We’re sure if you go into any kitchen and open up one of the drawers, you will find one of those silver rolls of aluminum. It is now a household staple because it is so versatile and cheap. You can do any number of things with it, but can you put aluminum foil in the toaster oven?
Before we jump into answering that question, let’s make a clear clarification before I get started. Nowadays, we use the terms tin foil and aluminum foil interchangeably, but they are two very different things. If you were dealing with a real tin foil roll, the answer to the above question would be absolutely not.
But since the odds of that happening is not plausible, let’s stick to the main question and see what the answer is.
How Does Aluminum Foil Respond to Electricity?
The first thing you have to consider when thinking about wrapping that grilled cheese in aluminum foil and slipping it inside the toaster oven is the factor of putting it into an appliance that is powered by electricity.
Aluminum foil conducts electricity very well because it is mostly metal. This means that when using anything with electricity, it will pull it towards it, which, especially when dealing with appliances in the kitchen, will mean that the food will cook (it is so conductive that some countries use it in their power lines.)
So before you decide whether you’re going to use it in your toaster oven, you need to make sure you understand the safety precautions you should take to protect yourself. This includes understanding the dangers of combining aluminum with an appliance that is powered by electricity.
Dangers of That Combination
Before you opt to wrap anything in aluminum foil and place it in your toaster oven, you should take a look inside your actual toaster oven. There you will find many rows of electrical coils that activate upon the push of a lever. When this happens, electricity pulses through those coils, and that’s how the toaster oven heats up.
Because of this design, the toaster oven’s coils basically act like a live current, so if you touch them, you will, of course, get shocked. This may not happen every time, but in general, if you don’t want to be electrocuted, you probably should keep aluminum foil away from these coils. Not only that but besides the electrocution portion, there can actually be sparks created, which may result in an electrical fire.
Here are a few other dangers you might want to consider.
Scorching Hot Food!
We’re sure you’ve used aluminum foil in your conventional oven. I’ve gotten a little too close to it. It can be really hot, that is why you wear oven mittens. So sticking it in a toaster oven where the heating element is even closer to the metal can resort to one heck of a burn hazard.
Say Goodbye to the Toaster Oven
Other than the danger of burning yourself, the chief reason not to use aluminum foil in your toaster oven is that it could potentially cause damage. Even though toaster ovens are pretty cheap to replace, why do something that purposely makes you spend more money? On top of that, if a spark happens to occur, then you are looking at other hazards tacked on.
Should I Bake With It Then?
When discussing whether to bake with aluminum foil in a conventional oven, the truth is that it is not that bad for you. However, you do need to make sure that you don’t touch it with your bare flesh because, as we have said, it conducts heat very well and will easily burn you.
But when it comes to damage or being unhealthy, it is fine. There is very little aluminum that winds up in your food. For those that are a little more eco-conscious, it may be time to look for an alternative.
Alternative Choices That You May Want To Consider – Not For The Toaster Oven Though!
Though using aluminum foil may be a little bit on the dangerous side, there are plenty of other alternatives that you can use when it comes to the conventional oven or a toaster oven. None of these, however, are a great choice for the toaster oven, so make sure that you don’t use any of these in that small kitchen appliance either.
Here are a few alternatives that you can use.
When preparing a baking sheet for the oven, many of us turn automatically to aluminum foil, but another option is even better. Parchment paper is not only great to cover a baking sheet, but it can also be used to create packets to steam things in. On top of that, this alternative is biodegradable, which makes it more eco-conscious.
Silicone Baking Sheets
Aluminum foil is certainly the cheaper option when it comes to any of these alternatives. But just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it is always the best. Another option that you can choose to go with is a silicone baking sheet. This is a great choice not only because it is reusable but also because it doesn’t get nearly as hot, and that way it protects you from actually getting burned. Plus, it is super easy to clean, and that is always a bonus.
If you’re looking for something a little versatile and you’re okay paying a little bit more than average, then a beeswax wrap is a great option. Not only can you cook food in these, but you can also cover sandwiches and other stuff. As a bonus, much like parchment paper, this is an eco-friendly option as well.
So can you use aluminum foil in the toaster oven? Though it might be tempting because you want to heat up that grilled cheese sandwich, the definitive answer is no. Aluminum foil is too conductive, and therefore using it in an appliance that is powered by electricity is dangerous.