We all know that tin foil is one of the more useful and versatile items in your kitchen. From polishing silver to protecting pie crusts from burning, there are many ways you can use it to make both cooking and cleaning easier.
However, you may not be aware of just how many different, creative ways tin foil can be your best friend in the kitchen. We’ve compiled a list of lesser-known uses for you to try.
Save meat from fat and grease
We’ve all used tin foil to line a baking tray or oven shelf in order to avoid a difficult cleaning job later, but have you ever thought about giving it a bigger role in the actual cooking process?
Cooking bacon, sausages or any fatty meats on a baking tray is all very well, but it does mean that you’re often left with a greasy, slightly soggy piece of food that can take an age to scrape away from the foil. There is a solution though.
By folding the tin foil concertina-style into a makeshift rack (as shown in this video), you can rest the meat on top and let the fat run off into the troughs while it cooks. That way, you’ll get crispy bacon and perfectly cooked sausages, but without as much fat on your plate.
Return your grill to its former glory
Grilled food is delicious. We all know this. From cheese on toast to your favourite chicken or fish dishes, there is so much to love about food cooked this way. Except, that is, for the cleaning up afterwards.
Grills can be an absolute nightmare to clean, with food residue sticking to them like glue. Anyone who has ever made a cheese toastie will know what we mean here! The situation can be so bad that you might be put off using your grill at all, particularly if you’ve just purchased a new cooker and want to keep it looking smart.
Fortunately, tin foil can come to the rescue once again. Simply scrunch a ball of it up and make your own scouring pad. The rough edges are perfect for chiselling cheese from your grill, leaving your kitchen pristine again in no time.
Make a funnel
Pouring liquids into a narrow container such as a jar or bottle can be a tense affair. Spillages are highly likely in this scenario, so many people opt for a funnel in order to avoid this.
If you don’t own a funnel, no problem. Simply make your own out of tin foil for a cheap, easy alternative. Whether you’re saving leftover sauce or pouring the wine you didn’t drink back into the bottle, this can save you a lot of bother.
As well as this, the same method can be used to create a makeshift piping bag for icing cakes and biscuits. Anyone who owns a piping bag knows what a pain they are to clean, so using tin foil might even become your preferred option when it comes to decorating those desserts.
Create cookie cutters or cake tins
Speaking of cookies and cakes, with tin foil you can operate outside the boundaries imposed by the largely unimaginative world of your standard circle, square and star cookie cutters.
You can make biscuits in any shape you like; simply make the cutter yourself out of tin foil. This is of course a little bit easier than it sounds and requires a degree of dexterity, but with a bit of trial and error you should be fine.
If you want to be even more ambitious, you can create your own cake tin to pour your mixture into. In an age where many of us aspire to create the sort of showstoppers seen on programmes like The Great British Bake Off, this is a chance to really show off your creative side.
Sharpen your kitchen scissors
As any chef will tell you, you’re much safer using a sharp knife than you are with a blunt one. Blunt blades are more likely to slip off whatever it is you’re trying to cut, potentially claiming one of your fingertips instead. This goes for scissors too, and they’re all too easy to neglect.
Whether you use your kitchen scissors for trimming meat or simply opening packets, it’s important to keep them in good condition. Once again, tin foil provides the answer.
Simply fold a piece several times over – about 6 to 8 should do – to make it the necessary thickness. Then cut through it a few times with your scissors to give the blades the care and attention they need. It couldn’t be easier.
Have we missed anything?