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Jun 1, 2011 01:14 PM

Shiny or Dull? Aluminum Foil debate

At work today, we were having a discussion about shiny side vs dull side.
Which side touches food?
When BBQing, which side faces the grill?
In the oven, when lining a baking sheet for roasting, what side faces up?
We had a variety of responses; googled and got more of the same.

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  1. My husband and I used to have this debate all the time. He stuck to the shiny side up, no matter what. I, of course just *knew* he was wrong; the dull side touches food, etc.

    Well, according to the good folks at Reynolds, we were both correct.

    "Frequently Asked Questions

    Which side of Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil should I use, the shiny or the dull side?
    Actually, it makes no difference which side of the aluminum foil you useboth sides do the same fine job of cooking, freezing and storing food. The difference in appearance between dull and shiny is due to the foil manufacturing process. In the final rolling step, two layers of foil are passed through the rolling mill at the same time. The side coming in contact with the mill's highly polished steel rollers becomes shiny. The other side, not coming in contact with the heavy rollers, comes out with a dull or matte finish.

    The exception is when using Reynolds Wrap® Release® Non-Stick Aluminum Foil. The non-stick coating is applied during manufacturing to the dull side of the foil. Always place the non-stick (dull) side toward the food."

    Ok...who knew that aluminum foil would have its own FAQ section? Not me, but I was on the Reynolds site last week looking for a product and thought I'd take a chance and see if there was any info on shiny vs. dull when I saw the post.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Molly James

      Thanks for posting their answer the link no longer works.

      1. I was reminded of the story of the cook who, as her mother had taught, always cut an inch of the end of the ham, when I noticed myself taking care to put the shiny side toward the food, when using foil to cover a hot dish for transport. This impulse came from my own mom, who said the shiny side reflects heat back into the pan better than the dull side.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mrnelso

          I heard that story but it was about cutting the corner off a 7-bone pot roast...!

          Your point is well taken, tho.

        2. Doesn't matter. Either side. The dull vs shiny has to do the milling process, if memory serves. It has nothing to do with performance.

          1. After all these years using foil I wondered if there was some new answer...thanks Molly for clearing that up.