Parchment Paper vs Freezer Paper: Unveiling the Key Distinctions

Baking Paper vs. Freezer Paper: Understanding the key differences

Paper is a versatile material that has many uses in the culinary world. Two common types of paper used in the kitchen are parchment paper and freezer paper. While these papers may seem similar, they serve different purposes and have different characteristics. In this article, we will explore the differences between parchment paper and freezer paper, including their composition, uses, and why they cannot be easily substituted for each other.

What is parchment paper?

Parchment paper, also known as baking paper, is a cellulose-based non-stick, greaseproof, and heat-resistant paper used primarily in baking as a substitute for fat. It comes in rolls, similar to aluminum foil and plastic wrap, and performs the same function as greasing a pan by preventing food from sticking to it.
The non-greasy nature of parchment paper ensures that oil or grease will not seep through, making it ideal for baking cookies and other similar treats. In addition, parchment paper is non-stick, allowing baked goods to be easily removed from pans without the risk of breaking or losing their shape. Parchment paper is also heat resistant, making it suitable for use in high temperature ovens without the risk of burning.
Parchment paper comes in bleached and unbleached versions. Bleached parchment is treated with chlorine, giving it a white color, while unbleached parchment is brown. Both types of parchment paper serve their purpose well, and the choice between them depends on personal preference.

What is freezer paper?

Freezer paper is a thick paper with a plastic or wax coating on one side. Unlike parchment paper, which has no coating, and wax paper, which has a wax coating on both sides, freezer paper is specifically designed for freezing and storing foods such as meat and fish.
The plastic or wax coating on freezer paper helps seal in moisture, making it an excellent option for wrapping and storing food for later use. When using freezer paper to wrap food, it is important to ensure that the coated side is in direct contact with the food, while the uncoated side remains exposed.

Uses of parchment paper

Parchment paper has many uses in the kitchen. Its most common use is to line baking sheets and cake pans, eliminating the need to grease and allowing baked goods to slide off easily. This feature also simplifies cleanup after baking.
In addition to lining pans, parchment paper can be used to prevent baked goods and candies from sticking together. By layering the paper between items, you can easily separate them without mess. The parchment paper used for this purpose can often be reused for other purposes.
Beyond these traditional uses, parchment paper has many creative applications. For example, you can create an impromptu piping bag for decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies by shaping a piece of parchment paper. Its stiffness prevents leaks and allows for detailed writing and decorating.
When working with messy ingredients or tasks such as making meatballs or rolling out dough, you can cover your work surface with parchment paper and tape. This not only protects the surface, but also makes cleaning up easier. When you are finished, simply remove the tape, fold the parchment paper, and discard.

Uses of freezer paper

As the name suggests, freezer paper is primarily used for storing food in the freezer. Its heavy-duty composition makes it resistant to punctures and tears, which makes it different from aluminum foil. Freezer paper can be wrapped tightly around meat to prevent freezer burn and maintain the quality of the food for an extended period of time.
To further extend the life of frozen foods, you can wrap them tightly in freezer paper and seal them in a plastic freezer bag. With consistent freezing temperatures of 0°C or below, properly wrapped food can stay fresh for up to a year.

Parchment paper vs. freezer paper

When comparing parchment paper and freezer paper, the main differences are in their composition and intended use. Parchment paper is a dense, thin paper with no coating on either side. Its cellulose-based composition provides non-stick properties without the need for additional coatings. This makes parchment paper suitable for various cooking techniques that involve heat, such as baking in the oven or microwaving.
Freezer paper, on the other hand, although thicker, shares some similarities with parchment paper. However, a closer look reveals that freezer paper has a plastic or wax coating on one side. This coating is what makes freezer paper ideal for storing food in the freezer, especially meats, because it helps retain moisture and prevent freezer burn.
However, the presence of the coating limits the use of freezer paper in the oven or microwave. When exposed to heat, the coating can melt into the food, compromising its safety and flavor. On the other hand, parchment paper’s lack of coating makes it unsuitable for freezing food because it does not provide the same moisture-sealing properties as freezer paper.


In conclusion, parchment paper and freezer paper are different types of paper with different characteristics and uses in the culinary world. Parchment paper is primarily used in baking as a non-stick and greaseproof substitute for greased pans. It is heat resistant and easy to clean. Freezer paper, on the other hand, is designed specifically for freezing and storing food, with its plastic or wax coating providing moisture-sealing properties.
While parchment paper and freezer paper may seem similar, they are not easily interchangeable due to their different compositions and functions. Understanding the differences between these papers will help you choose the right one for your specific cooking or storage needs, ensuring optimal results and food quality.


What is the main difference between parchment and freezer paper?

The main difference is in their intended use. Parchment paper is used primarily for baking as a non-stick and greaseproof substitute for greased pans, while freezer paper is designed specifically for freezing and storing food, with a plastic or wax coating to seal in moisture.

Can parchment paper be used as a substitute for freezer paper?

No, parchment paper is not a good substitute for freezer paper. Parchment paper lacks the moisture-sealing properties of freezer paper, making it unsuitable for freezing food for extended periods of time.

Can freezer paper be used in the oven or microwave?

Freezer paper is not recommended for use in the oven or microwave. The plastic or wax coating on freezer paper can melt and transfer to the food when exposed to heat, compromising the safety and taste of the food.

Is parchment paper heat resistant?

Yes, parchment paper is heat resistant and can withstand high temperatures in the oven without burning. It provides a non-stick surface for baking and ensures easy removal of baked goods from pans.

Can I reuse parchment paper?

Yes, parchment paper is often reusable. If it is not heavily soiled or damaged, you can rinse it, let it dry, and reuse it for similar purposes, such as lining baking sheets or separating baked goods.

How long can you store food in freezer paper?

When properly wrapped in freezer paper and stored at a consistent freezing temperature of 0°C or below, food can maintain its quality for up to a year. Freezer paper helps prevent freezer burn and extends the shelf life of frozen foods.