Can you microwave wax paper?

You’ve probably been using wax paper all your life, in the kitchen to cover food, or roll out cookie dough, or sometimes even in the microwave while heating leftovers. 

Have you ever given a thought to whether a wax paper can be used in the microwave or not? We’re sure you have heard people telling you not to do that, it can cause cancer, or the wax will melt and get inside or body.

Can you microwave wax paper or not is often debated, however, according to the USDA, a wax paper that comes with a microwave-safe label can be used in the microwave without any harmful effects. 

There are few things that you need to take care of before you place it into the microwave. Continue reading the article to find out!

What is wax paper? What is it used for?

Wax paper is a thin moisture-proof sheet of paper that is coated in paraffin wax. It is non-stick and is thus used for rolling cookie dough and wrapping different food items. It keeps food fresh inside without sticking to it. Many people use wax paper for cleaning purposes too.

Types of wax paper

Wax paper is easily available in stores and online. Since it is a regular-use kitchen item, it is found in almost every household. These wax papers are divided into two groups. 

The material that they are made up of:

 Wax paper is made up of soya bean, or paraffin wax, both have unique properties.

Soybean wax paper 

Soybean wax paper has a coating of soy wax on both sides of the paper. Soy wax is made up of all-natural ingredients and is absolutely toxin-free. Soy wax is great for your health and even better for the environment.

Paraffin wax paper 

Paraffin wax is made up of saturated hydrocarbons and is derived from petroleum oil. When exposed to extreme heat it produces harmful products. It can be toxic for you and is also not beneficial for the environment.

Dry or wet Variety

Wax paper can be dry or wet in feel

Dry wax paper 

Dry wax paper, as the name suggests has a dry coat of wax pressed firmly onto both sides. This kind is best to be used with hot food applications, or inside the microwave.

Wet wax paper 

Wet wax paper has a water-resistant glossy coat on both sides of the paper. This makes it perfect to be used in packaging edibles as well as raw meat and poultry.

Is it safe to microwave wax paper?

Wax paper is generally considered safe to microwave. It is transparent to the radiations coming through the microwave and thus doesn’t melt or burn easily. In addition to that, all wax papers labeled as microwave-safe can be microwaved. 

It also depends on the type of food you are microwaving using wax paper. Foods containing high amounts of fats, oils, and salts should not be microwaved for long periods with wax paper, while other foods can be microwaved with ease. 

One should be careful while microwaving wax paper. If you overheat, there is a chance that the wax paper will melt or burn and cause a disaster. 

For how long can you microwave wax paper?

Wax paper is not heat resistant. Even though it is transparent to the microwaves, it shouldn’t be heated for a long time.

The recommended time to heat food covered in the wax paper is a maximum of 2 to 3 minutes. Since the wax paper can reach the point of combustion real quick, you need to be precautious about heating it so that the wax does not melt and mix into the food.

Besides that, foods containing high sugar and fat content should be heated even lesser than the recommended time, as they heat up very quickly and the built-in heat can also contribute to the melting of wax on the wax paper.

What to use wax paper for in a microwave?

Not all kinds of food are safe to microwave using wax paper. Following is a list of things you can use the wax paper to microwave. 

  1. Defrosting food: it is used to defrost frozen food items by covering them with wax paper. This ensures even heating throughout.
  2. Reheating leftovers: leftover food can be wrapped up and heated inside the microwave using wax paper.
  3. Wax paper is also used as a pan liner while baking goods in the microwave.
  4. To bake foods such as salmon, potato, and corn in the microwave. 

Things to keep in mind while microwaving wax paper:

Even though the wax paper is considered safe to microwave, there are some important things that you should always keep in mind before microwaving it. 

  1. Always buy wax papers from reliable brands. The local wax paper that is of good quality shouldn’t be used as it might stick to the food or melt very quickly.
  2. Make sure that there aren’t any metal flecks sticking on the wax paper. Metal heats up very quickly and can cause the wax paper to melt or even catch fire.
  3. Try to not use the same wax paper twice. Use a new sheet of wax paper every time you microwave something. 
  4. Use one big piece of wax paper and tuck it under the food, especially if you are using a convection microwave. The convection fan can blow away the paper wax if it is not tucked in properly.
  5. Do not use wax paper to wrap oily and fatty foods, they heat up quickly and can cause the wax paper to burn too.
  6. Be careful to not microwave the wax paper for more than 3 minutes or it will melt. Microwaving with uniform intervals is safer. 
Can you Microwave Wax Paper?

 Frequently Asked Questions

Can wax paper go in the oven?

Wax paper is not heat-resistant. Wax melts at high temperature and therefore it is not advised to be used inside the oven. It can also catch fire at high temperatures.

Can microwave-safe wax paper go in the oven?

Microwave safe wax paper is suitable to go inside a microwave only, not inside the oven. Microwave ovens are different than conventional ovens. They use micro-waves while conventional ovens use heat directly coming out of flames. 

What is the difference between wax paper and parchment paper?

A wax paper is coated with a thin layer of wax, as suggested by the name on each side. It is moisture-resistant and nonstick, mostly used in the kitchen. Parchment paper is a nonstick and moisture-resistant paper along with being heat resistant also, which makes them perfect for baking purposes.

What happens if you ingest wax paper?

Wax paper is not meant to be eaten, however, ingesting a small amount of it will not cause any illness, nor will it make you sick. If a large amount of wax paper is consumed, there may be serious stomach issues and adverse health effects on your body.

Is wax paper cancerous?

Wax paper is used in ways where it comes into contact with food. Even though it is inedible it, however, is toxin-free and does not cause cancer.

Conclusion

We can conclude that wax paper can be microwaved easily. However, you should always check the packaging to ensure that the wax paper you are using is microwave safe. 

Fatty and sugary foods should be heated with extra precautions or else, chances are the wax will melt and get into your food. Even though accidentally consuming a small amount of wax is not dangerous, the wax used in the wax paper is inedible.

Do not compromise your health and wellbeing and shop wax paper only from trusted brands.

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References

  1. https://foodpluswords.com/is-wax-paper-toxic-what-happens-if-you-eat-it/
  2. https://www.southernliving.com/kitchen-assistant/parchment-paper-vs-wax-paper
  3. https://www.usda.gov/topics/food-and-nutrition
  4. https://www.fda.gov/food
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Emily will happily recount the days of her childhood, gleefully helping her mother in the kitchen making lunch for the entire family. These days, when she’s not treating her husband and kids to her newest cooking experiment, Emily writes for zayconfoods.com, sharing her first-hand experiences using kitchen appliances, enlightening both our team and our audience of the intimate knowledge she brings to the table.

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