How To

One side of aluminum foil is shiner than the other. Here’s why and when to use it

October 19th, 2020

Did you ever notice that aluminum foil has two sides to it?

A shiny side and a dull side.

Did you know that there is a right side and a wrong side to apply aluminum foil?

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But which is the right side? The shiny side or the dull side?

OK, well that’s only partially true.

Technically you can use both sides of the tin foil.

swiggle1 dot pattern2
Pixabay Source: Pixabay

But there are benefits to using one side over another for different things.

However, the two different textures to aluminum foil are created because of the way it is manufactured.

The Aluminum Association tells us that aluminum foil, sometimes called “tin foil” which it isn’t actually, is made by casting molten aluminum into slabs.

How It's Made: Aluminum Foil

How It's Made: Aluminum Foil

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These slabs are then processed into a rolling mill that rolls the sheets into specific thicknesses.

The sheets are coiled and then go through a cold rolling mill where it gets doubled and rolled out a second time.

It gets one more pass through the roller, rolling two sheets at once since it is now super thin.

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This causes the outside piece to be shiny while the inner pieces, which are pressed together against the second sheet, become matte.

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

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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.

Today's Tidbit: There is no proper side to a sheet of aluminum foil: The shiny side and the dull side function identically. #fooledmefoil

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The folks at Reynolds Wrap, which makes aluminum foil, says you can use either side since there isn’t any coating on your foil.

“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,” their website says.

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There is an exception, however, and it depends on the kind of aluminum foil you’re using.

Some aluminum foil products actually do have a coating, including their non-stick foil.

This kind of foil makes sure you food doesn’t stick to it without you having to spray your pans down with non-stick spray.

Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty and Non Stick Aluminum FoilOnly $1.99!!!

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“Foods like cheesy casseroles, barbecue, wings and foods grilled in foil packets will lift right off so you do not 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 explains.

So here’s my question: why does aluminum foil have both a shiny and a dull side, and which side are you supposed to use?

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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.'”

The shiny side of aluminum foil is 88 percent reflective of radiant heat and while this doesn’t make a difference when you’re heating up your food in an oven if you’re making a solar oven, definitely craft it with aluminum foil with the shiny side up.

When you don’t feel like looking for wrapping paper aluminum foil will do fine haha. Shiny or dull side ??

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So, now you know that there are two sides to aluminum foil if you didn’t before.

And you can you use either side, depending on what kind of foil you’re using and what you’re using it for.

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Source: simplemost, Southern Living, The Kitchn