Tucked away in a kitchen drawer or slid atop the refrigerator is a roll of material whose uses can go well beyond its traditional daily function. The very characteristics that make aluminum foil great for cooking are the ones that make it so very useful.
The OTHER duct tape
Now, we are all familiar with the typical kitchen duties aluminum foil is assigned to but if you apply a smidgen of imagination those same insulating and reflective attributes that make foil such a great cooking material allow it to be folded, plied and fashioned to take on some fairly nontraditional duties.
Keeping the Heat
- Cooking Wrap:
We’ve all baked a foil-wrapped potato in the oven but the same technique can be used to cook a range of vegetables and meats placed directly on a grill or hot campfire coals should the situation present itself.
- Makeshift Frying Pan:
Laid flat with edges upturned will work as a frying pan or cooking sheet. Another method is to wrap the edges of a sheet of foil around two sticks and cook your meal suspended between.
- Pot to Boil in:
Aluminum foil can be fashioned into a bowl or cup and set to a source of heat to boil water. The heavier duty the foil, the better as thinner sheets will leak.
- Direct the Heat:
Foil spread out on a frame or smooth surface set next to a campfire will serve two purposes; function as a windscreen for the fire and will reflect the heat and light back towards you. A piece of wood wrapped in foil placed behind a home radiator will serve a similar function.
- Keep the Fire Going:
Should you find yourself stuck in the wilds with limited fire making provisions coals wrapped in foil will stay hot enough to restart a fire later.
- Solar Oven:
With a couple of cardboard boxes, some scrap newspaper, aluminum foil and duct tape you can make an effective solar oven.
- Insulate Windows:
Covering exterior windows will insulation windows to keep the indoors warmer or will reflect sunlight (solar heat) during summer months to keep things cool.
The Shiny Things
- Fishing Lure:
Fish have an affinity for shiny, flashing things in the water and a piece of foil, fashioned with some imagination will work as a fishing lure.
- Scare the Birds Away:
Hanging or wrapping pieces of foil around and among your garden plants will scare away the birds and other light sensitive critters that have been feasting on your food crops.
- Signal Mirror:
A smooth piece of foil held up on its own or spread across a flat surface will work as a signal mirror to direct rescuers should you find yourself lost or injured in the wilderness.
- Sun box:
Trying to grow potted veggies or herbs on an apartment balcony with limited sunlight? Keeping 3 sides and the bottom of a cardboard box intact, line the inside with aluminum foil and you will have yourself a sun box for potted plants starving for more sunlight. This set up also serves well as a seed incubator.
- Scissor Sharpening:
Folding a sheet of foil over 5-6 times and cutting it with a frustratingly dull pair of scissors will sharpen them.
- Loose Battery Fix-It:
A folded piece of aluminum foil will fix loose battery connections caused by weakened springs.
- A Custom Pouch:
Layered foil, folded various ways can be fashioned into an effective envelope or pouch to hold small, loose items.
A balled up piece of foil works as a great scouring pad for cleaning an oven or scrubbing pots and pans.