It’s a standard product in almost all modern and conventional kitchens. We are talking about aluminum foil. That thin shiny sheeting whose application in the kitchen and outside is countless.
An aluminum foil is super versatile. You can use it to wrap, cover, line, sharpen, steam, steam, package, and do hundreds of unimaginable DIY tricks.
But can you use aluminum foil in a convection toaster oven? Before we answer your query, let’s first look at the toaster oven.
A convection toaster oven is a hybrid microwave with a dozen features, including a toaster unit.
The oven’s efficiency, which includes fast pre-heating and energy-saving functions, gives you the freedom to cook anything you desire for your family and friends.
You can bake, cook pizza, toast bread, defrost veggies, pre-heat food, and whip any delicacy on your dream list.
Only one thing you are not certain; putting food wrapped in aluminum foil in your convection toaster. At the very end of this short article, you will understand why you cannot attempt this!
But in summary, aluminum foil in a convection toaster or any microwave type is a recipe for fire!
Read through to learn aluminum and oven basics, hazards, and alternatives to using aluminum foil in convection toaster ovens.
Let’s take you through an engineering class to understand why you should never put aluminum foil in a microwave oven.
What is Aluminum foil? What is it made of? Aluminum foil, like the name suggests, is metallic. The sheet is between 92% and 99% aluminum. It is usually between 0.00017″ and 0.0059″ in thickness. The aluminum foil width and strength depend on the application, which ranges in hundreds.
The reason manufacturers choose aluminum from other metals like stainless steel to make aluminum foil is the metal’s attributes;
- Aluminum is non-corrosive
- Ductile and easy to cast
- Good electrical and heat conductor
- High melting point (1220°F)
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There are many more qualities that aluminum metal holds, making it the best metal for making foils.
But our interest is why it is dangerous to put the foil in an active oven. Where is the problem? Have a look!
Problem With Aluminum in A toaster Oven
Above on the list of qualities, we have seen aluminum is an excellent electric and heat conductor. And so is the foil. The attribute comes as a plus as a foil will conduct heat and warm or cook your food fast.
With a toaster oven, that is correct, but the heat will exceed the allowed temperature range. The aluminum foil will heat your oven exceedingly, break or melt adjacent parts like the drip tray and the counter.
And the worst will be a fire outbreak! So, keep off the aluminum foil in your microwave.
Your toaster oven has electric fields that can flow through the aluminum. If the current flow increases, it will warm up the foil quickly and ignite sparks. That can ruin your toaster oven or cause a fire.
3. Food exposure to Aluminum particles
Although aluminum foil is not considered dangerous, consistent exposure increases the metal content in your food. Even if the oven is safe for use with aluminum, there is a health safety risk due to the heating process.
Can You Use Aluminum Foil in a Countertop Convection Oven?
Unfortunately, you cannot use aluminum foil in a countertop convection oven unless the manufacturer specifies so.
The foil is a fire hazard that can not only damage your oven permanently but also cause a fire outbreak. The problem happens when the interior overheats and the aluminum foil ignites a spark.
Most manufacturers warn you against using foil in a convection oven because the aluminum restricts airflow.
In their disclaimer, they will also tell you that your toaster is likely to malfunction or catch on fire if you put foil inside.
For this product’s diehards, a few convection ovens tolerate aluminum foils but with certain conditions.
Here are some of the guidelines to observe if you intend to use aluminum foil with your countertop convection oven;
- Wrap portions of food that you do not want to overcook.
- Do not stick any part of the foil away from the food. The foil will function as an antenna and arc your oven’s interiors.
- Never line cookware with aluminum foil for use in a convection oven. The foil will suck absorb heat from your cookware and cause your food to heat or cook unevenly.
- Wrap and press your food before putting it in the oven.
- Only wrap and cook/warm small quantities of food.
- Keep the oven temperature within acceptable limits to prevent aluminum foil from interfering with the oven’s airflow.
With the above measures, you can go ahead and wrap your food with foil, but remember there are still higher risks. Be sure to read your oven’s guidelines before you consider putting foil in your oven.
Can you put aluminum foil on the toaster oven tray?
Yes, you can put aluminum foil on the toaster tray if you cook small batches of food. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on using aluminum foil on your toaster tray, it should be okay.
In addition, if the oven tray comes with the toaster oven, you can cover it with aluminum foil. Ensure that the foil doesn’t come into contact with your toaster oven’s cavity.
The foil should not touch the back wall of your oven as it can cause permanent damage.
Another critical point to keep in mind is that a toaster oven requires constant airflow. If you put an aluminum foil in the oven and it overlaps around the edges of the broiler pan, the foil will block the airflow. The edges of the aluminum foil will ignite or spark.
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You can put aluminum foil in a toaster oven but first, consult your toaster instruction manual and, when not sure, make use of a safe aluminum alternative.
Otherwise, be careful about using the product on your appliance. The foil may damage it permanently or even spark a fire.
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Is aluminum foil safe in a convection oven?
Primarily, aluminum foil is not safe in a convection oven. The foil is a perfect conductor of heat. It overheats instantly, which can spike fire inside your oven. The aluminum cannot withstand the temperature, but the electric fields will cause arcs in your oven.
How To Safely Use Aluminum In Toaster Ovens?
As we highlighted earlier, the use of aluminum in toaster ovens is not safe. But some manufacturers allow aluminum use in their toaster ovens. For example, Breville recommends the use of aluminum foil but careful not to block airflow.
Another big brand that allows the product is Black & Decker. Its disclaimer allows you to use the foil without contact with the oven’s metallic walls or heating elements.
In addition to the list is KitchenAid and Hamilton beach brands. The brand warns against the foil’s contact with the heating elements, walls, or metal surface.
The Hamilton Beach manufacturer advises its users not to cover the crumb tray with aluminum foil.
Same case to Cuisinart. The warning says that the foil should not overhang or cover the broiling rack.
Other brands like Oster include a how-to video with detailed instructions on using aluminum foil in a toaster oven.
In addition to the above guidelines, we have got for you a line of other guidelines for using aluminum safely in your toaster oven;
- Ensure that you wrap small portions of food.
- Never stick some parts of the foil away from the food.
- Do not line cookware with foil.
- Do not set very high temperatures that exceed your toaster oven’s limits.
Alternatives To Using Aluminum Foil In Toaster Ovens
The truth is, aluminum foil is not safe in your toaster oven. You can consider many alternatives to keep your home safe from fire and your family healthy.
Here are the best alternatives to using aluminum foil in a toaster oven;
- Cedar wraps
Cedar wraps are natural products from cedarwood. You can get them from your nearest store or online shops.
The wraps not only creatively seal your food before putting it in the toaster oven but also leaves your food with a smoky flavor.
They are easy to use; soak the wraps in warm water for a couple of minutes and wrap your food. Cedar wraps will never damage your toaster. Instead, they keep your food moist and juicy throughout the cooking process.
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The only setback is that cedar wraps are not reusable, but they are biodegradable. When you throw them in your composter, they will make very rich humus for your garden.
2. Silicone baking mats
This baking mat is food-safe grade, non-stick, and reusable. Silicone baking mats are toaster oven safe and can withstand up to 480°F. The mats are helpful for baking small amounts of cookies, roasting vegetables, reheating leftover pizza, and many more.
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All you need to do is place the mat on the sheet pan before placing the food items.
3. Parchment paper
Parchment papers are toaster oven friendly. You can use them instead of aluminum foil to wrap your food before putting it in the oven.
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A parchment paper is partly silicon, thus heat-resistant and non-stick. When heated, the paper dries up and becomes crumbly, but it does not burn up.
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We have answered several queries about using aluminum foil in a convection toaster oven.
Generally, this thin metallic sheeting seems to do almost everything in your kitchen and beyond. But it isn’t very safe to use in your toaster.
If you have tried the waters by putting a foil in the toaster oven, you know what we mean by oven exploding.
You have witnessed a blast or, in extremes, the toaster breaking down. In worst scenarios, fire can burn your entire kitchen. Too bad!
Unless your toaster oven manufacture gives you the go-ahead to use a foil in your convection oven, you should never attempt. It is dangerous.
In addition, the green movement is fighting against aluminum foils due to their union-recyclable nature.
That’s why you have an alternative to the product. You can use parchment paper, cedar wraps, or silicone baking mats. Over to you!