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Kitchen Tip: Is There a Right or Wrong Side On Aluminum Foil?

Have you ever looked at aluminum foil and wondered why one side is shiny and one side is not?

Have you looked at it and asked yourself if you should put the shiny side up or down?

Well it does not matter. There is no right or wrong side to aluminium foil.

The variation is due to how aluminium foil is manufactured. The side that has contact with the rollers is shiny. The side that does not have contact with the rollers is dull. So, it does not matter. They are both essentially the same.

Now I am curious, am I the only one that has looked at aluminium foil and wondered if there is a right or wrong side?

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I have always wondered about it. I always just use the shiny side. LOL. It’s so much prettier. Right?

  2. I’ve always heard to put the shiny side down to keep the heat in, for cooking casseroles and other things. Other than that, I don’t think dull or shiny matters.

  3. Isn’t if funny how we go through life doing things and never actually think about it.. like this.. I never thought about a right or wrong side..

    LOL. Glad I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

  4. AllieZirkle says

    I was always curious too!!

  5. I always put the shiny side up. Like Marin said, it’s prettier!

  6. I was always curious as well.

    Now I’m curious – am I the only one that still calls it “tin foil?”

  7. The ONLY thing to remember about the foil is that the shiny side reflects light, and therefore heat, so your food won’t cook as fast if you’re using it in the oven. Aside from that, I, too, use the shiny-side-up method!

  8. I know that there is no difference in the way foods are cooked, but I always put the shiny side up anyway.

  9. This is something I wondered about too. Someone once told me the shiny side should always go up, so that’s what I’ve always done. Nice to know that it really doesn’t matter.

  10. How funny! I have thought this same exact question too. In fact, I will put whatever I’m wrapping in the middle of the dull side and always wrap it with the shiny side out! Anyone else?

  11. Leigh Ann, we call it “tin foil” around here too. 🙂

  12. It’s funny, my mother drilled into me that the shiny side reflected heat and the dull side absorbed heat. Many years later I met my hubby, and his mom told him the same thing, in a different decade and on the other side of the country!

  13. Shiny side up around here!

  14. I’m so glad you posted this. My boyfriend is always telling me I put food on the foil the wrong way, I didn’t think it mattered and now I have proof! 🙂

  15. That’s funny. I always thought that the shiny side was the right side and should face out. I guess for no other reason than that it was shiny.

  16. @Catherine, I have never tried the release type foil. I guess maybe I should.

  17. i always was curious about this too!

  18. Interestingly enough, I had to see for myself whether it mattered or not, so I decided to bake french fries. The first batch (using the dull side) was a little limp and not very appetizing, while the second batch (shiny side) was nice and crispy with that golden color we love so much. My kids (the critics) snubbed their noses at the first batch and devoured the second. So in my house, when it comes to french fries, shiny side definitely matters!

  19. I’d always heard shiny side out. Didn’t know why but thought it had something to do with sticking (ok so I started cooking young and some of my “ideas” are a little lame). But since being grown, I’ve heard, read and seen several things that said it didn’t matter it was the results of processing not because it was designed that way. But I still normally put the shiny side out, some habits are hard to break…lol

  20. l too was always curious as well!

  21. My mom taught me dull side out if you want it to cook faster/more heat, shiny side out it you want it to cook slower/less heat. And otherwise, I usually use the dull side out because I don’t like shiny.

  22. Paula Ransdell says

    I’ve wondered my entire adult life.. LOL
    Thank You

  23. PreacherHelper says

    I’m O.C.D., so I used to think that one side
    was more SANITARY than the other, in
    relation to the position (inside outside) of
    the Roll.

    Oh was for the name, in Louisiana we use
    to call it “Silver Foil Paper.”

  24. No your not the only one. i have also wonderer was there a difference. Evenif the shiny side held the heat. meaning dull on outside meaning meat on inside will get cooked cause its touching the shiny side. thanks for the answer doesn’t make a difference.

  25. Kenneth Bakke says

    No, yoou’re not the only one. There is a correct side(chemically) for the foil whether it touches the food or not.

  26. You are not alone. Thank You I didn’t think there was difference

  27. Karen Allen says

    Always shiny on top , i have never seen it done any other way.

  28. I agree, it doesn’t matter. To be a little more specific, a series of rollers squeeze the aluminum to make it thinner. At the last stage of rolling the rollers can not get close enough to press aluminum to the finished thinness so the aluminum is doubled over itself and run through two sheets thick. The shiny side is the one that contacted the roller and the dull side contacted the other aluminum sheet.

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