Can You Put Parchment Or Wax Paper In The Microwave? (And Is It Safe?)

Can You Put Parchment Or Wax Paper In The Microwave

From lining baking sheets to reheating leftovers, parchment paper and wax paper are kitchen workhorses. But did you know there are important differences in how and when to use each one?

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about parchment paper vs wax paper. You’ll learn what each is made of, their heat tolerances, and safety considerations.

We’ll dive into whether parchment and wax paper are microwave-safe, oven-safe, and at what temperatures they should be avoided. You’ll also get answers to common questions like which parchment side goes against food.

By the end of this article, you’ll be a master of using these handy nonstick surface papers properly for all your cooking and baking needs!

Is Wax Paper the Same as Parchment Paper?

Wax paper and parchment paper look similar but are actually very different.

Parchment paper is made with a silicone coating. This makes it heat-resistant so you can use it for baking at high temperatures up to 450°F. The silicone is safe for food contact and allows baked goods to easily be released from pans without sticking.

Beyond its non-stick properties, parchment can withstand the intense oven heat required for tasks like roasting vegetables or baking cookies without burning or catching fire.

Wax paper, on the other hand, is made from tissue paper that has been coated in a thin layer of paraffin wax. The wax makes it moisture-resistant, but it cannot get hot like parchment paper can. If you use wax paper for baking or cooking at high heat, the wax could melt or catch fire.

So parchment paper is safe for hot ovens and baking. Wax paper is only good for room temperature uses like covering a countertop or wrapping food.

Can You Put Parchment Or Wax Paper In The Microwave?

As someone who loves cooking and baking, you’ve likely used parchment paper and wax paper in the kitchen before. But have you ever wondered if it’s safe to use them in the microwave? Let’s explore the dos and don’ts.

Can you put Parchment Paper in the Microwave?

Yes! You can absolutely put parchment paper in the microwave! Parchment paper is safe for reheating or cooking food in the microwave because it is heat-resistant and non-stick. Using parchment paper can help prevent splatters and make cleanup a breeze.

However, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. First, only use plain, uncoated parchment paper. Waxed or coated varieties could potentially melt or catch fire. Second, ensure the parchment paper doesn’t touch the walls or heating elements of the microwave to prevent any fire hazard.

When microwaving with parchment, it’s best to stick to shorter durations around 2 minutes or less at a time. Parchment can withstand heat, but it’s not invincible. If you need to microwave for longer, stop and check on your food periodically. And stop immediately you notice any discoloration, burning smells, or smoke.

Can you put Wax Paper in the Microwave?

Now for wax paper – can you microwave that too? The answer is yes but with more caution. Wax paper has a lower melting point around 200°F, which most microwaves can potentially reach. So while unlikely, there is a small risk it could melt or catch fire.

If using wax paper in the microwave, keep the same tips in mind – only use it for short durations, watch closely, and stop if any issues occur. As a safer alternative, consider using parchment or simply placing food on a microwave-safe plate or container instead.

Convection Microwaves

Have a convection microwave? Parchment paper is usually fine to use, but remember the convection setting cooks hotter and faster. Be extra mindful of time and temperature when microwaving with parchment in convection mode.

Can Parchment Paper go in the Oven?

can you put parchment paper in the oven

We’ve covered using parchment paper safely in the microwave, but what about the regular oven? The good news is parchment paper is definitely oven-safe too.

Parchment paper is designed and treated to be heat-resistant, withstanding temperatures up to around 420-450°F (215-230°C). This makes it the ideal surface for oven-baking tasks like cookies, buns, pastries, and more. The parchment provides an instant non-stick layer, so baked goods release seamlessly without sticking or scorching.

One major benefit of using parchment paper in the oven is you can line baking or cake pans and sheets with it instead of coating them in oil, butter, or cooking spray. This allows you to reduce added fats and oils while still getting a perfect release.

Parchment is also great for the French “en papillote” technique, where foods get baked inside a folded parchment packet. This steams and locks in moisture, keeping proteins like fish and chicken incredibly tender and flavorful.

Which Side of Parchment Paper Goes Against Food?

You’ve learned that parchment paper is oven-safe and great for easy-release baking and cooking. But you may be wondering – when using parchment paper, does it matter which side goes against the food?

The simple answer is that for most modern parchment papers, it actually doesn’t matter which side faces down! Many brands nowadays coat both sides of their parchment sheets with a thin silicone layer to provide even, non-stick properties.

However, there can be some variation between parchment paper products. With certain brands or styles, you may notice one side appears slightly shinier or has more of a glossy finish compared to the other side.

If there is a clear difference between the two sides, that glossier surface is usually an indicator of the silicone coating. In those cases, you’ll want that shiny, coated side facing towards the food for optimal non-stick baking and easy release.

But don’t worry if you can’t decipher a difference – it’s likely that both sides are treated to be non-stick. When in doubt, it’s generally okay to have either side touch your baked goods, with no significant impact on performance.

If you really want to double-check, you can try holding up the parchment paper to a light source. Look closely to see if one side has a slight sheen over the other, which would signal the silicone-coated food-facing side.

Is Parchment Paper Heat Safe?

Short answer: Yes! When it comes to withstanding high heat, parchment paper really shines. Its unique construction allows it to safely handle temperatures that would cause other materials like plastic wrap or aluminum foil to melt or combust.

The key difference lies in parchment paper’s coating. Rather than wax or plastic coatings found on other non-stick surfaces, parchment paper gets its slick surface from a silicone coating. And silicone can tolerate extremely high heat – up to around 450°F.

This silicone layer does double duty. First, it creates that essential non-stick surface we all love for easy release of baked goods. But even more importantly, it acts as a heat shield, protecting the underlying paper from intense temperatures.

You see, parchment paper is made from, well, paper at its core. And while plain paper would scorch or even ignite with too much heat exposure, the silicone coating insulates and protects it. The coating prevents combustion or release of vapors.

The combination of the heat-resistant silicone on top of the paper base is what gives parchment paper its amazing heat tolerance compared to other materials. The silicone can get blazing hot while shielding the paper underneath.

But before you start using parchment paper in the microwave it’s important to note that not all parchment paper is microwave-safe. So how can you tell if the parchment paper you’ve got is microwave-safe?

Check the packaging: Look for microwave-safe labels, logos with a microwave icon, or microwave instructions printed on the parchment paper box or wrapping.

Unbleached is best: Unbleached/brown parchment paper is considered non-toxic and microwave-safe by default, while some bleached white varieties may contain potential toxins when overheated.

Avoid coatings like Quilon: Stick to silicone-coated parchment, as some parchment coated with Quilon could potentially become toxic when microwaved.

Contact the manufacturer: If no microwave safety info is on the packaging, check the maker’s website or contact them directly to inquire about microwave use.

It’s also a good idea to use parchment paper in combination with microwave-safe dishes rather than just laying it directly on the microwave turntable.

When Should You Not Use Parchment Paper?

can you put wax paper in the microwave

While parchment paper can handle high heat very well, there are some situations where you should not use it:

Extreme High Heat Cooking

If you need to use very extreme oven temperatures over 420°F for things like broiling, grilling, or other ultra-high-heat cooking methods, it’s better to use an alternative like aluminum foil instead of parchment. The intense heat can cause parchment paper to burn or scorch.

Direct Exposure to Open Flames

Never let parchment paper come into direct contact with open flames, such as on a grill or under a broiler. The paper will easily ignite from the open flame, creating a fire risk. Keep parchment a safe distance from these direct flame heat sources.

Highly Acidic Foods

Very acidic ingredients like citrus juices or vinegars can gradually break down and deteriorate parchment paper over time. For cooking with these highly acidic foods, use a different non-reactive baking surface or dish to avoid any off-flavors transferring to your food.

Also, it’s advisable to avoid using parchment paper when preheating an air fryer before adding food, as the intense circulating hot air could cause the parchment to burn prematurely before adding ingredients.


Whether you’re an occasional baker or a daily cook, having the right knowledge about parchment paper and wax paper can make all the difference in your kitchen endeavors.

With the insights from this guide, you now understand the key distinctions between these versatile papers regarding their materials, heat tolerances, and appropriate applications. You now know how to safely use parchment in both the microwave and oven while avoiding any hazardous situations.

From lining pans to cooking en papillote, you now know how to get the most out of parchment paper’s non-stick, heat-resistant qualities. And when the task calls for a simple moisture barrier instead, you can rely on wax paper’s unique properties.

With this comprehensive know-how guide, you will be able to confidently reach for the right paper every time! Your baking and cooking will be smoother, safer, and more foolproof.

Rate this post Protection Status
error: Content is protected !!