Can You Put Cardboard in the Oven?

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Can you put cardboard in the oven?

I’m a fan of store-packed pizzas.

On the days when I need something a little more delicious than veggie breakfast taco, pizza from McDonald’s, and a pizza shop nearby, nicely placed on cardboard and sandwiched in a well-made box is always my first choice.

If you’re anything like me, you prefer your pizza warm and fluffy. Otherwise, breakfast can be quite awful. And what’s better to warm the pizza for that meaty taste than an oven?

But if you’ve never put a pizza in an oven, you’re probably wondering whether the cardboard, too, can go into the cookware.

In other words:

Is it safe to put the cardboard directly in an oven, or should you do away with it first before warming your pizza?

Can a Pizza Cardboard Go into an Oven?

Pizza cardboard may go into an oven, but only under strict conditions. The cardboard must have safety labeling that confirms that it’s safe for an oven. And you need to make sure you can control the heat of the oven, making sure to keep it well below the 430-degree F of the combustion point. 

Why You Shouldn’t Put a Cardboard in an Oven

It’s easy to assume that the cardboard can go into an oven because it has an oven safety label. But that’s not always the case.

There are universally accepted reasons why you shouldn’t put the cardboard in an oven.

1. Cardboard Can Slow Down the Cooking Time

When you have less time between eating breakfast and getting to work, you want that store-packed pizza to get hot fast. But that’s not so if you throw it in the oven with the cardboard.

Why?

The cardboard has to absorb heat first before it can transfer the same to the pizza, thus extending the cooking time unnecessarily.

2. Pizza Cardboards are Easily Flammable

The cardboard has an ignition point of 430 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven doesn’t have an option to control heat, keeping the baking temperature as low as 430 degrees, there’s a high chance the cardboard will start to burn.

It’s even riskier if you’re using an older oven since they lack the necessary technology to manage heat. New ovens are improved in technology and electric circuits, so you may easily put cardboards in them and warm your pizza just fine. But even with improved technology, modern ovens aren’t fireproof. The advantage with the new models is that you can set the necessary temperature before baking, making sure you keep the temperature lower than the ignition point of the cardboard.

The rule of thumb is to make sure you don’t set 5 or 6 degrees margins ignition point of the cardboard. After all, cardboard is made of paper, and paper is a material that burns.

3. Cardboards Give Pizza a Weird Taste

Beyond the likelihood of igniting at peak temperature, the cardboard can generate a bad smell from heat and spread out fumes to your pizza. So while you end up with warm pizza, it won’t taste great.

5 Tools to Heat Your Pizza in the Oven Instead of a Cardboard

To be on the safe side and to ensure your pizza tastes great straight from an oven, you should use only the right approach to warming your pizza. Below are five options to consider:

1. Pizza Block

A pizza block is a great alternative to cardboard because it doesn’t ignite and adds a foul smell to the pizza. Take the pizza from the cardboard and place it on the block. Choose the right heat setting and cook your pizza block for a crispy crust.

Also read: How to Clean a Pizza Stone

2. Aluminum Foil

You can even wrap the pizza in aluminum foil and then throw it into an oven. The rule of thumb is to use the lowest heat setting possible. Since aluminum foil heats pizza faster, you can set the table within 10 minutes or less. Plus, you don’t have to clean the oven after warming your pizza.

For this option:

  • Wrap each slice of pizza in an aluminum foil
  • Set the oven’s temperature to no more than 400°F
  • Heat the pizza for at least 10 minutes

You will love aluminum foils because they’re good at maintaining the original taste of pizza. Only make sure you don’t go beyond the 400°F temperature setting, so you don’t burn the pizza.

3. Cookie Sheet

A cookie sheet is a budget-friendly alternative to a pizza pan. It heats the pizza fast while maintaining the original taste of the food.

4. Baking Pan

Baking pans are all over the place these days. From cheap regular pans to special pizza pans, there’s just the right cookware to choose from.

Keep in mind that every pan has its pros and cons. So you want to check reviews on sites like Amazon and Walmart before buying one.

If you’re buying locally, make sure to ask for recommendations from friends or family members for the best pick.

What I love about pizza pans is that they can withstand heat from the oven just fine. Not to mention it gets your pizza warm within a very short time.

For this option, you will have to:

  • Make sure you use a non-stick pan. A pan made of stainless steel would be great
  • Set the oven at high heat
  • Place the pizza in the pan and place the pan in the oven
  • Heat the pizza for two to three minutes
  • Turn off the oven and serve the pizza hot

5. Oven Rack

Breakfast tastes great when you warm your food to the right heat. And if it’s store-packed pizza you’re eating for the morning, you want it warm, tasty, and fluffy inside out.

So if you don’t have all the other tools I’ve suggested in my list of alternatives to cardboards, consider direct heating.

Place the pizza directly on the oven rack, configure the temperature, and turn the heat to start warming the pizza for a crispier crust.

Putting the pizza on the oven rack exposes it to direct heat, so it warms up faster so you can get to eating within a short time.

For this option to work well:

  • First, set your oven’s temperature to not more than 170°F
  • Turn the oven on and place the pizza in the oven
  • Wait at least 5 minutes and serve the pizza hot

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