Aluminum foil is a staple in my kitchen. I use it when I grill, cook indoors and cover leftovers. But can you use aluminum foil in a convection oven?
Aluminum foil can be used to cook or prepare foods in a convection toaster oven. It can be used to prepare food, cover the cooking pan, or wrap the food during the cooking process.
You don’t need any special cookware to cook in a convection oven. Anything you use in your traditional oven will work for your small appliance.
However, there are some things you should know about before cooking in foil pans. I’ve cooked in all kinds of cookware, even foil pans.
This article will answer all your questions about using aluminum in a convection oven.
What Is Aluminum Foil?
Aluminum foil is a type of metal that can be used to cook with. It’s often called “Aluminum” because the English name for aluminum is just aluminum.
It is the third most abundant metal on earth. Because of this, it is widely used in a variety of products such as kitchen utensils, foil, cans, beer kegs, window frames, and more.
You may think this metal has no purpose outside of cooking, but aluminum foil has many uses!
For example: wrapping food before putting it into a freezer; protecting areas where heat or cold damage could occur; making containers out of it to store things; covering pans during baking; and much more!
While there have been links between aluminum and Alzheimer’s, the inconsistent findings have caused them to abandon the aluminum hypothesis.
We are exposed to aluminum every day, even in our water. But, for the most part, it is safe, as long as it isn’t ingested or inhaled in large amounts.
Can You Cover Food In A Convection Oven?
Yes, it is safe to put aluminum foil in a convection oven. You can wrap your food with it, cover cooking pans, but you never want to use it as a liner to cover the bottom of the convection oven.
Although it is safe to use in convection ovens, it should not be used when microwaving your food. This is because microwaves use electric magnetic fields to warm food, which can cause charges to flow through metal. Thus, forcing the thin pieces of metal in the foil to heat up can cause a fire.
Many people, myself included, use aluminum foil to help keep the oven clean. No one wants to spend hours cleaning a dirty oven or hard-to-clean spots from overcooked food.
When using it, ensure you follow the guidelines below.
- Cover the food tightly. No part of the foil should be sticking upward, outward, or flowing around inside the oven. If used too loosely, it will come into contact with the heating elements, which can cause a spark.
- When lining the pans, only use it in the middle of the pan. Lining the sides will prevent you from sliding the pan into the correct cooking slot without tearing it up.
- Cover only a portion of the food. For instance, if you’re cooking a rotisserie chicken, cover the wings or legs to prevent overcooking.
Pro Tip: Don’t use aluminum foil to line the cooking pans in a convection oven. It reflects the heat away from your food, increasing the cooking and baking time.
How Do I Know Which Aluminum Foil to Use?
Below are the three types of aluminum foil and the thickness and best uses for each style. In the United States, the measurements for foils are thousands of an inch or mils.
- Standard foil ranges from .0005 – .0007 thickness and is excellent for wrapping lighter foods and containers.
- Heavy-duty foil is .0009 in thickness and is used for lining cooking sheets and pans.
- Extra heavy-duty foil ranges in thickness from .0008 – .001. Perfect for lining grills and wrapping heavy meats such as ribs, briskets, and Boston butts.
Can You Line The Bottom Of A Convection Oven With Aluminum Foil?
No, covering the bottom of the convection oven will contact the heating element and cause a fire or electrical shock.
Not only that, but when you place aluminum foil at the bottom of the oven, the material will melt into the appliance, permanently damaging it.
Convection ovens can get extremely hot, so it’s essential to use heavy-duty foil to withstand high heat.
Can You Use Aluminum Foil Pans In A Convection Oven?
Aluminum foil pans are great for convection ovens. They are thinner and often shallower than regular pans meaning they can fit more easily in a convection oven without touching the top heating element.
Disadvantages of Foil Pans
That said, there are some things you should be aware of when using aluminum foil pans.
Studies have shown that aluminum cookware releases up to six times the aluminum into foods than other types of cookware. This is the main reason I only use it during the holidays and prefer to use other cookware.
Aluminum is considered a sturdy metal, so it is used to produce pots, pans, etc. Aluminum pans are usually cheap and lightweight, especially the disposable variety.
It’s recyclable, meaning it bends easily, which can be challenging when you’re cooking with it. However, they are disposable, meaning they are hard to clean and reuse. This makes them less eco-friendly than other types of cookware.
Lastly, aluminum is a heat and electricity conductor meaning it’s a poor insulator. Therefore, the heat can pass through the bottom quickly, causing the food to cook more unevenly than when cooking.
Advantages of Aluminum Foil Pans
Most aluminum foil pans are oven-proof up to 450°F. Meaning they’re safe to use in both regular and convection ovens.
These lightweight pans are great for storing and preserving foods because they protect foods from contaminants, oxygen, and humidity, making them great for foods low in sodium and acid.
While not safe to use in microwaves, they are easy and popular to use in convection ovens. Many people love them because they make clean up extremely easy. Then, when you’re done cooking, throw it away.
These disposable pans will save you a lot of time, especially when cooking for a big family or lots of guests.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes from oval, round, oblong, square, tree, heart, and etc. Making them great for cooking any of your favorite foods.
Foods You Can Cook In Aluminum Foil Pans
So now you’re probably wondering what you can bake in aluminum foil pans? Anything you cook in regular pans, you can cook in aluminum foil pans.
Below are some tips to follow when cooking specific types of foods.
Foil roasting pans are great for cooking chicken when you’re having a barbecue or entertaining a large number of people. Before adding the chicken, remove the manufacturer’s label and the adhesive from the inside of the pan.
Wash with warm soapy water and dry with a clean paper towel. Next, season the chicken and place it directly inside the pan. To prevent it from sticking, spray the bottom of the pan with olive or canola oil.
The only downside to using an aluminum foil pan for a cake is curved corners. They differ from most standard glass or metal baking pans, which may alter the way your cake looks.
Before pouring the cake batter into the pan, apply a light coat of butter to the bottom and corners. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the creases and folds in the pan, making it easier to remove when done.
Opt for a square cake pan when cooking cakes, brownies or cinnamon rolls.
When cooking brownies, coat the bottom with butter, cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Pour the brownie mix into the square aluminum foil tray and bake like normal.
Remember, the brownies usually don’t take as long to cook in a convection oven as in a regular oven.
When used correctly, it’s perfectly safe to use aluminum foil and pans in the convection oven. However, avoid using heavy, bulky pans and ensure the aluminum foil is wrapped tightly around the food to prevent it from touching the heating element or the sides of the convection oven.
Refer to the owner’s manual when in doubt on what can and cannot be used in the appliance. The safety, maintenance, and warranty section will contain essential safeguards on using the machine properly!