ShutterstockWhile some of us might be master bakers, the rest of us tend to prefer the good old-fashioned buy-it-at-the-bakery method. But there usually comes a time in one’s life when baking is inevitable, which is why it’s so important to point out something that doesn’t get as much attention as it should: the difference between parchment and wax paper. (Fun fact: baking has tons of psychological perks!)
Parchment and wax paper look pretty similar, and they’re both non-stick and moisture-resistant, so we can see how that can get pretty confusing. But if you find yourself reaching for the wax paper to bake because it’s cheaper than parchment, stop right there. According to Martha Stewart, the major difference between the two is parchment paper is heat-resistant, while wax paper should never, ever go in the oven. (By the way, here’s why most recipes have you bake at 350 degrees.)
Parchment paper is treated with silicone to create a non-stick and heat-proof lining—perfect for making those delicious chocolate chip cookies. Wax paper, on the other hand, is coated in, well, wax. In turn, the wax could melt into your delicious baked goods—or worse, even ignite a fire in your oven. But not to worry, there are still plenty of uses for your wax paper, like keeping your baking area mess-free, polishing metal fixtures, fixing a zipper, and these other clever tricks.
Now that you know why you should be using parchment paper to bake with, learn the super easy way to clean those baking sheets properly.