Most convenient foods become all dry and tasteless just a few hours after preparing them. This is where pizza is very different. Leftover pizza can be stored in the fridge overnight and can be just as tasty after reheating it the following morning.
There are quite a few different opinions regarding the best way to reheat a cold pizza. Some prefer to reheat it in an oven, while others feel it’s best to reheat pizza on a stovetop. Most people reheat their pizza in the microwave because it is such a quick, convenient way to get your pizza nice and warm.
While reheating your pizza you might wonder, “Can you put a pizza box in the microwave?”
You may also be wondering, what is the best way to reheat a pizza in a microwave? In this guide, we have all the best pizza-warming tips you could ever need.
Can You Put a Pizza Box in the Microwave?
A microwave is a terrific tool for warming up leftover foods, and just about any type of pizza because it’s so quick and efficient. A couple of seconds is often enough to warm up any cold pizza, and you can even thaw frozen foods within minutes. This is a terrific device if you are too lazy to cook or if you plan on a quick takeout meal.
The biggest concern to look out for is usually the type of cookware you use when warming up pizza. We all know that you should avoid metal in a microwave, but is it better to warm pizza on a microwave-safe plate, or can you heat it inside its packaging?
Is It Safe to Microwave Cardboard Packaging?
The answer to this question depends on the type of cardboard the pizza box is made of. Pure cellulose cardboard is perfectly safe for microwaving for a short time (60-120 seconds). Your food and microwave should be perfectly safe during a quick warm-up, but it’s still best to keep an eye on your pizza slice, and to keep the microwave on a low-power setting.
If you are warming up delicious pizza from frozen then cardboard packaging might not be a good container. This is because cardboard, and even pure cellulose cardboard, is flammable. If the cardboard is heated at a temperature of over 400 degrees F for a long time, it can catch fire.
Types of Cardboard That Shouldn’t Be Microwaved
Some cardboard containers can quickly catch fire and should never be placed in the microwave. Here is a quick look at some cardboard types that are not suitable for microwave use.
- Cardboard containers with glue or adhesives could deposit toxic chemicals into your food.
- Cardboard containers with ink printing on the outside. The ink print can sometimes produce powerful odors that can affect the taste and quality of food.
- Cardboard that has a wax coating or plastic lining. These linings can melt or release fumes that can affect the taste of the food.
- Takeout containers with metal handles or aluminum pans or aluminum foil bases.
- Recycled cardboard boxes often contain chemicals that can leech into food when these containers are warmed up. It’s best to avoid using any recycled cardboard items for storing food.
How to Safely Warm Pizza in Its Box in the Microwave
After checking the label and ensuring that the box is suitable for microwave use, it is still best to take a few safety precautions. Here is a quick look at the best way to reheat pizza in a microwave:
- Keep the food inside the microwave-safe cardboard box. If you place an empty cardboard box in a microwave it increases the risk of catching fire.
- Layer the cardboard container with a little napkin, piece of parchment paper, or paper towel. This will absorb some of the grease and will keep your pizza from forming a soggy crust while decreasing the chance of igniting a fire.
- Only warm the pizza for 60 to 120 seconds, and keep an eye on the microwave while warming up the food.
- Use medium heat or low heat settings when warming up your cold pizza.
- If you are only warming up a small slice of pizza, then you can add a small cup of water alongside the pizza container. This will help keep the pizza moist and will reduce the risk of starting a fire.
The Safest Way to Warm Pizza in a Microwave
If you are worried that the container might not be microwave safe, then it’s best to use a plate. You can use any type of microwave-safe food container to warm up your pizza. Here are a couple of tips for warming pizza on a plate.
- Place a paper towel or napkin below the pizza. This will keep it from clinging to the plate and from getting soggy.
- Place a small glass of water inside the microwave. This simple step ensures that your pizza warms up nicely and keeps it from drying out in certain parts. The water molecules will keep the pizza nice and moist and prevent a fire from starting on the cardboard.
So, can you put a pizza box in the microwave? If the cardboard pizza box is made from quality paper that doesn’t contain any adhesives, plastics, inks, or wraps, then it’s pretty safe to warm your pizza in a microwave. It is, however, important to only heat the pizza for a short period of time, and not to eat pizza that has been left outside for too long.
We hope that this guide made it easy for you to warm up that tasty leftover pizza without making any extra dishes. If you’re looking for other great advice on the best pizza-cooking equipment or ovens, then you should have a look at some of the other guides we have on The Pizza Calculator. With our guides, you can find all the latest and best tips for tasty, cheese pizza.