If you heat up some leftover pizza in your oven but suddenly remember the cardboard on the bottom of the pizza is still there, what can you do? While it might be tempting just to leave it there, the truth is that when cardboard and a hot oven are put together, there is always the chance of a fire.
It is best not to put cardboard in the oven. Always remember to remove that cardboard circle that sits at the bottom of the pizza before the oven gets too hot. Cardboard can ignite once it reaches a temperature of 427 degrees Fahrenheit (219 degrees Celsius) so no type of cardboard should ever go into an oven.
This article will explore why it is best not to put cardboard in your oven and
Cardboard and Ovens are a Potential Disaster
Cardboard can catch on fire once the temperature of an oven reaches 427 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering that many pizzas have to bake at a temperature of 425 degrees or higher, you can understand why this could spell disaster.
Leaving the cardboard piece attached to the pizza is a risk as there is possibility that the cardboard will start to smoke and even catch on fire. It is always best not to put any cardboard in the oven and avoid taking that chance.
Placing cardboard in your oven can risk a fire and the odds of a fire depend on several things including the type and age of your oven. Newer ovens do a great job of covering the heating elements inside of the oven, while older ovens often have heating elements that are more exposed to the inside of the oven. This increases the odds that a fire will occur.
It is always best not to risk putting cardboard in your oven.
Cardboard on pizza slows down cooking time
Another reason to never heat up pizza in cardboard in the oven is that it slows down cooking time.
Leaving the cardboard on the pizza also slows down the cooking time. With the cardboard still attached to the pizza, your cooking time will be much longer. In addition to this problem, you always risk keeping the bottom and crust of your pizza from getting nice and crispy because the cardboard will not transfer heat.
Heating frozen dinners in cardboard
Some frozen dinners have cardboard coverings that are specially treated not to catch on fire. The frozen dinner will specify which parts of the packaging are oven safe and make sure you remove any parts that are not. The base is usually made of aluminum to absorb the heat from the oven.
Unless the cardboard or paper product that comes with your food item has been specifically made to go into the oven don’t put it in there. There is a high chance that a fire could start.
Cardboard will make your food taste bad
Another reason not to put regular cardboard including pizza boxes in the oven is that it can make your food taste bad. This is because the cardboard can smoke and give off fumes, which seep into your food and give it a less-than-pleasant taste. We all know what pizza is supposed to taste like, and you likely won’t get that taste if you forget to take the cardboard piece out of the oven.
What to use instead of cardboard in the oven
There are lots of other options to use when reheating food in the oven to replace cardboard. Remove any cardboard from your food that is not oven safe and try one of these 4 easy options to reheat your food.
There are things you can use besides cardboard that will keep the food tasting better and eliminate the possibility of spontaneous combustion in the oven.
1. Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil is the perfect base for reheating food in your oven. It is low cost and easy to store. You can either cover the oven rack with aluminum foil before you preheat the oven or simply place a sheet of foil directly on the rack before laying the pizza on it. It will help the pizza or other food item cook evenly and helps prevent food from melting all over your oven.
2. Cookie sheets and baking trays
This is a great way to reheat leftover foods, especially pizza, because it allows for even cooking and a crisp, delicious bottom. If you make sure the cookie sheet is in the center of the oven rack, the food will taste even better.
Shallow baking trays or cookie sheets are perfect for heating up pizza because the heat can reach the pizza easily. You can line your baking trays with some eco baking paper to make clean up easy or choose a non-stick baking tray or silicone cookie sheet.
3. Baking pans or casserole dishes
If you don’t have cookie sheets, try using a glass casserole dish or a baking pan to heat up leftover food. This prevents food from bubbling over and melting all over your oven. Deeper baking pans are great for reheating chips, lasagna or sausages.
4. Pizza block
Pizza blocks are great for reheating pizza but can also be used to reheat other foods as well. These ceramic or stone trays are put into your oven then the pizza is placed on the block. You can use it for frozen pizza as well as it makes your crust crunchy and prevents cheese from dripping into your oven.
Whatever you decide to use, make sure that you take precautions to prevent melted cheese and similar products from dripping into the bottom of your oven, which can be a pain to clean once the pizza is done.
Using other types of cardboard in the oven
Tt isn’t just the small cardboard piece at the bottom of your pizza that is a potential danger. It’s easy to forget that you have something in the oven that is inside of a cardboard box, and if you turn on the oven in order to bake something, that box could be on fire by the time you’ve preheated the oven.
Remember, cardboard can ignite once it reaches a temperature of 427 degrees Fahrenheit (219 degrees Celsius). If you’ve just set your oven to 450 degrees with a cardboard box still inside it is a big problem. Turn off the oven and using oven gloves remove the cardboard and place it in your sink to cool.
Can You Put Cardboard in the Oven? | Summary
Always check for the cardboard piece on the bottom of a frozen pizza before reheating. Never put any type of cardboard in the oven at any time. It’s very easy to forget the cardboard is in there and turn the oven on. Always check and prevent carboard from causing problems.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.