Which Side Of Wax Paper To Use

Which side of wax paper to use?

Wax paper, also known as paraffin, is a thin sheet of paper coated with wax on single side or both sides sometimes. This coating gives the paper its non-stick properties and makes it resistant to moisture, making it an ideal choice for various kitchen tasks. However, there is a difference between the two sides of wax paper that should be considered when using it for different purposes.

For baking: When using wax paper for baking, it is essential to know which side to use. The general rule of thumb is to use the dull side as the food-facing side and the shiny side as the non-stick surface. 

The dull side has a slightly textured finish that sits closer to your baked goods, preventing them from sticking. On the other hand, the shiny side is smoother and allows your baked goods to slide off with ease.

For storing: Wax paper is also commonly used for storing & wrapping food items such as wrapping sandwiches or cookies. In this case, it doesn’t matter which side you use since both sides are coated in wax and provide a barrier against moisture.

However, if you plan on using wax paper for long-term storage in the freezer, it is recommended to use the shiny side as the non-stick surface.

For crafting: Apart from its kitchen uses, wax paper is also a popular choice for various crafts such as candle making and iron-on transfers. When using wax paper for crafting, it is essential to consider the type of project you’re working on. 

If you want a shiny and smooth finish, use the shiny side of the wax paper. However, if you’re after a more textured or matte look, then opt for the dull side.

Explanation Of Wax Paper Sides & Their Differences

SideDescription Function
Shiny sideSmooth and glossy finish due to the wax coating.Non-stick surface for easy removal of baked goods or crafting projects with a shiny finish.
Dull sideSlightly textured finish that allows better contact with food items or crafting materials.Prevents sticking and provides a more matte or textured finish for crafting projects.
Both sidesCoated with wax, providing a moisture-resistant barrier.Suitable for storing food items and short-term freezing but not recommended for long-term freezer storage.

As seen in the chart above, both sides of wax paper have their unique properties and functions. The shiny side is perfect for creating a smooth and glossy finish, while the dull side is better for preventing sticking and providing a more textured appearance.

Benefits of using the correct side of wax paper

  • Prevents food from sticking: Using the correct side of wax paper for baking or storing can prevent your food items from sticking, making it a more convenient option for cooking and meal prep.
  • Easy release: The shiny side of wax paper makes it easier to remove baked goods without any residue or tearing, saving you time and effort in the kitchen.
  • Maintains freshness: When used for storing food items, wax paper’s moisture-resistant properties can help keep your food fresh and prevent it from drying out.
  • Better results in crafting projects: Choosing the correct side of wax paper when crafting can result in a smoother or more textured finish, depending on your desired outcome. 
  • Versatile: Wax paper’s ability to be used for various tasks, from baking to crafting, makes it a versatile and essential item in any kitchen or craft room.

How to determine which side is the correct side to use?

If you’re unsure which side of the wax paper to use, there are a few simple ways to determine the correct side for your specific task:

  1. Look at the packaging: Most wax paper boxes will have instructions on which side to use for baking or crafting. However, if this information is not available, try the following methods.
  2. Feel the texture: The dull side of wax paper has a slightly textured feel, while the shiny side is smoother. This difference in texture can help you determine which side to use for baking or crafting.
  3. Conduct a water test: Place a drop of water on both sides of the wax paper. The dull side will absorb the water, while the shiny side will repel it. This property makes the shiny side ideal for non-stick surfaces.
  4. Conduct a flame test: Light a small corner of the wax paper with a lighter or match. The shiny side will burn faster due to its wax coating, while the dull side will burn slower. This property makes the dull side better for creating a barrier against moisture in storing food items.

Tips and tricks for using wax paper effectively

  1. Cut the wax paper to fit your baking pan or tray: This will prevent any excess paper from overlapping and potentially causing uneven baking or burning.
  2. Use tape to secure wax paper on a flat surface: When using wax paper for crafting, use tape to hold it in place. This will prevent it from moving around and creating unwanted creases or bubbles.
  3. Do not use wax paper in a hot oven: Wax paper is not suitable for use in high heat as it can melt and potentially start a fire. Stick to using it in temperatures below 375°F (190°C).
  4. Use freezer-safe wax paper for long-term storage: If you plan on freezing food items with wax paper, make sure to use one that is labeled as freezer-safe. This type of wax paper has a higher moisture resistance and can be used for longer periods in the freezer.
  5. Store wax paper in a cool, dry place: To prevent it from sticking together or melting, store your wax paper in a cool and dry area away from heat sources.

FAQs – Wax Paper Usage

Can I use either side of wax paper for baking?

Yes, you can use either side of wax paper for baking. However, the shiny side is smoother and allows your baked goods to slide off with ease, making it a preferable choice.

What happens if I use the wrong side of the wax paper?

Using the wrong side of the wax paper might make it harder to remove baked goods without leaving residue or tearing the paper. In crafting, it might affect the texture and finish of your project.

Can both sides of the wax paper be used equally for all tasks?

While both sides of the wax paper have their unique properties, the specific side to use often depends on the task at hand. For instance, the shiny side is better for creating a smooth surface, while the dull side prevents sticking.

Can I use wax paper in the microwave and does the side matter?

Wax paper is microwave-safe, but it’s essential to use the wax-coated side facing the food to prevent the paper from melting onto your food.

Wrap Up

The choice of which side of wax paper to use largely depends on the task at hand. For non-stick purposes such as baking and crafting with a smooth finish, the shiny side of wax paper is often the best option. Meanwhile, for tasks that require better contact with food or crafting materials or for a more textured finish, the dull side proves more effective. 

Regardless of the side used, it’s important to remember the moisture-resistant properties of wax paper make it a valuable tool for food storage. By understanding the properties and applications of both sides of wax paper, you can make the most of this versatile kitchen and craft room staple.

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