What Is Freezer Paper, and How Is It Different from Wax Paper & Parchment?

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Sometimes you may come across a recipe calling for freezer paper or some advice for wrapping something in it. But is freezer paper just the same thing as parchment or wax paper, with freezer paper being a relic of a name? Or is it something entirely different?

What is freezer paper?

Freezer paper is thick paper with a plastic or wax coating on one side. It differs from parchment, which has no coating, and wax paper, which has a coating on both sides.

What is freezer paper used for?

Although it’s less popular now, freezer paper was traditionally used to wrap up meats for freezing. The meats would be wrapped against the waxy side to protect the surface of the meat, as well as to help prevent moisture loss, but the paper on the outside meant that it was a surface that could be written on for labeling purposes.

Freezer paper is often used at the meat or seafood counter at the grocery store. This type of paper is preferred because the plastic side prevents the juices from meat and seafood from soaking and leaking through.

Besides meat and seafood, freezer paper would also be a great material to wrap pieces of cheese in to allow the cheese to breathe but not dry out. It is also used in craft projects like printing on fabric and quilting.

Why is it so hard to find?

When I started looking into what freezer paper was, it was hard to actually get my hands on a roll. My local chain grocery store didn’t carry it, and I finally found some online that I had to order.

I started thinking about why it was so difficult to find some, and my guess is that with the rise of resealable freezer bags and home vacuum-sealing systems, the need to wrap things in paper for freezing has declined. I personally won’t have much use for it except for layering it between things like meat or pancakes before freezing, so after this roll is gone, I’ll stick to wax or parchment paper, which can serve the same function!

Do you use freezer paper? If so, for what?