Foil vs. Plastic: The Best Thing To Wrap Your Food

Chicken

Do you have a method for your foil and plastic wrap? You probably have both in the kitchen, but do you really know which one is better for wrapping and storing your food?

There are quite a few differences between the two wraps, apart from the visual differences.

Let’s look at how you should use each:

Foil

Aluminium foil is much better at wrapping and covering aromatic foods, like fish or curries, as it’s better at trapping smells and stopping them from contaminating the rest of your fridge.

A foil is a much thicker and more heat resistant than plastic wrap, making it perfect for covering things in the oven, like baking chicken or roasts. However, you should never use it in the microwave, for obvious reasons.

A foil is also better for storing things in the freezer. It is more airtight around foods and prevents freezer burn. Although, it is recommended to wrap foods in plastic wrap first and then finish with a layer of foil for long-term freezer storage.

Tip: Don’t use foil when wrapping acidic foods, like tomato or berries. The acids react with the aluminium, leaving a harmless but unsightly blue residue.

Plastic wrap

Unlike foil, plastic or cling wrap is much better for storing acidic foods. It doesn’t react with anything and the thin film also means it’s very malleable.

For most fresh foods, opt for plastic; it can seal produce tighter than foil. It’s ideal for things like avocados and apples, as you can press the plastic wrap snug against the exposed surfaces and stop them oxidising. You can do the same for things that grow a skin or film, like custard.

However, plastic wrap can’t take much heat. It will melt in the heat of the oven, and while it may be ok in the microwave, it traps a lot of moisture.

Tip: Plastic wrap is much better for keeping fresh and marinating meats in the fridge, it can even help to accelerate the marinating process.

So neither is better or worse, they are just better for different purposes. Knowing when to use foil or plastic wrap will help keep all your food fresher for longer.

 

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