Photo by Claire Lower.
It's no secret that I am a big fan of parchment paper, but what of its less-expensive, but still non-stick friend, wax paper? Why does it exist? And do you need it?
While both papers can be used for wrapping food, separating layers of baked goods for storage, and providing a non-stick surface for candies to set, there is one big, very important difference between the two. You see, wax paper is flammable, which means you cannot, should not, and will not put it in the oven.
But just because it can't stand the heat doesn't mean it should get out of the kitchen. Here are just a few of the ways you can use the wax-coated cellulose:
- Lay it on your counters and tabletops before embarking on messy projects for easy cleanup.
- Keep frozen foods (such as bacon) from sticking together.
- Use them as makeshift Swiffer sheets.
- Clean and lubricate your can opener.
- Wrap up a sandwich.
- Let candies and confections set and firm up on it. (I know I already mentioned this, but candy-making season is coming.)
- Fold it into a cone to make a piping bag.
Basically, as long as it doesn't involve a heat source, you're good. Can you do all of this with parchment paper? Yes, but wax paper is cheaper, and having some around lets you save your pricier parchment for baking delicate macarons or cooking savoury meals en papillote, which is great, because running out of parchment is a terrible thing.