1 What is best to bake in foil? ⇑
Everyone knows that dishes cooked in foil are juicy, soft and rich in flavor. By choosing this cooking method you get:
- a less calorie dish that has a natural taste, and steam, without being able to leave your culinary masterpiece, makes it juicy, which allows you to do without sauce and saves a lot of time;
- 1.5 times faster cooked food (this is especially true for baking a whole goose or turkey, since long-term baking of large birds without foil leads to drying out of the meat; in foil it will turn out both quickly and juicy);
- leave the oven clean (the dish in foil is sealed and sauces or marinade will not stain the oven).
It is recommended to bake in aluminum foil:
- poultry: turkey, chicken, duck or game;
- meat: beef, pork, lamb, rabbit;
- vegetables: potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower;
- independent dishes: casseroles, meatballs, cutlets, French-style meat.
Tip: If you are afraid that the foil will stick to the meat or poultry, you can grease it with a thin layer of vegetable oil before baking, then your dish will definitely not suffer.
Note to the hostess: When starting to bake a dish in foil, take into account the features of your oven and use it as a guide to the cooking time, and not what is written in the recipe. If you are preparing a dish for the first time, follow a few useful tips: – divide the total cooking time by 4; – open the oven every quarter of the total time and check the degree of readiness of the dish; – do not be afraid to unfold the foil for a more accurate check; – to make it easier to unfold the foil, always leave a “seam” on top; – if you wish, you can determine the degree of readiness without unrolling the foil by making one or two punctures in it with a toothpick. Remember that the quality of the foil also matters.
Important: Do not bake raw cereals in foil. They are very demanding of water and there is a high risk of getting a dry and tasteless dish, and they take significantly more time to prepare than when boiling.
2 How to properly cover a dish with foil when baking? ⇑
I think it’s worth starting with what exactly you are going to bake. If we are talking about a whole chicken, duck or boiled pork, then you need to wrap the product tightly, in several layers, and as tightly as possible with foil, so that all the juices remain inside the dish and there is no air gap.
If you want to get a golden brown crust, then literally 10 minutes before cooking, it is recommended to break the seal of the package and let the dish brown.
When we talk about baking vegetables (potatoes, peppers or pumpkin), the principle of wrapping is the same.
If you decide to cook a potato casserole with meat or a roast, then you need to remember that these dishes should simmer in their own juices. To do this, you need to either cover the pan with a lid or cover it with foil so that the steam remains inside.
Tip: Dishes that are sprinkled with grated cheese before going into the oven should never come into contact with the foil, otherwise all the cheese will remain on it.
There are times when the dish is partially covered with foil. For example, roasting a turkey is a long process, so that it turns out evenly browned; experts recommend wrapping the thin parts of the carcass (wings, legs) in foil and removing it only shortly before the dish is ready. This way the wings will turn out to the same degree of friedness as the whole carcass.
There is another option. Ever wondered how suckling pigs appear on movie screens, one half of which is baked and the other half boiled? Of course, you can cut the carcass in half and cook it in different ways, and then put it together just before filming.
Note to the hostess: If you have already put the dish in the oven, but did not immediately think to wrap it in foil, it may brown on the outside, but remain damp on the inside. In such a situation, nothing prevents you from opening the oven in the middle of the cooking process (just be careful not to get burned!) and cover the dish with a piece of foil. This way you will be able to save your culinary masterpiece from excessive browning and bring it to readiness.
I think it’s worth remembering cheesecakes. In the classic recipe, these pies are baked in the oven in a water bath. ” How is that?” – you ask. Easily! The bottom and sides of the mold with the cheesecake are wrapped tightly in several layers of foil, then sent to a larger diameter container filled with water, or a deep baking sheet, and into the oven.
Important: Always check that the water has not evaporated while baking the cheesecake. The cake pan should be about 70% liquid.
There is another option for preparing this dish. The cake takes longer to bake, but the oven temperature is kept lower. The filled crust is placed in the oven at 150 degrees for 1.5 hours. After an hour, you need to watch the dessert very carefully, as there is a possibility of browning on the top.
Tip: It doesn’t really matter which method of making cheesecake you choose, but in order for the cake to be a success, you need to control the baking process. If you see that the dish is starting to brown on top, immediately cover it with a piece of foil: this way you can save it from excessive baking on the outside, while bringing it to readiness on the inside.
Note to the housewife: It is worth noting that you can not only cover or bake in it with foil, but also fold it in several layers to make the missing molds for muffins or juliennes. Thick foil holds its shape perfectly!
Is it dangerous to cook food in aluminum foil?
There are many recipes for cooking fish, meat and vegetables in aluminum foil. This method is considered gentle; the dishes turn out juicy, soft and healthy. However, scientists believe that this type of cooking threatens to cause an excessive amount of aluminum in the body. I don’t know, maybe this is from the same series as You should never wash raw chicken from the store?
. I don’t know, think about it.
But these are the consequences scientists warn about.
For example, a high concentration of the metal was found in the brain tissue of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (as a result of which scientists suggest that it is the excess aluminum in the body that is the first impetus for the development of this terrible disease.). It reduces the growth rate of brain cells. Aluminum also harms patients with bone diseases and impaired kidney function. Most women with malignant breast tumors find deposits of this heavy metal in the lymph nodes close to the breast.
What is aluminum foil? These are thin metal sheets obtained from – surprise! Aluminum! It turns out that foil comes in different forms and can contain from 92% to 99% pure Aluminum.
Aluminum is widely used in the cooking process. Aluminum pots and pans are still often used in houses and apartments, and especially often in catering establishments.
The lead author of the study, associate professor and head of the department of chemistry at Cairo’s Ain Shams University, Ghada Bassioni, does not call for abandoning the usual utensils, but warns that foil made from the same aluminum can be dangerous, especially when exposed to high heat and during cooking sour or spicy foods.
The human body is able to effectively eliminate small amounts of externally supplied aluminum. Therefore, small doses of metal do not cause concern among doctors.
The World Health Organization has established a safe limit of 40 mg of aluminum per day per 1 kg of human weight.
Thus, if you weigh 75 kg, it is quite acceptable to eat 3 grams of metal daily.
The problem is that many people eat more of it. Aluminum is found not only in cookware, but also in foods such as corn, yellow cheese, herbs, spices, tea and even salt. In addition, the metal is used in pharmacology and in the process of drinking water purification.
At the household level, we cannot eliminate aluminum from medicines, unprocessed foods and drinking water. But we can all easily limit its intake into the body through kitchen utensils and foil.
Aluminum, as is known from a school chemistry course, is always covered with a thin film of oxides. On the surface of thick cookware, an oxide layer gradually accumulates and becomes stronger, effectively preventing food from contacting the metal.
Vigorous brushing thins the protective layer, but Dr. Bassioni doesn’t consider this a problem.
To restore the protective properties of dishes, she advises boiling water in a saucepan a couple of times until the interior surface, shiny after cleaning, becomes dull again.
Foil is a completely different story. It is very thin and intended for single use. No amount of trickery can create a thick oxide layer on it that can reliably isolate products from contact with metal. As Ms. Bassioni writes:
“The migration of aluminum into foil-wrapped foods during cooking is above the permissible limit set by the World Health Organization.”
Especially a lot of aluminum gets into food during high heat and when using sour sauces containing tomato juice and lemon. The processes of leaching metal into food are even more active if you add hot seasonings and spices.
Ghada Bassioni is sure that aluminum foil should not be used for cooking. Instead, she recommends making greater use of glassware and porcelain for baking.
However, the scientist does not call for completely banishing foil from the kitchen. It is quite acceptable to use it for short-term storage of cold sandwiches.
This is what the head of the laboratory of the Russian Gerontological Research and Clinical Center of Roszdrav, Dr. b., answers the question posed in the title of the post. n. Elena Tereshina:
– It’s really better not to use aluminum foil. When it comes into contact with food, it oxidizes, and aluminum hydroxide does not dissolve in water and is not excreted from the body. There is evidence that the accumulation of aluminum in the body can cause serious diseases – from anemia and cystitis to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. But there is no need to panic – the amount of aluminum that enters the body with food is negligible, and in order to develop such sores, food baked or stored in foil must be eaten constantly. But it is better to use glass dishes for baking and storing food.
And here’s what the skeptics say:
Do you know the drug “Phosphalugel” for the treatment of gastritis? This drug has been used for more than 20 years. It has passed all the necessary tests for non-toxicity and has proven its safety over many years of use. Each dose of this drug contains several grams of aluminum in the active form when taken orally. You can easily calculate that you cannot get that much aluminum from foil even when used in a strongly acidic environment even after 10 years of continuous cooking in foil.
In general, no more than a few milligrams of oxide can come off the foil at a time; it is quite chemically stable (inert). It is quite obvious that you can exceed the dangerous dose only if you completely dissolve the foil in a strong acid and then pour this solution over the food. There aren’t many crazy people.
Something else interesting on medical topics: for example, they claim that More than half of the trials of new medical drugs are corrupt
and it turns out that There is no need to clean your ears
. Somehow we discussed Are healers a myth or reality?
and how oysters kill people
Which side of foil should I use for baking?
Many people don’t even notice, but foil has a glossy and matte side. This feature is obtained through the manufacturing process. Metal sheets are rolled out with special rollers to a thin film. The side that is in direct contact with the device is shiny, and the other side is matte.
So which side should you wrap?
It is claimed that a matte surface absorbs infrared radiation, while a glossy surface reflects it.
There are several rather polar opinions about which side is correct for baking food and whether there is any difference at all.
1. If you use foil with a glossy surface on the inside and a matte surface on the outside, the temperature inside the package will be very high.
2. The matte side has increased adhesion to food. That is why it is better to place the dish on a shiny surface so that nothing sticks.
3. The glossy side on the outside reflects excess heat. Thanks to this, the dish does not overheat and does not dry out.
4. It is worth placing the dish on the rough side, since it is treated with a non-stick coating.
5. You can bake on any side, the differences are minor.
So, experts say that there is no fundamental difference in choosing a side. However, many chefs use small life hacks for certain dishes.
1. Fish and meat dishes will cook faster if you place them on a shiny surface.
2. Fatty foods are baked on the matte side, and low-fat and dry foods are baked on the glossy side.
3. It is better to place a whole chicken carcass on a smooth surface. But the ends of the wings and legs should be wrapped with the rough side inward so that they do not burn.
4. Fruit and vegetable dishes are recommended to be placed on a matte surface. This way they retain the greatest amount of useful microelements and vitamins.
5. Line the baking sheet with the rough side down. The baked goods will be more fluffy and baked on a shiny surface.
6. To speed up the cooking process, cover the dish with the rough side facing up.
7. If you have foil with a non-stick layer in your arsenal, place the food on the non-stick side.
Brief history of the appearance of food-grade aluminum foil
Aluminum foil has long been a common household tool, widely used for cooking. The technology for manufacturing aluminum foil was invented in Switzerland, which is not surprising – manufacturers and sellers of the famous Swiss chocolate went out of their way to come up with the most original and practical packaging for their product, popular all over the world.
It is known that the idea of using foil as wrapping paper came to the mind of the Swiss industrialist Heinrich Alfred Gauci, who patented this innovation in 1909.
However, the foil was thick and expensive. But after just a year or two, a certain Georg Robert Neher, also from Switzerland, already patents the technology for manufacturing thin food-grade aluminum foil.
Since then, the equipment has been improved, but the manufacturing technology of this product has remained essentially unchanged – thin aluminum plates are rolled on special machines, obtaining the finished product known to us.
Thin food-grade aluminum foil has been used in large quantities since 1913, when it replaced more expensive and thicker wrapping materials in the United States.
Many years have passed, but in modern media (especially on the Internet), statements constantly appear that the use of aluminum foil in cooking is dangerous. They say that aluminum penetrates into products, which puts our health at risk.
To try to understand which of them is right, let’s look at the hardware. So what is aluminum foil? Essentially, this is metal “paper”, which is a thin (as thick as a sheet of paper) and wide shiny sheet of aluminum.