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If I don't have parchment paper, can I substitute wax paper for baking recipes. What is the difference between the two?

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Short answer: NO –  Chris Cudmore Sep 8 '10 at 13:15
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'Someone with edit right's, plea'se fix the apo'strophe abu'se in "recipe's" –  Chris Cudmore Sep 8 '10 at 13:16
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@chris : just click 'flag' and select 'requires moderator attention', and we'll fix it ... we won't see comments unless we happen to chance upon them. –  Joe Sep 8 '10 at 14:55
    
I don't want to flag for something as trivial as that. –  Chris Cudmore Sep 8 '10 at 20:35
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@chris ... but then (1) it gets taken care of quickly and (2) we don't have these random comments lying around years from now ... or until next week, once I know you've likely seen it, and I go and remember to go back and delete them. Besides, there's 5 moderators, and I hardly ever see requests for us to do things. (I blame the others for fixing things too quickly) –  Joe Sep 9 '10 at 3:04

2 Answers 2

As @MeltedPez mentioned -- melting. (coincindence in the name? I'm not sure)

Specifically:

  • Waxed paper is wax-coated paper.
  • Parchment paper is silicone-coated paper.

Waxed paper is basically a candle in sheet form -- it'll melt, it'll burn, and it'll make your food taste like you're eating crayons. It'll start to melt near 350F / 175C. Parchment should go up to 500F / 260C ... it might get a little crispy or char at the edges, but won't spontaneously combust.

If you had to use something other than parchment, I'd go with 'release foil'.

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The biggest difference is that wax paper melts and smokes in the oven, specifically when the wax paper is exposed.

If you cover it completely with batter, for example, you should be okay.

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