Can You Put Cardboard In The Oven? | Risks & Safe Use Guide

Cooking is one of the simplest pleasures in life, but it can also be tricky to master. Do you ever come across a creative baking recipe and find yourself asking can you put cardboard in the oven? It may seem counterintuitive, but the answer is yes. Depending on your oven’s settings and how you prepare the cardboard, you can indeed put cardboard in an oven—and today we’ll tell you exactly how.

Why Is Frozen Pizza Package With Cardboard?

Frozen pizzas are packaged with cardboard to protect them from damage during transportation from the manufacturing facility to the grocery store freezer. The cardboard acts as a barrier to prevent the pizza from getting crushed. Typically, pizzas are initially cooked by baking them.

Can You Put Cardboard In The Oven?

Cardboard should not be placed in the oven as it cannot withstand high temperatures and may catch fire, presenting a significant safety risk. It is recommended to remove the pizza from the cardboard box and transfer it to a heat-safe surface or baking sheet for reheating. Below are the reasons:

Threat Of Spontaneous Combustion

Cardboard has a low heat tolerance and can ignite when exposed to high temperatures. This is due to the fact that it contains air pockets, which are flammable and can burst into flames if heated too much. In addition, most pizza boxes have a thin coating on them to prevent grease from leaking out, making them even more susceptible to catching fire.

Slows Down Cooking Time

In addition to the safety risk, placing cardboard in the oven can significantly impact the cooking time of your meal. As mentioned earlier, most pizzas are initially cooked by baking them in their cardboard box. When reheating a pizza, it’s important to remove it from the box as this will allow for even heating and prevent any scorching or burning of your food.

Makes Your Food Taste Weird

Not only does cardboard pose a safety risk and affect cooking time, but it can also impact the taste of your food. If you leave your pizza in its cardboard box while reheating, the grease and moisture from the pizza will be absorbed by the cardboard, resulting in a soggy and unpleasant texture.

What Temp Does Cardboard Burn?

Cardboard typically ignites at temperatures exceeding 400 degrees.

Why You Should Never Use Cardboard In The Oven?

Cardboard, being a combustible material, poses a significant risk when exposed to high temperatures. With an ignition point of 427°F, cardboard will ignite or catch fire, presenting a potential hazard. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid using cardboard in the oven to ensure safety and prevent any potential fire incidents.

What To Use Instead Of Cardboard?

  • Recycled & Eco-Friendly Plastics: Utilizing recycled plastics as an alternative to cardboard can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly choice for shipping products. These plastics, although not traditionally eco-friendly, provide convenience and affordability.
  • Cornstarch Packaging: Cornstarch packaging offers versatility and durability for shipping various products. While it is derived from corn, which is a food resource, the use of cornstarch in packaging may lead to increased production costs compared to other alternatives.
  • Seaweed Packaging: Seaweed-based packaging provides a gelatinous substance that can be molded into packages. However, due to its high demand in both the food and packaging industries, the production cost of seaweed packaging is currently impractical for bulk shipping.
  • Mushroom Packaging: Mushroom packaging offers a sustainable alternative by utilizing inedible parts of mushrooms, such as mycelium, along with agricultural waste. The mixture is molded into the desired shape and dried, creating a durable packaging material for shipping goods while not competing with limited food resources.
  • Biodegradable Air Peanuts: A suitable replacement for styrofoam pieces used to protect fragile goods, these biodegradable peanuts serve as eco-friendly loose fillings when shipping to states with anti-pollution laws.
  • Inflatable Air Pillows: Made from recyclable materials, inflatable pillows offer a great alternative to styrofoam wraps. Available in various sizes, they effectively fill empty boxes to provide cushioning. These pillows use free air for inflation and the pillow cases can be reused, making them both eco-friendly and cost-effective.
  • Corrugated Up-cycled Cardboard: Designed to perform like bubble wraps, this corrugated cardboard serves a similar function while being biodegradable. Small cuts are made on the up-cycled cardboard to enhance shock absorption during movement, providing a sustainable alternative to plastic bubble wraps.

How To Cook Or Reheat Frozen Pizza Without Cardboard?

To cook or reheat frozen pizza without cardboard, follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature for the specific type of pizza you are cooking.
  2. Remove the pizza from its packaging and place it on a heat-safe surface such as a cookie sheet or casserole dish.
  3. If desired, add any additional toppings before placing the pizza in the oven.
  4. Cook for the recommended time, checking periodically to ensure it’s not burning or cooking too quickly.
  5. Once cooked, let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips For Replacing Cardboard With Something Else

  • Always make sure to use a heat-safe surface such as a cookie sheet or casserole dish when cooking or reheating food in the oven.
  • If using aluminum foil, be sure to create a tent-like cover over the food to prevent it from burning.
  • When placing food directly on the rack, ensure it is not too close to the heating element and that it is placed on a baking tray if necessary.
  • If using a pizza block, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and regularly clean it to prevent any potential food contamination.

FAQ: Cardboard in the Oven

Is cardboard OK in the oven?

Cardboard should not be placed in the oven due to the potential safety and health risks associated with it. Cardboard is made from flammable materials that can ignite at high temperatures.

Will cardboard burn in an oven on 350?

No, cardboard is not safe to put in the oven, even at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It can still catch fire and release harmful chemicals. Due to its flammable nature, it is best to avoid using cardboard in ovens altogether.

Can you put cardboard in oven to keep pizza warm?

To keep pizza warm, you can place the box inside the oven. Set the oven to the lowest heat possible, usually around 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The low heat inside the oven creates a climate similar to an oven inside the pizza box. It’s important to note that the cardboard will not catch fire unless the temperature exceeds 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Will cardboard burn in a 200 degree oven?

Cardboard does not ignite until temperatures exceed 400 degrees. However, to ensure safety, it is recommended to maintain the heat at the suggested setting of 170 degrees. If you prefer to increase the temperature slightly, it is acceptable but should remain below 300 degrees.

Can I put cardboard in the oven at 175?

No, you should never put cardboard in the oven at any temperature. Cardboard is a combustible material with an ignition point of 427°F. This means it will catch fire if heated above this temperature.

6 thoughts on “Can You Put Cardboard In The Oven? | Risks & Safe Use Guide”

  1. That’s fine, people do it all the time to keep the pizza warm until everyone is ready to eat. Just don’t leave it in or put the temp too high. Also just put the box on the plain oven rack, so air gets around it.

  2. You can, but the pizza might not cook as evenly. Also, be wary because I’ve never seen a pizza just inside a cardboard box without some sort of plastic wrapping.


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