Is Reynolds Cut Rite Wax Paper Oven Safe? Only If You Do This

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Is Reynolds Cut Rite Wax Paper Oven Safe?
Is Reynolds Cut Rite Wax Paper Oven Safe?

Previously in Can Wax Paper Go in the Oven? Use this Oven Safe Method post, I wrote about how my wife put some Reynolds Cut Rite wax paper into the toaster oven to heat some banana bread.  Unknowingly the wax paper started to catch fire and smoke.

Thankfully, nothing bad happened and we were able to prevent anything drastic from happening.  It was a quite frightening experience, especially when any kind of fire surprisingly erupts in the kitchen.  It wasn’t a huge fire, mostly just smoke, but it still alarms you.

I tried to eat the banana bread slice and not waste anything.  Unfortunately, it had a strong wax taste to it, and wasn’t too edible at that point.  I hate wasting food, but it was going to have to go in the trash with a lesson learned.

So, here’s what we needed to know about putting Reynolds Cut Rite wax paper in the oven.  I didn’t learn any of this until recently.  I had just assumed that Cut Rite wax paper was completely unsafe for putting in the oven.  And I was just never going to do it again.

But that wasn’t entirely the correct answer.  Under some conditions you don’t want to put Reynolds wax paper, or any wax paper in the oven, but in some cases it’s perfectly o.k. to do so, if you do it correctly and follow the information I’ll share below.

Stay tuned.  Let’s have a look at the answer.  Is Reynolds Cut Rite Wax Paper oven safe?

What is Reynolds Wax Paper Made Of?

Originally wax paper was made using bee’s wax.  Now, wax paper is tissue paper that has been made water and moisture-proof by applying three coats of food-grade paraffin wax to the outside of it.

Wax paper is commonly used in cooking as a non-stick surface or in wrapping and storing foods, since it prevents moisture from getting in and out.

What is Wax Paper Used For?

Wax paper used for kneading dough
Wax paper used for kneading dough

Wax paper is treated to be moisture resistant and is also non-stick.  It can be used to line cake pans and bread pans for baking as will be discussed later.  Wax paper can be used as a non-stick surface when kneading dough.  Or, as a surface for prep work that can be easily thrown away without having to clean afterwards.

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Wax paper is also used to wrap food items such as cookies for storage since it is moisture resistant and will also keep items from sticking to each other.  Wax paper can also be used in arts and crafts projects.

According to the Reynolds Cut-Rite Wax Paper box I have, some other uses for the wax paper are:

  • Prevent splatters in the microwave
  • Keeps food moist without steam build-up
  • Line countertops when measuring or mixing ingredients
  • Use to keep countertops clean
  • Chocolate candies and dipped strawberries won’t stick to wax paper
  • Roll out cookie dough & pie crusts between two sheets of wax paper
  • Line the bottom of cake pans for easy removal after baking (we’ll discuss this later)
  • Place under cakes & cupcakes to catch frosting and sprinkles when decorating

What Happens if You Put Wax Paper in the Oven?

Usually, the wax paper will smoke and melt when it is exposed and gets too hot in the oven.  Sometimes it might even catch fire.  It also might ruin whatever you are baking and transfer wax to the baked good, making them taste waxy.

But, as we will look at, this is not always the case.  There is a way to use wax paper in the oven that will not cause this to happen.

Is Reynolds Cut Rite Wax Paper Oven Safe?

Reynolds cut-rite wax paper
Reynolds Cut-Rite wax paper

So, the answer to this question really depends on how you are using the wax paper.  In normal circumstances where you just place a sheet of exposed wax paper into the oven, it will burn or melt.

Just think about it, it’s covered in wax, and wax is used to make candles to cause flames to burn.  So, if the wax paper gets hot enough, it will start to burn or melt.

So, this means you can’t place a sheet of Reynolds Cut Rite wax paper with cookies or other baked goods on top of them.

So does this mean you cannot ever use Reynolds Cut Rite wax paper in the oven?

Not exactly.  I’ll tell you why.

You CAN put Reynolds Cut Rite wax paper in the oven if you do it this way.

The wax paper must be completely covered with none of it exposed.  What this means is that something must be on top of the wax paper so that none of it can be seen.

The most common example would probably be cake batter completely covering the wax paper.  What you would want to do is place the wax paper in the bottom of the cake pan, and then pour the cake batter completely on top of it, before placing it in the oven.

Why the heck would anyone want to do this?

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Because it creates a no stick surface that is easy to clean up.  Some people prefer this to using greased pans to keep the batter from sticking to the pan or from having to scrub the dishes for clean-up.

Another common use for this method is using it for muffins or cupcakes.  And something like banana bread or any kind of bread will work with this oven safe method as well.

Why does this work?

Whatever is on top of the wax paper, such as the cake batter, will directly absorb the heat and keep the wax paper from getting too hot and melting or burning.  But, if the wax paper is exposed with nothing on top of it, that’s when the wax paper gets too hot and begins to melt.  So, you must have something completely covering the wax paper, so that none of the wax paper will be exposed.

In fact, here’s what Reynolds Cut Rite actually says on their wax paper page,

Wax paper should not be directly exposed to the heat of an oven. However, Reynolds® Cut-Rite® Wax Paper may be used as a pan liner when baking cakes, bread, muffins or any baked food in which the dough or batter completely covers the wax paper lining.

Also, it even says on the Reynolds Cut-Rite Wax Paper box that I have, one of the uses of the wax paper is to line the bottom of cake pans for easy removal after baking.  So, there you go!

Wax Paper vs. Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is cellulose based paper that has been coated or treated to make it non-stick.  Wax paper has also been treated to be non-stick, but it is coated with wax in order to make it non-stick.  For this reason, parchment paper is heat resistant whereas wax paper is not heat resistant.

Also, parchment paper is usually thicker than wax paper.  Both are used for some similar tasks in the kitchen, where a non-stick surface is needed.

Can You Use Wax Paper Instead of Parchment Paper in the Oven?

Banana bread coming from oven on parchment paper
Parchment paper can be exposed in the oven and will change colors but not burn

Wax paper and parchment paper are commonly confused.  This is because they are both similar looking and are used in the kitchen for cooking or baking purposes.

But you usually cannot use wax paper instead of parchment paper in the oven.  This is because most uses for parchment paper will leave wax paper exposed to the heat of the oven if wax paper is substituted.

Parchment paper is heat resistant, unlike wax paper.  Although parchment paper may change colors and darken at higher temperatures in the oven, it will not burn and is not a concern.

So, you can bake items such as cookies on top of parchment paper in which the parchment paper is exposed.  But, if you were to substitute in wax paper in these conditions, the wax paper will burn.  Remember, wax paper can be used in the oven only if it is completely covered and not exposed as mentioned earlier.

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Although you usually can’t use wax paper instead of parchment paper, you can usually use parchment paper instead of wax paper.

What Temperature Can You Use Wax Paper?

Wax paper is meant to be used at room temperature or colder.  I cannot find anywhere in which the actual Reynolds Cut Rite wax paper max temperature has been tested.

But it shouldn’t be used in the oven if it’s exposed and can be seen, even at lower temperatures.  Make sure it’s completely covered as mentioned earlier and as recommended by Reynolds Cut Rite for their wax paper to be used in the oven.

Can You Use Wax Paper in the Oven at 350 Degrees?

If the wax paper is completely covered such as when baking a cake, then 350 degrees, which is the temperature to bake most things, will be fine.  If the wax paper is exposed, then it should not be used in the oven at all, even at a lower temperature.

Is Wax Paper in the Oven Toxic?

Have you baked accidentally with exposed wax paper?  Wax paper is made with paraffin, which is non-toxic and food-safe and is FDA approved for food use.  When consumed, it will pass through the digestive system undigested.

Paraffin is often used to coat fruits and vegetables to increase their life span on the shelves.  This is the same wax coating that you might be familiar with on the outside of your store-bought apples.

Cut-Rite Wax Paper History

Thomas Edison was the first to add wax to paper to create a water-proof paper.

Roswell Rausch, who owned a paper machine company, brought it to the market in 1927.  Nicholas Marcalus invented the serrated edge blade on the side of the box that allowed pieces to be easily cut.  Before that, wax paper was bought from local butchers.

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