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Aluminum Foil Doing it right?

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  • Cheef
    Club Member
    • Oct 2015
    • 660

    Aluminum Foil Doing it right?

    Just did a little quick online research on the proper use of aluminum foil or as the Europeans pronounce it Al-you-mini-um Ferl.
    Kind of surprised me as I've spent 50 years believing shiny side in when using foil. Come to find out there is NO difference according to Reynolds. One side is made shinier during manufacturing because it comes into contact with rollers.

    I also ran onto an article that states aluminum foil in a super compressed state along with some other magic is used to create bullet proof glass?!
    Another article that puts forth a theory that Aluminum could also be contributing to Honey Bee Devestation due to toxic levels being found more and more in their bodies.

    Anyone else on here spend the last however many years believing aluminum foil should be used shiny side in or out?

  • jerrybell
    Charter Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 333

    There's a shiny side?


    • jfmorris
      Club Member
      • Nov 2017
      • 3022
      • Huntsville, Alabama
      • Jim Morris

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      I tend to put shiny side out, but not always, and figured it didn’t matter.

      On honeybees - aluminum is the most common metal in the earth’s crust, ranking as the third most common element on earth, after oxygen and silicon. I doubt aluminum is their problem - more likely pesticides and toxins.


      • HouseHomey
        HouseHomey commented
        Editing a comment
        Silicon.. I see you’ve been to My place in Newport Beach.
    • HouseHomey
      Club Member
      • May 2016
      • 5276
      • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
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        Erik S.

      I could never remember what side was supposed to go out so I always just put it on whichever way. Glad to know it didn’t matter.


      • MrMeat
        Club Member
        • Oct 2017
        • 99
        • Melbourne, FL

        Yea, it is called pack-rolling. They also stretch the aluminum foil at the same time they are rolling it, as they can only get it so thin without using astronomically more force. I went on a tour of an Alcoa plant, when I was in Engineering school and they had the aluminum foil that they bond to paper for wrapping individual sticks of Wrigley's gum. It was so crazy thin and light that I couldn't feel it on my skin.

        I've known many people that had theories as to which side to put on the outside. I rarely told anyone as to why one side was shiny and the side didn't matter. I put the matte side out as it makes my meat look juicier.


        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 12714
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            Pizza insert
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
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            lots of probes.

          I only worry about it when using non stick foil. Then I put the product next to the non stick side.


          • fzxdoc
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
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            I've always wrapped shiny side out, since that's how it comes off the roll. I read long ago that it didn't make a difference which side is used. Since I use non-stick foil for some things, I pay attention to getting the non-stick side next to the food. But mostly I blow through those huge rolls of Reynolds Heavy Duty Wide Aluminum foil when I'm smoking food or for lining sheet pans. Any of the foil that can be reused goes into a bag for future use in cleaning off the grill grates.

            Aaron Franklin wraps his turkey with the foil's matte side out, so he apparently has a preference.



            • rodkeary
              rodkeary commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm the same as fzxdoc. I've always had shiny side out until I read Aaron Franklin's smoked turkey recipe which calls for matte side out. And that was just a month ago! Great recipe BTW. His BBQ sauce with the espresso is awesome as well.
          • smokin fool
            Club Member
            • Apr 2019
            • 1774
            • Mississauga, Ont

            I've always been told shiny side in towards the meat.
            Reasoning was the shiny side reflects heat back in toward the food when cooking. Reflects heat away with shiny side out.
            Maybe reflects is the wrong word to use but this is what I've hung my hat on for years.
            Call Mythbuster's. we need to get to the bottom of this!!!!


            • Michael_in_TX
              Club Member
              • Dec 2018
              • 420
              • Texas Gulf Coast
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              Same here....we were taught shiny side towards the meat at every Boy Scout campout I went on. Still, there does seem to be an obvious qualitative difference in reflectivity between the shiny and matte side. But does perceived reflectivity in visual light translate to more or less reflectivity in infrared (i.e. heat)?

              Well, I work at a university....time to scan the literature!

              To my surprise, I found an article published in Biotechnology Reports written by some researchers in France just this year on this very question: Household aluminum foil matte and bright side reflectivity measurements: Application to a photobioreactor light concentrator design.

              Their conclusion is that both sides of the foil -- in both visible and infrared light -- are roughly the same, with both sides of the foil having a higher reflectivity in infrared than visual. (They do make the distinction that the bright side, of course, is better if there is a need for a "mirror-like" reflectivity, but we don't care about that for cooking.)

              Here is a link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...15017X1930373X

              So it appears from these data, there is no difference for cooking applications between the shiny and matte sides.



              • Cheef
                Cheef commented
                Editing a comment
                I just knew there would be an easy answer to this one.
                Thank you Mr. Michael_in_TX
            • Red Man
              Club Member
              • May 2018
              • 1029
              • Western Washington

              I recall being told years ago that it mattered which way it was facing but I could never remember, so I’ve never paid much attention to it. I figured if it really mattered, it would be printed on the packaging.


              • bbqLuv
                Club Member
                • Jan 2020
                • 405
                • Milwaukie OR

                Those who feels it matters and those who feel it doesn't matter, you are both right.


                • Cheef
                  Cheef commented
                  Editing a comment
                  bbqLuv I'm guessing your blood pressure numbers are always the envy of the crowd!
              • dubob
                Club Member
                • Mar 2019
                • 130
                • Mormon Mecca
                • Bob Hicks, from Mormon Mecca
                  Camp Chef Woodwind SG w/Sear Box
                  I’m 78 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
                  “Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.”
                  “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

                Until I saw this post, I didn't even know the two sides were different except on the non-stick version. Now that I do know, I think I'll continue to not care.


                • hoovarmin
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 1062
                  • Neptune Beach, FL
                  • Weber Performer 22
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                  It's only an issue when fashioning hats to protect from the alien mind-control beams


                  • pkadare
                    pkadare commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Alien? Mine are coming from the government.
                    Last edited by pkadare; September 8, 2020, 09:22 AM.

                  • hoovarmin
                    hoovarmin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The government is controlled by aliens. I know, because every April 15th I get probed.
                • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                  Club Member
                  • Jun 2018
                  • 553
                  • Eastern NC
                  • 2018 MAK 2 Star
                    Charbroil Big Easy SRG

                  I've been meaning to ask you fine folks for the last month, but I guess this thread is the appropriate place...

                  Anyone else notice that even the heavy duty foil seems to be weaker lately? I've never had any issues prior to the last few months, but I keep getting punctures, tears, and leaks even when triple wrapping. So is it just me or is it possible they changed the thickness of the stuff on the shelves?

                  I did grab some restaurant grade heavy duty and didn't have any of those issues for the whole roll. But the reynolds stuff that used to be tried and true has been failing me. Before y'all say sharp bones, this has even happened when brining a boneless butt.




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