Can You Put a Pizza Box in the Oven?

Reheating a box of cold pizza is difficult for the average pizza fan out here. There is an internal conflict about whether to cut corners or follow the standard reheating pizza rules. Do I separate the slices and reheat them separately? Do I toss the entire pizza box to save time and energy? The question remains – can you put a pizza box in the oven?

An average pizza box is made of paper or cardboard thick enough to carry 6 to 12 pizza slices while also preventing cheese and oil from leaking. It’s generally tough, but is this pizza box tough enough to be placed inside a flaming oven appliance?

It is unsafe and a potential fire hazard to put a pizza box in the oven. Even at low temperatures there is a security and health risk.

This article will provide detailed instructions for reheating a pizza box in the oven. We have discussed what makes up a cardboard box, is it safe to put the pizza box in the oven and potential alternatives for the pizza.

Can I Really Put A Pizza Box In The Oven?

Curious minds want to know if it’s a good idea to bake your cardboard pizza box. You’ve probably heard horror stories about people who have put the box in the oven and had it catch fire or fill their home and kitchen with heavy smoke.

Seriously, you cannot bake the entire pizza box in the oven. This is because a pizza box can withstand the highest temperature without catching fire is 400°F.

Obviously, that is not the desired outcome here. You wish to know if there is a safe and dependable method for placing the pizza box in the oven, as well as if there are other options for keeping the pizza warm.

Anything above this setting on the oven will necessitate the immediate assistance of firefighters. The entire box, including the pizza, would catch fire and cause extensive damage.

But what if you lower the temperature? Is it still safe to do so? It is not safe at all to do so because those actions also putting you at risk of a fire.

What if you leave your pizza out for a long time so you don’t have to reheat it? You can only let pizza sit out for a certain period of time before it may make you sick so that is not a good idea either.

What Makes Up A Pizza Box?

A typical pizza box is made of corrugated cardboard, composed of three layers of impressed boards glued together and designed to incubate heat and solve the soggy problem by providing holes for a consistent airflow through the box, reducing the chances of contamination.

After that, the box is printed with inks and designs. So, the square box is designed for easy transportation because humans prefer to transport square boxes over circular objects. 

Is It Safe For Me To Put The Entire Box Into An Oven?

Just because something fits doesn’t mean it should be used. The anti-grease layer closest to the pizza in a pizza box is susceptible to heat disintegration.

These chemicals will then end up in your food, potentially causing health problems. The chemicals in the designs and inks may also melt when heated, altering the taste of your food and ruining your pizza.

Can Pizza Cardboard Combust?

When exposed to high heat, the pizza cardboard does not burn. A carbon-containing animal or vegetable oil causes combustion.

Cooking oil, soybean oil, and margarine all catch fire when they come into contact with rags, paper, or cardboard.

Another major reason to avoid heating the pizza boxes in an oven, even at low temperatures, is that the pizza’s oils can cause combustion. So, it’s highly dangerous.

Is It Safe For Me To Heat A Pizza Box Under Low Temperatures?

Can you put a pizza box in the oven? And then can you heat it? Anything below 400°F is considered safe because it is safe for cardboard. The inks and designs on it are not completely safe. If you are unsure, do some research. Make sure there are no metal pins or plastic parts in the cardboard.

Preheat the oven to a temperature of 240°F-350°F for 5 to 10 minutes. Once it’s hot enough, reduce the oven temperature to around 200°F and place it in the pizza box.

Basil Pizzas Bar, a popular pizza restaurant, recommends temperatures as low as 170°F. Maintain consistency because you may need to adjust the temperature at specific times.

Leave the box for 15 minutes, occasionally opening it to inspect the surface. If the cheese becomes bubbly, it indicates that it is properly heated. Remove when the edges begin to brown and serve.

This method is generally unsafe because some chemicals may have leaked into your pizza. If you need to use cardboard, follow the directions above.

Make sure there is a substantial amount of pizza in the cardboard, or else it will easily catch fire.

Can I Put Cardboard Wrapped In Foil In The Oven?

This is analogous to putting bare cardboard inside the oven. If you think wrapping the aluminum foil around the cardboard will keep it from burning, you’re wrong!

Aluminum is also susceptible to heat permeability. This is even riskier than leaving the cardboard alone. The cardboard will catch smoke and cause a fire inferno at very high temperatures.

But Frozen Pizzas Come With Cardboard, Doesn’t That Make It Safe?

Pizza cardboards differ from regular cardboard in that they are laced with chemicals. The designs on your frozen pizza cardboard were created using ink and other chemicals.

The cardboard is used primarily for packaging and keeps the pizza from smashing until it is frozen. The cardboard is also used to transfer the pizza to and from the cooking rack. WikiHow demonstrates additional methods for cooking frozen pizza.

Read more about How To Reheat Frozen Pizza.

Why Is It Not Recommended To Put A Pizza Box In The Oven?

  • Fire Hazard: Pizza cardboard has a high chance of catching fire due to foreign materials such as metals and plastics or forgetfulness, as most people need to be more cautious. This can result in property damage and injuries.
  • Irregular Heating: Because the pizza is closed in a box, there is a high risk of overcooking or undercooking. Because the box obscures your view of the cooking process, you may end up with a burnt pizza.
  • Chemicals: The chemicals in the box may melt and contaminate your pizza. These chemicals could include design inks or the thin chemicals found inside the box. Consistent ingestion of these chemicals can result in long-term terminal diseases such as cancer.
  • Change in Food Taste: The cardboard, inks, and chemicals seeping into your pizza can cause it to taste metallic rather than the organic pizza taste.

Other pizza bedding alternatives are more practical than cardboard. These alternatives are both safe to use and friendly for humans.

What Other Cardboard Alternatives Can You Use When Heating Pizza?

Several cardboard alternatives that are suitable for cooking or are heat resistant include:

Aluminum Foil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After removing your pizza from the box, wrap it in aluminum foil and carefully arrange the pizza slices, leaving plenty of space between them.

Put it on the oven rack to heat. Aluminum foil is safer than cardboard because it is non-flammable regardless of the oven temperature. 

Because it can trap heat for that long, the aluminum method is thought to keep the pizza hot for more than 3 hours.

Aluminum foil has the advantage of being easily accessible and far less expensive. Still, it has the disadvantage of drying out your pizza, which does not mean the taste will be different because of a bit of dryness.

Pizza Stone

Pizza stones are not the same as baking stones; they are flat slabs of stone or ceramic that absorb heat and distribute evenly onto a cold pizza. Pizza stones outperform cardboard or aluminum foil.

They are safer to use than foil and can be reused multiple times. They are flammable because they are made of stones or ceramics. 

The aluminum foil requires less heat than the pizza stone. It takes around 20 minutes and has a temperature of 200°F to 250°F.

Because of the porosity of pizza stones, your pizza is evenly heated, resulting in a well-heated and soggy-free pizza. Because the pizza stone retains heat for a long time, it is recommended that you leave your pizza on the stone.

The disadvantage of the stone is that it takes longer to heat up and is more expensive to obtain than the far less expensive aluminum foil. It is also more prone to breaking, particularly pizza stones made of ceramics and stone, which many people do not have time for, thus the preference for the aluminum method.

Aside from the oven, other cooking methods for heating pizza include the skillet, toaster oven, microwave, and air fryer.

Bottom Line

Can you put a pizza box in the oven? We’ve answered this question in quite detail for you. Heating a pizza in an oven is not recommended, but if you must, lower the temperature and keep a close eye on the pizza because it is one degree away from burning down your entire house.

Remove any additional packaging material containing metals or plastics that could cause an explosion in the oven. Their working mechanism is similar to that of wooden oven flooring.

To avoid unfortunate events, invest in other cooking methods and options, or remove the pizza from the pizza box and heat it normally and safely.

Want more Information About Reheating Pizza?

Check out all of our posts on How To Reheat Pizza.