Toaster ovens are like a smaller and more convenient version of a regular oven. However, due to the its high temperature and close proximity to the heating elements, there are some risks and safety precautions to take when it comes to using a toaster oven.
One common question is whether can you put aluminum foil in a toaster oven.
There are many uses for aluminum foil in a toaster oven. Some recipes may call for the use of aluminum foil. Lining the wire rack or baking tray can also help to make clean up easier.
The good news is that, aluminum foil is safe to use in most toaster ovens IF you understand the risk and have taken the necessary safety precautions.
However, you should always check the user manual first. Some toaster oven brands may not be aluminum foil safe.
In this article, we will share with you how to safely use aluminum foil in the toaster oven and what not to do.
What are the potential dangers of using aluminum foil in toaster oven?
Foil is made of metal. It is also flammable.
So, if it comes into contact with the heating element or the metal walls of the toaster oven, it can cause a spark or even a fire.
Rare, but it is possible for the aluminum foil to melt onto the heating elements if the foil touches it. That may be impossible to clean and can damage your toaster oven.
As aluminium foil conducts heat well, it may cause the internal temperature of the toaster oven to be higher that what it is supposed to be.
If the edges of the aluminum foil are not folded properly, that could block the airflow in the toaster oven causing the oven to fail or even the edges to ignite.
Hence, some convection ovens such as the Breville Smart Oven do not recommend using aluminum foil as the toaster oven was meant to maximize air flow.
Having said that, there are ways to safely use aluminum foil in toaster ovens.
How to safely use foil in toaster ovens?
The good news is that you can use foil in most toaster ovens as long as you take the necessary precautions and do it the proper way.
First and foremost, check out the instruction manual and manufacturer website FAQs.
I know that user manuals are boring. But some of them include useful tips and precautions. Some brands may also recommend NOT to put aluminum foil in the toaster oven.
If you have checked that your toaster oven is foil-safe, go ahead to check out the following recommendations!
1. Line the wire rack or baking tray with aluminum foil
In general, it is ok to line the wire rack or baking tray with aluminium.
But you need to cut the aluminum foil to appropriate size to fit onto the tray without touching the heating elements and walls of the toaster oven.
Try not to reuse the aluminum foil as grease may build up on the foil. The combination of grease and heat can start a grease fire.
2. Do NOT wrap the crumb tray with aluminum foil
Many people wrap the crumb tray or drip tray with aluminum to collect any droppings so that cleaning is easier.
Unfortunately, this is a dangerous practice as that can lead to overheating.
Air is meant to circulate in and around the crumb tray. Wrapping the crumb tray with foil may block the airflow, causing a build up of heat in the toaster oven.
In fact, most toaster oven manufacturers explicitly mention not to do so in their user manuals.
3. Tuck the foil tightly. Do not leave loose ends.
It is important to ensure that the edges of the foil are well-folded and properly tucked, so that they do not touch the sides of the toaster oven walls nor block the air flow.
The interior walls are also made of metal and they can get really hot. If the edges of the aluminum foil touches the walls of the toaster ovens, that can cause a spark or even a fire in more extreme cases.
4. Ensure that the foil do not touch the heating element
When using foil to cover dishes, check that there is at least an inch of clearance between the foil and the top heating element. It is recommended to place the wire rack in the middle or bottom position.
5. Do not wrap the food too tightly
Avoid wrapping the food totally and too tightly as that can insulate the food from the heat of the oven.
What are the alternatives to using aluminum foil in toaster ovens?
For recipes that call for covering the dish with foil, you can use a toaster-oven sized bakeware with lid. Le Creuset Shallow Dutch French Oven and the Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage Covered Casserole are some of the bakewares well-loved by bakers.
For good airflow, be sure to select baking pans with dimensions that leave at least half inch gap between the pan and the toaster oven walls.
Don’t forget to take into account the handles when considering the baking pan dimensions!
It could be very tight to use bakewares with lid knobs, especially for smaller toaster ovens. A diy solution is to use an overturned sheet pan to over the baking dish.
It is not recommended to use glass bakewares in toaster oven. The majority of glass bakewares are NOT toaster oven safe.
Even Pyrex only has 1 line of glass bakware, Pyrex Littles Toaster Oven Cookware, that is toaster oven safe. The rest are NOT.