Which side of the aluminum foil is right - shiny or matte? Common myths and surprising facts!

Katera stran aluminijaste folije je prava
Photo: envato elements

Did you know that aluminum foil is one of the most versatile tools in your kitchen? But despite its frequent use, many people still wonder which side of the foil - matte or shiny - is correct for use. Let's dispel some myths and give some interesting facts about this kitchen helper. Which side of the aluminum foil is right?

In the daily rush of culinary preparations, aluminum foil is often the unnoticed hero of our kitchens. From baking in the oven to storing leftovers, this thin, shiny sheet of metal has become almost indispensable. But despite its ubiquity, many people wonder: Is there really a right way to use aluminum foil? Which side – glossy or matte – should be facing out? This article explores the scientific background and practices of using aluminum foil, debunks the myth of the "right" side, and offers practical advice for everyday use so you can work more confidently and efficiently in the kitchen.

Photo: envato elements

Which side of the aluminum foil is right?!

How aluminum foil is made: technical background

Aluminum foil is made by rolling aluminum plates, which are held down to the desired thickness. In the last stage of production, the two layers of foil pass through the rollers together, as a result of which one side acquires a shiny surface, while the other side is matte. This difference is only due to the contact with the polished roller and does not affect the functionality of the film.

Culinary use: does it matter which side is facing out?

When it comes to cooking, storing food or baking, it makes no significant difference whether you use the matte or the shiny side of the foil. Research and experts confirm that both sides of the foil retain heat and freshness of food equally effectively. However, some manufacturers of non-stick aluminum foil recommend placing food on the matte side, which is said to be better at preventing sticking.

When using aluminum foil, it makes no significant difference which side you use, matte or shiny. The different sides of the film are the result of the production process, where two layers of film pass through the rollers at the same time. The shiny side is the one that has been in contact with the polished rollers, while the matte side is the one that has been in contact with the second layer of foil. (Chef's Resource)​.

Photo: envato elements
In terms of thermal conductivity, both sides of the foil work the same, which was also confirmed by tests that showed that there are no noticeable differences when cooking with the foil, regardless of which side is facing outward. (America's Test Kitchen)​. Therefore, it does not matter whether you use the glossy or matte side when baking or storing food. Some film manufacturers, such as Reynolds, even state that there is no difference in performance between the two sides (Kitchn)​.

The only exception where it matters which side you use is with non-stick foil, where only one side is coated to prevent food from sticking. (Kitchn)​.

So feel free to use whatever side of aluminum foil you have on hand and focus on other aspects of food preparation.

Additional practical uses of aluminum foil

Aluminum foil is not only used in the kitchen. Its properties can also be used in the household for cleaning, as the shiny side effectively polishes silverware and removes rust from tools. The foil can also be used to protect surfaces during painting or as a reflector for better light direction.

Conclusion: Myths busted, facts confirmed

Now that you know the truth about the matte and shiny sides of aluminum foil, you can feel free to use whichever side you have handy. Regardless of whether you are baking, storing or cleaning, aluminum foil remains an indispensable helper in every household.

With you since 2004

From 2004 we research urban trends and inform our community of followers daily about the latest in lifestyle, travel, style and products that inspire with passion. From 2023, we offer content in major global languages.