I have used aluminum foil when I grill salmon because it keeps the oil from running onto the heating element and smoking the fish. Can anyone suggest a substitute for aluminum foil?

  • The answers here cover grilling to some degree, so I'm not sure that we need a specific question that relates to grilling only. – Catija Jun 1 '17 at 23:52
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    I'm not sure I'm ready to call this a duplicate. It is specific to a certain use for aluminum foil, one that differs from the typical kitchen uses. – Jolenealaska Jun 2 '17 at 0:16
  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice, Ted. Can you describe your grill more? That word means very different things to different people. – Jolenealaska Jun 2 '17 at 0:20
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    @Jolenealaska That may be true but with no information from the OP regarding how the foil is being used and why they don't want to use it, all we can do is give generic answers. My hope is that the existing question may have information that will allow them to reconsider why they are avoiding foil. – Catija Jun 2 '17 at 14:54
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    @Catija : they described how it's being used -- to prevent oil from the salmon from dripping and burning. No, they didn't give why they're looking for a substitute, but they gave information than you're claiming they didn't. – Joe Jun 2 '17 at 17:23

Dried palm fronds are traditional Thai. Not sure you have access however.


Some supermarkets and specialty stores carry banana leaves, which do a great job of cooking and steaming food over a fire. Soaked corn husks work for this, too, and this time of year can be had for free at most supermarkets if you ask (they leave out bags for their shoppers to husk their corn into in the produce section.)

A soaked cedar shingle is also popular to use on the grill, especially for salmon. Some supermarkets stock packs of them near the fish counter for this purpose.


Rather than improvising a pan out of foil, you could just use an actual pan. Cast iron is common outdoor cooking, but anything without plastic parts will work.

Still... smoking is part of the point of cooking on a grill. Otherwise, you might as well do it indoors. If you want to keep dripping away from your food, you can use indirect grilling, where the food isn't directly over the hot coals/burner. Or you can use a drip tray with water in it to catch dripping and reduce burning.

You might also consider something like a cedar plank, which doesn't catch the dripping but will route it away from your food. It also provides a flavor of its own, including some smokiness; that's considered a benefit of grilling.


You can now get 'grilling mats' to place down so that food doesn't slip through the grill grates. It would also help with your problem, as it would deflect any oil so it drains off to the side, not directly onto the elements.

Amazon seems to have them in their 'lightning deals' quite frequently. (for months it seems like it's always the same stuff in there, so I'm guessing there's probably one in there right now)

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