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What is Freezer Paper?

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By Elizabeth Masterman

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You might have heard freezer paper mentioned on American TV shows or in American recipes. But what is freezer paper, and where can we get it in the UK?

What is Freezer Paper?

Freezer paper is a thick paper with a thin layer of plastic on one side, making it non-stick and moisture-resistant. It is traditionally used to wrap meat and cheese for freezer storage. The plastic side stops moisture from escaping from the food.

What Are the Benefits of Using Freezer Paper?

Freezer paper is helpful for wrapping pieces of meat, poultry, fish and cheese for storage in the freezer. It can be wrapped closely around the food, helping to prevent moisture from escaping. 

When moisture escapes from the food, it can become dehydrated, changing the texture and taste. This is known as freezer burn. Freezer paper can help prevent this.

Freezer burn isn’t dangerous and often can be easily removed or masked, but it is still better to avoid it if you can.

Freezer paper is also helpful for separating items for freezing, for example, a pile of burgers or a pack of chicken drumsticks. Foil can easily be ripped or pierced, whereas freezer paper is much more durable.

Freezer Paper Between Burger Patties

Another benefit is that you can write on the non-coated side, meaning that it’s easy to record what is in the parcel, how much and the date that you froze it.

But, What Are the Downsides to Using Freezer Paper?

Freezer paper can’t be used in the oven or microwave, as the plastic coating would melt and spoil the food. 

How Do You Use Freezer Paper?

If freezing meat, start by preparing it. This will not only make it easier to store but could help you later on when you come to use the meat. Remove any excess fat, which can increase the risk of freezer burn, and remove any small or sharp bones that could pierce the paper.

If you want to leave the bones in, for example in chicken pieces, pad any sharp points or edges with a crumpled-up ball of freezer paper.

Place the food item in the middle of the paper, on the plastic-coated side. Bring up two sides of the paper above the item, then fold the paper down on itself to enclose the item.

Turn the item over so the seam is underneath, then bring the two ends up and over the parcel and secure.

If you can, it is worth getting some freezer tape to secure the parcel, as this will give you the best chance of avoiding freezer burn. It is also recommended to double wrap your meat to make sure it is thoroughly protected.

Because the outer side has no coating, you can write on this paper side, so make sure you write what is in the parcel, how much and when you froze it.

Pork Chops for the Freezer in Freezer Paper

You could then take a further precaution by placing the tightly wrapped parcel into a sealable container or a zip lock bag.

Is Freezer Paper the Same as Parchment Paper?

Parchment paper, also known as baking paper, is not the same as freezer paper as it doesn’t have a plastic coating. Instead, it is coated in silicon on both sides to stop food from sticking to it, and is heat resistant, making it ideal for cooking and baking.

Wax paper (also known as paraffin paper) is coated with wax on both sides. Wax paper can be used for wrapping food for storage, including in the fridge or freezer, or for cooking food in the microwave, but shouldn’t be used in the oven as it will smoke and burn.

Greaseproof paper is different again. As the name suggests, greaseproof paper is impermeable to grease and oil, making it ideal for wrapping sandwiches and fatty foods like salami.

However, it doesn’t have a non-stick coating, so if you use it for baking it will need greasing with oil or butter beforehand.

What Can You Use Instead of Freezer Paper?

As we’ve seen above, other types of paper have different qualities and are helpful for different purposes. There is nothing that works in exactly the same way as freezer paper.

For example, foil and plastic wrap can be used to wrap items for freezing and will reduce moisture loss, but these can easily get torn or punctured.  

Another option would be to use parchment paper, as it allows to you wrap items up tightly and has the silicon coating to stop food sticking, but this type of paper hasn’t got the plastic coating, so won’t stop moisture from escaping from your food, leaving it vulnerable to freezer burn.

Freezer bags are a good idea, but for the best results, use these in combination with freezer paper. Wrap the items securely in two layers of freezer paper and then place the package inside a freezer bag.

If you’re left with additional questions about freezer paper, then have a look over these FAQs:

Where Can I Buy Freezer Paper in the UK?

Freezer paper isn’t commonly used in the kitchen in the UK, so doesn’t appear on supermarket shelves. However, it is used widely for crafting, particularly in quilting and stencilling, so some craft shops sell it. Otherwise, it is best to source it online.

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