Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?

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Offline neilep

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Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« on: 18/04/2004 04:41:42 »
While I've been away I've been pondering about foil.[:D](like you do) Y'know the stuff you wrap your sarnies in, or perhaps some cheese.....err...anyway....should one have the shiny side inside or outside ?....this is a very important topic which I imagine should generate quite a heated debate (Sarcy Mode)[:o)]....but seriously, which side of foil should be inside ...and why ?...An educated guestimate leads me to submit that I think the shiny side should be on the inside.....but i don't know why..  (I just went and had a glance at my roll of foil and it said on the box that either side can be used...then WHY is there a shiny side and a dull side ? ta very much)

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #1 on: 18/04/2004 08:07:23 »
I believe the shiny side should be in and the outer side out, because foil is typically used to keep hot in or cold in, so you want the more reflective side in and the more absorbant side out.  I've found it doesn't make a huge difference though

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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #2 on: 18/04/2004 12:29:13 »
Thanks Matey...I suspected so, but it does say on my box as mentioned above, that you can use either side, and I agree....doesn't really matter does it ?...besides I tend to use clingfilm anyway !!..and sometimes foil too so it's doubly insulated......actually, that reminds me, a few years ago I remember there being a food scare (one of a thousand)..about the properties of clingfilm in contact with food.....I can't remember the exact science about it except that it was a bad thing.....can anyone remember what that was all about ?

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #3 on: 18/04/2004 15:39:02 »
Like they say, you can use either side. There is little difference between the absorptivity and the emissivity of aluminum at thermal IR, so the thermal performance is similar. There is also little difference between the surface finishes, even though one side is clearly mirror and the other is not, if you aren't using it as a mirror there is no significant difference.

The cling-wrap scare is about having low temperature plastic wrap in contact with the food while microwaving. Don't do that. The plastic can melt and transfer some chemicals to the food.
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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #4 on: 18/04/2004 15:52:30 »
Thanks gsmollin....nice one !...I consider myself nice and relaxed in the trauma that was my foil quandry !![:)]. As far as the clingfilm/wrap is concerned..I remember now..thanks...fortunately I don't use it in the microwave...but.. I suppose the same can be said that one must wait for food to cool down before wrapping it in plastic eh ?

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #5 on: 18/04/2004 22:19:08 »
I wouldn't microwave your food with the aluminum foil still on either :)

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Offline tweener

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #6 on: 18/04/2004 22:29:22 »
I'm not sure I like aluminum foil at all because it is (albeit loosely) implicated in Alzheimer's disease and a few other serious maladies.  I do use it though, and I usually don't make a distinction between the shiny side and dull side.  It would be interesting to see if there is any difference between the two in terms of thermal characteristics.  Like, does a potatoe bake better with the shiny side in or out?

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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #7 on: 18/04/2004 22:41:24 »
Good one John...yep I'm up for that....lets all get together ALA Blazing Saddles style and bake some spuds....and thanks for the tip Justin....about the microwave and foil.....does make a pleasing light display though ;-)

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #8 on: 18/04/2004 08:07:23 »
I believe the shiny side should be in and the outer side out, because foil is typically used to keep hot in or cold in, so you want the more reflective side in and the more absorbant side out.  I've found it doesn't make a huge difference though

Lift your skinny fists, like antennas to hevan!
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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #9 on: 18/04/2004 12:29:13 »
Thanks Matey...I suspected so, but it does say on my box as mentioned above, that you can use either side, and I agree....doesn't really matter does it ?...besides I tend to use clingfilm anyway !!..and sometimes foil too so it's doubly insulated......actually, that reminds me, a few years ago I remember there being a food scare (one of a thousand)..about the properties of clingfilm in contact with food.....I can't remember the exact science about it except that it was a bad thing.....can anyone remember what that was all about ?

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
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Offline gsmollin

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #10 on: 18/04/2004 15:39:02 »
Like they say, you can use either side. There is little difference between the absorptivity and the emissivity of aluminum at thermal IR, so the thermal performance is similar. There is also little difference between the surface finishes, even though one side is clearly mirror and the other is not, if you aren't using it as a mirror there is no significant difference.

The cling-wrap scare is about having low temperature plastic wrap in contact with the food while microwaving. Don't do that. The plastic can melt and transfer some chemicals to the food.
"F = ma, E = mc^2, and you can't push a string."

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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #11 on: 18/04/2004 15:52:30 »
Thanks gsmollin....nice one !...I consider myself nice and relaxed in the trauma that was my foil quandry !![:)]. As far as the clingfilm/wrap is concerned..I remember now..thanks...fortunately I don't use it in the microwave...but.. I suppose the same can be said that one must wait for food to cool down before wrapping it in plastic eh ?

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #12 on: 18/04/2004 22:19:08 »
I wouldn't microwave your food with the aluminum foil still on either :)

Lift your skinny fists, like antennas to hevan!
<font color="maroon"></font id="maroon">How much CAML do you have in your toes? [;)]

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Offline tweener

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #13 on: 18/04/2004 22:29:22 »
I'm not sure I like aluminum foil at all because it is (albeit loosely) implicated in Alzheimer's disease and a few other serious maladies.  I do use it though, and I usually don't make a distinction between the shiny side and dull side.  It would be interesting to see if there is any difference between the two in terms of thermal characteristics.  Like, does a potatoe bake better with the shiny side in or out?

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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #14 on: 18/04/2004 22:41:24 »
Good one John...yep I'm up for that....lets all get together ALA Blazing Saddles style and bake some spuds....and thanks for the tip Justin....about the microwave and foil.....does make a pleasing light display though ;-)

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #15 on: 19/04/2004 04:30:59 »
CDs are the way to go for a pleasing light display...cuz when the light display is over you still have something cool o look at.


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Offline chris

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #16 on: 19/04/2004 06:29:40 »
Aluminium has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease, indeed you can detect it in the hallmark plaques that it produces in the brain, but it is not known whether the aluminium causes the plaques, or whether the plaques merely soak up aluminium after they form.

Chris

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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #17 on: 19/04/2004 12:25:45 »
Thanks Chris......I remember as a layman hearing the news items not just about foil but certainly about cookware too......I think on the basis of hearing that I changed my pressure cooker to a stainless steel one.

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #18 on: 20/04/2004 01:50:37 »
Hmmm, I thought that Maalox was a big source of aluminum.  I guess we should all go to iron pots anyway to get some iron in our diets and be less anemic.
 

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Offline tweener

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #19 on: 20/04/2004 02:14:05 »
If you eat from aluminum do you have to take Maalox?????

I figure that stainless is better than aluminum in many ways.  Once I left some stuff in an aluminum pan too long (waaaay too long) and it ate through the bottom.  That has never happened with stainless.  I love cooking with cast iron, but I can't seem to get away from electric stoves, and they don't do as well with iron as gas does.  Especially the glass top POS that I have now.

And I love watching CDs in the microwave.  It gives a whole new meaning to "burning a CD".

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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #20 on: 20/04/2004 03:21:39 »
Cooking on an iron griddle is fantastic !!........but what strength of curry were you cooking John to eat through the aluminum pan ? Do you find with cast iron cookware , that the food sticks a lot unless you're attending to it all the time ?.............and , which group or artist cd would you recommend to use in a microwave oven ?

Nance....or John....what is Maalox ?

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Offline chris

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #21 on: 20/04/2004 05:18:07 »
John - what happens to a CD in the microwave then ?

Chris

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #22 on: 20/04/2004 14:58:16 »
A CD would cause arcing and sparking in the oven, because of its thin aluminum layer, just like if you forget to remove the aluminum foil from the food. This is no way to treat a magnetron though, I can't recommend it!
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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #23 on: 20/04/2004 19:25:55 »
....will it damage the Microwave Oven ?....cos I'm dying to try it out !!!..I've got me shades on, I've invited friends and family over, got the popcorn...all i need is the go ahead to have some fun!!!

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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #24 on: 20/04/2004 19:27:06 »
''''ahh.....I kinda just saw your answer gsmollin....I suppose that means no fun for me eh ?...Ho Hum !!!

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Offline tweener

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #25 on: 21/04/2004 03:30:47 »
I've zapped many CDs in microwaves - it's FUN!

They do arc and spark, but that is what is so fun.  If you have seen any really cheap sci-fi movies where the ship gets hit with the energy weapon and little sparks and tracers go all over the outside, that is about what happens with a CD.  The sparks are confined to near the surface of the CD and don't go to the walls of the oven.

I recommend filling a cup with some water (to absorb some energy), then set the CD on top of the cup so you can see it.  Set the oven for about 10 seconds and watch the show.  When the sparking stops, I stop the oven, but with the water in there, it doesn't really matter.  Sometimes the show is very short ( < 1 second) and sometimes it lasts several seconds.

For obvious reasons, I don't recommend this with a CD that has data you value.  They come out with a very "crackled" look to the metal.

And every microwave oven I've done this with continued to work after the "experiment".  So far.

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Offline MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #26 on: 21/04/2004 06:55:42 »
I had a friend in college who used to save the clear discs that come on the ends of spools of blank CDs.  He'd then nuke a real CD to create the cool cracking pattern, and then glue the clear one on top of it and use them as costers, they were awesome!

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Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #27 on: 21/04/2004 09:07:30 »
I made an interesting observation the other day.

When a plate with a gold band edging (and food in the middle) was placed in the microwave it produced a spectacular light show of sparks and arcs.

But when the aluminium dish from a Chinese takeaway (containing some food that was for re-heating - probably unwise) was placed in the microwave it could be heated without problems.

Why should this be ?

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #28 on: 22/04/2004 04:16:44 »
Doh! Don't put gold plated china in a microwave. Don't put metalic treated paper party plates in a microwave either. And you guys with the CDs are on your own.  Sure, it's fun, but then someone loses an eye.

Depending on the shape of the conductor, it can be in a microwave and not cause a spark. Some of the foil dishes have rounded edges, so the electic field termination is not so abrupt that the potential exceeds breakdown. I can never predict which will spark, or not, though. And I'm pretty sure it helps to have the foil dish full of food.
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Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #29 on: 22/04/2004 06:01:36 »
hmm, but the plate gold banding also has rounded edges. Also, I've tried several foil dishes from various takeaways without triggering any fireworks, but the foil-lined packet that you get with your peshawari naan almost takes the microwave with it if you put one of those on cook !

In the immortal words of Ali G "How do you h'explain that ?"

TNS

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #30 on: 22/04/2004 21:40:16 »
quote:
Originally posted by gsmollin

Doh!...Sure, it's fun, but then someone loses an eye.

Yeah, and we all know that after that they call it a sport.
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Offline neilep

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #31 on: 22/04/2004 21:55:23 »
So...do I do the deed and micowave a cd or not ?...to cd or not cd ? that is the question !! I am prepared to sacrifice a cd, cos I have about three hundred  stuck to my study wall (freebee ones).....

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Offline gsmollin

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #32 on: 23/04/2004 03:01:44 »
quote:
Originally posted by NakedScientist

hmm, but the plate gold banding also has rounded edges. Also, I've tried several foil dishes from various takeaways without triggering any fireworks, but the foil-lined packet that you get with your peshawari naan almost takes the microwave with it if you put one of those on cook !

In the immortal words of Ali G "How do you h'explain that ?"

TNS



You're not thinking three-dimensionally. The china cup is alumina, an excellent dielectric, and invisible to microwaves. So the microwaves see a round gold band, about three inches in diameter, a quarter inch high, and no more than 20 microinches thick. That's a lot thinner than aluminum foil, and a very sharp edge, indeed!
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Offline tweener

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Re: Kitchen Foil....which way and why ?
« Reply #33 on: 23/04/2004 20:41:37 »
You're right gsmollin.  In addition to the sharp edge, it it also a loop, approximately one wavelength in diameter.  This makes a very efficient antenna, which will make for a very high current induced around the loop.  Once the loop breaks, most likely in several places, the current doesn't flow any longer.  When the metallic pieces are small enough, they just become little scatterers that don't really affect the overall resonance in the microwave.

And, you're right, there is no way to predict what is going to arc and what is going to peacefully co-exist in the oven.

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