Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper: What Is The Difference?

butcher paper vs parchment paper

Butcher and Parchment papers are used to wrap large portions or large cuts of meat for storing, grilling and when smoking BBQ to help it cook faster. Although aluminum foil can also be used, many prefer these types of papers instead. It is very confusing for some to figure out which one is a Butcher paper and which one is a parchment paper because both are both are lightweight, brown in color and thin. In today’s post, we will help you identify the differences between Butcher paper vs parchment paper and how and when the papers are used.

The Difference between Butcher Paper vs Parchment Paper

The main difference between Butcher or parchment paper is that Butcher paper is more thicker, more absorbent as compared to parchment paper. Both papers can be distinguished in other factors such as types of each paper, usage, costs, production, as well as how each paper handles heat and moisture retention.

To be able to use these papers correctly, it is very important to understand and know their differences.

What is a Butcher paper?

Butcher paper is a thick kraft paper and durable paper used to wrap meat. It is made of Kraft pulp treated using caustic soda mixture making it resistant to tearing, therefore a great option to be used to grilled foods. It is used mostly by butchers to wrap the meat for selling that is why it is commonly found in meat shops. The purpose for wrapping it for purchase is to protect the meat from contaminants in the air.

There are 4 common types of Butcher paper: White butcher paper, Pink butcher paper, Peach treated butcher paper and Gardenia Butcher paper. Let us understand each type below:

White butcher paper

White butcher paper is type of butcher paper commonly used for in arts and crafts. These are uncoated papers and a great option to wrap sandwiches. It can also be used for as table covers.

Pink butcher paper

These are also known as Peach paper. It is the favorite amongst Pitmasters for grilling meats.

Peach Treated Butcher paper

Peach paper is similar to Pink Butcher paper but it more unique because it uses a sizing agent. The treatment makes the paper resistant to water thereby a good choice to used for grilling meats.

Gardenia Butcher paper

This type of Butcher paper wraps the meat to protect it from moisture from the outside.

Steak paper

Used to display steak and also used to wrap meats. It prevents the wrapped foods from being contaminated keeping the food moist and fresh always.

What is Parchment paper?

Parchment paper, also known as baking paper, is a strong paper that helps retain moisture and heat therefore a good choice to use for cooking, baking and grilling. It has a non stick surface and are grease and heat resistant paper. When used for grilling, parchment paper helps retain the flavor of the food.

Parchment paper has two main types: Bleached parchment paper and Unbleached parchment paper.

Bleached parchment paper

A type of parchment paper that is white in color because of chlorine treatment.

Unbleached parchment paper

A naturally colored type of parchment paper that is chlorine-free. Unbleached parchment paper is preferable to use than bleached parchment paper since it is non-toxic.

Butcher paper vs Parchment paper: What is the Difference?

Butcher paper and parchment are both used to wrap meat in different cooking process, however they both have their differences as well. Below are some of a few key differences between butcher paper and Parchment paper.


When it comes to permeability, butcher paper is more permeable as compared to parchment paper therefore butcher paper is a good choice to use for storing and wrapping raw meat as well as sandwiches.

On the other hand, parchment paper has lower permeability and less absorbent therefore it is best used for cooking and to line baking sheets for baked goods When parchment paper is used, the heat and moisture is retained as well at the juices and flavor of the food.


Butcher paper is thicker than parchment paper that is why Butcher paper is usually used when cooking large cuts of meat.

Even though parchment paper is thin, it is still strong enough as it does not melt nor tear even when it is exposed to extreme heat.

While with Butcher paper, it cannot be used in ovens and when grilling. It is commonly used to wrap raw meat rather.


As mentioned, butcher paper is used to wrap cuts of meat and fish as well as used to wrap sandwich. Butcher paper is used as such because it helps retain the flavor of the food and also helps protect the food the contaminants in the air. Butcher paper is also used in crafts.

Parchment paper on the other hand is used in cooking and baking process. It is grease and heat resistant, and can withstand high temperatures. When baking, parchment paper is usually use as baking sheets since it is non-stick.

Price and Cost

Although Butcher paper and Parchment paper are not expensive, butcher papers tends to be lesser in price as compared to Parchment paper.


Butcher paper and Parchment paper have their own different properties in making these papers.

For Butcher paper is generally made through Krafting. The paper pulp, caustic soda mixture and Sulfide are used. It makes the paper thick and strong enough to be resistant to tearing.

While with parchment paper, sulfuric acid, silicone coating and paper pulp are used. The silicone property in parchment paper prevents food to stick, lessen grease while at the same time keeping the food moist retaining its flavor.


Can you substitute butcher paper instead of Parchment paper as an alternative?

Yes you can substitute butcher paper for parchment paper even if butcher paper is used only to wrap meat. The recommended butcher paper to use as an alternative is the Pink butcher paper because the other types of butcher paper cannot tolerate high heat temperatures.

Can Butcher paper safe to use in the microwave?

Since Butcher paper has high heat threshold, it can withstand high temperatures although make sure the heat does not excess more than 500 degree Fahrenheit. Butcher paper can also be used in the oven but sill, watch out for super high temperatures it will burn.

Are the coatings on Butcher paper and Parchment paper makes it safe to use?

Yes, Butcher paper and Parchment paper are FDA approved. Although the coatings may contain chemicals, not to worry as these chemicals are safe and will not in any way get to your food.

Can I use parchment paper to freeze meat?

No, parchment paper is not recommended to be used as freezer paper, it will not keep the meat fresh since moisture will not be retained.

Whereas with butcher paper, it can be used to freeze the meat but not entirely reliable as a freezer paper.

Is it okay to grease parchment paper?

No, it is not recommended to grease parchment paper.

Does Parchment paper allows wrapped food to breathe?

Yes, parchment paper allows foods to breathe as compared to foil paper and plastic wrap.


Knowing the differences between butcher paper and parchment paper is important so that you will be able to know how to use each paper depending on the need and for its specific purpose. We hope that this guide has helped you understand their differences to know which paper suits you best.

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