You might think that butcher paper and freezer paper are the same things. Let’s face it, there are an overwhelming number of papers for kitchen use and it’s hard to keep track. From wax paper to parchment paper to butcher paper to freezer paper, what is the difference?
Do butcher paper and freezer do the same thing? Is one better than the other? How are they different? These are all loaded questions but what you need to know is they are not the same. Butcher paper and freezer paper could be interchangeable at times, but they were designed with different purposes in mind.
Don’t get too caught up in the details. That’s why we’re here. There is no need for you to scratch your head and try to figure out the differences or try to determine just which one you need and when.
We’ve created a simple guide to break it down for you and we have everything you need to know about each product and what it is best used for.
We will cover butcher paper and freezer paper on individual levels and then we will summarize the primary differences in an overview.
Keep reading to learn all of the details about freezer paper vs. butcher paper and how they compare.
A Comparison of Butcher Paper and Freezer Paper
Butcher paper and freezer paper serve different purposes and we’re here to break down all of those details for you. We feel it will be most essential to cover each type of paper on an individual level and then round it out with an overview that will give you a summary that is easy to understand.
Butcher paper is what is commonly known as kraft paper. As the name would suggest, this type of paper was originally intended to provide butchers with a paper that could wrap up their various meats and then distribute or sell them.
Our favorite butcher paper by far is this one on Amazon.
Butcher paper is thick and is great to preserve whatever is wrapped inside. It’s foldable and heavy and is an inexpensive storage method. It’s often sold in a roll so it was easy to buy in bulk and tear or cut off an appropriately sized strip as needed.
This paper is made from kraft pulp and is heavy-duty. It can come in either white or reddish/brown color. Sometimes the paper feels grainy or coarse to the touch because of the materials it is made from.
Think brown paper bag but typically much thicker and even more sturdy. You should also know that butcher paper used in food wrapping or storing methods should be FDA approved.
While the original purpose of butcher paper was to wrap meat from the butcher stand, there are now a lot of uses for butcher paper.
Here are a few examples:
- Arts and crafts
- Packing china or glass items
- Newspapers and other forms of print
- Wrapping deli delights
- Wrapping meats for smoking, particularly at BBQ competitions
- Advertising purposes
- Tray and table liners
These are just a few uses for butcher paper but it is easy to find and easy to buy and it works well for a number of things.
If you’re not looking to use butcher paper for food products, you can buy the cheapest selection and have a giant roll at your service.
If you are using butcher paper for food purposes, ensure that it is FDA-approved for food contact. Either way, it’s still relatively inexpensive and it always comes in bulk.
Butcher paper is still used by butchers across the globe. If you have meat processed on your own, you might receive meat that is wrapped in butcher paper when you get it. It is usually wrapped to side and taped or sealed in some manner for protection.
You can freeze meat that is wrapped in butcher paper and it will protect your meat from freezer burn or other adverse effects of the freezer as well.
You will find that freezer paper might be the best alternative for freezing meat but ultimately butcher paper does work. There are virtually no limitations to butcher paper and what it can do for you.
Freezer paper is more commonly mistaken for wax paper than butcher paper because it closely resembles wax paper.
While butcher paper is thick and coarse, freezer paper is somewhat thin and it is coated in a plastic layer that gives it a waxy appearance and feel.
The best freezer paper I’ve found by far is this one from Amazon.
However, freezer paper is not wax paper. Wax paper is coated on both sides while freezer paper is only coated on one side. Additionally, freezer paper is different from parchment paper as parchment paper has no coating at all.
Freezer paper is great for freezing foods, particularly meats and seafood options. Freezer paper’s unique makeup with the wax coating on one side preserves the meat and protects it from freezer burn.
Freezer paper is the optimal way to freeze meats because it holds in the juices. The idea is that juices from the meat will not seep through the paper or leak out and make a mess. Unfortunately, butcher paper doesn’t have this quality.
To use freezer paper, you wrap your meat or items with the waxy side on the inside (touching the meat).
The wax protects whatever is wrapped inside and holds in the moisture to prevent freezer burn or anything else you might want to protect it from.
Since only one side is wax coated, the exterior side can be written on so you can notate a date and what is inside of the wrapping. You can tape down the paper to keep it sealed. You can also wrap it in foil or store it in a freezer bag as well.
Freezer paper is not as easy to find as some options and we think that is because of lack of knowledge as to what freezer paper can do and how it should be used so it simply is not purchased as much as other types of paper.
However, for freezing purposes, freezer paper is your best option.
Butcher Paper vs Freezer Paper Overview
So the question is how do these papers compare to one another.
In short, these papers really don’t compare to one another. Aside from the fact that they are both a type of paper and they are both often used with meat, they actually serve quite different purposes.
Here are some of the major differences between freezer paper and butcher paper:
- Freezer paper is wax coated on one side to hold in juice and preserve meat like venison
- Butcher paper is thick and sturdy
- Butcher paper is inexpensive and comes in a large roll while freezer paper is more expensive and comes in a roll similar to wax paper
- Freezer paper is more closely relatable to wax paper and parchment paper
- Butcher paper freezes fine but will not hold in the juices of the meats
Ultimately, there is really no comparison. Butcher paper is great for use in crafting or even lining trays and tables and making wrap paper as well. Butcher paper even works well for butchered meat wrapping.
Essentially when it comes to freezing, freezer paper is the no-brainer and butcher paper really is not comparable.
As you consider which one you need to keep in mind that they both serve their own unique purpose and they can both come in quite handy for different needs.
We hope that you have found this guide to be helpful in differentiating between butcher paper and freezer paper and that you fully understand what each one is best used for and what circumstances one might be superior to another.
We’ve created a question and answer section that could potentially provide you with valuable information and we invite you to check it out to see if it may be helpful for you.
Can You Use Butcher Paper or Freezer Paper in the Oven?
Butcher paper is safe to use in the oven and is a viable option if you have no other paper available. However, using foil or parchment paper is much better suited than butcher paper for oven purposes.
Because of the waxy coating of freezer paper, it is not recommended to use it in the oven or during cooking processes. Freezer paper is best used for freezer storage purposes.
Is Freezer Paper Better than Freezer Bags?
When it comes to freezing meats, freezer paper is your ideal solution that will work best as it holds in the juices and preserves the meat. However, you can place your freezer paper wrapped items into a freezer bag and extend the preservation even longer.
When it comes to freezing non-meat items, freezer bags are typically the best solution.
Can I Use Paper Bags as Butcher Paper?
Some paper bags are made out of butcher paper material. If you are going to use paper bags as a replacement for butcher paper you should be mindful of what you are wrapping. For instance, butcher paper used to wrap foods should be FDA approved.
If you’re looking into the best tools for processing and packaging meat, you’ll want to take a look at our article featuring the best meat tenderizers.