You might see recipes every now and then that require the use of freezer paper. But for those who are new to the world of culinary arts and don’t have much knowledge, figuring out how to use freezer paper can be a bit confusing.
Freezer paper is similar to wax paper or parchment. Because of its name, many people assume that it was created solely to be used in the freezer, but that’s not true either.
Freezer paper is slightly thick, and usually has a coating of wax or plastic on one side. It is quite different from parchment paper, since parchment in general does not have any wax coating.
It’s also different from wax paper, because wax paper is usually coated with wax on both sides.
What Is Its Use?
Even though the popularity of freezer paper has declined, you should know that it was originally used for wrapping up meat before it was kept in the freezer. The meat would be wrapped with the wax coating on the inside.
This would protect the surface of the meat itself and would also prevent excessive loss of moisture. On the exterior, you just had normal paper, so that could be used for stamping or for labels.
You might have seen freezer paper being used behind the counter of a grocery store or a deli. It is most often seen at seafood or meat counters.
The reason why so many people prefer using freezer paper is because the plastic side stops the juices from flowing out from the meat. You don’t have to worry about the fluids mixing or leaking when it’s covered by freezer paper.
Apart from being used for seafood and meat, freezer paper is also an excellent material that can be used to cover pieces of cheese. Keeping cheese in the freezer is a bit complicated, because the cheese must be allowed to breathe, but you also don’t want it to dry out.
Many people also use freezer paper for printing projects, and some even use it for quilting or for use on fabric.
What Happens If You Put It in the Oven?
A common question that many people have is whether freezer paper is safe to be used in the oven. While you can place it in the oven, you should keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
The paper is covered with a thin layer of wax (sometimes plastic) on one side, so it is likely to catch fire. The point at which paper is likely to ignite and catch fire is around 480 degrees.
However, you should know that this varies based on the kind of paper and its physical properties. While the exact flash point of freezer paper isn’t known, it’s pretty obvious that the paper will burn.
In today’s world, the use of wax is fast becoming outdated as cheaper and more readily available materials are being used. Instead of being made with wax, freezer paper is now mostly made with plastic on one side.
The coating is quite similar to aluminum foil, which has a dull side and a shiny side. One side is completely tight and prevents moisture loss, while the other side can be labeled or written on with ease.
So, to put it simply: using freezer paper in the oven is a bad idea, and there is a pretty strong chance that the paper will ignite. You should avoid using freezer paper in the oven.
There are quite a few alternatives that you can use instead of freezer paper. For instance, you may have heard of wax paper.
As mentioned above, wax paper has a relatively thin coating of wax on either side. This coating is actually quite useful since it prevents moisture from escaping through and it also prevents the paper from sticking on either side.
Furthermore, since the coating is made of wax, you should know that it is not resistant to heat. Therefore, it would be a foolish idea to place it in the oven.
The paper could easily catch on fire, melt quickly, or start smoking. Wax paper is also used quite frequently for baking and as a plate when produce is being kept in the freezer.
Perhaps its most common use is for wrapping different kinds of foods before they are kept in the freezer. It can also be used to lining a counter to prevent making a mess while you are working on projects.
What About Parchment?
Parchment does not have any kind of wax coating on either side, but it does have a relatively thin layer of silicone. This makes it nonstick and also increases its resistance to moisture and heat.
Parchment is commonly used for lining baking sheets, simply because it doesn’t contain any kind of wax. You can easily use parchment in the oven and you won’t have to worry about smoke billowing from the oven.
As you already know, parchment is available in two different variants: bleached and unbleached. Bleached parchment is completely white, whereas the unbleached variant is slightly brown.
Unbleached parchment paper is a better choice, since it is completely free of chlorine and is untreated. On the other hand, the bleached variant is treated using chlorine, which is what gives it the sheen and its gleaming white shade.
However, your choice primarily depends on personal preferences, so it’s best to do your research before making a decision.
Alternatives When Baking
When you are baking a cake, it might be a wise idea to line the pan with parchment paper or wax paper before you put the cake in the oven. Now, you might be wondering to yourself why wax paper is allowed?
The answer is simple: when you use wax paper to line a pan, it is not exposed to direct heat. The paper is placed at the bottom of the pan and is completely covered in batter.
When you are baking cookies for instance, you can’t think of using wax paper or even freezer paper. The paper will burn quickly, and it won’t be long before the entire pan is a complete mess.
Not only will you have to throw away the food, but your oven is likely to sustain damage due to the flame as well. To prevent sticking, it is a better idea to use cooking spray.
There are also silicone mats available on the market, and you can use those for baking as well. They help prevent cookies from sticking to the bottom of a pan.
Butter, Flour or Oil
Butter, flour, and oil are all great choices because they work so well. They are ideal alternatives to using baking paper and all you have to do is to properly grease your pans with your favorite oil.
You can also use butter and lightly cover the pan at the bottom to prevent the batter or dough from sticking to the surface. If you don’t have a spray bottle, just use a bit of paper or a kitchen towel to spread the oil over the baking pan.