Expert Q&A

Do I use the shiny side or dull side of aluminium foil when baking? A very important investigation

Putting an age old debate to bed.

A very important question: What is the difference between the shiny side of aluminium foil and the dull side of aluminium foil?
And which side do you use for what?
The answer, you ask?
To give you some context, aluminium foil is made shiny on one side and dull on the other by heavy rollers used to roll out the foil in the manufacturing process.
The side that comes in contact with the rollers becomes shiny and the side that does not is dull.
As for the difference it makes when we use foil in cooking, testing has discovered that there is actually a very minimal difference.
Shiny or dull? It's a debate that's long overdue to be put to rest.

But which foil side is best to use?

Although one would expect the shiny side to reflect heat more than the dull side, there really is very little difference.
When freezing, baking or storing food, the effect on the food is the same, no matter whether you use the foil with the shiny side facing in or out.
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One thing to watch out for however, is the use of foil in the storage of acidic foods.
A chemical reaction takes place when foil comes into contact with foods with an acidic element in them.
This reaction leaves holes in the foil and black specks on the food. It is mostly harmless, but should be avoided if possible.

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