If you are considering using any material available at home to line your dehydrator trays but have concerns about its safety, then this is the appropriate source of information for you.
Using a thin sheet to separate your sticky food from the trays of your dehydrator can save time and make the overall experience more pleasant, but it is important to ensure that the material used is suitable for use in a dehydrator environment.
Can you use wax paper in a dehydrator? You should not use wax paper in a dehydrator as there are far better alternatives, such as parchment paper or silicone sheets. Wax paper can melt in the dehydrator and fuse together with the foods you’re dehydrating. In addition to that, wax paper may also restrict proper airflow.
There are two primary reasons why wax paper is not suitable for use in a dehydrator, and it would be more beneficial to use an alternative. This article will explain the drawbacks of using wax paper and suggest a better substitute for dehydrating purposes.
What Is Wax Paper?
Wax paper, also called waxed paper or paraffin paper, is a thin piece of paper that has been covered with wax to make it resistant to moisture. It is frequently used for its non-stick qualities and can also be utilized to preserve food by preventing water from entering or leaving the food.
It is not recommended to use wax paper in ovens, grills, dehydrators, air fryers, or any other cooking appliances that are similar. The fact is that wax paper should not be heated as it is not suitable for this purpose. It has a very low smoke point, which implies that it will need much lower temperatures before it starts to emit smoke compared to parchment paper.
For more information on what can and cannot be placed in an oven, please visit our website.
Why Can’t I Use Wax Paper in My Dehydrator?
Having gained some knowledge about wax paper, it is important to delve deeper into the reasons why it is not suitable for lining dehydrator trays.
The wax will melt and stick to your food
Although food-grade wax paper is not harmful, it is advisable to refrain from consuming it as it may contain unknown chemicals and affect the flavor of the food it adheres to.
While the risk is low, it may combust.
Although the possibility of wax paper catching fire in a dehydrator is minimal, it is still worth noting that it has a lower smoke point and can ignite at lower temperatures compared to its alternative, parchment paper, which is designed to withstand high heat.
It can interfere with heat circulation
The main concept behind dehydrating food is to evenly dry out the ingredients by circulating heated air through the different layers of the device. Although wax paper does not completely hinder the circulation of air, it can still impede it to a certain extent.
Air-permeable materials are crucial to achieving uniform drying of the entire batch.
What’s the Difference Between Wax Paper and Parchment Paper?
While both wax and parchment paper are useful for simplifying kitchen clean-up and wrapping foods, in my opinion, parchment paper is superior to wax paper in terms of versatility and usefulness.
The reason why parchment paper can be used in both the oven and dehydrator is that it has the ability to withstand high temperatures, with most brands being able to tolerate up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit.
As long as the temperature is below the threshold, the parchment paper should not ignite or liquefy.
Wax paper has a soybean or paraffin wax coating, while parchment paper is coated with silicone, which makes it more suitable for cooking due to its non-stick and heat-resistant surface. However, wax paper is more appropriate for storing cooked food such as sandwiches, confections that need to cool down, and cookies that need wrapping.
While parchment paper doesn’t need extra oil to prevent food from sticking, wax paper may require some oil to avoid ingredients from sticking, which can be reduced to lower the fat and calorie content since oil is a high-fat product containing 9 calories per gram of fat.
It is possible to observe that parchment and wax papers are available in both brown and white colors, which indicates whether they have been bleached or not. The brown ones have not undergone the bleaching process, while the white ones have been treated with chlorine to enhance their brightness.
Opting for unbleached papers can be a good choice if you aim to limit or decrease the quantity of chemicals that enter your household.
So, Can You Use Parchment Paper in a Dehydrator?
Yes! You can certainly utilize parchment paper to line your dehydrator trays. In fact, I strongly recommend it as one of the best methods, second only to custom-made dehydrator sheets. Unlike wax papers, parchment papers can be reused multiple times too. Feel free to use the parchment paper as long as you deem it to be up to standards.
My recommendation is to use parchment paper in your dehydrator, and here’s why:
Parchment paper keeps food from falling through the trays
During the dehydration process, if your food is initially too big to fit through the holes in the tray, it may become small enough to do so towards the end of the process due to shrinkage caused by water-content drainage.
Certain foods have higher water content and tend to shrink more than others, which can cause them to slip through the gaps in the dehydrator. However, using parchment paper can prevent this issue as it provides a secure base for your food to rest on.
Parchment paper makes it easy to keep your dehydrator clean
When it comes to cleaning a dehydrator, the primary task is removing food residue from the trays, which can be a daunting and time-consuming process if left unattended. To avoid this hassle, using parchment paper can prevent food from sticking to the trays and save you from spending 30 minutes to an hour scrubbing them clean.
Just take out the paper from the dehydrator, remove the ingredients easily, and clean the tray by rinsing it with water and leaving it to dry.
Parchment paper won’t stick to dried food
When dehydrating, certain foods, particularly those high in sugar, have a tendency to stick to the trays. Although it’s not just sugary fruits that can stick; most foods can become stuck after hours in the dehydrator. However, using parchment paper makes removing food from the trays an effortless process that seldom requires any scraping.
What Else Can I Use in the Dehydrator Instead of Parchment Paper / Wax Paper?
After extolling the virtues of parchment paper for a considerable amount of time, it’s worth noting that there are other options available as well, given the vastness of the cooking market and the likelihood that there are alternatives to every product.
Regarding the use of lining dehydrator trays, there is another option that has not been discussed yet, which is a silicone dehydrator sheet. These sheets are less common than parchment paper and can be purchased online in mesh form to ensure proper circulation of warm air.
One of the notable features of these tray liners is their pliability, which allows for effortless removal of dehydrated fruits, jerky, and other foods.
They can be cut to fit any size and are reusable. They’re the best alternative but, as I said before, you may not have them at home. I do recommend getting a pack of these though. If you use your dehydrator on a regular basis, you will be pleased.
You can also check this video about “Can You Use Wax Paper in a Dehydrator?”
Check out our top 10 reviews!