Delivery pizza usually comes inside a cardboard box, and store-bought frozen pizza comes packaged with cardboard. You might want to eat hot and delicious pizza, so you put it in the oven but wonder, can cardboard go in the oven? The answer is simple, No. The cardboard cannot go in the oven. So, to reheat your pizza, you should not put it in an oven with cardboard because it is completely unsafe due to several factors.
This can lead to serious hazardous consequences and badly impact your food, whether pizza or some other food in cardboard. Also, the high temperature in the oven is not tolerable for combustible cardboard.
In this article, we have discussed what happens if you put cardboard in the oven and how to avoid it.
Can Cardboard Go In The Oven?
Cardboard is combustible and can cause a fire inside your oven; therefore, you should never put it in the oven. The temperature inside the oven can go higher, while the limit for cardboard is only 427 degrees.
Below this temperature, the cardboard will not catch fire, but depending on the type of oven, it can increase the risk of ignition. Even at 350 degrees, you will see smoky flames coming out of the pizza box.
Older ovens have a high risk of such incidents due to their heating element exposure inside the oven. If the heating element is fully covered, the risk can get reduced. But it is not recommended to put a cardboard pizza box in the oven.
The purpose of cardboard is to support the pizza base and make shipping easier from the store to your home. So, your pizza should only go in the oven without cardboard.
Why Should Cardboard Never Go In The Oven?
Many people claim that they safely put cardboard in the oven without harmful effects, but in most cases, a smoke-filled kitchen and oven catching fire are obvious consequences.
Not just pizza comes in cardboard boxes; many frozen foods are also packaged inside cardboard. So, you must remove the food from the package and then put it in the oven.
There are several reasons that cardboard should never go in the oven, including:
Dangers of Ignition
It is common for cardboard to catch fire at 427 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature can go between 425 to 450 degrees to bake pizza. There will be two possibilities, whether your pizza will cook crispy and delicious or the cardboard will catch fire, ruining your pizza.
If your oven has an exposed heating element, there is more risk of catching fire. However, if the heating element is completely covered and doesn’t circulate the heat, it will reduce the risk of combustion.
Because of its toxic effects, cardboard made of chemicals or plastic is very dangerous. At a certain temperature, the coating will melt and get into your food.
Some cardboards have a chemical coating to make them grease resistant, while others are usually recycled and processed in the presence of chemicals. On heating, the chemical releases toxic gases. Though pizza comes in a cardboard box, heating it in the oven will turn things upside down.
It is not just unhealthy to place cardboard in the oven; your cooking will also be delayed and take too long. The cooking time will be slow due to an extra thick layer of cardboard that will restrict the heat from reaching the pizza crust and top.
Alters The Taste
Cooking or reheating pizza on cardboard will also alter the taste. Even if cardboard doesn’t catch fire, the smoke will get inside your food and taste bad.
Usually, frozen foods come inside a plastic package to avoid freezer burn. Putting food in a plastic package in the oven will cause a bad smell and nasty taste. Melted plastic in your food might be something you would never like to eat.
Pizza Get Soggy
Another reason cardboard should not go in the oven is pizza becomes soggy. Baking on cardboard will make the pizza soggy.
How to Put Pizza In Oven Without Cardboard? Alternatives
Instead of putting pizza in the oven with cardboard, you can use alternative ways to avoid any risk.
Put It On Rack
You can bake your pizza by keeping it directly on the rack. If there is oven-compatible cookware, you can put the pizza without cardboard. The pizza will get direct heat and be crispier by cooking on a rack.
However, one drawback is that cheese or toppings may drip into the oven.
Place Inside Pizza Pan
Pizza pans are ideal and safe to use instead of cardboard. You can get them in a variety of styles, but for baking store-bought pizza, a round pizza pan will be better.
Also, pizza pans with perforations at the bottom will make the crust crispier and take less cooking time. There is some chance of grease dripping on the oven rack.
Use Pizza Stone
This is another good alternative to cardboard. Pizza stones are usually made of stone or ceramic and provide the best heating results with more crispiness.
There are also pores at the bottom of the pizza stone that aids in heating quickly and adding more crispiness to the crust.
Put On A Cookie Sheet
The cookie sheet is the best replacement for cardboard, and the metals heat up faster to cook pizza. You can cook frozen food, such as casseroles and nuggets, on a cookie sheet.
Use An Aluminum Foil
What else do you need if there is aluminum foil? You can spread the aluminum foil on the oven rack.
Preheat the oven without a rack and cover it in aluminum foil. Aluminum foil is the best choice if you want a cheap source compared to a cookie sheet and special pans.
How to Reheat Pizza Without Cardboard?
It is not compulsory to reheat pizza on cardboard. There are several ways you can reheat your leftover pizza slices. Some of them are:
- Inside Oven
This is the best option; you can do it by preheating the oven. Once preheated, reheat the pizza between 350 to 425 degrees temperature.
- On The Grill
It is more fun to reheat pizza on the grill. Put your pizza on the grill and let it get ready to eat.
- In A Toaster Oven
A toaster oven can do the reheating job if there is no oven or grill. You can heat one or two slices simultaneously, which is a convenient option.
Preheat your toaster oven and put the slices in it for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Inside Microwave
A Microwave is another convenient way to reheat pizza. Though microwaving will make the pizza crust bit chewier than your preference, you can put a paper towel or parchment paper beneath the pizza to absorb moisture.
- On Stovetop
Put your pan or skillet on the stovetop and let it heat for some time. Once heated, place the pizza and cover it with a lid.
Remove the pizza when you see the cheese melting on top.
Cardboard might help support pizza and make it easy to ship at different places, but it isn’t safe to go in the oven. You can put it at your own risk, but putting cardboard in the oven is not recommended.
Instead, you can use alternative methods to reheat or cook pizza and frozen foods to get safer results. We hope this guideline will help you get healthy and tasty food in the oven.