These Aluminum Foil Uses Are Not Advised

There are a few things that should absolutely not be done with it.

Since way back in 1926, when the U.S. Foil Company introduced aluminum foil to the world, the handy product has been a staple in Southern kitchens. It's an incredibly useful kitchen tool for making quick-cook dinner packets, throwing over the top of a turkey before it gets too dark, or tenting over a casserole while it's in transport. While foil can do a lot, there are a few instances where its use is not advised.

Here are six things you should never do with aluminum foil:

Line Your Cookie Sheets

Foil can certainly help your butterscotch or lemony butter cookies not stick to your baking tray, but it is not an ideal solution. That's because foil is such a good heat conductor that any part of the dough that is resting on it will cook more quickly than the rest of the dough. That can mean overcooked or burnt bottoms and undercooked tops. Instead, opt for parchment paper or a reusable pan liner.

Line Your Oven with Foil

Very few people enjoy cleaning ovens, but lining your oven with foil is not a great solution to this aggravating chore. Lining your oven with foil can block the heat from circulating properly, reflect heat back onto the heating elements, leading to damage, and, if you're cooking with gas, block or interfere with the flame. Even aluminum foil maker Reynolds discourages the practice, saying it can cause heat damage to your oven. Reynolds suggests lining a sheet pan with foil and putting it on an oven rack below whatever you're cooking.

Use It To Save Leftovers

Foil has many useful traits but being airtight is not one of them. No matter how tightly you wrap it up, some air and germs will get in, spoiling your leftovers. If you're looking to keep food fresh, airtight storage containers or food storage bags are a better option than foil.

Toss It in the Trash After One Use

Your granny was right: Foil can be reused. Just wash it by hand or in the top rack of the dishwasher and use it again. When it is time to chuck it, as long as it's clean, aluminum foil can be recycled. Give it a good rinse to remove stray food and then put it in the bin alongside your Coke cans. Unfortunately, if you can't get the food off, foil does need to go in the trash as food contaminates the recycling process.

Think There's a Right Side or a Wrong Side

Turns out that there is no real difference between the shiny side and the dull side. The two looks are just a result of how the foil is made, specifically due to the milling process. So go ahead and use whichever side you want.

Put It in the Microwave

Aluminum foil is made from 98% aluminum, which means that it cannot be used in the microwave. Not even just for a second while you melt something or heat something up. Don't do it. Opt for glass, instead.

Use It Only in Your Kitchen

Aluminum foil is an incredibly handy and versatile tool in the kitchen (hello, foil packet dinners!) but has so many uses outside of cooking and baking. You can clean your grill, sharpen scissors, remove rust, de-gunk an iron, and use it to remove tarnish from your silverware.

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