It’s no secret that some materials that were made to make your life easier just, well, don’t. Case in point: foil! Sure, the handy tool is no doubt an essential kitchen staple because it protects the life of pans and helps to cook food properly, but it’s clear that the companies that created the sizes of pans never quite communicated with the ones who created standard foil sizes. More often than not, the width of the foil just will not cover the surface area of the pan. This can result in messy, greasy, or sticky situations—added clean-up we never want to deal with when making a quick meal. Lucky for us, the culinary whiz kids over at America’s Test Kitchen have detailed a genius way to make your sheets of foil twice as wide!

The first step in the process is foolproof. All you will need to do is tear off a sheet of foil (a standard size will do) and place it on the counter like so:

foil one counter step oneAmerica
For the second step, tear off another sheet of foil that is the same size as the first, and lay it directly on top of the sheet that is already on the counter. For this technique to work properly it’s important that both sheets are exactly the same size. For beginners, we suggest trying this first with pre-cut foil sheets so that this step is done correctly.

woman doubles foil on counterAmerica's Test Kitchen
Next, you will need to find the long-end of the foil and fold it over on itself. Be sure to make a strong crease and smooth over its edge with a sliding pressing motion.

woman folds two pieces of foil togetherAmerica's Test Kitchen
From here, place your index finger at the top or bottom edge of the open end and carefully move it to the other side of the counter, like you are opening a book. Once you have done that, you may notice that the foil is not sitting flat on the counter. In order to strengthen the middle, it’s best to do another crease along the two pieces of foil.

woman opens wider piece of foilAmerica's Test Kitchen
If you are using a huge pan, then you may have to add in an extra piece of foil in order to cover the width.

This helpful tip isn’t just for domestic gods or goddesses, it’s great for grillers who prefer their barbecue to their oven and campers who prefer their fire to anything else.

Voila! Now you have gained another culinary superpower. Gone will be the days of wasted foil, crinkled messes, and unevenly cooked dishes. Be sure to make use of this helpful foil origami technique. This seamless method will give you the confidence to try your hand at new recipes in the kitchen.

Is this foil expanding technique new to you or have you been doing it for years? Do you have other ways of expanding foil size? What are some of your favorite dishes to cook with foil? Let us know in the comments below!