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Old 11-28-2011, 10:04 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 13,209
Baking with plastic wrap covered with foil

Don't know what happened in the earlier version of this post.

This is something I see on cooking
shows, especially in the field on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Put meatloaf, bread pudding, or something in a pan, cover with plastic wrap, then foil, then bake. I've never thought of baking plastic wrap. Does anyone do this at home?

Hope this post doesn't self-destruct like the other one did.
Old 11-28-2011, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 27,475
At my work we do a lot of catering but very rarely do anything hot. When we need something hot we "sub contract" it out (about half the time) to one of a handful of restaurants we know can do a better job.
About a year ago we got some spaghetti and meatballs or something along those lines in a foil sheet pan with a foil cover and when we went to put it in our over to heat it we noticed saran wrap over the top, under the lid. We called up the owner and asked him if it was supposed to be there. He said it was, just leave it on, it won't burn or melt. It was just there to keep the moisture in. Never made sense to me, but it was fine.

Also, a reason restaurants do it but you probably wouldn't need to do it at home is that we use convection ovens which move a lot of air around and if something is going to be likely to dry out these commercial ovens are going to be much more likely to do it. Even if you have a home convection oven, the fan isn't nearly as powerful. If you're home oven is like a someone gently blowing on you, a commercial oven is like a box fan on high.
Old 11-28-2011, 10:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 6,608
I seem to remember that this technique was mentioned in a recipe in one of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, and someone asked about it on her website. I believe in her reply she said she was using a restaurant-grade type of plastic film, not the cling wrap you buy to wrap leftovers. Let me search and see if I'm remembering correctly. Ah, here's the question and answer:

When I made the Brisket, the plastic melted. What should I do?

We've been cooking the brisket that way for decades and never had a problem. However, I've received a few e-mails from people who found that the plastic had melted, so I unfortunately assume that one brand of plastic wrap melts. Rather than taking a chance, I recommend that you either use parchment paper between the foil and the brisket or you bake it in a Dutch oven with a secure lid such as Le Creuset.

So I remembered it a bit wrong.

Last edited by kittenblue; 11-28-2011 at 10:27 PM.
Old 11-28-2011, 10:31 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 13,209
I was thinking this must be a different kind of plastic wrap from the stuff you wrap sandwiches in. I have used parchment paper this way.
Old 11-29-2011, 07:35 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,185
Most plastic wraps designed for home use state that they are not to be used for baking.

That said, I've used several different brands in the oven, with no issues. As others have said, it's a common practice in commercial kitchens.
Old 11-29-2011, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Suburbs of Chicagoland
Posts: 22,337
It may also serve, if the food is stored for a while before heating, to keep any acidic tomato sauce from breaking down any aluminum foil it comes in contact with for extended periods of time, like overnight.

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