The two most commonly used types of paper for food handling are the butcher’s paper and the parchment paper. More often, therefore, you will hear butcher’s paper vs parchment paper comparison when buying a paper for handling food. Of course, resolving this dilemma requires understanding the similarities and differences between these two popular types of paper.

Butcher’s Paper vs Parchment Paper

Similarities of Butcher’s Paper and Parchment Paper

The most obvious similarity between these two types of paper lies in how each paper is produced. Both papers undergo the same production process of using paper pulps. The other similarity refers to the ability of both papers to handle a very high level of temperature.

The parchment paper, for example, exhibits high resistance to heat up to 420 °F. This is also true with the butcher’s paper which can withstand temperatures of the same level. Exposed to a temperature beyond 420 °F, both papers, however, will surely burn.

The Differences between Butcher’s Paper and Parchment Paper

The butcher’s paper is distinctly different from the parchment paper. First, each type of paper undergoes a different chemical treatment. This means different chemicals are added to the pulps of these two papers during the production process.

The butcher’s paper, for example, is soaked in a mixture of caustic soda and sulfide. This chemical mixture aids in making the paper stronger with greater density. The parchment paper, on the other hand, is only submerged in sulfuric acid. This is done to create additional linings and to prevent the onset of corrosion.

When it comes to their applications, the butcher’s and the parchment papers radically differ. The parchment paper, for one, is specifically used for bread and for baking in an oven. On the other hand, butcher’s paper is often used for wrapping around the meat.

Understanding More about Butcher Paper

The butcher’s paper was originally sold to butchers so that they could use it for wrapping fish and meat. At present, however, butcher’s paper is used for wide applications such as for crafts and arts like hanging artworks and by moving companies for packing sensitive things like glass, chinaware, and other fragile things.

The colors of butcher’s paper are usually reddish or white. It is made from kraft pulp that comes with a heavy density of 50 lbs/3000 sq ft (81 g/m2). The butcher’s paper also contains low lignin.

Once mixed with caustic soda and sulfide, the relation with lignin gently breaks and aids in freeing the bond between cellulose fibers and lignin.

Pros and Cons of Using the Butcher’s Paper

The use of butcher’s paper comes with many advantages. First, it provides a stronger high-density paper. It also comes in rolls and sheets for ready use. It is also heat resistant. Moreover, it is inexpensive.

However, it also comes with limitations. First, it is specifically used only for dry food. It is also non-resistant to stickiness. Third, it is not grease-proofed. Lastly, it can be poisonous when used for food.  

Understanding More the Parchment Paper

The parchment paper, on the other hand, is sometimes referred to as “baking paper” or “bakery release paper.” This paper has been treated chemically to make it non-stick. It is also a cellulose-based paper. As a non-stick paper, it is commonly used in baking as a disposable paper. It is different from wax paper for wax paper is coated with wax.

The parchment paper is generally made by letting the paper pulp’s sheet to run through a sulfuric acid bath. This process partially gelatinizes the paper that eventually produces a cross-linked sulfurized material. This imparts a good non-stick property to the paper. The main use of this paper is to do away with the grease sheet pans, allowing quick batches turnaround of baked goods.

The Pros and Cons of the Use of Parchment Paper

The parchment paper comes with many advantages. First, it is non-stick. it also has high resistance and high density. Moreover, you can reuse it. It is also waterproof and grease resistant. Additionally, you can use it for oven cooking. Others also use it for decoration.


Having known the similarities and differences between the butcher’s paper and parchment paper, you are now in a better position to resolve the dilemma of butcher’s paper vs parchment paper. Each of these two types of papers thrives in doing a specific task. Both are popular, however, for their sterling qualities. Thus, if you sell meat, you will surely find the butcher’s paper more convenient to use. On the other hand, if you are a baker, you would be more inclined to buy the parchment paper.

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