Butcher Paper Vs. Parchment Paper | What Is The Difference?

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Whenever you need to serve/ cook food using paper, you may use many options, but the most accessible options are butcher paper and parchment paper.


Butcher paper and parchment paper are extensively used and interchanged as per convenience but wait as you make the biggest mistake in your kitchen.

Butcher paper and parchment paper may serve similar purposes, but they are not the same. There are significant differences between the both on many levels, such as heat resistance, recyclability, stickiness, and such more. 

On the one hand, butcher paper, also known as kraft paper, is majorly used for wrapping raw meats. On the other hand, parchment paper is idle for baking and grilling purposes.

Parchment paper has a higher heat resistance as compared to butcher paper. If we talk about butcher paper, it is moisture resistant, but parchment paper is best used if making any moist food. 

Today we will extensively discuss butcher paper vs. parchment paper and reveal all the hidden and unknown facts so that next time you want to cook, wrap or serve your food, you know which one is the best option.

Before jumping into the discussion, let us take a quick overview of tables containing major differences between the both.

Butcher Paper Vs. Parchment Paper | Difference Table

Basis Of DifferencesButcher PaperParchment Paper
TypeColored, Bleached, Pink, GardeniaBleached and Unbleached
MaterialWood PulpCellulose fiber
Production ProcessSizing agent Silicone 
Tear ResistanceHigher tear resistance, heavy dutyLess dense but yet tear resistance
Moisture Resistance Less effectiveMore effective
Recommended ForDry foodsAlmost any food
Grease ResistanceNon-greaseproofGreaseproof
FlammabilityMax 420 degreesMax 450 degrees
RecyclabilityLimitedSeveral times

What Is Butcher Paper?


Butcher paper is a thick kraft paper that butchers usually use to wrap their meat. It is an uncoated paper available in white or light brown shades.

Butcher paper is moisture-resistant and approved by the FDA for using it directly with food items. It is interesting to note that butcher paper can also be used as a table covering to protect the tabletops during art and craft work. 

As mentioned at the start, butcher paper was used for covering meat; you can also wrap your meat before smoking as it will let the smoke in without trapping the moisture.

Not only to wrap meat or for craft activities, but butcher paper also has many different uses, like go-to packaging orders in restaurants and tray liners, as it is absorbent and protects foods and surfaces from contamination.

If we talk about the making of butcher paper, it is treated with acid to make it more absorbent. People might call butcher paper ‘acid-free,’ but this is not true. The paper is made from wood pulp or cotton pulp, with the only difference being how they are processed.

The process of making butcher paper involves sulfuric acid treatment.

The interesting point to note down is that you can even write down on butcher paper like regular paper. The only downfall of butcher paper is that it catches stains very quickly.

There are different types of butcher paper available in the market. Let’s have a look at them one by one.

  • Pink Butcher Paper – Also known as peach paper, it matches the meat color. Typically, butchers use this type of paper to wrap meat because of its breathability. Pink butcher paper is excellent for smoked meat.
  • Pink Treated Butcher Paper – Pink-treated butcher paper is an upgraded version of pink butcher paper. It is water resistant and preserves fresh meat juice better than other types of butcher paper.
  • Gardenia – As the name itself has the word garden in the gardenia butcher paper, it is available in a greenish shade. It is a less commonly used butcher paper but has an excellent moisture lock feature. The moisture lock feature protects the meat or fish from outside moisture contamination.
  • Colored Or Bleached Butcher Paper – Colored butcher paper is one of the most common types of butcher paper used in the market. You can decorate or wrap your food as per your wish. White butcher paper also comes in this section as they are bleached to make it brighter.

What Is Parchment Paper?

parchment paper

Parchment paper, also known as baking paper, has been used in baking for a long time. This type of paper is made from cellulose fiber and coated with silicon which is food safe and gives a non-stick surface that is perfect for baking purposes.

The best feature of parchment paper is that it is heat resistant so you can use it up to 420-450 degrees in an oven.

You can use parchment paper for wrapping food items, lining baking sheets, making homemade dumplings, or folding them into makeshift envelopes for ‘sous vide’ cooking. It is a versatile kitchen tool.

However, it is suggested to keep the parchment paper as it does not lock the moisture, which can spoil the meat or other food items.

Parchment paper is made from 100% recyclable materials. This means that it is eco-friendly and free from any chemicals. Don’t worry about the silicon coating; it is safe to use with any food items. 

This type of paper is made from cellulose nitrate, which can easily dissolve in water. The soaking in water makes the surface non-sticky. The best thing about parchment paper is that it can keep baked goods moist and prevent them from drying out quickly. 

Parchment paper can be an excellent option for grilling as it is heat resistant. There are two types of parchment paper available in the market: bleached and unbleached. Both can be used with food items.

However, more than one bleached parchment paper is needed for grilling. Let’s have a brief look at both types –

  • Bleached Parchment Paper – Parchment paper is usually available in white color, achieved after bleaching the paper. Chlorine is used to make the bleached parchment paper which makes it less eco-friendly. You need to make sure to use the coated side of the paper to avoid chlorine attaching to your food.
  • Unbleached Parchment Paper – The original color of unbleached paper is light brown because of the cellulose fiber. It is more eco-friendly as compared to bleached parchment paper. The price of unbleached parchment is higher than that of bleached parchment paper. 

Butcher Paper Vs. Parchment Paper | What Are The Similarities Between The Two?

parchment paper on baking tin

Although we can clearly differentiate between butcher paper and parchment paper based on usage and other features, there are few similarities between them.

  • Heat Resistant – Both types of paper can easily be used in heat up to 400 degrees. Butcher paper has a high density which can take up to 400 degrees. However, parchment can take heat up to 420-450 because of the cellulose material, and above that, it will burn. If you cook juice or greasy meat, you can increase the heat temperature.
  • Multi-purpose – It is evident that butcher paper and parchment paper have multiple uses. From cooking, wrapping and packaging, it can be used for decoration purposes also. They also absorb excess oil very quickly while being a liner for deep-fried foods because of their porousness.

Butcher Paper Vs. Parchment Paper | What Are The Main Differences?

butcher paper roll

Butcher paper and parchment paper are used for cooking similarly, but they differ from each other. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, with distinct features. Let us look into them one by one.

1. Material

Butcher paper is made from wood pulp or cotton pulp which is FDA-approved; on the other hand, parchment paper is made from cellulose fiber with silicon coating. The material used in making both papers is a major and significant difference.

2. Types 

Butcher paper has different varieties, like pink butcher paper, pink treated butcher paper, gardenia, and colored or bleached butcher paper. In contrast, parchment is only of two types – Bleached parchment paper and unbleached parchment paper.

3. Thickness 

Apart from the material used, the thickness of both papers is a visible difference between the two. Butcher paper is thicker as it is a heavy-duty kind of paper. Parchment paper is less porous than butcher paper because of the cellulose fiber, which makes the parchment paper thinner.

4. Tear Resistance 

Butcher paper and parchment paper are tear-resistant, meaning they cannot be tattered easily. However, butcher paper is denser than parchment paper, and even wet butcher paper is difficult to tear apart.

5. Moisture Resistance 

Butcher paper is less effective in resisting moisture than parchment paper. Parchment paper is notable for resisting moisture and is widely used for this purpose.

6. Recommended For

Butcher paper is recommended for dry foods such as brisket, pulled pork, back ribs, and fish dishes because it can absorb the moisture from the food. On the other hand, parchment paper can be used for any food as it is moisture resistant such as thigh meats, belly meats, and soft vegetables.

7. Stickiness 

Parchment paper is famous for its non-stickiness, but butcher paper is sticky. The non-stickiness of parchment paper makes it idle for baking purposes. Also, you can now find less sticky butcher paper in the market.

8. Grease Resistance 

Parchment paper is greaseproof; therefore, grease cannot stay on parchment paper; butcher paper can easily absorb the oil, making it non-greaseproof.

9. Flammability 

Butcher paper will burn if the heat is over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but parchment paper can be heated up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Parchment paper can also work with indirect heat; butcher paper can quickly start a fire. Also, parchment paper can be used in the oven for baking purposes.

10. Cost 

The price of both papers is affordable and reasonable, but the cost of parchment is a little higher than butcher paper making it more expensive.

11. Recyclability 

Parchment paper is considered eco-friendly as it can be easily recycled by cleaning it with water as it is water resistant. Butcher paper is barely recyclable.

Can You Substitute Butcher Paper for Parchment Paper?


The type of paper you choose depends upon the paper’s use. Stated you should use butcher paper to store cuts of meat, grilling, or smoking BBQ, and parchment paper is used for lining pizza stones and cookie sheets. 

However, you can substitute parchment paper instead of butcher paper as it is very easy to find, has high heat, and is moisture resistant.

Can we use butcher paper instead of parchment paper? Yes and no, because it really depends upon the heat applied. If smoking food, then yes, butcher paper can be used. Even if you need to use butcher paper in the oven, if the heat is lower than 400 degrees, you are good to go!

Uses Of Butcher Paper


1. How To Use Butcher Paper?

The first type of butcher paper you will primarily encounter is pink. Now, if you are using butcher paper to wrap your meat, wait for some time.

Let the meat cool down a little, and the heat comes to 150 or 170 degrees to preserve the smoky flavor of the meat.

If you go too high with the heat, you will burn the butcher paper. So, whether using it as a covering or in cooking, make sure the heat is not too high.

2. When To Use Butcher Paper?

Butcher paper can be used for wrapping and storing foods such as meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, and desserts. You can even use butcher paper for decorating.

The wood pulp, used as a material for making butcher paper, helps to write on the butcher paper, so you can use it as scrapbook pages, coloring book pages, or anything else that requires writing.

Uses Of Parchment Paper

Parchemnt paper

1. How To Use Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper is thicker, non-sticky, and has a smooth surface, so it is an idle match for baking purposes. Place the parchment paper and transfer the baking ingredients or mix. You will not need to grease it as parchment paper itself is non-sticky.

The heat limit should not exceed 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, it will get burned. It’s best to use parchment paper or bake foods that require moisture.

2. When To Use Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper is an idle match for baking purposes. You can use it whenever you need to cook any food items with moisture. Parchment paper is a good option if you need to keep your food from sticking.

Butchers also use parchment paper instead of butcher paper to cover or wrap meats. Parchment paper is also used for lining cookie sheets, cake pans, and pizza pans. It can be used as a liner for muffin tins.

Make disposable gloves to hold your food items or use them to clean the spilled items; parchment paper is a star in your kitchen.

Other Things To Do With Butcher Paper And Parchment Paper

butcher paper wrapping

Apart from cooking, butcher paper and parchment paper can be used for many other things.

Butcher paper has a density so that it can be used for decorating purposes. You can even wrap your gifts or notebooks using butcher paper. It is very easy to write on butcher paper so that it can be your canvas, or you can write something cute or whatever you want. 

When it comes to parchment paper, it is a good option to use for wrapping purposes as it locks the moisture really well. It will also not absorb the grease from the food, so many restaurants or fast food chains use them while serving their items.

Butcher Paper Vs. Parchment Paper | Which Is Versatile?


Without any doubt, parchment paper is more versatile as it has better heat resistance and is water and grease-proof. Parchment paper can easily be used in place of butcher paper and is available easily in the market.

On the other hand, butcher paper has similar use, but a lower heat resistance and is not moisture or grease-proof.

Butcher Paper Vs. Parchment Paper | Which Is Better?

butcher paper

Butcher paper and parchment paper are both readily available in the market, and the price also does not differ much, but it is very evident that parchment paper is better. Parchment paper is more versatile than butcher paper and has multiple uses.

You can anytime pick parchment paper while cooking, baking, wrapping, or packaging food items.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I substitute parchment paper with butcher paper?

In most cases, we can substitute parchment paper with butcher paper, but the temperature should be at most 400-420 degrees as it will burn the butcher paper.

Can we use both sides of parchment paper?

Yes, you can use both sides of the parchment paper, as either side has moisture.

Does the color of the butcher paper matter?

The color of the butcher paper can tell the quality of the paper. However, the colors of butcher paper are similar.

Is parchment paper the same as freezer paper?

No, parchment paper is not the same as freezer paper. They both are different, and the freezer paper can not be heated.

Can we substitute butcher paper with parchment paper?

Yes, parchment paper is better than butcher paper as it is highly heat resistant, waterproof, and stores food really well.


Now that we have reached the end of the discussion on butcher paper vs. parchment paper, we will be experts in kitchen tools after this. Whether baking or wrapping our food items, we know which option will be best. 

Butcher paper and parchment paper may be used for similar purposes. Still, their application is very distinct and if you are thinking of replacing them with each other, keep the temperature in mind.

This was helpful, and you got a clear picture of both types of papers. We will be back with a more exciting discussion so that you can add a little extra knowledge to your culinary skills. Until then, place the parchment paper and bake some muffins.

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