There is a list of risks and safety precautions attached with operating a toaster ovens, many of these deal with what you can place inside. The most popular of queries relate to can you put foil in toaster oven.
Foil is safe to use in most toaster ovens IF AND ONLY IF you have taken the safety precautions into consideration. For instance covering the break crumb tray with foil is a safety hazard. We go over the myriads of precautions to take below in this article.
Being able to use foil in your toaster oven will also depend on your ovens manufacturer. That is why you should always check your oven manual before attempting to do this.
IF your toaster oven is not aluminum foil safe, it can heat up too fast and damage it in the best case scenario or create a fire in the worst case scenario.
It is imperative that you keep your oven safe and avoid unverified practices to avoid such occurrences.
In this article, we will discuss more about aluminum foil and when it is safe to use them in your toaster oven.
Can You Put Foil in Toaster Oven?
Most people have one time or an other used foils in their toaster oven.
While there is nothing wrong in placing aluminum foil in toaster oven, it can be potentially dangerous. This is because not all placement practices are safe for toaster oven.
Brands that do not expressly state oven safe items would likely expect that their users take minor precautions before using items like foil in their brand toaster ovens.
How to Use Aluminum Foil in Toaster Oven Safely
When you buy a new toaster oven, the first thing to do is check the manual for items or things that are safe for use in your toaster ovens.
Most brands will usually state the safety hazards and precautions you should take before using them.
When you want to use foil in your toaster oven, ensure that you cut it to the exact size of the pan you are laying it in and follow the food recipe.
Ensure that you abide by all the precautionary measures mentioned below so as to keep it safe and avoid kitchen accidents.
Line Your Oven Rack or Baking Tray with an Aluminum Foil
You have to make certain that you remove the aluminum foil from the rack regularly and do not let grease accumulate on top.
As earlier mentioned, most toaster oven brands easily state in their manuals if its alright to use foil on the racks.
Do Not Let Your Foil Touch or Stay Close to Your Oven Heating Element
The possible dangers and risks attached to doing this are better avoided.
Allowing aluminum foil close to your toaster oven heating element will only do damage to your microwave oven.
It can cause a fire which isn’t good in any form.
Have at least an inch of clearance between the foil and the heating element.
If the heating element touches the aluminum foil, it may not be able to sustain the high heat and eventually damage the heating element permanently. Let alone the fact that it may start a fire.
Ensure that Your Foil Does Not Touch the Sides of Your Oven
This might seem slightly extreme. But when dealing with issues like potential fires, it is better to be safe than sorry.
The wall of your toaster oven is almost as hot as the ovens heating element when its on.
Letting foil paper touch your oven wall can start a fire or ignite a spark and you really don’t want that.
Avoid Using Foil with Oily Foods
Though you might feel like foil is the only option to use, that isn’t necessarily true. Oil, heat and foil don’t mix well, putting all three in the same place can create a recipe for disaster.
Foods containing animal protein or fats should not be prepared using aluminum foil.
But if you do not have any other alternative, make sure that the oil from the food is not dripping unto the oven heating element or other potentially dangerous parts of the oven.
If the recipe calls for using the aluminum foil, make certain you follow it to the letter.
Avoid Using Foil on Your Crumb Tray
This is because crumb trays are usually very hot, they are sometimes put close to the heating element.
In order to avoid kitchen hazards, it is advised that you don’t use foil to cover or overlay your oven crumb tray
Don’t Encase Your Food Totally in Foil
It is easy to make a habit out of wrapping your foods in foil while you prepare it, but this is also very dangerous.
Foil insulates heat and this heat can get trapped in your food causing it to burn it quicker than you think.
If you want to encase your food, make certain there is some gap or a hole that the warm air can escape through.
Also Read: How to clean a toaster oven after a fire?
Dangers of Using Foil in Toaster Oven
It Can Damage the Oven Heating Elements
If you use aluminum foil in your toaster oven without taking special precautions like moving it far away from the oven heating elements, it can damage the ovens heating elements.
The heating element of your toaster oven is the hottest part of your oven. The heat is spread directly from your oven heating element to the other parts of the oven.
When the foil is set too close to the heating element, it acts as a reflector that reflects the heat back on top the heating elements.
This can results in temperatures higher than the oven is designed to operate at.
Plus any accidental contact with the heating element will cause the aluminum foil to heat up very fast and can melt it.
Most people do not know how dangerous using aluminum foil in their toaster ovens can be.
Foil is a very efficient heat insulator which means when you use foil in your oven, especially when you use it to layer foods, it does not allow the heat to escape.
Similarly, if you were to line up your toaster oven entirely with aluminum foil, which you should NOT at all, it would trap the heat inside.
Blocks Heat Circulation
Lining your toaster oven wire tray with an aluminum foil might also result in uneven cooking as it block the heat from cooking the food placed on top.
The wire tray are designed so that the heat can circulate inside through the wide gaps in between. If you block these with an aluminum lining, you will have potentially decreased the efficiency of the toaster oven.
It Can Cause Electrical Sparks
Using foil in your microwave oven can cause the oven to spark, especially if it is placed too close to the oven walls.
This happens because aluminum foil is an excellent electrical conductor. Good Heat Insulator and Good Electrical Conductor.
Aluminum Leaches Into Food
It is also worth noting that aluminum can be a health hazard.
According to research by International Journal of Electrochemical Science, there is evidence that when using aluminum at such high temperature along with food, some particles of aluminum can leach into your food.
Alternatives to Aluminum Foil
With all the dangers attached to using foil in toaster ovens, it is not surprising that some people now consider other alternatives to foil in toaster ovens.
Some of these better alternatives includes foil plates, oven liners, baking mat(silicone), baking/roasting pans, pizza trays e.t.c
Perhaps one of the easiest and the cheapest option is to use parchment paper.
In this article, we talked extensively about can you put foil in toaster oven.
Using foils in your toaster oven is not all wrong but before you attempt to do that, you should ensure that you have studied the right practices and have also consulted the manual.
Also you can also look into alternative that are designed to be toaster oven safe.