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Parchment Paper vs. Freezer Paper: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 19, 2023
Parchment paper is a heat-resistant, non-stick paper used for baking, while freezer paper has a plastic-coated side for wrapping and preserving food in the freezer.

Key Differences

Parchment paper and freezer paper are both kitchen staples, but they serve different purposes. Parchment paper, made from cellulose fibers, is treated to be heat-resistant and non-stick, making it ideal for baking and cooking. Many bakers rely on parchment paper to prevent cookies, cakes, and other baked goods from sticking to the pan.
On the other hand, freezer paper is specifically designed for freezing food items. One side of freezer paper is like regular paper, but the other side is coated with a thin layer of plastic. This plastic layer provides a barrier against moisture, ensuring that the food remains fresh and free from freezer burn.
Moreover, the non-stick property of parchment paper is beneficial in various cooking scenarios, not just baking. It's commonly used to line pans when roasting vegetables or cooking fish. Conversely, freezer paper, with its plastic-coated side, ensures that food items remain separate, especially useful when freezing individual portions of meat or fish.
While parchment paper is predominantly found in the baking aisle of grocery stores, freezer paper is usually located with other food storage solutions. Importantly, despite their unique features, neither parchment paper nor freezer paper should be used interchangeably for the other's primary purpose.

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Baking and cooking.
Freezing food items.


Heat-resistant, non-stick paper.
Paper with a plastic-coated side.

Resistance to Heat

Yes, can withstand oven temperatures.
Not designed for oven use.

Protection Against Moisture

No explicit moisture barrier.
Plastic coating provides moisture protection.

Location in Stores

Baking aisle.
Food storage section.

Parchment Paper and Freezer Paper Definitions

Parchment Paper

Suitable for roasting and pan-cooking.
For easy cleanup, I roast my vegetables on parchment paper.

Freezer Paper

Designed for preserving food in the freezer.
I wrap my meat in freezer paper before storing it long-term.

Parchment Paper

Made from cellulose fibers.
Parchment paper is derived from plant-based cellulose.

Freezer Paper

Often used in craft applications.
I used freezer paper as a stencil for my fabric project.

Parchment Paper

Non-stick surface for hassle-free cooking.
Using parchment paper ensures my brownies don't stick to the pan.

Freezer Paper

Ideal for storing individual portions.
I use freezer paper to separate individual burger patties.

Parchment Paper

Commonly used to line baking trays.
I always place parchment paper under my pizza crust.

Freezer Paper

Features a plastic-coated side to prevent freezer burn.
The plastic side of freezer paper keeps moisture out.

Parchment Paper

A heat-resistant paper ideal for baking.
I lined the tray with parchment paper before baking cookies.

Freezer Paper

Helps in maintaining food's freshness.
Using freezer paper ensures my fish remains fresh for months.


Why is parchment paper non-stick?

It's treated to have a non-stick surface, ideal for baking.

Can I use freezer paper for crafts?

Yes, freezer paper is often used in crafting, especially for stenciling.

Is freezer paper suitable for baking?

No, freezer paper is not designed to withstand oven temperatures.

How does parchment paper prevent sticking?

Its treated surface ensures baked goods release easily from pans.

Is the plastic side of freezer paper safe for food?

Yes, the plastic coating is designed to be food-safe.

Can I reuse parchment paper?

While possible, it's best to use a fresh sheet for optimal non-stick performance.

Is wax paper the same as parchment paper?

No, wax paper is coated in wax, while parchment paper is treated for heat resistance.

Is parchment paper compostable?

Most brands are compostable, but always check the packaging.

Can I write on parchment paper?

Yes, it can be written on with non-toxic markers or pens.

How does freezer paper prevent freezer burn?

Its plastic-coated side acts as a moisture barrier.

Why is parchment paper brown or white?

The color depends on the brand and if it's bleached or unbleached.

Can I use parchment paper on the grill?

It's not recommended due to the open flames and high heat.

Is freezer paper reusable?

While it can be reused for crafting, it's best to use a new sheet for food storage.

Why should I use freezer paper over plastic wrap?

Freezer paper offers better protection against freezer burn for long-term storage.

Can I microwave freezer paper?

It's best to avoid microwaving the plastic-coated side of freezer paper.

Can parchment paper go under the broiler?

It's best to avoid using parchment paper under high heat like a broiler.

How long can food last in the freezer with freezer paper?

While it varies, properly wrapped food can last several months to a year.

Is freezer paper recyclable?

Due to the plastic coating, most freezer papers are not recyclable.

Can I use parchment paper in the freezer?

Yes, but parchment paper doesn't offer the same protection against freezer burn as freezer paper.

Can I use parchment paper for crafts?

While possible, freezer paper is more commonly used for crafting purposes.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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