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Throughout my years of baking in the oven, I’ve always wanted to keep it clean. I used to see many of my fellow bakers take an aluminum foil sheet and line the bottom of their ovens with it to catch any drippings. Recently, however, some of their ovens started having some problems and I started thinking: Is it safe to put aluminum foil in the oven?
Is it safe to put aluminum foil in the oven? While it is safe to bake with aluminum foil, I don’t recommend putting the foil to line the bottom of your oven. You will avoid possible heat damage to your oven. Instead, put a heavy-duty aluminum foil sheet on the rack below your baked good. DO NOT use aluminum foil in a microwave!
Aluminum foil is a staple accessory in every baker’s kitchen. While there are many reasons to use aluminum foil in your oven, there are also many reasons as to why not to use it in your oven. Learning these reasons has undoubtedly made me a better and safer baker.
Is Baking With Aluminum Foil In The Oven Bad For Your Health?
Aluminum foil is such a versatile and crucial tool in the kitchen. It cuts the cleaning process in half and saves you the agonizing job of scrubbing those stubborn pans. However, the big question I’ve always asked was, is it even safe for your health to put aluminum foil in the oven? It is such an integral part of our lives that we need to know when to use aluminum foil and when not to.
According to The Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Aluminum is considered to be the most abundant metals on Earth. Aluminum is an element that occurs naturally in the environment and therefore ends up being a highly consumed element amongst people.
Using aluminum-based products such as aluminum foil, containers, cans, pans, and many others like these isn’t harmful. These products contribute a very small amount of aluminum during use. Most of the aluminum consumed on a daily basis comes out of us when we use the bathroom.
It Is Safe to Use Aluminum Foil in the Oven!
Knowing this information is very comforting for me. It’s comforting to know that IT IS SAFE to use aluminum foil in the oven for all your baking and cleaning inquiries. However, do keep in mind that lining the bottom of your oven is very harmful to the oven.
*By the way, if you’re looking for some new cookie sheets/baking pans to replace for your kitchen, I recently came across the Perfect Nonstick Cookie Sheets / Baking Sheets Set that I got for myself and they work great! You can check out these Nonstick Cookie Sheet Set on Amazon!
Listen, I get it! When you’re making a sheet of cookies or other goodies, you just want to dig into them as soon as they’re done. You don’t want to be standing over a large baking sheet and impatiently scrubbing the pan.
That’s why I’m here to tell you that using aluminum foil for baking any baked goods is fine while in the oven. I tend to line all of my sheet pans with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
If you’re baking something on an aluminum foil sheet, remember to grease it very well.
*Side Note: You might also be interested to know if it is possible to Bake Cookies On Aluminum Foil. I wrote an article explaining What to Expect When Baking Cookies On Aluminum Foil, which you can check out here!
Is Using Aluminum Foil Safe For Your Oven?
Safety doesn’t only consist of the consumer’s health but also of the safety of your oven. Straight away, I want to jump to the major “NO’s” of baking with aluminum foil.
I’ve personally seen certain households line the bottom of their oven with aluminum foil. I never did that before but I thought if that is either genius or dangerous. After spending much time researching, I had come to the conclusion that you SHOULD NOT be lining the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil!
As a baker, I tend to look at how the oven operates before starting to bake. The very bottom of the oven is where the majority of the heat comes from.
When you preheat an oven, the top and bottom heat up to quicken the process but as soon as it reaches the desired temperature, the top shuts off leaving only the bottom of the oven as a heat source.
Lining the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil will cause uneven baking. We need consistency when baking; if you line the bottom of the oven, it’ll just prevent the heat from distributing evenly.
Another big reason why you shouldn’t be lining the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil is to prevent any damage. Aluminum foil is great with baking because it traps heat inside. If you’re lining your oven with aluminum foil, it’ll do the same thing; it will trap heat.
This excess heat may potentially melt certain components, which puts the oven at risk of being a major fire hazard. I know it might seem like an easy way to keep your oven clean but it’s not worth the risk of damaging your oven or making it into a potential fire hazard.
Instructions For Using Aluminum Foil In The Oven Safely
Don’t be discouraged to use aluminum foil in an oven! If you want to keep your oven clean from any accidental spills but still preserve the integrity of your oven, just line your oven RACK with foil! Here are simple steps to achieve a clean and safe oven:
- Take out your baking sheet/pan that you will be using and flip it upside down on your counter
- Cut a long sheet of aluminum foil. Make sure to use heavy-duty aluminum foil. I usually pull the aluminum foil roll the same length as the pan and then pull another few inches to ensure all drippings are caught.
- Switch the position of your oven racks. One should be in your desired spot while another one a level lower.
- Place the sheet of aluminum foil on the lower level; the baking sheet will go on the top.
- Make sure the aluminum foil is directly underneath your pan to guarantee that all spills will be caught.
- If you’re using a wide sheet, you can repeat step 2 and layer it so that the length in both directions is enough to catch anything that will spill over on either side of the sheet.
Making sure that the aluminum foil can catch all the drippings from your baking while preventing lining the bottom of the oven with it is very important to learn. This will enable you to have so many more ways to bake with aluminum foil while saving you from the hassle of a long cleanup job.
When NOT To Use Aluminum Foil In Ovens
While aluminum foil is a very helpful tool to use while baking in the oven, you also have to make sure that you’re not using it in the WRONG type of oven to avoid any possible problems.
Here are a few different types of the most common ovens in a baker’s kitchen:
- A Stovetop Oven (It comes standard in every kitchen)
- A Toaster Oven
- A Convection Oven
- A Microwave Oven (Also known as just a microwave)
These types of ovens are all different in the way they work. Each one of these ovens has different kinks and tricks on how to operate them. That’s why it is important to know if it is safe to use aluminum foil in each oven type. I wanted to make sure that no matter what oven you use at home you’ll be able to apply your knowledge of aluminum foil correctly.
I personally love baking in my toaster oven, it provides me with the opportunity to continue baking while my stovetop oven is already in use.
Putting aluminum foil in a toaster oven to line your pan is also not recommended. Seeing as most toaster ovens are smaller in size, the aluminum foil will heat up the oven much faster and can cause your toaster oven to burn out quicker.
With convection oven being as popular as they are now, I don’t even doubt for a split second that most people have one in their kitchen. Although toaster ovens and convection ovens might look the same, convection ovens do a much better job at baking whatever you need evenly due to it having fan assistance.
It’s safe to line your convection oven tray with aluminum foil in the short term. However, similarly to the toaster oven, aluminum foil might cause problems with your oven in the long term.
Microwave ovens, aka microwaves, are also very helpful with any baking-related activities. Baking anywhere from food to even desserts like a cake. However, you should NOT use aluminum foil in them. As a general rule of thumb that everyone should know: You should NEVER use any type of aluminum foil in anything that’s related to microwaves and electricity.
Learning the importance of everything that goes into my oven has upgraded my experience as a baker. I learned that while the aluminum foil is safe to bake with, it isn’t recommended to line the bottom of your oven for cleaning purposes.
After all the much-needed research I’ve done to try to answer this question, aluminum foil is basically used to people’s preferences. My fellow bakers still use aluminum foil to bake in their ovens to this day and they are seeing incredible results.