The Kitchen Staple You'll Want On Hand When You Don't Have A Funnel
Funnels are one of those specialty kitchen tools that always seem to disappear the second you need them. Because it's not essential like a rubber spatula or chef's knife, many people simply bypass picking up a funnel when they're stocking their gadget drawers. Then, when they need one, they attempt to simply pour with a steady hand and hope for the best, only to be left with a puddle to clean up. Luckily, however, funnels are about as easy to make as they are to forget, and all you need is a bit of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
This common material might be great for removing rust from metal or creating a lid for a recently baked creation, but its unique combination of stiffness and pliability also makes it the perfect material to create a funnel. Further, once you're done using it, you can crumble it up and toss it in the trash — no additional dishes or annoying cleanup necessary. Foil is even safe for use with extra-hot liquids, like bacon grease, that carry a risk of melting normal plastic funnels.
If you decide to make your own funnel out of aluminum foil, there are a few basic steps to the DIY. Preferably, you'll want to use heavy-duty foil. To start, form your piece of aluminum foil into the shape of a wide cone with a slight opening at the end. Make sure there's plenty of overlap along the seam on the side, or even a few layers of material, especially if you plan to use the foil funnel with liquid. This will serve as your basic shape, though you may need to reinforce it a bit more — more on that in a moment. If you're struggling to ensure your cone still has a small hole at the bottom, use one of your fingers as a guide. Alternatively, you could simply snip a bit off the end.
To give your cone more structural stability, fold over a bit of the top edge of the foil to make a rim. If you want to strengthen up the sides, too, you can add a bit of tape for a more solid layer of reinforcement along the seam.
Obviously, this aluminum foil hack is great if you ever find yourself in need of a funnel for a typical job, but it's also helpful in certain situations even if you already have a funnel on hand. Because aluminum foil is so malleable, you're able to completely customize the size and shape of the final product, allowing you to create something that's the perfect fit for a hard-to-reach spot. Additionally, the fact that foil is disposable makes it a solid option for projects that aren't very food-safe, like changing the oil on your lawnmower or filling an upcycled empty wine bottle with paint.
All in all, this hack might feel a bit flimsier or, certainly, look less polished than a store-bought tool, but it's a great option if you're in a pinch. If all you need is something quick, accessible, and disposable, consider folding a foil funnel.