The First Thing You Should Do with a New Box of Aluminum Foil

updated May 14, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I used to avoid aluminum foil at all costs. It’s not that I was particularly concerned about waste, or that I had a better alternative to cover up my lasagna leftovers. (Although, I have been meaning to try that reusable beeswax food wrap I see every time I go to Trader Joe’s). Here’s my issue with aluminum foil: Until now, I couldn’t stand the actual process of pulling the foil out of the box. 

If you’ve ever opened up a box of aluminum foil, only for the roll to pop out before you can even tear off a sheet, then you have felt the same pain. And, like me, you’ve probably wished there was a less annoying way to wrap up your leftovers.

Well, I’m about to blow your mind: There is, and it’s super easy—like, literally built-into-the-box easy. Now, it’s the first thing I do every time I open a new box of foil (or plastic wrap, for that matter, which I have also historically struggled with).

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The first thing you should do with every box of aluminum foil? Push in the tabs on the side of the box.

Did you know there were push-tabs on the side of your aluminum foil and plastic wrap boxes? Just about every box of these two kitchen staples comes with “end locks,” which are basically little tabs meant to hold the roll of foil in place when you pull. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t noticed before—I didn’t! The lock tabs aren’t always identified. Some brands of foil and plastic wrap do label them, and even go so far as to provide instructions on how to use them. I’ll make it easy for you, though: All you have to do is press the tabs in before you open the box for the first time. They’ll be positioned right inside the roll core on either side to keep it steady.

Now, you can keep your food fresh… without a meltdown!

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: The First Thing You Should Do with a New Box of Aluminum Foil