People know how essential freezer paper is when storing meats in the freezer. Also known as butcher paper, this thick, durable, and slightly translucent paper helps keep the quality, flavor, and nutrition of the food while preventing it from losing moisture.
But what if freezer paper ran out in your nearby grocery? What if you forgot to bring one during an out of town trip? What other alternatives can you use? Here we will discuss the other paper substitutes you can use that are just as good as freezer paper.
All About Freezer Paper
People tend to confuse freezer paper, wax paper, and parchment paper. For those unfamiliar, freezer paper is heavy-duty paper with a plastic coating on one side that seals in moisture. When wrapping foods, the plastic coating side must face the food, while the plain side must face outside. Keeping the plain side on the outside allows you to label the wrapped food and easily find it in the freezer for future use.
Freezer paper is best for storing foods, especially with cuts of meat in the freezer. They make better storage than plastic containers since plastic container leaves some air around the meat, making it prone to frost and freezer burn.
So, if you’re looking for the best storage to keep a steak for longer, freezer paper might be your best bet. Just seal it inside a plastic freezer bag, keep the freezer below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and your steak can stay fresh for up to a year! (Learn How Long Does It Take To Freeze Juice)
Common Freezer Paper Alternative
While freezer paper is great, it might not always be available, especially if you’re going out of town. If you don’t have one at the moment, here are some of the most commonly used alternatives for freezer paper you can use:
Aluminum foil is a great substitute for freezer paper since it can withstand hot and cold temperatures. Its durability and flexibility make it suitable for freezing, baking, cooking, and reheating. The best part? You can use it up to two to three times before you throw it away, making it a cost-efficient wrapper.
Another affordable option, wax paper, is thin yet durable, which makes it an excellent wrapper for storing food. However, compared to other substitutes, wax paper isn’t that flexible and can easily tear if you wrap it around the food or when it gets squeezed in the freezer. Unlike other papers, the wax paper needs something sharp such as a box cutter in good condition to cut it, as dull ones will only rip it.
Like wax paper, parchment paper might be thin, but it’s very durable. Also known as baking paper, they can protect various food items, preventing them from sticking together, such as burger patties, fish, fish fillets, and the like. Since it’s pliable, they make an excellent wrapper for sushi rolls, sandwiches, and the like.
The only problem is parchment paper doesn’t stick to itself, and you will need a piece of tape to seal it. For utmost safety, wrap it in layers to ensure a tight seal.
Using a kitchen towel as a freezing paper substitute may be odd, but it works. Kitchen towels can help prevent freezer burn and keep your food items fresher for longer. While they work best for baking, kitchen towels also work great for wrapping cakes and pies. Make sure you go for durable ones since they are prone to tearing apart when not handled well.
Yes, baking mats can also double as a butcher paper substitute. If you didn’t know, baking mats could help keep food from adhering to baking sheets while enduring different temperatures. This means they aren’t just great for oven use, but also in the freezer. By wrapping your meat in a baking mat, you can ensure its safety and freshness without losing moisture.
Plastic wraps make a great storage container when storing foods in the refrigerator or freezer. However, plastic wrap does not prevent moisture loss, especially when keeping cheese and meat for long, which can lead to contamination. (Read Do Custard Donuts Need To Be Refrigerated)
Greased Baking Sheet
Mainly used for baking, a greased baking sheet also makes a great alternative for freezer paper. It can tolerate temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, although it cannot hold too sticky food items. They are also relatively cheap, making them a cost-efficient and great alternative.
You can go for tightly packed storage containers for a good substitute that involves no waste. Just ensure it is airtight enough to keep the dry air of the freezer away from the stored food so it won’t get contaminated.
Paper bag as storage food? Yes, you can use them! You can use a paper bag as a butcher paper alternative in certain situations if you don’t have any of the abovementioned substitutes. Since it’s made out of paper, they are less durable than the other options and can easily break once dripped in water.
Freezer Paper vs. Wax Paper
You can only tell the difference between these two if you frequently use them. The difference is that freezer paper is only coated on one side with plastic, while the wax paper is coated on both sides with wax.
Because of the coating, freezer paper tends to be more durable than wax paper since it can keep the meat and other goods from the freezer burn for up to a year. Wax paper can only keep food items from being burnt for a few months, making it unsuitable for long-term storage.
Freezer Paper vs. Parchment Paper
Though they may look alike, it can be pretty easy to tell the difference between them. Freezer paper is thicker than parchment paper, and it has a coating. Its thickness makes it a heavy-duty material, even stronger than aluminum foil.
Based on its name, freezer paper can withstand high temperatures and is meant for colder environments, while parchment paper is more on being used for heating or cooking. People usually use parchment paper to reheat food in the microwave or oven.
Freezer Paper vs. Aluminum Foil
Freezer paper and aluminum foil are completely different, but they offer great features. Both are moisture-resistant and help prevent freezer burn, but the difference is aluminum foil can be cleaned and reused. You also don’t have to use freezer tape when securing the food.
Other Uses of Freezer Paper
Apart from kitchen use, there are whole other things you can do with butcher paper. Here are some:
Butcher paper for applique
You can use freezer paper to help cut out complicated shapes. Since some templates are pretty tricky to draw around, freezer paper can help pin them in place.
Butcher paper for felt cutouts
Like applique, felt also has fuzzy nature making it difficult to draw complicated shapes with pens. But with the help of freezer paper, it allows you to draw on the paper directly, that allows detailed shapes to be cut. (Learn How Long Does Puff Pastry Last In The Freezer)
Butcher paper for clothing labels
Yes, you can also use freezer paper to make clothing labels from a printer! By simply cutting a piece of freezer, ironing it, then feeding it through your printer, you can get your own clothing labels.
Butcher paper for sewing
Freezer paper has many crafty uses when sewing. Some include using it instead of tracing paper when tracing patterns, ironing freezer paper pattern pieces onto the fabric, and quilt piercing. Compared to other uses, you can use waxed paper as an alternative if you run out of freezer paper for sewing.
Defrosting in Freezer Paper
The only downside of freezer paper is that you only have a limited way of defrosting your meat. The only proper way to defrost food stored in freezer paper is to transfer them to your refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
Can I Reuse Freezer Paper?
You can’t reuse freezer paper if we’re talking about kitchen and storage use. Reusing freezer paper makes it prone to foodborne illnesses, which you don’t want to risk.
But when it comes to sewing and crafty uses, yes, you can freely reuse it as many times as you want!
Freezer paper is more than just for wrapping food; it offers many uses in your home. From making clothing labels to sewing purposes, it’s an all-around kitchen product you can use daily. That’s why we understand if you’ll look for a good alternative when you run out of it in your house.
We hope the list of butcher paper alternatives can be helpful in case you can’t get hold of freezer paper. Here’s your sign to stock up on it so you won’t have to rely on alternatives when preparing and storing food again!