Can Tin Foil Go In The Microwave?

Of all the kitchen appliances the microwave is one of the most popular and useful. It is usually safe, which is why putting glass or microwave-safe plastic inside is recommended.

But microwaving something that is not safe can be dangerous. We all know that plastic wrap is NOT microwave-safe. But is aluminum foil safe for the microwave?

For most of us, we have been told our entire lives that putting metal like aluminum foil in a microwave even only for a short time is dangerous. But is this true?

Well, in this article we aim to answer that very question and more. So, without further ado, let us get started!

Is It Actually Safe To Put Aluminum Foil In The Microwave?

Microwaves are designed to make our daily lives easier. They are high-powered machines that use radio waves to cook food quickly and effectively.

This process happens through a process known as radiation, which is similar to how we can feel the heat of the sun. Microwaves are built with reflective insides which help the microwaves to bounce around and thus travel through the food.

When this happens the molecules that make up the food vibrate. The more vibrations there are the warmer the food gets.

These microwaves operate at a frequency that creates energy and allows water molecules, sugar, and fat to be absorbed. However, there are some plastics, ceramics, and glassware that do not heat up.

Metal on the other hand is extremely reflective and because of this electrical current will bounce off of it. This causes food to stop heating up. But, does this apply to aluminum foil?

What Is Aluminum Foil?

Aluminum foil is found in just about every corner of the world. This type of metal belongs to a group known as the boron group.

It comes in a thin sheet which is malleable and lightweight. it is for this reason that it is so useful for so many different things.

The thin pieces of aluminum foil are always a wonderful silver color. This metal is used to cover dishes in ovens, microwaves, and microwave ovens.

However, as we have said, aluminum foil is a metal and this is not necessarily safe to put in a microwave.

But, not all is lost, there are some precautions that you can follow that will make it safer to put aluminum foil in the microwave.

How Does A Microwave Work?

Microwaves cook food by inserting microwaves, which are a form of power, into the food. These electromagnetic waves are not visible to us. These microwaves cause the energy to bounce from wall to wall.

This electrical field causes heating which then causes your food to start cooking.

So, when you are microwaving your food in aluminum you can cause the foil to bounce that power and which can in turn cause the food in your microwave oven to not beat up as it should.

Microwave aluminum foil is safer to use in a microwave oven as it has been designed to work in that environment.

Just bear in mind that there will be an additional cost to getting foil that is designed to work in an oven and heat up your food via the electrical field.

Can Tin Foil Go In The Microwave?

Tips For Putting Aluminum Foil In The Microwave

Aluminum foil is very thin, which means that it can be impacted by the electric fields in a microwave and catch on fire.

That being said, there are precautions that you can follow that should help to make using til foil in a microwave or microwave oven safer.

Tip 1

If you need to use aluminum foil in the microwave you need to make sure you use smooth aluminum foil. Wrinkled foil is more hazardous in a microwave oven.

So make sure that it is only the smooth foil that you use. The sharp edges caused by wrinkly foil can be hazardous.

Tip 2

Smooth foil.Any aluminum foil you use in the microwave should be new as it is less likely to have wrinkles. This reduces the risk of fire breaking out when you put it in the microwave.

Once again, this is because the sharp edges can increase the risk of using foil in a microwave.

Tip 3

Any aluminum foil you put in the microwave needs to be a minimum of one inch away from each microwave oven wall and ceiling.

To ensure that the foil is the right distance away we recommend using smaller plates in the microwave.

Metal walls are what make up the inside of a microwave. You should also ensure that aluminum foil is not put on metal shelves. On top of that, the edges stick to the walls which is unsafe.

Tip 4

Aluminum cookware like foil trays, pie plates, cake pans, and bread loaf tins should not be placed in the microwave. It is not safe to do this and on top of that, the food will not heat up or cook as expected.

This is because the metal reflects the waves and does not allow the food to absorb the radio waves.

If you want to use one of these popular kitchen tools you need to make sure that you use the right type of foil when you heat up your food.

Tip 5

There is some research that indicates that you should put the shiny side of the aluminum foil down. However, the evidence that this reduces the fire risk is minimal.

In fact, most evidence suggests that the reflective capabilities of both the shiny and dull sides are just about the same. But this is a tip worth considering if you want to be extra careful.

Tip 6

Read the microwave safety label. There are some foods like pizza that have foil-lined bottoms which help the crust to get crispy. Read the label to check if that sheet of foil can be safely microwavable.

Tip 7

If your microwave happens to have a metal turntable then it is NOT safe to put tinfoil inside the microwave.

There should also not be any metal shelving in the microwave if you intend to use aluminum foil in the microwave.

Tip 8

You should cover no more than a quarter of your food with aluminum foil. By doing this you will reduce the risk of a fire occurring in the microwave.

It is also a good way to allow the electric currents to actually warm up the food.

As we have said, if the food is completely covered with tin aluminum it will not all warm up. The foil should shield parts of the food to avoid burning.

Tip 9

Ensure that the foil or foil container you use is made from microwave aluminum foil. This ensures that there will be less risk of a fire occurring. Read the labels to see if your foil containers are microwave safe.

Tip 10

Use aluminum foil sparingly. Foil in a microwave is a hazard on its own. As we have said, if your foil touches the walls you run the risk of an incident occurring.

So when you are heating food you need to make sure that you are using only small pieces.

You need to cover only a quarter of your food in order for the electromagnetic fields to heat it through completely. But, by covering your food with foil you can prevent overcooking.

Your food will just not start cooking as fast as you would like. You just need to realize that a covered metal pan with food inside or food completely covered will not cook as fast as you would like.

What Kinds Of Aluminum Foil Cookware Are There?

There are many types of aluminum foil cookware options out there. Some are microwave safe and others are not. Most are disposable, below is a list of some aluminum foil cookware items you may see:

Pie Plates

For making those delicious pies.

Roasting Pans

For cooking whole chicken, poultry drumsticks, and more.


To eat delicious food with.

Bread Loaf Tins

To make delicious fresh bread.

Cake Pans

To make a cake for yourself.

Are all of these foil cookware items microwave safe? Well, not always. It will depend on what the manufacturer says and whether their product has been designed to work well with the energy that microwaving puts out.

Regardless of whether these products are for microwave use or not. It is essential that you do NOT put them in a microwave with a metal turntable.

But you can use foil containers that are safe according to the manufacturer. Remember not any foil container is microwave safe.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learning all about whether aluminum foil is microwavable.

To sum up, everything that we have covered. Foil can be microwave-safe depending on what cookware you are using.

But if you use aluminum foil to cover a microwavable dish there are certain safety precautions that you can follow to make the whole process safer.

Aluminum foil may hinder the potential for food to heat up completely. But the bigger issue is to make sure that the foil does not touch the microwave’s walls inside of the microwave.

With all of that being said, this kitchen appliance is extremely popular in today’s society. This is why it is important that you take care of it.

Metal turntables are not compatible with foil in a microwave so make sure to not do that.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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