No matter how delicious your pizza is, no one likes an ice-cold pizza filled with dry toppings. Reheating it before eating makes it better, but can you put a pizza box in the oven?
I have tried this one time and that was the only time I did it. The pizza box could not handle the amount of heat that the oven produced even with the convection oven heating it.
The normal cardboard pizza box used to deliver the pizza is not as durable as you might think.
Yes, it can hold up a large and heavy pizza but it is different in heat.
Pizza places like Domino’s or Pizza Hut have durable boxes, but even those pizza cardboards that the pizza comes in with are not that durable, especially with higher temperatures.
Many people think that the box can handle the temp but the fact is, you really cannot put pizza boxes even in-home ovens that can only produce a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are better ways to reheat your pizza than putting the entire box in the oven. Before I tell you what those are, let us see why you should not put the entire pizza box in the oven when reheating the pizza.
Is It Safe To Put The Entire Pizza Box In The Oven?
The short answer is no, you cannot put an entire box in the oven when you reheat the pizza in it. There is a limit to the box’s temperature, and it will surely become dangerous.
The pizza box is made out of materials that can easily heat up and create a fire inside the oven, which is not very pleasing nor safe. It can also leave char and bitter flavors inside.
The highest temperature that a pizza box can handle is 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond this, your pizza box will not only be destroyed but the pizza inside it will also be uneatable.
Even the sturdy boxes from Domino’s and Pizza Hut cannot handle that much heat, and they will easily be destroyed and fill your delicious pizza with ashes and black dust from the pizza box.
Takeaway pizza boxes are made mostly of the same materials as paper boxes.
They are not that durable and are only meant to handle the pizza’s weight and not heated too much.
Even at lower temperatures, I do not recommend putting the entire box in the oven. There are chemicals in the box that might stick to the food making the pizza unsafe to eat even when reheated.
What Are Pizza Boxes Made Out Of?
As I have mentioned, a normal pizza box is made out of similar materials as paper boxes. They are made out of corrugated cardboard glued together and are usually three layers thick.
If you rip one of the surface layers, you will see the other slightly crumpled layer or somehow looks like it is made with waves. The purpose of this is to keep the pizza warm.
The construction of the pizza box is really helpful in making the pizza less soggy even after a long delivery time. The boxes also have small holes for proper airflow to prevent contamination.
The square design is simply for ease of stacking and transport. The boxes are made out of simple materials, so they do not do well for high temperatures or heat.
You might be wondering why you can put a pizza box in the oven when you order a frozen pizza. However, this is made out of different, stronger materials to handle more heat.
Frozen pizza cardboards are generally made with similar materials as normal pizza cardboards, but the difference is that frozen pizza boxes are laced with chemicals to protect them from heat.
The box can sometimes even contain ink and other chemicals. The purpose of these chemicals is to keep the shape of the pizza before it is frozen and is used to protect the crust of the pizza.
Can Pizza Boxes Combust?
When I used a convection oven for reheating my pizza and put the entire box inside the oven, it did not combust since there was no direct contact between the box and the heating element.
However, the higher temp inside the oven and the long heating timer made the cardboard box char. It started to turn black at the bottom, so I immediately removed the pizza box from the oven.
So while the pizza box does not combust by itself, you cannot reheat the pizza in it. The charred box will only put some unpleasant bitterness to the pizza and it is not great when you eat it.
There is, however, a chance that the pizza box might combust when you reheat it inside the oven. This is especially true with meat pizzas like the takeaway pizzas from Domino’s and Pizza Hut.
Even if you reheat the pizza and set the temperature on low, the oily toppings can drip to the pizza box and the oil from the toppings will most likely combust and start a fire.
Margarine and the oil from some cheese can also cause this. So even if you do not have meat in your pizza, there are still chances that the pizza box can combust if it absorbed some oil.
How To Keep Pizza Box While Reheating The Pizza?
There is a way to keep pizza in the box while you reheat it. However, I still advise against it as you can risk putting unpleasant chars and bitterness to the pizza or even worse, set your oven on fire.
The safest way to reheat the pizza while it is still in the box is to preheat the oven and keep the temperature low. You can put the pizza box in the oven only if the oven is preheated.
See, when you preheat the oven, all the heating elements are at their maximum. This is so that the oven can quickly get up to the set temperature and once there, the heating elements stop.
The heating elements will only start to heat the oven if the sensor reads the temperature lower than the set temp. This is to maintain the temperature inside the oven to preheat the pizza properly.
The maximum temperature to reheat pizza while in the box is 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher than this and the cardboard will probably start to char or ignite.
Once the oven is preheated, you can put the pizza box in the oven with the pizza in it and reheat it. This will take longer than usual, approximately 15 minutes, to reheat the pizza.
At the 10-minute mark, check the temperature of the pizza if it is hot enough to kill the bacteria in it before you eat it. Do not wait for the entire 15 minutes of reheating so that the box will not ignite.
Why You Should Not Put The Pizza Box In The Oven
Some people think that wrapping the pizza box in aluminum foil will prevent it from burning up, and this is not true as you only put the box closer to the source of heat as the aluminum absorbs it.
Along with this, there are also other more practical reasons why you should never put the entire box of pizza in the oven. Here are some that you should take note of:
1. Fire Hazard
Since pizza is one of the oiliest foods that we love, there is a high chance that the cardboard has absorbed the oil inside the pizza and will likely ignite even with just low heat.
This can lead to accidents and damages to your oven and of course, yourself. Even when the heat is set on low, the duration of reheating the pizza can ignite the pizza box.
This is especially true with takeaway pizzas usually delivered with pizza boxes made from paper pizza boxes.
2. Uneven Heating
You can put the pizza box in the oven, but if you put cardboard pizza boxes inside that much heat, it can lead to irregular heating of the pizza.
Yes, the pizza will warm up, but it will hardly make the heat evenly distributed. Remember that the box is meant for insulation to not rely on it heating your pizza evenly.
It can either keep pizza warm on one side or sometimes even burn the pizza dough or the pizza base.
3. The Unpleasant Taste
Since pizza boxes are made with chemicals, they can put a different taste in the pizza, and I promise you, it will not be the best thing you eat.
The chemicals can even cause long-term health issues, so I strongly suggest that you use other ways to reheat your pizza. You can even use your microwave for a few slices of pizza.
Better Ways To Reheat Your Pizza
Even if you have a decent home oven, you cannot just be lazy and just put the entire pizza box in it to reheat your pizza. Other ways are much better than keeping the pizza in the box.
You can use a plate and put a slice of pizza in the microwave oven. Reheating pizza in the microwave oven is not the best way, but it is much better as it is quick and safe.
If you reheat deep-dish pizza or larger types of pizza, then you can use the stove on low heat. You can use a pan and reheat the pizza properly, which I also have a guide of so you can check that out.
My favorite one is when I only need a few pizza slices for myself and use my air fryer to reheat the pizza. Air fryers are great at keeping the crust crispy on my leftover Pizza Hut classic pizza.
The cold pizza heats up quickly and is perfect for a light meal while watching my favorite games. These are the more common ways to keep pizza safe to reheat and eat.
When using a regular home oven or a pizza oven, use a pizza stone. A pizza stone helps to heat your pizza evenly and keep the pizza dough crispy when cooked.
The pizza stone helps distribute the heat inside the oven evenly so when you reheat your pizza, the heat will be coming from all angles, hence, heating your pizza in a more evenly distributed way.
Again, avoid putting the pizza box in the oven when you reheat your pizza and use the more common and safer methods so you can enjoy your pizza with all its delicious flavors!
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