Aluminum foil is a staple in nearly every kitchen, and for good reason. It is inexpensive, convenient, practical, and versatile.
There are lots of uses for aluminum foil, and many of them revolve around the oven.
But we want to know if you can put aluminum foil in the oven. Yes, it is safe to use aluminum foil in most ovens, but mainly when used in combination with a pan or baking sheet.
There are scenarios when using aluminum foil in your oven range is not a good idea, so read on to learn more…
All About Foil
Aluminum foil – sometimes called “tin foil,” even though it hasn’t been made of tin in over a century – is simply a very thin sheet of pure aluminum.
By definition, aluminum foil must be less than 0.2 millimeters in thickness.
Standard kitchen aluminum foils are usually around 0.016 millimeters thick, and heavy-duty foils are around 0.024 millimeters in thickness.
This means that they are flexible yet relatively strong.
Tinfoil can catch fire or melt, but this won’t happen in your oven at home.
The ignition point of aluminum foil is around 1220 degrees Fahrenheit (660 degrees Celsius).
The melting point is north of 2500 degrees Fahrenheit (1380 degrees Celsius), while very few home ovens go above 550 degrees.
Plus, in an electric oven, there is no potential source of ignition.
Foil has a long history in the food industry. Seventy-five percent of all the aluminum foil in the world is used in this space.
The rest is used in electronics and other electrical devices.
Fun Fact: In the United States, aluminum foil made its debut around packages of Life Savers candy.
Cooking With Aluminum Foil
Charry Brown, the Reynolds Test Kitchen senior manager, teaches us: “Sweet treat, parchment sheet. Grill or broil, go with foil. Messy prep or sticky candy, wax paper’s handy.”
Aluminum foil is great for making cleanup easy when you’re enjoying meaty, cheesy, or drippy food.
Use foil to line the pan when preparing ribs, wings, or any other juicy dish. This way, all you have to do to clean up is remove the foil and toss it away.
Pro Tip: Wait until the grease or juices have congealed to avoid spills. You will still have to wash the baking pan, but it will be much easier.
You can also use tin-foil to make tasty individual packets of food.
Just put your veggies, protein, and seasoning in the center of a square of foil, wrap it tightly, and then grill it or bake it. It will steam to perfection.
These packet meals are ideal when you’re camping, but they are fun any time.
They’re also great when one family member has an allergy or aversion because you can prepare their packet separately without the offending ingredient.
However, they’ll still feel like they’re eating the same meal as the rest of the family.
Is it Safe to Line Your Oven with Aluminum Foil?
Tinfoil makes cleaning up after messy meals easy, so many people want to take it one step further.
They line the entire bottom of their oven with aluminum foil so that they can throw it away instead of spraying or scrubbing down the oven.
While this seems as if it would be a great idea, it isn’t. It may change the way that heat is distributed in the oven, which will yield less-than-optimal results.
If you cover vents in the bottom of the oven, this restricts airflow.
Restricted airflow means less even temperatures and overall poorer performance from your oven range.
In addition, if heat reflects off the foil, and it probably will, this can not only overcook the food but also damage the oven’s electric heating elements.
The aluminum foil can also cause microscopic scratches on the oven’s enamel surfaces, and this will make it difficult to ever get the oven truly clean.
It is tempting to make cleanup easy, but placing aluminum foil on the bottom of your oven is inadvisable.
Instead, you can put a large baking tray – kitchen supply stores sell half-sheet aluminum trays at very reasonable prices – on the lower oven rack to catch drips and grease.
This isn’t quite as easy to clean up as a sheet of foil, but it’s still way more manageable than scrubbing down the oven.
You can also buy silicone oven liners that are specifically made for this purpose. These are non-reflective and will not interfere with the cooking process.
Oven liners are only suitable for use in electric or convection ovens, and they are made to go on the lower racks and not the bottom of the oven.
Wrapping It Up…
If you stick with using aluminum foil in an oven with a pan or tray you are safe. Don’t go overboard and decorate the entire inside of your range with tinfoil though.
Why deal with soggy leftover pizza reheated in the microwave when you can lay down a sheet of foil and crisp up those slices in the oven!