Can you put aluminum foil in the oven? This is still a controversial question that has been debated to this day. Due to the different usage and baking goods, the experience of each person may not be the same.
Are you wondering if aluminum foil is appropriate for the meals you’re about to serve? Allow me to walk you through this article for a better understanding.
What Is Aluminum Foil Actually?
While foil is a thin sheet that can be made by almost any metal in general, aluminum is the most common material to produce foil thanks to its recyclability and safety. You may mistake aluminum foil with tin foil; however, it won’t cause you many consequences.
For a straightforward answer, aluminum foil – also known as household foils – is a type of paper that is produced by aluminum. The average thickness of aluminum foil ranges from 6 micrometers (0,24 mils) to 0.2 mm (8 mils), depending on the specific types.
However, the most recommended thickness for household foil is around 0.016mm (0,63 mils), up to 0,024mm (0,95 mils) for heavy-duty (1) . You should be able to distinguish heavy-duty aluminum foil from regular ones to know which product is best suited for your needs.
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Due to the extremely thin construction, aluminum foil today is usually coated on one side with plastic or paraffin wax – which makes a dull side of the foil. These additives help promote the tear resistance of the foil and prevent it from sticking to itself.
Good News: Aluminum Foil Is Oven-Safe
While the answer to “Should aluminum foil be put in microwaves” is quite complicated to explain, you only need to examine aluminum foil’s heat tolerance to know if it’s oven-safe.
The limit temperature of aluminum foil is significantly high, over 1200 degrees, while the maximum heat of most thermal ovens is around 500 to 550 degrees. Therefore, aluminum foil totally can’t be burned in the oven.
However, there are things that you should avoid when cooking with aluminum foil in the oven. Depending on the cooking method, either your food or your oven may give a bad reaction to aluminum foil. Without any further chatting, let’s get right into the answer for each method.
The Correct Methods To Cook With Aluminum Foil In The Oven
According to the previous section, you may know that aluminum foil can actually be used in the oven. However, it’s best to avoid using it in the wrong way and ruining your meals. Here are some proper ways to use aluminum foil in the oven.
Aluminum foil is the best choice to wrap your foods in the oven during the cooking process. There are 3 ways that you can wrap your food with aluminum foil before putting them into the oven.
The first way is to fully wrap your foods, usually used in baking meats and vegetables. Since aluminum foil will lock the moisture inside the package, your foods will retain their tenderness and juice.
The second way is to wrap the bottom part, usually used for broiling poultry. In this way, you will be able to brown the surfaces of the food while keeping all the grease or liquid inside your wrapping.
The last way is to wrap some particular parts of your food to avoid overcooking or dryness. This method is usually used in baking poultry thighs to keep the thin parts from being overcooked.
An easy and effective way to wrap turkey with aluminum foil before baking.
Unlike the wrapping method, all you do in this method is simply add a layer of aluminum foil on top of your food as a loose lid.
Not only that the aluminum foil will prevent the outer surfaces of your food from burning before the interior is cooked, but the foods that are cooked in this way will retain more moisture.
Therefore, I highly recommend this method for baking poultry breast and grilling brisket in your oven for a tender and juicy taste.
However, you should keep in mind that using aluminum foil to cook your food will affect whether it’s possible to recycle aluminum foil. So you might need to take that in mind if you consider yourself an environmentalist.
With Parchment Paper
You can combine aluminum foil with parchment paper to eliminate almost all the drawbacks they have. While parchment paper is non-stick but has high heat resistance, aluminum foil can play the role of the heat conductor and the crutch.
Some say you can use wax paper as a best-matched replacement for parchment paper. However, I doubt wax paper’s suitability with ovens, as sometimes it can pose hazards if you don’t know how to use wax paper correctly. So just stick to parchment paper.
To grill poultry or greasy meats, add a layer of parchment paper below the aluminum foil so that they can prevent leakage. The non-stick feature of parchment paper will keep your aluminum foil from sticking to the oven rack and as a result, cleaning is easier.
Also known as baking paper, parchment paper is a great liner for cookies. You can also place them above aluminum foil to bake cookies in order to reduce the baking time and make the bottom side crispier.
Whether it is parchment paper or aluminum foil, you can reuse the bottom layer without any hesitation.
The Incorrect Ways Of Using Aluminum Foil In Oven
Though aluminum foil is proven to be oven-safe, using it in the wrong way can either ruin your foods or damage the oven. Thereby, avoid using these methods with aluminum foil in your oven.
Lining The Bottom Of The Oven
If you or any of your beloved people are doing this, don’t let it happen again; this is among the worst things to do to your ovens and baking dishes. Having the bottom of the oven lined with aluminum foil can cause many consequences.
Many people use aluminum foil to line the bottom of ovens to collect all the leakage in order to make the cleaning job easier. However, most of the conventional ovens have heat sources at the bottom of them, which prevents you from lining.
Since aluminum can reflect heat, using foil this way in the long term can hugely damage your oven heat source.
Another drawback of aluminum foil is that it can be stuck into the porcelain surface at the bottom of your oven, which turns out that cleaning the oven will take more of your time removing the stuck pieces.
Lining the bottom with aluminum foil can bring huge damage to your oven.
Lining Or Wrapping The Bottom Rack
To minimize the risk of the previous method, many people recommend using aluminum foil to warp or line the bottom rack of the oven. This seems to be a better option if you want to use aluminum foil as a liner to collect all the spillages.
However, another problem arises – heat distribution. So the heat distribution will be uneven if you wrap or line the bottom rack with aluminum foil.
Therefore, your oven will take more time to cook, and your food will be cooked unevenly as well. Moreover, aluminum foil can reflect the heat and damage the heat source of your oven.
Using With Acidic Food
Using aluminum foil in the ovens is not a wise option to cook your acidic foods such as lemon, vinegar, or tomato. Since the acid will give some chemical reaction to aluminum when heating, it can bring some bad consequences.
The first problem is that your food will alter in taste. You may feel some metal taste in your tomato sauces if you baked them in the oven with aluminum foil.
Even if you can stand the metal taste, your body may not be happy with it. Heating food attached with aluminum foil will contaminate them; therefore, you’re accidentally consuming aluminum – which I’ll cover further in the next section.
If you insist on using aluminum foil with recipes that include acidic ingredients, the best advice is to layer parchment paper between your foods and the foil.
The Risk Of Consuming Aluminum
Aluminum is a metal that already exists in the human body, mostly in blood and bones. So it is somehow safe if you’re accidentally consuming a small amount of aluminum. A person with 60 kilograms in weight can withstand up to 24g of aluminum (2) .
However, having more aluminum than necessary causes some symptoms, such as bones or muscle pain. Having an excessive amount of aluminum in a long time can greatly damage your renal function.
Although the dull side of the foil can prevent food from contaminated aluminum, it appears that the protection is less effective while heating. Thereby, cooking meats that are wrapped by foil can increase 375% of the aluminum concentrated in them (3) .
Substitutes For Aluminum Foil In The Oven
To avoid such huge consequences of aluminum foil, you can use many other utensils instead.
Don’t mistake parchment paper with butcher paper. Parchment paper provides a better level of nonstick. However, it’s also notable for flammability since the maximum heat it can bear is 450 degrees. So if you tend to use parchment paper in place of aluminum foil, you better note that.
Instead of making a tray or bowl with aluminum foil, you can definitely put an actual baking pan into the oven.
Other pan types can work well in the oven, but it’s obvious that you can’t use the ones that have plastic handles.
If you don’t mind cleaning, to collect the leakages of the food, you can use baking trays instead of aluminum foil, with even better results.
For some particular food that needs the crispy crust such as croissant or pizza, it is unnecessary to use foil at all. As long as the dough isn’t too limp, you can simply place these baked goods directly onto your oven rack without causing any problem.
For the best liner in the oven, you should use the silicone liner. The advantages of this kitchen tool include high heat resistance, nonstick, and easy-to-clean. Since the silicone liner doesn’t reflect the heat, it should be fine if you use it to line the bottom of the oven.
How to use the oven rack correctly for the best-baked goods.
Are you still hesitant to use aluminum foil in the oven? Your ponderings will be eliminated with some of the most asked questions below.
Is It Safe To Use Aluminum Foil In The Oven?
Depending on how you use the aluminum foils, there are safe and risky cases to put them in the oven. I’m positive that through this article, you have learned how to use aluminum foil in the oven correctly.
Even if you’ve accidentally used the incorrect way in the past, you’re now having the solution for the next time you tend to use aluminum foil in the oven.
Share this article with your beloved households so that they can bake foods with aluminum foil in the right way! Also, don’t forget to let me and other readers know about your experiences with aluminum foil. I believe that you may have some helpful tips to tell!
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Aluminium foil – Wikipedia.
- Inchem.org. 2021.
- PMC, E., 2021. Europe PMC. [online] Europepmc.org.
Table of Contents
- What Is Aluminum Foil Actually?
- Good News: Aluminum Foil Is Oven-Safe
- The Correct Methods To Cook With Aluminum Foil In The Oven
- The Incorrect Ways Of Using Aluminum Foil In Oven
- The Risk Of Consuming Aluminum
- Substitutes For Aluminum Foil In The Oven
- Is It Safe To Use Aluminum Foil In The Oven?