Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper

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Butcher Paper or Parchment Paper? They are both practical kitchen papers. Butcher paper is a product which the butcher uses to wrap meat and fish. But it can also be used for barbecuing.

 In contrast, parchment paper is a paper used while cooking many dishes. It is mainly used as a non-stick coating on pans and pots. Instead of greasing your utensils, you can just use parchment paper.

You can also use parchment paper in barbecuing. Learn more about these handy kitchen papers and how they’re helpful. 

What is the difference between butcher paper and parchment paper?

Many items that serve in similar ways have differences. It’s the same with these products. There are several dissimilarities between butcher paper vs. parchment paper. We will learn them one by one as we go along. 

  • Butcher paper contains paper pulp, caustic soda, and sulfide, while parchment paper comprises paper pulp, sulfuric acid, and silicone in some cases. 
  • Butcher paper is not suitable for wet food, but parchment paper is.
  • Strength-wise, butcher paper is more robust than parchment paper.
  • Parchment paper is grease resistant, but butcher paper is not.
  • Butcher paper is thicker than parchment paper.
  • Both are heat resistant, but parchment paper more so than butcher paper.

What is butcher paper good for?

Butcher paper is suitable for several purposes

  • You can wrap meat and fish. 
  • You can keep smoked meat warm.
  • You can also cover your meat while smoking but not directly on the grill but in controlled smoking.
  • You can also use it for DIY (do it yourself) crafts.
  • It is a great fire starter.

Can butcher paper go in a smoker?

You can use butcher paper to wrap your brisket after 8-9 hours in the smoker. You can then put back the wrapped brisket in the smoker and wait till the meat’s internal temperature reaches 190-195 degrees or even up to 200-202 degrees F. However, you should not place the wrapped brisket or any food item directly on a grill over a raging fire.

Can butcher paper catch on fire?

Yes, butcher paper can catch on fire, which is why many people use it to start a fire while barbequing. Hence you must not use it directly over the grill unless described in the above paragraph. It’s heat resistant up to a certain degree but will burn if it exceeds that temperature. 

Does butcher paper leak?

Butcher paper is best for dry foods. So, it’s safe to say that it leaks after a while. You must not use it for wet or moist food items. However, a new type of butcher paper arrived on the market recently, and it is more water-resistant than the ordinary ones. It can be an excellent alternative to the original butcher paper.

What is parchment paper good for?

Parchment paper also has many uses.

  • It’s helpful in lining utensils while baking and cooking.
  • You can also use it for grilling meat, fish, and even vegetables.
  • It’s suitable for wrapping items, including meat and fish.
  • You can use it for wrapping moist items, too, without any worries.
  • You can also use it for making decorative items.

Can parchment paper go in a smoker?

Parchment paper can resist even high temperatures up to 400 degrees F. Therefore, you can use it for smoking your food, and it can certainly go in a smoker. But keep your wrapped meat or fish on the cooler side of the grill. Not many people use it, but it could be simply because they are not familiar with the product.

Can parchment paper catch on fire?

As mentioned above, parchment paper can resist heat up to 400 degrees F. But if you place it directly above the grill and the temperature crosses the resistance mark, the paper will catch fire. If you use it for wrapping your meat in barbecue, follow the correct instructions so that the paper doesn’t catch fire.

Does parchment paper leak?

The best thing about parchment paper is that it is water-resistant. It is, therefore, the preferred choice in baking. Hence, you don’t have to worry about the paper getting damaged if you wrap moist or wet food items with it.

How to choose the best butcher paper and parchment paper?

You will find different types of butcher paper and parchment paper in the stores. All may look the same, but they are not. So, how do you choose the best or the right butcher paper and parchment paper?

When choosing butcher paper, you have to consider four essential aspects.

  • Choose FDA-approved butcher paper so that it’s safe to use in close contact with food items. Ordinary butcher paper might contain chemicals and therefore put you and your family at risk.
  • Buy butcher paper that is strong and long-lasting. You will use it for several purposes, so you should get the strongest and most durable product.
  • Ordinary butcher paper cannot withstand moisture for a long time. But now you can find butcher paper that is more resistant to water. So, look for it instead of the ordinary one.
  • Butcher paper is affordable. The top-quality items are maybe a little more expensive, though. So, compare the cost of the best products and select your favorite type. 

With parchment paper, there are two types that you can find in most places; bleached and unbleached. The bleached parchment paper is white and contains chlorine. The unbleached parchment paper is brown and not treated with any chemical. While both are equally useful, most people recommend the unbleached variety. But it all comes down to personal choice because there is no proof that the bleached parchment is harmful.

You can find a lot of brands on the market. Some come highly recommended by experts and cooking enthusiasts. Hence, you can pick your preferred brand after considering the critical aspects like cost and durability.


As you have seen, both butcher paper and parchment paper are helpful for several purposes. However, parchment paper has a slight edge mainly for three reasons. It’s grease resistant, waterproof, and also heat resistant to a high degree. But as with everything else, everything comes down to personal choice. Thus, you can choose either of the two or both so that you can perform multiple tasks without lacking any type of kitchen paper.

About The Author

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James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.