Key Difference: Parchment paper, also known as baking paper, is a cellulose-based paper that is used mainly in baking as a substitute for greasing. Freezer paper is a heavy weight paper that is lined with thin plastic on one side and is used mostly for freezing meats and fish to keep them spoiling. Another type of freezer paper is one that does not have the plastic lining, which is more commonly used by butchers.
Parchment paper and freezer paper are two types of papers that are found in many kitchens and sometimes even in the arts and crafts section of the home. These papers are created differently and have different purposes. The parchment paper is mostly used in baking and keeps the dough from sticking to the bottom of the pan. However, freezer paper is used mostly for storage purposes that keep meat, poultry, fish and bread fresh. These are two completely different kinds of papers and should not be interchanged.
Parchment paper, also known as baking paper, is a cellulose-based paper that is used mainly in baking as a substitute for greasing. The baking paper performs the same job as greasing a pan in order to keep the food from sticking to it directly. This is a less messy form of it and can be discarded after use. Baking paper can resist high amounts of heat and can be used as a replacement for wax paper, as wax paper melts when exposed to high amounts of heat. Baking paper can also be used to wrap and store foods. In addition to these, the paper can also be used to prepare foods that require steaming such as en papillote.
Parchment paper is created by running sheets of paper pulp through a bath of sulfuric acid. This process partially dissolves or gelatinizes the paper, after which the paper is dried. The treatment with sulfuric oxide forms a sulfurized cross-linked material with high density, stability, and heat resistance, and low surface energy, making the paper non-sticky. The paper also passes through a few rotating drums, which further strengthens the paper. Finally the paper is coated with silicone to make it sustain high temperatures.
Freezer paper is a heavy weight paper that is lined with thin plastic on one side and is used mostly for freezing meats and fish to keep them spoiling. Another type of freezer paper is one that does not have the plastic lining, which is more commonly used by butchers. The paper ensures that the meat is protected from freezer burn and retains its juice and taste The paper are found in two grades, the much commercial brown ones or the white ones. Freezer paper is thicker, but is not heat resistant and cannot be used for wrapping food in the ovens as the heat would cause the paper to burn. Freezer paper is also used delis to wrap sandwiches, which ensures that the bread remains moist.
These papers are also used in arts and crafts projects as stencils. The image that the person wants can be printed or traced onto the paper (the non-lined side), which is then cut through. The paper is then placed on a piece of fabric with the stick side down and ironed on. When the image sticks, the stencil is painted on using fabric paint. The stencil is then pealed and the painted image is heat treated. Voila! The image becomes imprinted on the fabric. Many people can also create home-made freezer paper, if they want to go for a cheaper option. Freezer paper is quite easy to make and only requires thin plastic bag or black garbage bag, printer paper, scissor/cutter and iron. The plastic bag should but and flattened by hands, which is then placed on an ironing table. On top of the bag, place the printer paper, which should be flattened again and there should not bumps or overlaps. Place a scrap piece of cloth on top of the paper and pre-heat the iron to medium heat. Iron the cloth until carefully and slowly going from the middle to the outer sides. Ensure that the plastic has completely melted on the paper and stuck to it. Check the plastic for any visible holes, and in case of holes, cut another piece of plastic place it on the holes and go through the ironing process again. There you have it, homemade freezer paper.
Image Courtesy: bakingbites.com
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