Which Side of Aluminum Foil Should Be Used For Cooking: The Shiny Or Dull Side?

Aluminum foil is an essential for non-stick cooking but despite its popular use, there is still debate surrounding which of its surfaces, the dull or shiny, should be used. If you use aluminum foil, you have most likely asked this question yourself. Read on to clear your doubts about the appropriate way to use aluminum foil.

By Cookist

Professionals say there's no need for concern as both sides of an aluminum foil are suitable for use. Therefore, there is no "correct" side to use and using either the dull or shiny side doesn't affect the product of your cooking.

According to reports, both sides are equally effective at heating your food so you can use any you prefer. However, this changes if the aluminum foil is labeled "non-stick" by manufacturers.

Furthermore, many people wonder why there is even any discernible difference between the sides of an aluminum foil if there isn't any reason to be concerned. Experts say the difference is the product of a manufacturing process called milling, during which heat and tension are applied to stretch and shape the foil.

This technique requires that two layers of foil are pressed together and milled at the same time, so as to create a resilient material that doesn't freak easily.

The "dull" side is where the foil is in contact with another layer, while the "shiny" side is the side milled without being in contact with another sheet of metal.


Again, the function of the foil is not altered by whichever side you use, unless the foil is labeled, "non-stick."

According to experts, an aluminum foil obtains non-stick function when a non-stick coating is applied to one of its surfaces, which is typically the "dull" side.

But this isn't something to worry about as manufacturers typically label the side that bears the “non-stick” function.


If you are using an aluminum foil to prevent heat loss for quick cooking, then you don't need to worry about what side to use. However, if you are using yours for non-stick cooking like during baking, make sure to keep an eye out for the label that designates the side that provides the non-stick function.

Happy cooking!

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