The convenience of the microwave cannot be denied. It’s useful for cooking some foods and reheating the majority of them safely using short-frequency radiowaves. If you’re aware of how to properly use your microwave settings, you can accomplish so many things (mostly defrosting and reheating).
There are several items or materials that are classified as microwave-safe. Is wax paper among them? Keep on reading anyway to find out more about it.
Can You Microwave Wax Paper?
You can’t microwave anything made of metal. However, certain paper items like paper plates and wax paper are perfectly fine to microwave. There are other materials you should be mindful about or avoid using as food containers. For example, be mindful of plastic.
The plastic should have a microwave-safe label. Also, don’t microwave polystyrene or Styrofoam containers as much as possible unless they have that microwave-safe label. However, more often than not, foam coffee cups and so forth are absolutely not microwave-safe.
Wax paper is as good as a lid in terms of keeping greasy food from splashing all over your microwave interior. This is also commonly used for leftover storage and lining plans. It’s a valuable resource indeed.
Which Materials are Microwave-Safe?
The following materials used for food containment are considered microwave-safe. We’ll also cover many non-microwaveable materials as well, also used for food containment.
- Ceramic and glass dishes
- Parchment and wax paper
- Napkins, towels, and paper plates
Further reading: What Can You Put in a Microwave?
- Aluminum foil
- Brown paper bags
- Onetime-use plastic containers
- Dishes with metallic trim or paint
- Styrofoam or polystyrene containers
- Foam-insulated containers
- Cold-storage plastic containers
- Yogurt tubs
- Margarine containers
- Cottage-cheese boxes
Will Wax Paper Melt in the Microwave or Not? Is It Really Safe?
You might think the wax paper is fine to the microwave because it contains no metal. In contrast, school-grade cardboard might contain metal in the form of staple wires and the like. However, it doesn’t hurt to investigate just how microwave-safe wax paper is and whether or not it’s truly safe.
You should also check the limits of wax paper inside the microwave. In terms of wax paper contaminating food like Styrofoam or certain plastics, it won’t. Wax paper isn’t likely to melt either.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that wax paper is safe for use for microwave purposes. They’re like napkins or paper towels. They’re not likely to catch fire or anything.
What are the Different Uses of Wax Paper?
Wax paper is typically used as a nonstick surface for the placement of foods like pies or quiches you wish to reheat as well as baked goods. They’re like baking paper but you can’t use them inside baking ovens or toasters. They’re seemingly reserved for microwave use.
Many homeowners use this paper type for storing things like cheese or fudge. It’s basically waxy wrapping paper for food item storage or microwaving.
Wax paper isn’t parchment paper even though they’re similar and both microwave-safe. They’re two different food wrapping paper types. They offer different features and capabilities. This is because parchment or baking papers have silicone coating to them.
This is in contrast to sheets of wax paper, which are coated in paraffin wax. Parchment paper can deal with conventional oven baking better than wax paper. You can use both papers as disposable wrapping paper for food you intend to microwave though.
Why Doesn’t the Wax Coating on Wax Paper Melt in the Microwave?
Not only can the wax coating of wax paper not melt in the microwave as the food it contains gets hot. It can even hold out as you steam your vegetables or fish via the microwave. If you’re microwaving soups or greasy fried foods, it can cover their splatter or bubbling residue.
This is due to the nature of microwave radiation. The microwave heats food up by their moisture. Wax paper is water-resistant and grease-resistant. Thus, it prevents messes for both meal preps and microwave cooking.
You can use the disposable paper in the microwave but avoid it being in the presence of any other heat source. It’s not so much indestructible as it catches splatters and can withstand steamy abuse without easily turning into pulp or catching fire like tinder.
How Do You Use Wax Paper for Microwaving Food?
You should use wax paper mostly as a cover, non-stick placemat, or grease catcher the same way you’d use baking paper for baking. The baking paper keeps baked goods from sticking to trays, so you can use wax paper to keep food from melting into ceramics too.
However, wax paper isn’t the same as baking paper. Wax paper has a wax coating. The baking paper has a silicone coating. They achieve similar objectives for sure, but the baking paper is more like parchment paper and it’s designed to be used with conventional oven heat.
Both parchment/baking paper and wax paper are microwave-safe. They’re both one-time use papers though, like paper towels or napkins.
What Other Wax-Paper-Like Material is Microwave-Safe?
Cooking bags, microwave-safe paper towels, parchment paper, and plastic wraps are all safe for microwave use. Just remember to not allow plastic wrap to touch the food. You can use the plastic wrap as cover safely without contaminating the food though.
Wax paper is composed of microwave-safe sheets of paper covered in a wax coating. This paper sheet is thin and disposable. The type of wax covering the paper is known as paraffin wax. This product can deal with the heat of the food it is covering.
It can last for a pretty long time, even longer than paper towels. It doesn’t get soggy easily either, which would destroy certain types of tissue paper, thus turning them into pulp.
Where Do You Go From Here?
The long and short of it is that wax paper can be microwaved. We still recommend that you pay attention to how long you’re microwaving food. The wax paper won’t shield your food from overcooking or drying out.
Wax paper is also disposable. The thing that makes it microwaveable is that it doesn’t break easily and can last several microwaving sessions. It’s not safe for toaster ovens or conventional ovens though because it can’t endure conductive oven heat.
Don’t forget that wax paper is mostly designed for room temperature and cold temperature use as well as microwaved hot food.
- “Can You Microwave Wax Paper?“, FoodsGuy.com, October 1, 2020
- “Which Food Containers Are Safe for the Microwave?” RealSimple.com, September 7, 2010
- Diane Rellinger, “Use only microwave-safe containers when cooking and reheating foods“, Michigan State University Extension, December 4, 2013