Is Wax Paper Toxic When Smoked? [Can It Go In The Smoker?]

Smoking meat can be exciting and fun, but you might start before you realize you don’t have all the equipment you need for the entire smoking process. For example, you might forget something to wrap your meat in, and all you have in your kitchen is wax paper. Can you use wax paper for smoking meat?

Even though the wax paper is not toxic when eaten or burned, you should not use it to wrap your meat when you are smoking it. The wax on the paper will melt off the paper at high smoking temperatures, and the paper will burn. This will impact the texture and taste of your smoked meat.

is wax paper toxic when smoked

Wax paper is a common household item that most people own and use for regular cooking, but why shouldn’t you use this paper for smoking your meat? What alternatives should you use instead of wax paper to smoke your meat? Let’s find out!

Can Wax Paper Be Used In A Smoker?

When you are busy smoking your favorite cut of meat, like a brisket, it is very easy to get excited and start smoking it because you are excited about the delicious smoked meat. 

However, in the excitement, you might begin smoking before you know if you have all the tools and equipment you need or not. This can leave you rushing at the last minute to try and find substitutes for your missing equipment. 

One thing you might not have at the ready is something to wrap your brisket in halfway through the smoking to help keep it juicy and help avoid the stall. So, you go rummaging through your kitchen and find wax paper, and you wonder if you can use this for your wrap or not. 

Unfortunately, wax paper is not a good paper to use as a wrap for smoking. This is because the wax on the paper will begin to melt when placed in the high temperatures needed to smoke your meat. This wax will then stick to your meat and give it a slightly waxy texture. 

Once this wax coating on the paper has melted, the paper is left exposed to the heat and can start burning. This can increase the temperature in your smoker and mess with the cooking of your meat. 

Is Wax Paper Toxic?

If you have already used the wax paper to wrap your meat for smoking and you have experienced the wax paper burning in your smoker. You might be wondering if the wax paper is toxic, especially if the wax attaches itself to the meat you are trying to smoke.

The good news is wax paper is not toxic, and the wax used to make it is not toxic. Unfortunately, wax paper is not edible. But you will be fine if you consume a tiny bit of it or the wax. 

So, if you already used wax paper in your smoker, you can still eat your piece of smoked meat, but it might just have a different texture than you expected. 

Is Wax Paper Toxic When Burnt?

If you place wax paper in your smoker and the wax melts off the paper, the paper will begin to burn. When this paper burns, it releases a lot of smoke that is unpleasant to smell and can make you cough a bit when inhaled. 

This can cause you to worry about the meat in your smoker with this burning paper because what if it’s toxic and then burnt? However, the paper of wax paper is not harmful when burnt, so you can still eat your piece of meat once it’s done smoking if it was exposed to the smoke from the paper. 

However, wax paper should be avoided in the future when you want to wrap your meat while smoking it, as it will not do a good job at keeping your meat juicy, and it won’t help you avoid the stall. 

Better Wrap Material To Use For Smoking Meat

So, when you are smoking meat, you need to avoid wrapping it in wax paper as this could affect the texture and possibly the flavor of your smoked meat. 

Thankfully, there are other alternatives you can reach for that will not burn and affect your smoked meat and will keep your meat juicy and tender. The following materials are perfect for wrapping your meat into smoke, and they are pretty easy to find in your local store or at your butchers. 

Pink Butchers Paper

One of the papers you can use to wrap your piece of meat in to smoke it perfectly is pink butcher’s paper. Pink butchers’ paper is a semi-porous paper that won’t seal air and moisture in your meat completely, allowing for the formation of the crusty bark that everyone loves. 

This paper will keep your piece of meat juicy and tender and will not catch fire or have anything melt onto your meat that could affect its texture or flavor. This paper is easy to find at your local butchers and will ensure your meat perfectly comes out of the smoker. 

Butchers Paper

Butcher’s paper is like pink butchers’ paper, except it’s not pink in color, and it’s sometimes slightly thicker than the pink paper. This allows more moisture to stay with the meat as this paper is somewhat less porous. 

This means that if you use regular butchers paper, you are more likely to have some of the juices from the meat collected inside the paper that you can then use later as a glaze for the meat. 

Heavy-Duty Aluminium Foil

Heavy-duty aluminum foil is one of the best materials to wrap your meat in to help avoid the stall of the meat in the smoker. This is best used in low-heat smoking, though, as it traps a lot of moisture close to the meat, so the meat won’t develop a good crusty bark. 

However, this does mean that you will have a lot of juices left after smoking that you can then use to make a gravy or glaze for your meat when you serve it. 

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is akin to wax paper, but where wax paper is covered in wax, parchment paper is covered in a cellulose or silicone-based mixture that is non-stick, water-resistant, durable, and heat resistant. 

This means that nothing will melt or burn, and the paper will hold the juices close to your meat, ensuring it stays juicy and tender. 


Even though wax paper is not toxic, you should not use it to wrap your piece of meat during the smoking process as the wax will melt off the paper, and the paper will then burn. 

This can affect the taste, texture, and cooking time of your piece of meat. Rather use butcher’s paper or parchment paper to wrap your meat. 

Related Articles


Skip to content