Storing food and keeping it fresh remains an important household chore. Spoilage has become a major concern, especially when food is not properly stored in the freezer. That's why we need to use the right storage product.
Wax paper can be used to store food in the freezer. Wax paper is a convenient way to store fruits, cookies, bread, cheese, and a variety of meats. It prevents frozen foods from freezer burning and sticking together, like stacked meats or bread slices.
In this article, we break down how you can use wax paper for cold storage. We also discuss how it's made, what are its major uses, and where not to use it. Finally, we compare wax paper to other products such as plastic wrap and parchment paper.
Using Wax Paper To Store Food In The Freezer
The main reason to wrap food for freezing is to keep the air out and protect the food from freezer burn. Wax paper, being food-grade material, is used to wrap food tightly, thus protecting it from cold temperatures.
Here are some ways that you can use wax paper to store food in the freezer:
- Fruits like cherries and grapes benefit from being wrapped in wax paper before freezing. Usually, these fruits are left unwashed and then wrapped with wax paper and stored in the freezer until ready to wash and eat.
- Wrap bread tightly in a freezer bag, either whole or sliced. Use wax paper between slices when stored in the freezer. It makes it easier to take out just the portion you want to eat.
- Place cookies between layers of waxed paper in a container. But individually wrapped cookies in wax paper will keep them fresh longer. For the cookie dough, wrap it with wax paper and place it into a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Beef, pork, veal, lamb, and poultry can be double-wrapped in wax paper and frozen. These wrapped meats can be labeled and dated to keep track of freshness.
Note that keeping food at 32°F or 0° C and below prevents enzymes, molds, yeasts, and bacteria from being able to do any damage.
In cooking and storing food, it's important to keep them from sticking to surfaces. That way, it prevents the food from absorbing ingredients that could alter its taste or color or avoids bacteria that may contaminate it.
Other Wax Paper Uses
- Packaging: By using wax paper, you can easily wrap sandwiches, fruits, and veggies, cover salads, and hold baked goodies.
- Lining surfaces: Wax paper is a preferred choice for lining dishes when set in a refrigerator or freezer.
- Protection: Wax paper is a surface protector when rolling out dough. Pie dough, which is sticky and messy to make, can be easier to roll out atop wax paper.
- Sifting ingredients: Easily sift flour, sugar, or even cheese using wax paper. It makes for a mess-free transfer to a bowl.
- Presentation: Some food looks better when wax paper is used. In particular, brown wax paper is often used to line appetizer trays during parties.
Wax paper can be used even outside the kitchen, for art and craft projects.
How is wax paper made?
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), "wax paper is a triple-waxed tissue paper and is made with a food-safe paraffin wax which is forced into the pores of the paper and spread over the outside as a coating."
Once the paper and paraffin wax are mixed properly, it's chemically treated to give the paper some glossy shine and become water and oil-resistant. Today, modern wax paper uses soybean and vegetable oils to manufacture the wax used to line the paper, making it biodegradable.
Who invented wax paper?
While Thomas Edison is credited for inventing wax paper, it was the Reynolds Company that made it an essential kitchen household product in 1927. Reynold's CutRite wax paper boasts of being able to protect surfaces, is microwave safe, and requires no scrub cleanup.
Is wax paper safer than plastic wrap?
Wax paper is safer than plastic wrap because of its composition. Plastic, in itself, is hazardous to our health and contributes heavily to pollution. So, people have begun to search for plastic alternatives.
We are described as a 'throw away' generation due to the one-time use of plastic wrapping, among others. Modern wax paper is washable and reusable. Unlike plastic wrap, wax paper allows food to breathe and it won't trap moisture.
The big reason why plastic is more often used than wax paper is the cost. Today's wax paper offers an environmentally-friendly alternative, albeit a bit more costly than plastic wrap. But in the long run, the benefits outweigh its cost.
Which is safer, parchment paper or wax paper?
Parchment paper is safer because it's heat resistant. As both are typically household products, it's important to note that wax paper's main use is for cold storage.
The paraffin or soybean properties of wax paper make it flammable. Therefore, it should be avoided for use in the oven.
Parchment paper is made specifically for baking. It has heat-resistant properties due to its silicone coating.
Can I use wax paper to store cheese?
According to the American Cheese Society, using wax paper (or alternatively, parchment paper) to store cheese is the preferred and economical way.
Once the cheese is opened, it's suggested to re-wrapped it again to avoid drying out and prevent it from picking up other flavors. Wax paper allows the cheese to breathe and prevents more moisture.
What should you not use wax paper on?
Remember that wax paper is not heat-resistant. The wax ingredient part will melt at high temperatures and become flammable, therefore it should be avoided for baking.
Also, wax paper should not be used to line baking sheets or cake pans.
Wax paper has been used since the 1920s. Both the traditional paraffin wax and the modern biodegradable versions’ primary purpose is to store food in the freezer. It can store fruits, cookies, a wide variety of meat, and even cheese for use later, while keeping them fresh and delicious.
Wax paper is also used in packaging, lining surfaces, and sifting ingredients. If you're looking for other food storage or baking tips using paper products, check out our related posts:
Can You Put Wax/Parchment Paper In An Air Fryer? [And Should You?]
Does Parchment Paper Burn In The Oven?