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parchment vs waxed paper

Is I see the TV cooks talking about/using parchment and wondered if it is different from waxed paper? Just a different name for the same thing? I have never seen parchment paper for sale in the grocery store. Can someone educate me please.

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  1. Parchment is essentially "baking paper" and has many uses... a non-stick surface for baking cookies, etc on a sheet, whereas (the exposed surfaces of) a wax paper would smoke / burn in the oven.

    Parchment can be found in cooking stores and baking supply, but I have also found it in my grocery store (I think it is becoming more common).

    1. You should be able to find parchment paper made by Reynolds in any decent-sized grocery store. It would be near the aluminum foil. Here's a link to their website---where you can order a free sample!
      http://www.alcoa.com/reynoldskitchens...

      1. thanks for the answers. i guess i will have to head down to the kitchen store and fork over an indecent amount of money as the grocery stores here do not carry parchment paper (I have looked) - baking is not a common hobby here i guess.

        1. Just to comment on the difference between parchment and waxed paper. Waxed paper will burn if exposed during baking. So you cannot use it to line a pan for cookies (you can with parchment.) But I do use waxed paper to line the bottom of a cake pan when I am going to pour batter completely over it. I do this for upside down cake when I have no parchment paper.

          You don't mention the application you need parchment paper for, if it is to line sheet pans, often silpat is a good choice as it is reusable.

          4 Replies
          1. re: coconutz

            I use Silpat sheets now: http://www.demarleusa.com/product/sil... ,

            ...but still use parchment on occasion and used to reuse it all the time! 8)

            1. re: spabettie

              Love my Silpats! The parchment paper just sits on the shelf collecting dust now...

              1. re: foodstorm

                I have Silpats and Parchement. It depends on what I am baking which I use. Some cookies just don't get as crisp with Silpat

                1. re: Candy

                  Yep! that's why I use both! I love my Silpats, but Parchment is great for some... I bake A LOT of 'cookie - cutter' cookies, and most recipes I use come out best on parchment.

          2. In lieu of parchment, I often use brown paper. Seems to work just fine, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper.

            4 Replies
            1. re: thinks too much

              Neary all cake decorating shops have full sheet tray sheets of parchment for about 10 cents a sheet. Just cut them to fit your baking pan, or tear them in half for a half sheet tray. It's much more cost effective than buying rolls in a gourmet shop or at the grocery store.
              Waxed paper to me seems to hold too much moisture.

              1. re: zataar

                i have used wax paper in a pinch for cookies, and if there is enough cookie dough covering the wax paper, it actually works ok.

                1. re: zataar

                  I wasn't referring to wax paper, as the OP was. I was referring to brown paper, like chopping up my very free grocery bags, the ones I get when I forget to bring my canvas bags

                2. re: thinks too much

                  Brown paper on the roll as in, paper to ship things in? I hope so I have a ton of it, I think parchment paper really over-priced and there never seems to be enough on the roll!