is tin foil flammable? does it catch fire?

Aluminum foil was discovered in the year 1910. Since 1920 it has found its way into the kitchen. That is correct, we have been packing food in it for so long. It can keep your food fresh by blocking light, bacteria, and moisture to penetrate. It also locks in the aroma and these are more than enough reasons for it to rule the food packaging industry.

Now, the question is tin foil flammable? The fact is everyone wants to know is – are we surrounded by something hazardous? The truth is no aluminum foil is not flammable. Aluminum only catches fire at a very high temperature. We are talking about 660°C or 1220°F.

What Is tin Foil?

What Is Aluminum Foil

Tin foil or aluminum foil is typically manufactured by rolling slabs of molten aluminum. A technician constantly monitors to ensure the foil maintains a consistent thickness.

In order to prevent these sheets from breaking, they are processed in a cold rolling mill. It is then doubled and further rolled to get the desired width. It is needless to say that aluminum foil is exclusively used in pharmaceuticals and the food industry. For it can store perishable items without refrigeration, especially for aseptic packaging.

What Is tin/Aluminum Foil Made Of?

Aluminum foil is made from 98.5%pure aluminum. It is less than 0.2 mm thick in general as this makes it a foil. We usually use something between 0.016 mm to 0.24 mm at home. This makes it obvious that the aluminum foil or tin foil becomes easier to wrap around food. Undoubtedly, this provides it the maximum protection.

I must add that aluminum was extracted from ore by a Danish Chemist named Hans-Christian. Again in 1889, it was produced in an economical way and it was not until 1910 that it started to be produced industrially.

This is a lightweight metal that is 100% recyclable and this makes it worth it. Did you know that almost 75% of aluminum foil is used in the food industry? The thing that I must tell you is that aluminum is not at all flammable.

Does tin Foil Burn In Fire?

If you are planning to use aluminum foil in a campfire, oven, or grill, I must tell you that it will not catch fire. If heated it may get discolored and one may mistake it to be burned. Quite obviously, this discoloration is the cause of impurities from the smoke of the fire.

Fine, let me admit that it will catch fire provided you burn it to that extent. Anything will catch fire when exposed to extreme temperatures and this is no exception to that. Nonetheless, you need to understand that this foil will not burn with just a little heat. This translates into a fact that means aluminum foil is not a fire hazard on the whole.

Does Aluminum Foil Burn In Fire

What Happens When You Set Aluminum Foil On Fire?

As I mentioned, if exposed to extreme heat aluminum foil can also catch fire. This is like any other material that if subjected to high temperatures will start burning. It is advisable that you do not let it get into direct contact with fire.

Hence, I say that you lay down some basic rules that will save you from a harrowing experience. I have made some for myself and I am sharing those with you today:

  • Never cover spaces, passages, and holes with aluminum foil while cooking on a gas oven as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning when cooking
  • You should not use aluminum foil while working with electric radiant cooktops, as it can get merged into the glass surface which may not come out at all
  • One must never use aluminum foil in the base when working with electric ovens, as it can melt with the heat and the same goes for electric coil cooktops as well

Also Read: Check out our other article about Is Resin Flammable Or Combustible?

What Temperature Does tin Foil Catch Fire?

As already clarified aluminum foil will catch fire at 1220°F or 660°C. This is simple and there is nothing more to this. This happens to be the ignition point of aluminum foil. It can withstand heat up to this temperature, which is quite high.

Therefore, I would like to add that this kind of heat cannot be produced at home or even in an industrial setting normally. This is way hotter than you can think of. In simple words, it implies that under normal circumstances you will not be able to burn it.

Is Burning Aluminum Foil Toxic?

There is no proof of aluminum foil is toxic, especially in healthy adults. On the other hand, I must also tell you that if you cook food in aluminum foil, aluminum may get into it. This gets enhanced if the food is acidic by nature.

This may only increase the amount of aluminum in your diet. In case, you are worried about this, you may stop cooking in aluminum foil or aluminum cookware. Again, there is no substantial evidence that shows aluminum may cause health hazards. Both European Food Safety Authority and FDA have been unable to establish any such claims.

Your body can absorb only 1% of aluminum that you may consume from food and drinking water. Your kidney takes care of 95% of this aluminum and passes it out of your body. Your body will clear out aluminum within 24 hours at the maximum if you are exposed to it.

So, that takes care of it all. This is not a health scare and you must refrain from believing anything or anyone that tells you something different.

Does tin Foil Burn On the Stove?

I have already made it clear that aluminum foil will burn at an extremity. The truth is, a stove will not be able to produce that high a temperature. This implies that the stove will not burn or melt tin foil.

This denotes a combination of stove and aluminum foil will not start a fire. Rest assured, you do not have to worry about it.

Can You Put Aluminum Foil On Electric Stove Top?

You should not cover food with aluminum foil while cooking in an electric stop top. This is because the food may not be cooked properly while being covered. This also increases the chances of sparks, which may eventually start a fire.

This can also cause short circuits that may be really dangerous. It is advisable that you do not take this risk. I have faced this firsthand and do not want you to make the same mistake. You better be safe and use utensils that are electric oven safe. Silicone, wood, glass, and ceramics are better options that you can opt for.

It is highly recommended that you avoid using aluminum foil if you are using an electric stovetop. There is no point in putting your family at risk once you know this is not the right way to go about it. Just work safely and keep everyone secured.

Aluminum foil has high thermal conductivity, which is why it is exclusively used for cooking. You need to make sure that you do not use it with anything precarious. You are the best judge, so I leave it up to you.

Although modern aluminum foil may be marked as microwave safe, you should refrain from putting it in the microwave. Trust me when I say you should not use aluminum foil in the micro, I mean it. I have seen it ignite a spark, start a fire, and eventually, burn my food one fine day. From that day on, I have learned my lesson and here am sharing it with you.

This makes the discussion about does aluminum foil burn in a fire a full circle, as we have covered everything on this topic. This was something I wanted to talk about as it did teach me that microwaves can reflect back. No point risking, you better stay away from such a dreadful encounter.