Tin Foil: Can I Use It In The Oven?

We’ve all come across tinfoil, or aluminum foil as it is also called, somewhere in our lives.

Those shiny long sheets that fascinates any child.

There’s heaps of uses for it all around the kitchen, and even around the house.

But can you use tin foil in the oven?

Yes, you can. Tin foil is safe to use in the oven and can withstand the heat. There is, however, some research suggesting that tin foil shouldn’t come into direct contact with food while heated due the possibility of aluminum contamination.

To learn a bit more about tin foil and it’s pros and cons, just keep on reading!

In this article I will discuss:

What is tin foil?

Tin foil, or aluminum foil, is a sheet of very thin aluminum. 

Large slabs of aluminum are rolled flat until the process produces thin sheets with a diameter less than 0.2 mm (0.0079 inches). These are sized in the correct widths and rolled up to produce the rolls of tin foil we see in the shops.

Can you use tin foil in the oven?

Yes, tin foil, or aluminum foil as it is also called, can be safely used in the oven.

These sheets have a melting point of 660°C/1220°F, which is well above the temperature of normal oven use.

Should you use tin foil in the oven?

We’ve seen you can use tin foil in the oven.

But SHOULD you use tin foil in the oven?

That’s a bit of a different question.

With just a little research you will find that there are opposing views when it comes to how safe it is and the possible impact on your health.

Some suggest aluminum can leach into food, especially when it’s in direct contact with the food while in the oven.

We all know aluminum is a metal and although you need aluminum in your diet in very small quantities, getting overdoses in your food is not prefered.

There are, however, many that say there is no risk of aluminum poisoning whilst others say the amount of aluminum that leaches into foods are at levels that pose no health risk.

At the end of the day it’s you that needs to decide whether you’re going to use it or not.

Some of the uses for tin foil around the kitchen

Since the first production of these shiny strips of genius in 1903, there has been numerous uses for it.

One of the first was actually for wrapping chocolate bars in Switzerland!

Other uses include cleaning the grill, polishing silverware, lining drawers and protect your head from harmful alien mind-control.

The pros and cons of tin foil

As with anything in life, tin foil has its pros, but also its cons.

Pros

  • Tin foil helps keep moisture in food and limits food drying out while cooking as well as afterwards.
  • It help prevent burning by reflecting away heat from covered areas compared to uncovered areas.
  • When used to line cookware it saves time on the washing and cleaning part of the job.
  • Tin foil is 100% recyclable.

Cons

  • Tin foil is mostly a use-once product and is discarded afterwards, so you do produce some waste. On the upside, though, as mentioned earlier, tin foil is 100% recyclable. In fact, recycling tin foil saves approximately 95% of the energy that would’ve been used to produce the foil from raw materials.
  • There’s the possibility that aluminum may leach into foods that’s in direct contact with the foil when cooking.
  • Tin foil tears easily. When intact, it can take some strain, but when it gets punctured or torn even a little, it tears very easily from there. So you have to work carefully with tin foil so as not to cause tears that will reduce the foil’s effectiveness.
  • As mentioned before, it’s preferable for tin foil not come into direct contact with food. We also said that it reduces the chances of food burning. On the downside, though, tin foil isn’t non stick. So although it will help reduce the chances of burning, when in direct contact with food, the food surface in contact with the foil may burn onto the foil and stick. It’s not the end of the world, though, because the foil itself will get discarded afterwards and no major burning, especially deeper burning, of food will occur.

Conclusion

Tin foil is certainly a versatile tool in and around the kitchen. Most households use it and have done so for many years and even decades.

Whether you use it for cooking and baking, as we’ve shown you can do, or other things, it’s certainly worth it having a roll closeby!