aluminum foil health risk?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smo-kingmamma, May 23, 2014.

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  1. tonyabeachlover

    tonyabeachlover Fire Starter

    My bf is a chemist at Eastman & both his parents are doctors. His father a neurologist his mother an internest (doctor of internal medicine). I asked all three of them about foil & they laughed & assured me that if there was risk none of them would use it for food. His parents said your aluminum intake just from the food & water you ingest is far greater than would ever get IF the foil leached aluminum which it DOES NOT. This is just a quick summary of what they said but they have years of training & experience so I will trust them & continue using foil personally. If anyone is scared of foil for some reason I will not hold it against them tho :)
  2. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]  What are those two cylindrical objects in the background made of? 
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're welcome. I do occasionally hold food at temp, around 140-150* in a cooker or oven, if it came out too early for the meal. I have even used a slow cooker to hold food in after getting it warmed-up, then wrap the cooker with towels and put in a vehicle to transport for an hour or so. The main reason most of us will place larger cuts into some sort of container, and then insulate, is to allow the internal temperature to drop more slowly during resting. This allows for the meat fibers to relax and let the natural juices redistribute throughout the meat. It also allows more time for lesser/tougher cuts of meat to become more tender.

    Resting while in a covered container, or foil, can be substituted by simply leaving the meat on a grate (either removable smoker cooking grate, or accessory grate such as a bakers rack), placing this onto (or in) a baking pan/sheet (for a drip-catch), then covering with a clean towel. This is a method I use to preserve the bark on smoked meats, as it allows the meat to breath and not saturate the bark with steam while it rests. While it does work very well in preserving a hard/crisp bark, one down-side is that the meat will cool a bit faster than if tightly covered and insulated, but with larger cuts of meat such as pork shoulder, it still allows the mass of the meat to hold it's heat for a few hours.

    In most cases, foiling of meats can be substituted with some sort of covered pan. I rarely ever use just foil to wrap ribs in, for example. With a little imagination, there are lots of other ways to achieve the same result. You may read of foiling ribs to use a 3-2-1 or 2-2-1 method for ribs, or, foiling pork shoulders for pulled pork before it finishes cooking...same for brisket. It's a personal choice whether you "foil" or not, and each of us have our reasons for doing it, or not. If you don't want a hard bark on the meat probably being the number one reason to foil meats...OK, wait, foiling to speed up cooking and push through the plateau/stall would be the biggest reason...although I don't anymore.

    There are lots of methods that everyone uses at some point or another. Sometimes just to experiment and see if we like the outcome. Sometimes to explore the possibilities and achieve a better, more palatable finished product. Foiling is one of those methods. I've foiled or panned & tented/covered meats to finish cooking, and, I've left it on open grates until it reaches my desired texture or internal temperature. I've covered rightly to rest, and, I've used the grate and towel to allow it to breathe. Each method has it's own merits, as well as it's own set of negative impacts. Sometimes we look for a balance of the two that is a compromise of sorts, to achieve our goal with the best possible finished product.

    I digressed...since you're new to smoking and looking for answers, I'm guessing this won't be a bad thing...LOL!!!

    Glad to help, any time. Anything else comes up, just shout.

    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  4. tonyabeachlover

    tonyabeachlover Fire Starter

    Mr. JP61 that is funny! :)
  5. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    In today's world, if I were to take every scientific and/or expert advice/warning to heart, I'd be living in a bubble, sipping carrot-juice through a food-grade stainless-steel straw with one eye fixed to the sky [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  6. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    As an alternative, to wrapping in foil or using a foil pan, how about using a 15x10 enamel coated roasting pan?  If it fits in your smoker.  The lid should sit on it tight enough to hold the moisture in, then it's easy enough to wrap towels around it when the meat is done to allow for  slower cooling and good rest time?

    Personally I use the disposable aluminum pans covered with foil, then for resting, set it in the oven wrapped in towels. I think ease of cleanup.  But if you have concerns (no matter who agrees or disagrees) there are plenty of creative alternatives.

    If enough people inquire with Lodge about a 20-ish qt (about 12x16x9) oval or rectangle dutch oven, maybe they could add it to there lineup of products.  I know I would buy one if they made one that big.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  7. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]  You haven't heard about enamel?

    OK.... I'm gonna go wash dishes now [​IMG]
  8. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    on a side note, has a 14x21 covered enamel roasting pan
  9. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have no idea, sir....was just joking.

    Never even heard of an issue with aluminum foil before today. 

    [​IMG]  Now I'm totally freaked out!
  10. paulyetter

    paulyetter Fire Starter

    This thread was a funny read but I have no fear of the foil.
  11. smo-kingmamma

    smo-kingmamma Newbie

    Smith Forge Hard Cidar for the pans.
  12. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, no you can't do that. There is a possibility that the carrot could have absorbed something that may not be good for you. Then that stainless steel straw contains chromium, which definitely is not good for you. There's also copper, manganese, carbon, nickel, molybdenum...
  13. smo-kingmamma

    smo-kingmamma Newbie

    Thanks Eric,

     I am beginning to understand that there are many complexities when grilling/smoking meat.  Your ability to get out information to the point is well done.  I have a lot to learn...

    Appreciating the information that you have to share.  Now, I will let the experience of trial and error to find its way.  Lesson #1, let sleeping dogs lie.  

    Thanks you for being kind and helpful.

  14. Dude, please don't be mad.  Is this because you can't pronounce aluminum correctly?  Seriously, it's okay with us.  Right, guys?
  15. tonyabeachlover

    tonyabeachlover Fire Starter

    I don't understand why it's fine to cook with liquid that has been in an aluminum can for who knows how long but it's dangerous to wrap your food for an hour or two with aluminum foil????   : /
  16. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    Cook like you want top Sir, everyone has their own thoughts, I use foil to wrap  in at times. If you are not wanting the foil touching your food, stop by Sams and grab a roll of butcher paper 1000 foot roll is like 18 bucks and 18" wide. Wrap the food in it and then in some towels, or once wrapped in paper you could wrap in foil and then a towel. There are almost a;ways ways around an issue.

    Myself if I were going to be concerned about anything I cook with it would be plastics, nothing natural about that stuff, unlike Aluminum which is a natural mineral.

    Lets see some shots of those when they are done.
  17. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Carrot juice is verboten too. It has been associated with botulism.
  18. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    One thing to keep in mind:

    Aluminum, when exposed to air, immediately forms a thin layer of aluminum oxide (passivation), which is extremely tough (  Rubies  and sapphires  are aluminum oxides  )and insoluble in water.

    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  19. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Almost on a weekly basis "research scientists" come out with new and/or revisited, peer reviewed "studies" that warn us of the possible dangers in our daily lives. At the same time a list of things we can eat, take or do to significantly improve our lives and longevity. Then, at some point comes the flip-flop or even flip-flop of the For years we were told that dark chocolate and red wine are good for us...... now, the latest.... they don't do squat! And the list goes on and on and on..... How the heck does a person live by those suggestions/warnings?
  20. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Simple!  You don't. You enjoy your life, you eat all kinds of stuff in moderation and don't worry about it.
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