The Complete Guide on How to Use Reynolds Aluminum Foil

Explore our complete guide to using aluminum foil and discover the best ways you can use Reynolds Aluminum Foil for cooking, grilling, baking, and more.

Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil has been a trusted staple in American kitchens for over 75 years. But do you know how to get the most out of our versatile foil products? This guide will uncover countless uses for cooking, prepping food, and even tackling tasks outside of the kitchen. 

First, let’s look at some of our most asked aluminum foil questions. Then, we’ll explore which Reynolds Wrap® foil product best suits your task, cooking needs, and occasion. 


With the exception of non-stick foil, you can cook with aluminum foil shiny side up or down—it will not impact how the food cooks. The difference in appearance is simply a byproduct of the manufacturing process. Both sides of Reynolds Wrap® Everyday Foil, Heavy Duty Foil, Foil Sheets, Recycled Foil, and Pitmaster’s Choice Foil are interchangeable. So, it’s completely your call! You get to decide which side is your favorite. 


The dull or flat-finished side of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil and Grill Foil is non-stick. Our Non-Stick Foil has the words "NON-STICK Side" imprinted for your convenience. Be sure to place the non-stick side facing towards your food and watch your saucy, delicate, or sticky foods slide right off. 


With all the different types of aluminum foil and aluminum foil sizes, how do you know which one to use for your needs? What are the recommended foils for specific cooking methods? The good news is that there’s a Reynolds Wrap® foil for every occasion! Let’s break down what makes each product unique and decide on the best aluminum foil for the job.

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Sliced pork tenderloin surrounded by diced potatoes, carrots and onions on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet

Reynolds Wrap® Everyday Foil

Like all our foil products, our Everyday Foil is tough and durable for everyday cooking and food storage. You can mold this versatile foil into any shape, from lining a baking pan to covering a casserole dish. Reynolds Wrap® Everyday Foil is strong enough to withstand the heat of the oven and grill. Yet, it still handles the cold inside the freezer. Whether you’re grilling, baking, or storing leftovers, this foil is designed to lock in moisture for juicy and flavorful meals.

Everyday Foil is best for: 

  • Cooking: From creating a splash guard to cover your skillet to wrapping baked potatoes, there are endless ways to use foil for cooking. 
  • Lining pans: Keep cleanup quick and easy by lining your baking pans. 
  • Covering and storing food and leftovers: Wrap your sandwiches or cover casserole dishes to prevent moisture loss. 
  • Packet meals: Create custom oven packet dinners with sealed-in juices for maximum flavor. 
  • Locking in moisture: Foil is the best choice for long-term storage or freezing due to its low moisture-vapor transmission rate. 
  • Reheating leftovers: Heat leftovers on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil in the oven. 
  • Cleaning a grill: Try this quick grill-cleaning hack using aluminum foil balls. 

Want eco-friendlier foil? Reynolds Wrap® 100% Recycled Aluminum Foil can be used for the same purposes as Reynolds Wrap® Everyday Foil and delivers the same strength and durability.

Person using a spatula to serve a cheesy pasta casserole from an aluminum foil lined baking dish

Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Aluminum Foil

Want to enjoy every bite of your favorite sticky meals? Our Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil has a food-safe non-stick coating that keeps cheesy and sticky foods from clinging to the oven pan, grill, or when freezing and storing. When used as intended, it’s capable of withstanding temperatures from -40°F to 650°F. And there’s no need to spray or oil pans, as your food will slide right off the non-stick foil. The best part is that using non-stick foil makes cleanup easy and less messy!

Non-Stick Foil is best for: 

When is it best to use non-stick vs. standard foil? We recommend using non-stick foil if your recipe calls for cheese, sticky sauces, or other foods that might stick to your pan or grill. When making a recipe like our spicy Southwestern Chicken packet meal, using Everyday Foil is a good choice. The added oil and moisture from the veggies will help steam the dish rather than make it stick. On the other hand, the thick, brown-sugar-based BBQ sauce from the Grilled Carolina-Style BBQ Chicken recipe makes it more likely to stick. For this recipe, we recommend using non-stick foil.

Roasted turkey sitting in a foil lined roasting pan covered with an aluminum foil tent

Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil

Consider Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil the power-lifter cousin to our Everyday Foil. Put this thick foil to the test when you need strength and durability while cooking. Heavy Duty Foil is also capable of withstanding the heat of the oven or grill and the cold temperatures of the refrigerator or freezer, when used as directed. And if you need a wider foil width, we’ve got you covered. The 18” Heavy Duty roll can cover large pans, large cuts of meat, and wrap family-sized meal packets.

Heavy Duty Foil is best for: 

  • Lining grill grates: Make post-grilling cleanup easy and hassle-free by lining the grill grates with foil. Be sure to poke holes throughout the foil to allow for proper airflow. 
  • Making packet meals for the grill or campfire: Lock in moisture and flavor with these hearty Grilled Sausage and Chicken Jambalaya Foil Packets and other make-ahead foil packet meals for camping
  • Covering or lining larger roasting pans: Use the 18-inch-wide heavy duty roll to fit bigger pans. 

When should you choose Heavy-Duty over Everyday Foil? Both have remarkable strength and versatility, making them ideal for many situations. Standard Everyday Foil does a great job lining and covering pans, wrapping sandwiches and other light items, and making small packets for oven cooking. When extra strength is needed, Heavy Duty Foil is the right choice. We recommend using Heavy Duty Foil when lining grills and broiler pans (be sure to poke holes throughout the foil to allow for proper airflow) or making multiple serving-size packets for the grill. Heavy Duty Foil is not only great for cooking but also ideal for wrapping your favorite leftovers.

Chicken wings sitting on Reynolds Wrap non-stick aluminum foil on the grill

Reynolds Wrap® Grill Foil

When you need a strong, heavy-duty foil for grilling sticky foods, Reynolds Wrap® Grill Foil is the champ. Grill Foil is non-stick (on the dull side), durable, and 18 inches wide to fit your grill grate, family-sized packet meals, or large cuts of meat. It’s the ultimate foil for grilling high-heat foods with sticky sauces like Sweet Chipotle Grilled Salmon in Avocado or Spicy Korean Chicken and Ramen Noodle Packets.

Reynolds Wrap® Grill Foil is best for: 

  • Lining grill grates for no-mess grilling: Prevent grilled recipes from sticking, like those with cheese, sticky sauces, and delicate foods like fish, vegetables, and fruits. (Be sure to poke holes throughout the foil to allow for proper airflow) 
  • Preventing small foods from falling through the grill grates: Line your grill with sheets of grill foil to save every last bite. (Be sure to poke holes throughout the foil to allow for proper airflow) 
  • Wrapping food can help tenderize and protect it during long grilling times. Do you love to cook low and slow? Grill Foil locks in maximum flavor and moisture. 
  • Creating family-sized packet meals: Grill Foil's durability and extra width allow you to make super-sized packets with super-sized taste!
Person basting ribs sitting on an aluminum foil sheet on the grill with BBQ sauce

Reynolds Wrap Pitmaster's Choice Foil

With its durability and strength, Reynolds Wrap® Pitmaster's Choice extra-thick foil makes backyard grilling and smoking legendary. It’s highly resistant to tears and punctures and measures 18 inches wide, just like our Grill Foil. If you pride yourself on being the BBQ master of the neighborhood, you should definitely add this foil to your toolbox.

Reynolds Wrap® Pitmaster’s Choice Foil is best for: 

  • Grilling larger cuts of meat or other meals: When you need serious foil that’s super strong and extra thick, this is the foil for the job. This wrap can prepare beef short ribs, a whole turkey, a clam bake, and many other grilled dishes! 
  • Smoking meats: When your meat is partially through the smoking process and hits the stall, you should wrap it in aluminum foil. In pitmaster lingo, this is called the “Texas Crutch.” This method concentrates heat, speeds up cooking, and reduces evaporation. The Pitmaster’s Choice Foil keeps the meat ultra-moist and controls the color of the bark. 
  • Making DIY smoker packets: It’s true. You can turn your grill into a smoker using pre-soaked wood chips wrapped in foil. 

What makes Pitmaster’s Choice Foil the ultimate grilling and smoking choice? Regarding overall thickness, strength, and durability, Pitmaster’s Choice is our top-of-the-line foil. It can act as your ultimate grilling sidekick when smoking large pieces of meat, like these Foil Boat Ribs.

Sandwiches wrapped in aluminum foil sitting on a blanket next to a picnic basket

Reynolds Wrap® Foil Sheets

Perfect for busy cooks, these foil sheets are pre-cut and can be grabbed quickly with one hand. Available in Everyday Foil and Heavy Duty Foil, these pop-up sheets save time and make cleanup a breeze. They’re designed for easy wrap-and-go meals and snacks and for storing leftovers. As with all our foils, foil sheets help retain moisture and keep foods fresh.

Reynolds Wrap® Foil Sheets are best for: 

  • Lining sheet pans for easy cleanup: These sheets are just the right size for sheet pans. And the best part is that you can simply discard once you're done cooking or baking. Time saved—priceless! 
  • Wrapping on-the-go foods: Are you busy getting the kids’ breakfast and lunches ready? With one hand, you can grab a sheet to wrap sandwiches and snacks or grab-and-go breakfasts like bagels or muffins. Foil sheets can also double as a plate and provide a clean eating surface for on-the-go meals. 
  • Storing leftovers with ease: Do you enjoy single-portion leftovers for easy reheating? Here’s a simple solution: wrap up casserole slices, extra baked potatoes, or pizza slices to pop in the oven to heat and eat later.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Aluminum Foil

There is a difference between aluminum foil and tin foil. Today, most foil for household use is made of aluminum. Before 1926, most foil was made of tin. To show you why the switch happened, we’ll share a little history: 

In 1919, the U.S. Foil Company, parent of Reynolds Metals Company, was founded in Louisville, KY, to produce lead and tin foil. Tin foil was made of tin and sometimes combined with lead. Wrapping food in tin foil sometimes left a metallic taste on the food. When aluminum became less expensive and more available, the Reynolds Metal Company entered the aluminum foil packaging business in 1926. From then on, the more durable and lower-cost aluminum foil called Reynolds Wrap® caught on—essentially making the more expensive tin foil obsolete in American households.

Both sides of aluminum foil reflect heat and heat foods at virtually identical rates. The shiny and dull appearance is due to manufacturing, not functionality. So, for most foils, both sides can be used interchangeably. Non-Stick and Grill Foil have a dull side with a food-safe, non-stick surface. Always place your foods toward the dull side of those foils to enjoy the non-stick benefits.

Aluminum foils vary in thickness based on their use. For example, our Everyday roll foil and sheets, Non-Stick Foil, and 100% Recycled Foil offer our standard thickness for everyday cooking purposes. Heavy Duty rolls and sheets, Grill Foil, and Pitmaster’s Choice Foils are thicker.

Our thicker foils are Pitmaster’s Choice Foil, Grill Foil, and Heavy Duty. Pitmaster's Choice Foil is our extra-thick and most durable foil.

Yes, aluminum foil is recyclable where appropriate recycling facilities exist. If accepted by your local recycling provider, aluminum foil should be clean and dry prior to collection. The packaging and roll are also recyclable where appropriate recycling facilities exist. Always discard responsibly. Learn more about recycling facilities near you here.