As a kitchen enthusiast, aluminum foil is an integral part of your kitchen, no doubt. The main idea has always been to foil it, whether it’s a casserole, salmon, or baking a cake.
As a result, it’s almost impossible to find a kitchen without aluminum foil these days, even for non-foodies.
If the newest member of your kitchen gadgets is a toaster oven, of course, you are going to need to know if you can use aluminum foil.
Aluminum Foil and Toaster Oven
Every toaster oven comes with its instructions, which may be different from the others. Ideally, you should read the owner’s manual so that you can know for sure.
These days, most manufacturers are adding ‘how-to videos’ to their Youtube channels or websites, and they may include a few tips on using the aluminum foil.
You can also get the same updated info from the website. For example, on one website, the manufacturer recommends cutting the aluminum foil to fit precisely on the toaster oven pan. You should not leave anything overhanging.
Breville recommends carefully covering food and making sure there is maximum airflow. On the other hand, Oster has a how-to video on how you can safely use aluminum foil. According to Cuisinart, you are free to use the aluminum foil as long as you make sure not to cover the rack and no overhang.
Hamilton Beach tells you that you can use aluminum foil, but you must be careful not to cover the crumb tray or touch the heating elements. You will also find similar instructions with Black & Decker and Kitchen Aid where they insist that the foil should never make contact with the walls or the heating elements.
However, there are some things that you should never do, and among them is covering the walls of the toaster oven with aluminum foil. That is unless you want the toaster oven to transform into a ball of fire, taking everything down with it.
Why the Aluminium Foil and Toaster Oven are not a Great Idea
Apart from the desire for such information as a toaster oven vs convection oven when it comes to stocking your kitchen, you will want to arm yourself with important safety information.
For example, the use of aluminum foil can sometimes be a safety hazard.
Typically, aluminum foil in the toaster oven may not be the smartest idea for anyone.
But why is this so?
Even the toaster oven manufacturers who give tips on using aluminum foil inside the toaster oven have reservations. They may explicitly mention that your toaster oven could malfunction if you misuse the aluminum foil.
So what is the problem with having aluminum foil inside the toaster oven?
One of the reasons why you shouldn’t use aluminum foil is the heat it reflects and conducts. Even though this is the primary goal, the foil may cause overheating inside the oven and become a fire hazard.
The high temperatures may exceed the allowed levels and break or melt some of the components inside the oven. Don’t cover the drip tray with foil, no matter how tempting it may be. Air will not circulate properly, and this can as well cause overheating.
The other risk is from the sparks, which generate when you fail to cut the oil to the pan’s exact size. Some mistakes are unavoidable. It is possible to leave a protruding piece of the aluminum foil and contact the heating elements to produce sparks.
The sparks make contact with the oil on your dish, and before you know it, the oven is a piece of junk. In the worst-case scenario, the sparks generated may cause a big fire that burns down your home.
So, what can you not put in a toaster oven?
Well, if you can help it, the aluminum foil should be on the list.
What You Can Use Instead of Aluminium Foil inside a Toaster Oven
There are a few good alternatives to using aluminum foil in toaster oven. For example, the silicone baking mat is an excellent alternative when preparing toaster oven cookies. You can also lightly oil the pans to get the same results by using aluminum foil.
If you have been using aluminum foil for quite some time, you may need a bit of practice to phase it out using such techniques as oiling the pan.
Yes, it’s possible to get the same results with aluminum foil by oiling the pan, and of course, with reduced risks.
A side baking dish or toaster oven safe bakeware is excellent for dishes that need covering, and you don’t have to reach for the aluminum foil. However, you have to make sure that any covered dish is not airtight or you will have to deal with other issues. You can also get the stone bakeware from your favorite store and use it instead.
Some people have safely used several quick fixes, such as a cookie sheet designed explicitly for the toaster oven and the pizza pan. There are also reusable, sturdy, and eco-friendly Silpats. If you are environmentally conscious, then you will never look back on aluminum foil.
What if the cookbook or instructions specifically tell you to use the aluminum foil?
You can still safely use the aluminum foil with a toaster oven if you take extra precautions such as allowing maximum airflow and making sure there is no overhang.
Cut it carefully so that it does not touch anything inside the toaster oven. Always use the heavy-duty aluminum foil, and replace it after every cook.
Most manufacturers will tell you to use the aluminum foil with extra precautions to avoid the risk of fire or malfunction. They may provide instructions on how to use the foil safely.
Check the manufacturer’s website or the owner’s manual for this information.
But if you can avoid the foil in a toaster oven, even better. There are several alternatives out there that you can use, such as the silicone baking mat and the reusable Silpat.
Enjoy your cooking!