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stefanyb

Parchment vs Wax paper

33 posts in this topic

I'm sure there will be smarter folks than I offering more in depth analysis than this, but the first thing that comes to my mind is that I use parchment paper to bake things in - fish, tomato slices, etc.

I'm sure that the wax from the waxed paper would immediately transfer itself to my fish and tomatoes as soon as the oven got hot.

Other than that, beats me... I turn out my caramel corn and pralines onto waxed paper, and have never tried it with parchment, but since it costs much more, would probably not be interested in trying it. :blink:


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'm sure that the wax from the waxed paper would immediately transfer itself to my fish and tomatoes as soon as the oven got hot.

I believe this is exactly correct. Waxed paper is, as the name implies, paper coated with food-grade wax. As we all know wax melts at a fairly low temperature and therefore some of it will transfer to your food when used for cooking. Parchment paper, at least the modern variety intended for food preparation, is paper impregnated with silicone. Silcone will not melt at temperatures up to 500 F (I think) or higher. Therefore it will not combine with food cooked in it or on it and is much more "non-stick" than wax which, when it cools, might bond the paper to the food. In general I also think that parchment paper is sturdier and more durable than waxed paper and can hold up to more manipulation and rough treatment.

In short, they are not interchangeable, but waxed paper may be used in many instances as long as you take into consideration what happens to wax when it is heated.

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Say, for instance, that a recipe for a cake specified buttering the pan, lining the bottom of the pan with parchment and then buttereing it- then adding the batter and baking. Could waxed paper be substituted in that case?


Edited by stefanyb (log)

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I only use waxed paper in the kitchen for wrapping cooked items or to place peels and other odd bits while I'm chopping. However, my mom did use to line pans with waxed paper and I saw someone do this on a cooking program last week. I can't remember who it was at the moment, but that person said that you can use the wax paper as long as it is completely covered with batter. I have silpat and I get parchment quite cheap from the local restaurant supply store, so I don't think I'll be experimenting.

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Well, when I was a girl cooking in the kitchen with my grandmother, she always lined the bottom of the cake pan with waxed paper, especially when she was making some sort of layer cake that required nice even bottoms. So that blows my theory, I guess - unless it's got something to do with what Rhea says about the paper being completely covered with batter.

Which, of course, it would be in the case of baking a cake.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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One thing to keep in mind is that parchment paper isn't particularly nonstick until after it's been heated. If you're wrapping something sticky and not then baking it, waxed paper makes more sense. I use waxed paper for wrapping cheese, for example.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I began using parchment several years ago, mainly because I was seduced by the look and feel of the unbleached kind (very pleasant to work with). Before that, I used wax paper to line cake pans. I never noticed an off taste in the finished product.

So, Stef, go for it.

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On a related note has anyone else tried the new "Release" non-stick aluminum foil from Reynolds? I've been working with it for a couple weeks now and I have to say I think it's awsome. I wouldn't line a cake pan with it, but for baking or cooling stuff on cookie sheets it rocks. On the Reynolds site they don't say exactly what the coating is other than "It is a proprietary food-safe coating that is both effective as a non-stick surface and safe for food contact". I just wish it came in sizes larger than 12" wide.

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We have always used waxed paper to line pans and molds and to cover the top of foods that are braising, until someone suggested we might be eating the melted wax. Although waxed paper seems to have been the standard for what we were doing, we didn't have a definitive answer and in spite of many years of not having a problem with it, we switched to parchment paper--and have lived to tell our tale,


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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There's nothing harmful about eating a little melted wax; it's basically fat, although psychologically the thought isn't very pleasant. If the food tastes okay, it's okay.

Although (warning: random scientific fact) one of the ingredients in food grade wax, triethanolamine, is used as a fruit fly anaesthetic.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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One thing to keep in mind is that parchment paper isn't particularly nonstick until after it's been heated.  If you're wrapping something sticky and not then baking it, waxed paper makes more sense.  I use waxed paper for wrapping cheese, for example.

Mamster, this is a very important distinction, I think.

Letting bread or pizza rest on parchment, for instance, little nonstickness is apparent before baking. But after even a little exposure to heat, movement is easy.

Is it because the silicone gets activated when heat is applied? Or is it the dough sealing up or something?


Priscilla


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Lets say, hypothetically, I used waxed paper in the bottom of a cake pan. The cake comes out of the oven and cools on a rack. When cool, the cake is inverted on a platter and the waxed paper is removed from the bottom. Hasn't the wax, upon cooling, somehow reattached itself to the paper and when the paper is removed, stay with the paper and not the cake? Thats what I think happens. Wouldn't the wax firm up before the cake was totally cooled?

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Although (warning: random scientific fact) one of the ingredients in food grade wax, triethanolamine, is used as a fruit fly anaesthetic.

Why would anyone anaesthesize a fruit fly? For goodness sake, just swat the bugger!

But seriously -- this is an incredibly informative thread. Thank you.

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I wish I had posed this question a couple of weeks ago when I was baking my cake. I was trying to find parchment paper to line my cake pans and failed; had I known I could have used waxed paper, I would have & the cake layers wouldn't have stuck to the pans (even with the buttering & flouring, which is all the recipe said I had to do).

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A few hours ago after seeing this thread, I brought some water to a boil and let some wax paper (Cut-Rite) into it and pulled it out after 15-20 seconds. Then I put the pot with water in the woodshed to cool and checked the paper. Wax on the paper pretty well gone. Just checked the water after cooling - wax floating on surface and caked up on sides of pan. Anal? Yes, but I just had to find out.

I've never used wax paper around heat, my mother never did, and my grandmother never did. I think it's safe to say I never will.

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I agree, Nick. Bad bad idea. I remember letting some tuiles rest on wax paper. Ruined.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Although (warning: random scientific fact) one of the ingredients in food grade wax, triethanolamine, is used as a fruit fly anaesthetic.

Why would anyone anaesthesize a fruit fly? For goodness sake, just swat the bugger!

You know, now that I think about it, the fly anaesthetic is triethylamine, not triethanolamine. And nobody corrected me!


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Although (warning: random scientific fact) one of the ingredients in food grade wax, triethanolamine, is used as a fruit fly anaesthetic.

Why would anyone anaesthesize a fruit fly? For goodness sake, just swat the bugger!

You know, now that I think about it, the fly anaesthetic is triethylamine, not triethanolamine. And nobody corrected me!

It is positively apalling what this crowd doesn't know about fly anaesthetic!!!


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Although (warning: random scientific fact) one of the ingredients in food grade wax, triethanolamine, is used as a fruit fly anaesthetic.

Why would anyone anaesthesize a fruit fly? For goodness sake, just swat the bugger!

You know, now that I think about it, the fly anaesthetic is triethylamine, not triethanolamine. And nobody corrected me!

It is positively apalling what this crowd doesn't know about fly anaesthetic!!!

We were just having him on.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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From www.reynoldskitchens.com:

Can I use Reynolds® Cut-Rite® Wax Paper in the oven?

Cut-Rite® Wax Paper may be used as a liner in baking cakes, quick breads, muffins or any baked food in which the batter completely covers the wax paper lining. Wax paper should never be directly exposed to the heat of an oven.

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From www.reynoldskitchens.com:

Can I use Reynolds® Cut-Rite® Wax Paper in the oven?

Cut-Rite® Wax Paper may be used as a liner in baking cakes, quick breads, muffins or any baked food in which the batter completely covers the wax paper lining. Wax paper should never be directly exposed to the heat of an oven.

Thanks Cathy, that makes sense. BTW wax paper worked well for me today. The cake came out of the pan clean as a whistle. Only a little wax stayed on the cake for flavor as well as for aenesthetizing the coming fruitflies :laugh:

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Only a little wax stayed on the cake for flavor as well as for aenesthetizing the coming fruitflies :laugh:

:laugh::laugh::laugh:


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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A few hours ago after seeing this thread, I brought some water to a boil and let some wax paper (Cut-Rite) into it and pulled it out after 15-20 seconds. Then I put the pot with water in the woodshed to cool and checked the paper. Wax on the paper pretty well gone. Just checked the water after cooling - wax floating on surface and caked up on sides of pan. Anal? Yes, but I just had to find out.

Damn, why didn't I ever think of that. This is worth the price of today's log on all by itself. You are our lab guy from now. :biggrin:


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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