Parchment Paper versus Wax Paper: what’s the difference?

They’re both non-stick, greaseproof, and you can find them side-by-side on supermarket shelves. So when it comes down to it - what is the difference between parchment paper and wax paper?
In many cases, wax paper and parchment paper can be used interchangeably.

They’re both great for wrapping food for travelling or display. They can be used to cool chocolate-coated sweets and for making chocolate bark. Parchment paper and wax paper can both be used to make homemade piping bags. They’re also great at separating pieces of baked or frozen food.

There are, however, two very good reasons you should consider using parchment paper instead of wax paper:
Parchment paper can take the heat
Wax paper, as the name suggests, is paper that has been infused with wax. Usually made from paraffin, soybean or beeswax, it’s this wax that makes wax paper non-stick and greaseproof. It’s also the reason that wax paper is completely useless for cooking. It’s very important to not use wax paper in the oven, especially. The wax coating melts easily, and at high temperatures wax paper will smoke and can even catch on fire.

Parchment paper, meanwhile, is coated on both sides with a thin layer of silicone, making it much more heat-resistant than wax paper while remaining greaseproof and nonstick. Kana parchment paper, when used under the proper conditions, is burn-proof for temperatures up to 428°F (220°C). This makes parchment paper perfect for lining cookie sheets, cake pans, baking trays, panini presses and even air fryers. It's important to remember to never expose parchment paper, including ours, to a direct flame or heating element.
Even if it doesn’t turn your kitchen into a smokey nightmare, cooking with wax paper can leave a waxy residue on your food and cookware. No thanks.
Parchment paper is more sustainable
Even if you don’t plan to cook with wax paper, there is another reason you might want to forego it in favour of parchment paper. Paraffin wax is the most common wax used in the production of wax paper. Similar to plastics, paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product created during the refining of crude oil, and is not biodegradable or compostable. This means that the square of wax paper you use today could still be around decades to centuries into the future.

The same piece of parchment paper can be used several times in a row when making large batches of food, and also makes cleaning up a breeze - no more scrubbing baked-on food scraps off your favourite pans!

Kana parchment paper is designed to break down in household compost, and is certified biodegradable, which makes it safe to dispose of with your household waste. Better yet, our parchment paper is made from wood sourced from FSC-certified forests, making it the sustainable choice every step of the way.
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