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Can You Put foil in a Convection Microwave?

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Can You Put foil in a Convection Microwave?

Yes. You can put foil paper in a convection microwave but as is with everything that works, there are guidelines and restrictions that must be heeded to avoid unnecessary accidents or damage to your microwave.

Innovation inevitably gets us to better and savvier machines and appliances. The convection microwave is certainly one of the best buys you have made for your kitchen in recent years. For culinary enthusiasts, it has been a source of much delight.

While a regular microwave should get most of your heating needs sorted out, the versatility that comes with the convection microwave is not merely an added bonus it is the reason to have one.

A convection microwave allows you to do more than just ‘nuke’ cold food. You can roast meats and tubers, bake pastries, casseroles, and whole vegetables, boil and thicken gravies, and heat or cook pizza.

Aluminum foil is an indispensable component in cooking, packaging, and preserving food in general. At some point, you have put food wrapped in foil in your convection microwave and then wondered if that was safe. Opposing views exist but the finer details are key here.

How to use foil in a convection microwave.

Contrary to popular opinion, aluminum foil is not flammable at the temperatures found in the kitchen and certainly not in the temperatures found in any microwave. 

The aluminum metal which is what aluminum foil is made of will melt at extremely high temperatures of about 1220 degrees Fahrenheit or 660 degrees Celsius.

That said, the reason spontaneous ignition at times occurs when the foil is used in the microwave is that it is used wrong. If you must use foil in the microwave below are the general guidelines.

  • Do not cover or wrap food completely with foil when heating or cooking it in the microwave.

In a convection microwave or when using the convection feature on a microwave, heat is produced by the heating coil and then distributed evenly throughout the microwave chamber by a high-velocity fan, thus heating or cooking your food evenly through. 

Since aluminum is impervious to heat, food wrapped in aluminum will not get heated anyway. 

If there are parts of the food that require minimal or no heat whatsoever, wrap only those parts with aluminum foil and not the whole meal. 

These could be the tips of chicken legs and wings. To prevent them from over-browning you can wrap them tightly with some foil while the rest of the food remains exposed to ensure it is impacted by the heat in the chamber.

  • Ensure there are no hanging pieces of foil.

Foil is metal and hanging tips or pointy edges will act as an antenna for the electromagnetic waves that emit from the magnetron of the microwave. This will cause electrical sparks and arcing and your microwave could ignite as a result. 

Keep foil tightly secured against its contents to avoid this problem.

  • Only use aluminum foil to line the floor of the cooking dish.

In a convection oven, lining your cooking dish with aluminum can produce a perfectly cooked meal especially roasts and pastries. 

The fact that aluminum is impervious to heat means that when it lines the bottom of your cooking pan, it will not absorb heat and transfer it to the food which would likely burn at the point of contact with the dish.

The even distribution of heat in a convection oven will only act on the food and not the aluminum lining which means the bottom of your roast is safe from overcooking. 

Most fast foods come in aluminum-coated disposable plates for this reason as well and they are microwave safe. The food can be heated safely in a convection microwave provided you uncover the food or cover it with a ‘microwave cover’ which is unnecessary. 

The way the plate is structured is that it has no sharp edges or pointy tips that may cause arcing and once uncovered, heat impacts the food without making any difference to the aluminum plate.

The disposable aluminum plate even feels cool to the touch while the food heats up considerably. 

When used to hold food or line dishes, aluminum foil is a great option in a convection microwave.

  • Aluminum pans 

Aluminum is the most conducive metal to make cooking pans and this has been the case for centuries. Even if aluminum foil is not used, the best containers or cooking dishes, roasting, baking, and boiling in a convection microwave as well as on most other cooking appliances are still crafted out of aluminum.

If aluminum foil seems an odd choice for you, there are pans made specifically for cooking in a convection microwave and it is advisable to use these recommended cooking pans to avoid mishaps with the use of foil.

About Convection Microwaves…

The convection microwave is the hybrid product of a regular microwave and a conventional oven. The convection microwave combines the mechanisms of precise heating and heat distribution creating an effective multipurpose cooking tool.

The main problem with a convection microwave is the small size which may not accommodate the large amounts of food that an oven can. Having an oven as well may be a good idea.

Conversely, for a small kitchen or for normal everyday meals which are likely small, a convection oven has got to be the ultimate solution for fast efficient execution of excellent meals that are sometimes troublesome to execute on a stovetop or an oven.

The cost of a convection microwave is also much higher than that of a regular microwave but the value is in the versatility which must, expectedly, contribute to a higher price point.

Finally…

For any appliance, understanding how they work is important in order to ensure you do not damage unnecessarily, appliances that are designed to go decades without losing efficiency and form. 

If not, then simply sticking to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer should allow you to utilize your appliance in the right manner offering you top value for a long time to come.

Tom Martins

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