15 August 2011

How to properly fold an aluminum foil packet

Knowing how to properly wrap food and cook it in aluminum foil packets is a useful skill to have. Folded correctly, these packets cause food to be cooked in a mini "pressure cooker" environment. Any juices, marinades, or sauces are sealed in, resulting in enhanced taste and more tender meats and vegetables.

Follow the steps below to ensure that your aluminum foil packets stay completely sealed. The step numbers presented correspond to the numbers shown in the illustration to the right.
  1. Use a piece of aluminum foil that will be large enough to completely wrap the contents. With the material in the center of the foil, pull both ends up together in the center.

  2. Fold the edges down by about 1/2" or 3/4".

  3. Keep folding the edge down until the fold is just above the contents, or loosely rests against it (a little space is not a problem).

  4. Gently flatten both ends of the packet. Again, the goal is not to flatten the foil against the contents.

  5. Fold each of the corners in on an angle as shown, similar to an "airplane" fold used in making a paper airplane.

  6. Fold the point on both ends in about a third of the distance of the angled folds.

  7. Fold in both ends again as shown.
If the foil packet is much too large for the material within it, fold all the edges in about a 1/2" at a time to reduce the packet size.

When using heavy-duty foil, a single thickness will likely be adequate. If you're using standard-weight foil, you may want to cut a piece twice as long as necessary, and then fold it in half before following the above steps.

In a separate post, I'll talk about cooking food with aluminum foil packets like these. In the meantime, please share your related experiences in the comments below.

PS: You can also use these foil packets as a basic Faraday cage to protect your small electronic devices against an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event. Basically, put the device to be protected in a re-sealable plastic zipper storage bags with a dessicant pack. Make sure most of the air is out of the bag and seal it well. Wrap the sealed equipment in a foil packet per the above instructions and your equipment should be adequately protected against an EMP event.

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