When To Use Foil When Cooking In A Toaster

Plus, do you know which side is up?

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Aluminum foil is one of those kitchen items that you commonly use for wrapping up food. Foil is a great tool when you know how to use it. 

Did you know that there are two sides to aluminum foil? There is! There is the dull side and the shiny side. Do you know when to use which side of the foil to use when cooking? There's a simple trick to learn so you're not always wondering if you are using your foil right. 

Here's how to tell which side to use for which use: 

  1. The shiny side is the side that needs to face the food you're cooking if you're wrapping food in foil. This is the side that will reflect radiated heat towards your food better. 
  2. The dull side is the nonstick side. If you're baking something that might be sticky, using the dull side is the side you should use for a better non-stick surface than the shiny side. 

However, there is this common belief that it really doesn't matter which side you use when using foil in cooking. The difference is allegedly minimal at best. Just use it, but don't just use it to wrap food in it! You can use foil for more than just storage!

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Foil can be your secret weapon in the kitchen because it can be used in a number of ways that can save you time and effort. Here are three ways foil can be your new kitchen best friend: 

1 Use foil to line pans for less cleanup. 

Are you roasting or toasting food in your oven toaster? If you are, line your baking tray with foil so none of the food will accidentally drip onto your heating coils below. You can line your glass baking dishes and baking pans with foil just as a deterrent to any sticking! This removes the hard job of scrubbing and soaking your baking pans when you're done eating. 

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Better yet, line the crumb tray too under the heating coils with foil, so that when something sticky or crumbly falls between the coils that accidentally burns onto your tray, it's easily cleaned off with the removal of the foil. 

Plus, since it's not parchment paper, there is no danger of the foil getting soggy or being a buffer of the heat since it's just as conductive of heat as any other metal.  

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2 Use foil to gently steam food. 

Foil is a great conductor of heat, so make the best of it by using the foil as your cooking vessel when you need to gently steam food! This is great news for anyone who loves salmon, blue marlin, or any fish that they hate being overcooked! By steaming it in the foil, it gets focused heat so as soon as the foil heats up, it can cook your food faster, better than in the enclosed packet. 

Photo by Miguel Nacianceno
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3 Make no-mess grilled cheese sandwiches. 

One of the best reasons to use foil is when you're using cheese. Cheese is notorious for being gooey but also for burning. This is easy to do in a frying pan but if you use your toaster to do this, it's just as easy but it can get messy. Lining your pan with foil will usually avoid the mess but what if you you have an upright toaster instead?  

If you have an upright or stand-up toaster and not an oven toaster, foil will be your best friend! That's because if you want to toast a sandwich which already has the filling tucked in between the two slices, you can use foil to make sure that neither the bread nor the filling comes out. Here's what you do:

  1. 1. Tear out a sheet of foil that's double the size of the sandwich. Place the foil on the cutting board or counter. 
  2. 2. Place the sandwich in the center of the foil and wrap it up, making as few folds as you can so it's not bulky. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.   
  3. Place in the toaster and toast. 

If you're toasting or heating up something else in the stand-up toaster, you can do this same procedure with whatever food you want to heat up. 

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Need more tips and tricks on how to use your toaster? Read on for more useful cooking tips!  

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