Should You Use the Shiny or Dull Side of Aluminum Foil?

Should You Use the Shiny or Dull Side of Aluminum Foil?

It’s a well-established question and one that we’ve been too afraid to ask our mothers: Should we use the shiny or the dull side of aluminum foil when we cook? And have we been doing it wrong this entire time?!

If there’s no trick to it, then why, exactly, does aluminum foil have a shiny and a dull side in the first place? Experts at Reynold’s Kitchen say that the difference between the two sides is due to a manufacturing process called milling, during which heat and tension is applied to stretch and shape the foil. Two layers of foil are pressed together and milled at the same time, because otherwise, it would break.

aluminium foils log

You’ve probably noticed that aluminum foil has both a shiny and dull side, but have you ever wondered if they’re different for a reason?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter which side of the aluminum foil you use. When it’s manufactured, it undergoes a process called milling, during which heat and tension are applied as it’s stretched and shaped into foil. To prevent it from breaking while this happens, two layers of foil are pressed together and milled at the same time.

When to Use Aluminum Foil, Wax Paper, or Parchment Paper
According to Reynolds, the side where the foil is touching another layer becomes dull (the shiny side is the one without a second piece on top). Whether it’s shiny or not, though, there’s no difference in how each side of the foil works once it’s packaged and in your kitchen.

The only exception is nonstick foil—the dull side is typically the nonsticky one.

While the foil itself might not have any secrets, its packaging does. A TikTok content creator recently went viral after showcasing how to keep the roll of foil inside the packaging (the method has been there all along).

 

Shiny side up or shiny side down? When it comes to using aluminium foil in the kitchen we probably all have our preference or habit. Maybe sandwiches always get wrapped shiny side out, or chicken gets roasted shiny side down. But does it actually matter which side of the foil that you use?

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