When you want to cook without making a lot of mess, aluminum foil usually becomes your first choice to use. That is why it might be surprising for you to see this question in the first place. How often do you put aluminum foil in the oven? Can you use aluminum foil in the oven whenever you want?
The answer to the question in the title is of course a “yes” but, there are some pieces of advice for your health. First, we will be refreshing our minds to remember how we use aluminum in the oven.
The Most Common Ways to Use Tin Foil
As you can see, we have used the term “tin foil” instead of “aluminum foil” because they are the same thing. With its affordability, aluminum foil is not only our favorite but also restaurants as well. Do you remember how the restaurant sent your food the last time you ordered chicken or meat? They usually use aluminum foil pans to keep the food juicy and hot. How about the way you use aluminum foil in the oven? Can you put aluminum foil pans in the oven? We will be answering these questions shortly.
1. Covering the Top of the Food
Growing up in a Turkish family, I got used to seeing an aluminum foil over the chicken or the fish in the oven. And, I asked my mom why she is using it, she told me that it is to keep the food juicy. Aluminum foil actually prevents food from getting dry by reflecting the heat. Whenever my mom cooks something with a stewpan, she covers the top with aluminum foil so that the vegetables don’t get burned.
2. Wrapping around the Food
After having a nice meal, it is the easiest way to wrap the leftovers with aluminum foil. In this way, you won’t have to use another dish to reheat your meal and it won’t take time either. If you need to do some work before eating, aluminum foil will keep your food warm as well.
3. Putting it directly on the Oven Rack
While you are making a toast or pizza in the oven, you may not want to make the baking tray dirty. Instead, you can put the aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven rack and put the toast above it. In this way, you will prevent the oven from getting dirty and you won’t spend an extra dish.
4. Putting in on the Bottom of the Oven Rack or Oven itself
Because aluminum doesn’t touch the food directly, the main goal is to keep the oven clean at this point. When the food spills, the aluminum prevents it to spill on the oven itself.
5. Covering the Baking Sheet
This is probably the healthiest way to wrap your food because your food won’t touch the foil directly. In this way, you will keep your oven clean and your food juicy.
6. Heating by Using Aluminum Foil Pan
Aluminum foil pan is something I am familiar with because I tend to order food online. When the delivery becomes late and the food gets colder, it is an easy way to reheat your food with an aluminum foil pan. They are less risky than using aluminum foil itself because there won’t be any cracking or spilling.
We have mentioned the most common ways to use aluminum foil but, do we recommend all of them? We don’t recommend most of these tactics for your own health and we will be telling you why.
What is Wrong with the Way We Use Aluminum Foil?
The fact that you can use aluminum foil in the oven doesn’t mean you should. Using too much aluminum foil with your food might be dangerous for your health. Or, the way you use the foil might break your oven.
A human can take 40 mg of aluminum per kilogram to their bodies daily. In other words, I can take 2600 mg of aluminum per day because I weigh 65 kg. However, when you overdose on the intake of aluminum, this can damage your brain cells. Aluminum is not only available in aluminum utensils but also in foods and drinks like tea, spices, and corn. That is why you might be taking more aluminum into your body than you think.
Other than those utensils and foods, how about the aluminum teapots and pans you use in your kitchen? They also contain a high amount of aluminum. Whenever we eat something that is wrapped with aluminum, we are in danger of taking too much aluminum into our bodies. Here are some tips about not to do while using aluminum foil.
1. Don’t Wrap Your Food with Aluminum Directly
When you directly wrap the tin foil around your food, the foil might leach into your food and you might eat a chicken wing that is seasoned with aluminum. Although aluminum foil might be innocent while you store your food with it in the fridge, it is dangerous when it comes to the oven. Cooking spicy or acidic foods or cooking at high temperatures makes it easier for aluminum to leach into your food. However, some studies revealed, that this actually has no effects on healthy adults. You can read the news article using this link.
Instead of using aluminum foil while storing your food, it is healthier to keep it in a glass container. As for wrapping your food to cook, you can use the 5th method we have told earlier. By wrapping your food with a baking sheet and using aluminum foil to cover it, you will be eliminating the risks. There are special baking sheets that are wrapped with aluminum foil for this purpose as well.
2. Don’t Put the Foil on the Oven Rack or Oven itself Alone
Aluminum might seem innocent, but it is very dangerous. When you put foil directly on the oven itself, it might get stuck to the surface because of the heat. As a result, it will be harder to clean and it might give cosmetic damage to your oven. Besides, if you put foil on the oven itself or on the oven rack, you will cause the food to cook unevenly. You won’t want that to happen if you are making cookies. 🙂 You can also use aluminum foils in roaster ovens safely by sticking to the guidelines in this article. If you are interested, you can check our article on oster roaster oven or our best roaster oven reviews.
There is no need to go farther and fare worse. If you clean the spills after you have finished cooking, there won’t be any problem left. Besides, you won’t have to pay for another oven eventually.
3. Use Baking Tray to Cook Food
Even if you worry about your oven to get dirty, it might be worse you only use aluminum foil. It will not only disrupt the heating cycle, but it might also leave you hungry. What if the aluminum foil rips apart suddenly? All the food will be spilled on the ground and it will get dirtier. The safest way is to use a baking tray while you can.
Aluminum foil has an important place in our kitchens thanks to its affordability and versatility. However, it is better to be careful while using it because it can trigger some health issues at some point. For your safety, it is better not to put aluminum foil directly into your oven or on your food.
As for me, I never use aluminum foil while cooking. Instead, I prefer those baking sheets which are covered by aluminum foil. If there is no such product at the market, you can create the same effect by wrapping the foil around the baking sheet.
We hope that this article has taken your interest. For further questions, feel free to write a comment. 🙂
This is Merve from the JarKitchen Team. I am a freelance content specialist, and I like cooking different recipes in my free time. During the pandemic, I have had plenty of time to practice my cooking skills and cooking turned out to be a hobby for me.