HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 4, 2013 07:35 PM

Instead of all that foil...

Now that we know we MUST let our meats rest, all the TV cooks (ATK, Ina, et al) are whipping out miles of alum. foil to wrap atop the meat -- so wasteful ... is there something else we can use? I've thought about buying a plastic top of some sort, but haven't come up with anything that would work...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A metal bowl works. You can put a knife or something under it so it isn't completely flush, that way a bit of the steam etc can escape.

    1. Invert a mixing/storage bowl over the meat. It doesn't matter what the bowl is made of. If it's a long rectangular piece, a loaf pan or rectangular storage container.

      1. get heavy duty foil and make your tent. after using it, lightly hand-wash it, let it dry, then fold to store and re-use again till it gets ratty. i do this for lining sheet pans, too, when it is feasible.

        i re-use barely-used foil because i am thrifty, not wasteful, and am a proxy depression-era child.

        7 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          I too reuse my foil, unless it's gunked up. That way I can use it whenever I want, instead of being cheap about it. Same with Ziplock bags, if they were used for something dry.

          1. re: alkapal

            I re-use barely used foil too. Especially the Reynolds Non-stick. Too expensive and of high quality to throw out after one use.

            1. re: alkapal

              This is a great idea. We eat a lot of meat and thus there is a lot of resting and recently it occurred to me that I use A LOT of foil which seems like a big waste. I do sometimes flip it over if there are two meals back to back which will require it but never thought to just wash it.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                yep, a soapy sponge makes quick work of it!

                1. re: alkapal

                  I really never thought of that. Thanks.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    best way: place the foil on the floor of your kitchen sink, so when you use the soapy sponge and some hot water, the foil is on a flat, solid surface. zippy! plus, this method minimizes wrinkles in the foil, which will help it last longer (in my experience).

            2. I frequently use the lid from a large skillet.

              1. I frequently use nothing to cover so I don't steam my crust. Meats still hot

                6 Replies
                1. re: scubadoo97

                  thank you! thought I was the only one... I don't cover steaks, roasts, etc... meat comes out plenty warm... it's not necessary imo to be piping hot

                  1. re: darrentran87

                    Ditto. My kitchen is almost always warm enough that my meats are still plenty hot after an uncovered rest.

                    1. re: darrentran87

                      i don't tent either and have never seen it done in a professional kitchen. this is a peculiar home-cooking technique that i really don't get at all.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        I love steak and love the crispy crust and have always covered but recently started to leave it uncovered. I always feared that the meat would get too cold. You haven't found this at all? I have found most of the time it helps as the meat sits longer than the prescribed 5-10 minutes as I'm assembling the rest so has less risk of being overcooked and haven't noticed it being too cold but just wondering how long you rest.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          i'd say for steaks just about 5-10 minutes. bigger roasts can go longer. the meat can't be eaten screeching hot out of the smoking pan or broiler anyway.

                          if you're concerned, work on how you time your other dishes.

                          i went to culinary school and have worked in more restaurants than i care to remember. this is strictly a home-cooking phenomenon and makes zero sense. all you're doing is trapping steam.

                    2. re: scubadoo97

                      Kenji recently had a piece on tenting http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/07/as...

                      Here's part of it:
                      Q: Does protein laid bare on a plate lose that much extra heat, that tenting with foil is required?
                      A: Protein laid on a bare plate can lose extra heat, but again, only if it's very cold and windy out will you need foil (plus, it's better to rest on an elevated rack or wooden cutting board than directly on a plate).