Food Hacks

Here’s why tinfoil is shiny on only one side and how to use it

April 26th, 2021

You’ve probably packed food using aluminum foil countless times. But, have you noticed that there are two sides to the aluminum foil? If you are very curious, you’d be asking why it is made that way.

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Pixabay - Pezibear Source: Pixabay - Pezibear

The aluminum foil has a shiny side, while the other side is dull or matte.

But, do you have an answer to why the texture of each side differs?

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Facebook - John Clark WTVD Source: Facebook - John Clark WTVD

And because there are two sides, do you know which one is the right side?

Well, you can use both sides of the aluminum foil or the “tin foil,” as how it is sometimes called by other people.

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Facebook - Alcan Source: Facebook - Alcan

It is important to understand though that there are certain benefits when you use one side over the other side, depending on the purpose.

The aluminum foil has different textures because of the process of manufacturing.

If you are not familiar with how aluminum foil is produced, the Aluminum Association explains that this is made by forming slabs from casting molten aluminum.

After the process of making slabs, these slabs then go through the rolling mill that works by rolling sheets into particular thicknesses.

These sheets are being coiled and go into the cold rolling mill, and they become doubled and rolled out for the second time.

This then goes to another pass through the roller. There are two sheets that are being rolled together this time because it is now very thin.

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Facebook - Make Safety Fun Source: Facebook - Make Safety Fun

As a result, the outside pieces come out shiny, while the inner pieces that are pressed together against the second sheet have that matte texture.

“This is a common question, and the answer is that the foil is “milled” in layers during production. Milling is a process whereby heat and tension are applied to stretch the foil to the desired thickness,” the folks at Reynolds Wrap explain.

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“We mill two layers in contact with each other at the same time because if we didn’t, the foil would break during the milling process where the foil is in contact with another layer, that’s the “dull” side. The “shiny” side is the side milled without being in contact with another sheet of metal. The performance of the foil is the same, whichever side you use.”

Workers at Reynold Wrap, a famous company that makes aluminum foil, say you can actually use either side because the foil doesn’t have any coating.

“With standard and heavy-duty foil, it’s perfectly fine to place your food on either side so you can decide if you prefer to have the shiny or dull side facing out,” as their website states.

You must be aware of the exception since this will have to depend on the aluminum foil you are using.

There are those aluminum foil products that have a coating, which includes the non-stick foil.

If you have this kind of foil, know that this ensures that the food doesn’t stick to it, and there is no need to spray your pans down using the non-stick spray.

“Foods like cheesy casseroles, barbecue, wings, and foods grilled in foil packets will lift right off, so you don’t have a mess to scrub off your pans. You can also use non-stick foil to get creative with your baking and make custom single serve cake pans or even split pies,” Reynolds says.

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“The non-stick side is the side with the dull or flat finish. To help indicate which side is non-stick, the foil has been imprinted with the words ‘NON-STICK Side.”

An aluminum foil’s shiny side is 88% reflective of radiant heat. When you heat food in the oven when making a solar oven, there is no difference when it comes to heating food. It is suggested that you craft it using the shiny side up of the aluminum foil.

You now have the answer about why there are two sides to the aluminum foil.

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Facebook - M & K BBQ Source: Facebook - M & K BBQ

You may use whichever side, but this will have to depend on the type of foil you purchased and what you will use it for.

To learn more about this fascinating process watch below!

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Source: simplemost, Southern Living, The Kitchn