Parchment Paper vs Wax Paper for Microwave Oven

Coby McKinley Profile image

Written by:

Updated August 19, 2022

Even if you have a top-tier microwave oven, you still need other supplies to make the cooking and cleanup process as simple as possible. While aluminum foil or plastic wrap is a standard method for covering dishes, they aren’t entirely microwave-safe. So, instead, we recommend you look at parchment paper and waxed paper for cooking purposes in a microwave. That said, comparing parchment paper vs wax paper for a microwave oven is the only way to get the best paper products for your food items. Read on to see a complete comparison of these kitchen papers.


  • Parchment paper is a bakery paper treated with silicone, so it is nonstick and resistant to direct heat.
  • Ovens use ceramic, stone, or glass containers, but you should ensure they can stand up to high temperatures.
  • If you have to choose, go with parchment paper because it is a more versatile kitchen paper.

Comparing Waxed and Parchment Paper for Microwaves

The main difference between parchment paper and wax paper is how they’re made. In addition, some circumstances call for one type of paper over the other. Read on to learn which paper is oven safe vs microwave safe.

Insider Tip

You can cover food containers with wax paper. Still, food safety experts do not recommend heating food while touching the paper.

Parchment paper is a food-safe, disposable nonstick surface that is great for food preparation. Manufacturers treat the coated paper with silicon, making it resistant to extreme heat and great for lining cake pans for baking cookies. In addition, you can buy bleached or unbleached parchment paper, but it makes little difference for taste or safety.

Also called paraffin paper, Wax paper is a cooking paper treated with a paraffin wax coating. The wax coating makes the paper a non-stick surface, which is ideal for steaming food in the microwave. In addition, some cooks like to coat their counter with wax paper to roll out pie or cookie dough.

Much like comparing porcelain and ceramic containers for microwave purposes, these types of papers are both great to use in your microwave. That said, if you have a convection microwave, it is best to stick to parchment paper or a heat-resistant baking sheet. All in all, it’s important to know what you want when you’re choosing a microwave, that way you’ll get the best one for your immediate needs.

Heat Resistance

Parchment paper is much more heat resistant than wax paper. In addition, due to the silicone coating on parchment paper, it can withstand long sessions in the microwave. Wax paper, however, needs to be periodically cooled in between microwave sessions of no more than 2-3 minutes to avoid melting the paraffin wax coating.

Food Safety

Both types of baking paper are completely food-safe. That said, never heat food on the wax paper. Instead, use it to cover a dish or cup to assist with steaming vegetables or stop soup from splashing in the microwave cavity.


Since you can use parchment paper for baking, microwaving, and food storage, it is a phenomenally versatile cooking paper. That said, wax paper has multiple uses, but you cannot bake it in a convection microwave.


Remember to remove any wax paper from your microwave before activating the convection mode. The wax coating cannot withstand the heat levels from convection baking.


Is Freezer Paper the Same as Parchment Paper?

While both types of paper are great for storing food, freezer paper should never be used in an oven, like parchment paper. This is because freezer paper often has a thin layer of plastic or wax that is not heat resistant and will melt.

How long can you microwave wax paper?

Experts recommend that you only microwave wax paper for 2-3 minute increments to avoid overheating the coating on wax paper. If not, you risk melting the wax paper lining and ruining your food.

Does parchment paper need to be greased?

While it is sometimes called butter paper, you do not need to grease your parchment paper. The silicone coating makes the parchment paper safe without grease or butter.

STAT: According to a US Department of Energy survey, 57% of respondents with a convection microwave owned a countertop model. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image