Tinfoil, as it’s commonly called, is actually aluminum foil. While it’s not essential, it is a boon to the fine art of barbequing. One of the first things to understand is that it comes in various weights/thicknesses and strengths. Some of it is so flimsy that it tears even while wrapping a nicely shaped potato. Not only does it tear, but then burning the wrapped food is almost guaranteed. Thicker foil allows more leeway as far cooking time is concerned. Usually, the cheaper foil wraps are also the thinnest, so spend a bit more and get a thicker, better quality wrap. The wider, longer rolls in the $20 range are the best buy as far as economy and quality are concerned. If it is difficult (ie: there’s tearing) to pull it off the roll, remove the roll from the box and put a small dab of vegetable oil on the circular plastic mounts inside each end of the box.

The most common foil-wrapped barbeque item is probably the potato. It can be sliced, quartered, or grilled whole, with or without a slice of onion in the cuts. A little olive oil, or my favourite, oyster sauce, can be poured over the spud before completing the wrap. Other excellent veggie combos include carrot sticks with olive oil and some cinnamon, zucchini sticks/slices with olive oil and chopped garlic, or cauliflower, broccoli, pepper slices, and sliced red onion with a little olive oil and garlic. Try any of your favourite oil-based salad dressings. If the product tends towards charring, use a little water inside the wrap and lower the heat by turning it down, or just move the wrapped item off to one side.

Foil is also very useful when it comes to cooking fish. It can be wrapped around the whole fish, or around the headless, dressed fish with slices of lemon (you can also try a variety of other sauces, oils and stuffings). When cooking a fillet such as salmon or lake trout, or a slab such as halibut, the foil can be stretched out over the wire rack (large enough for the fish piece) and then perforated with a fork to allow the juices to escape. This way, you retain the dry cooking method offered by the barbeque. This method is especially good if you are cooking a skinless fillet because it does not stick to the rack in the barbeque.

Burgers are easier on a perforated tinfoil base because they stay together better and don’t stick as they often do on the wire rack.

One of the biggest positives of barbequing with foil is the cleanup. No muss, no fuss. Just ball up the tinfoil and put it in the garbage. Please don’t put it in the fire as it does not burn.