and without leaving a mess behind.
It’s also used for freezing, like wrapping up the dough before freezing it in a plastic container or a bag. But you can also place the foods intended for freezing directly in the container or a bag if you like the direct approach.
Thus, the question might arise: is freezer paper the same as wax paper?
They’re not the same but they’re very similar. The difference is that freezer paper is only coated on one side with plastic. They’re interchangeable when it comes to freezing.
In this regard, freezer paper can also be considered a substitute for wax paper but the first 3 that I’ve mentioned above are still the most popular options.
Can Wax Paper be Composted?
Since I answered the question on which type of parchment paper is compostable, let’s see if wax paper can be composted.
According to Chittenden Solid Waste District, this type contains additives derived from petroleum, which means that it’s not compostable.
Moreover, they inform us that recycling uses water to break down paper fibers but this type of paper used in the kitchen is purposely waxed on both sides in order to make it water-resistant. These two concepts definitely clash so, it shouldn’t go to your compost pile.
Aluminum foil won’t biodegrade in a short time, either. It’s another type that shouldn’t be added to your compost bin.
If you want a sustainable alternative for wrapping up foods, I recommend checking out the Bee’s Wrap. It is made with organic cotton, coated with sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. They’re also reusable.
So, if you want to use a compostable substitute for wax paper: only buy unbleached parchment paper or use paper towels if you want to avoid making a mess or use flour for working different types of dough or use biodegradable food wraps.