The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ovens Aluminum Foil

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oskar270's picture
oskar270

Ovens Aluminum Foil

The bottom of most residential ovens is covered with aluminum foil to contain large spills and make it easier when the clean-up time arrives. However every person I ask has a different opinion as to which side of the aluminum foil is facing up (towards the oven).


Some say that the shiny face should be up to reflect the heat from the lower oven coil to the center of the oven and this is also my opinion. I should also add that in this case the oven will reach its set temperature faster.


Others say the shiny face should face downwards otherwise the heat inside the oven will be too much because of the reflection.


What is your opinion?


 

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

I never lined the bottom of my oven with tin foil.  When using tin foil for cooking, I don't believe it matters if it's dull side up or shiny side up, unless you use non stick tin foil.


Here are some answers from Reynolds site:



Can I line the bottom of my oven with aluminum foil?


To avoid possible heat damage to your oven, we do not recommend using aluminum foil to line the bottom of your oven. Rather, we recommend that you place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on the oven rack beneath the pie or casserole you are baking. The foil should be only a few inches larger than the baking pan to allow for proper heat circulation. The foil will catch any drips before they reach the oven bottom.


Which side of Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil should I use, the shiny or the dull side?


Actually, it makes no difference which side of the aluminum foil you use—both sides do the same fine job of cooking, freezing and storing food. The difference in appearance between dull and shiny is due to the foil manufacturing process. In the final rolling step, two layers of foil are passed through the rolling mill at the same time. The side coming in contact with the mill's highly polished steel rollers becomes shiny. The other side, not coming in contact with the heavy rollers, comes out with a dull or matte finish.


Al







mimifix's picture
mimifix

I'm not clear on why aluminum foil could cause heat damage to an oven that is self-cleaning. Those temperatures reach over 900 degrees F which is far higher than reflective heat from a piece of aluminum foil.


I've tried placing foil on the rack directly under the pie plates, but the foil tears when the pies are moved and any drippings spill onto the oven floor. What a mess. I now keep aluminum foil on the bottom of my non-self cleaning gas range and make sure the vents are not covered. It saves on clean-up when those pies bubble over. And I've not noticed any heat issues (uneven baking) or damage.


Mimi

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I don't think it's a high temp thing.  I think it's a thermostat thing. 


Like florescent lights on a motion sensitive switch.  Soon the rapid on/off fluctuations wears them out and shortens their life.   What do you think?

mimifix's picture
mimifix

I know what you mean about on/off fluctuations - that's the kind of thing that will wear out a mixer switch. But actually, I think this action is not associated with thermostats. Oven temperature sensors respond to changes in heat, so when there is heat loss (poor insulation, and every time the oven door is opened) the thermostat responds with additional heat. But foil never creates as much as the heat created when the self-clean cycle is turned on.


I used to work at Maytag Appliances and asked a former colleague about using foil. The response: "Marketing folks will say anything. Don't pay attention. We line the bottoms of our ovens with no ill-effects."


Mimi

LindyD's picture
LindyD

From the Reynolds site:



1. When aluminum and a dissimilar metal are in contact in the presence of moisture, an electrolytic reaction may occur causing a breakdown of the aluminum. To avoid this use aluminum, glass, ceramic, plastic or paper containers. Do not cover sterling silver, silverplate, stainless steel or iron utensils with aluminum foil. 



I think using a cookie sheet on or below the rack would catch any drippings and certainly is more cost effective than aluminum foil.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and lined the steel pans under the electric stove burners with aluminim foil.  Big mistake, when I went to unwrap them, they were in worse shape than if I had left them alone: rusty, spotted and a mess.  I bought new ones.  Makes me wonder if the bottom of the oven would rust faster as well.  So I agree with the above, Reynolds no. 1.

c141heaven's picture
c141heaven

My wife made the mistake of doing this .... thinking it would keep the bottom of our nice new Wolf oven clean and/or easier to clean .... then at some point we turned on the self-clean feature without removing the foil  


This was a BIG mistake!  The foil got so hot it melted and caught on fire and the bottom of the oven warped, permanently.  We have visible damage to the finish where the foil burned.   


I second the suggestion from Renyolds about putting foil on the rack under the pan that's likely to overflow/spil.


Has anyone had any experience with the Silpat type oven mat as opposed to foil?  I remember seeing them somewhere in a larger size and specifically mentioned for use as an over liner like we are discussing here.  Certainly you'd want to remove it for an auto-clean cycle, but they do work well on cookie sheets!


 


 

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Hit the wrong button twice.  Sorry!  EOM




oskar270's picture
oskar270

But why you are sorry?


Seems what you are saying it is true

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

by mistake.  Didn't mean to send the second one. So I edited it out.


Al



flournwater's picture
flournwater

Aluminum foil is shiny on one side only because that's the side that comes off the roller face down.  It doesn't make any difference which side of the foil is up, or down, the heat reflective qualities are identical.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

lining the bottom of a dark enameled oven with foil throws the thermostat off.  Experiment to note differences and take advantage of the situation.


In my Korean steam mini oven the bottom of the oven was shinny and cold and had no bottom heating element (convection.)  After I put one of the black baking trays on the oven bottom (in addition to the black tray I baked on) the bottom of the oven got hot and my loaves did better as more heat was absorbed and radiated under the loaf to bake it.


 

kneady's picture
kneady

I never use aluminum foil in my oven as my oven manufacturer recommends not to.  I always use baking parchment.  I never put in on the oven floor though. If your oven doesn't have sheet racks, always use a baking or cookie sheet.  Line it with the parchment foil and you'll never have any spills in your oven and the floor of your oven will stay clean always.


 

Bertel's picture
Bertel

Probably it ceates isolation by trapping air between oven bottom and foil. It diminishes heat conduction. Foil won't burn easly but when fat drops on it and gets very hot, vwoeeeeem!


 


Shiny and not shiny side doen't matter.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

those large foil things for lining your oven? They are not expensive and do work, although you do have to remember to remove them if you have a self cleaning oven, which I do, and I never use that feature. Not after the first time anyhow.


I used to get a little can of stuff, mainly silicon for spraying your oven with after cleaning, you simply sprayed into the oven, and the next time you had a spill it wiped out easily even if it became a black lump. Of course like all those things that really work, when I went to replace the item, it was discontinued at least in my town.