Every pizza lover has at least once thought about microwaving the pizza box. But is it safe to microwave a pizza box?
Since I was a child, my mother told me not to microwave the pizza box. At that time, it did not make any sense. Because microwaving the pizza with its box looked more convenient.
A little while ago, I took the matter into my own hands. I got a box of pizza and microwaved it.
So, let’s see the results of this experiment!
Can you microwave a pizza box?
Yes, you can microwave a Pizza box made of cardboard. However, if the pizza box contains ink, metal, plastic, or foil, it’s not safe to microwave it.
The ink, metal, plastic, or foil can cause a fire in the microwave.
So, if you’re going to microwave your cardboard pizza box, make sure it doesn’t have any of those materials on it. You should also look out for a microwave-safe sign on the pizza box.
Now that you know the answer to “can you microwave a pizza box,” you may be wondering if it’s completely safe to do so if all criteria given above are met.
Is a pizza box safe to microwave?
Yes, it is safe to microwave the pizza box for small intervals. Cardboard pizza boxes are heat resistant. But prolonged heat exposure can cause it to burn.
Doesn’t being heat resistant meaning that the pizza box should be ok to microwave? No!
It is necessary to understand the different terms:
- Heat resistance withstands up to 140 °C or 284°F
- Fire-resistant withstands up to 300 °C or 572 °F
If you have a high-wattage microwave, it is not safe to microwave the cardboard pizza box. Because the cardboard container will start to burn at 427 °C or 800 °F.
Cardboard containers are not designed explicitly for microwaving. It helps with:
- Retaining pizza’s warmth
- Preventing the leftover pizza from getting soggy
- Easy to stack
- Heat-resistant but up to only 80 °C or 176 °F
What happens when you microwave a pizza box?
If you microwave a pizza box with the pizza for a short interval, no damage happens. But microwaving the pizza box without pizza for longer can cause a fire.
I was always told that microwaving recycled cardboard like the ones used for pizza was not good. But I wanted to see what happened. So, I did a little experiment when trying to reheat pizza.
After placing the pizza box with the leftover pizza in the microwave, I turned on the heat to maximum. Within one minute, the pizza was warm, and the box was fine.
Then I took out the pizza and just microwaved the cardboard pizza box. Within 1 to 2 minutes, the box started smoking.
When I took the box out, it started to burn. It turns out the box caught fire from the inside.
Are pizza boxes microwave safe?
Famous brands design their pizza boxes with high-quality heat-resistant material. However, still, not all pizza boxes are safe to microwave.
The main concern is that some pizza boxes have built-in aluminum foil. This aluminum layer keeps the pizza from getting cold. But, aluminum foil in the microwave can cause a fire hazard.
Furthermore, some recycled cardboard pizza boxes also feature metal clasp. And just like aluminum foil, you should not put metal in the microwave as well.
Lastly, plastic pieces might also be stuck to the recycled cardboard box. And as you already know, plastic is also not safe to put in the microwave.
So, the only thing you can do is closely inspect the pizza box. Do not microwave it if it has any plastic, metal, or aluminum pieces.
Tips for Safely Microwaving Pizza Box
There are a few things that you should keep in mind while microwaving the pizza box.
- Microwave the pizza box for only short intervals of time. Do not leave the box in the microwave for more than 1 minute because heat exposure for a longer period can cause it to catch fire.
- Microwave it at a lower heat to prevent the pizza box from catching fire. A higher power setting heats the box faster and causes it to burn.
- Most cardboard containers are made with toxic materials. So, line the box with a paper towel or kitchen towel. And then put the pizza on top of it. It’ll keep the pizza from absorbing toxic fumes.
- Do not microwave the pizza box if it has stickers or adhesive. The adhesive can melt and attach to the pizza. And then the pizza will not be edible anymore.
- Inspect the pizza box well before putting it in the microwave. Do not microwave if the box has any metal or plastic parts.
- Check if the pizza box has any stickers on it and remove them. The stickers are made with toxic material which is not heat-resistant.
What containers are microwave safe?
Heat-proof glassware and glass-ceramic ware are microwave-safe. You can find them easily in the microwave-safe container aisle.
Pizza boxes are not ideal for warming up pizzas. You can use them, but there is always a chance of cardboard catching fire.
Instead, use a container with the “microwave-safe” label at the bottom. This kitchenware is explicitly created for microwaving and comes in every size, shape, and form.
Best Way to Microwave Pizza
Now you know that microwaving the pizza is doable but not advised. So, follow these steps to microwave your pizza:
- Take out the amount of pizza you want to eat from the box.
- Line a microwave-safe dish with a paper towel.
- Place the pizza on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave it for 30 seconds intervals at a medium heat setting.
- Once it is done, take it out and enjoy.
Alternatively, you can also place a microwave-safe glass of water in the microwave. The water will take some of the microwave heat and allow the pizza to reheat evenly.
Planning the glass of water allows the cheese to melt fully before the crust dries out. And you will get perfectly microwaved pizza every time.
Don’t worry if it sounds too complex. The process is simple.
All you need to do is microwave the pizza for short time intervals. Also, do not forget to line the plate with a paper towel.
The towel will absorb extra heat. And it will allow the pizza to reheat evenly in the microwave.
However, be careful when removing the paper towel. It will be hot and can burn your fingers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Domino’s Pizza box microwave safe?
Yes, Domino’s pizza box is safe to microwave but only for short periods. The box is simple and does not have toxic adhesive on it. So just microwave it for 30 seconds time intervals, and the pizza will be warm. However, if you decide to microwave it for longer than 1 minute at a time it may catch on fire while inside the microwave.
Can you warm up the pizza in the box?
Yes, you can microwave the pizza box, but you need to follow the proper steps. First, line the box with a kitchen towel or paper towel. This will prevent the pizza from absorbing harmful fumes.
Set the microwave on medium power and microwave the pizza for 30 seconds intervals. After 2-3 intervals, the pizza will be done. Take it out and enjoy!
Can you microwave the pizza Hut box?
No. Pizza Hut does not claim that its pizza box is microwave-safe. So, you should not microwave it.
However, you can microwave the Pizza Hut box for short time intervals like any other pizza box. Just keep checking the box between the short intervals.
Also, before you put the Pizza Hut pizza box in the microwave, get rid of any plastic or metal components.
How do you know if a container is microwave safe?
Check the bottom of the container. If the container has the “microwave-safe” sign, it is safe to microwave.
You can use the same trick to find if a pizza box is microwave safe or not. Just flip the pizza box and look for the sign. If it has a microwave-safe sign, then you can microwave it.
Can you microwave cardboard box?
Cardboard is a combustible material, so there is always a chance of it catching fire when microwaved. The best way to determine if it is safe to microwave cardboard is by checking for the “microwave-safe” label on the bottom of the box. If it has the sign, then it is safe to microwave. However, if it contains plastic, ink, wax, or metal or lacks a microwave safe sign then you shouldn’t put it in a microwave.
Can you put a cardboard pizza box in the oven?
No, it is not safe to put a whole pizza box in an oven since the max temperature the box can withstand is about 400 degrees F. Moreover, If the box is placed any closer to the heating element, it will catch fire. It is better to take the pizza out of the box and place it on an oven-safe dish before cooking.
Now you know if it is safe to microwave cardboard pizza boxes or not. But what is my personal opinion about this subject? Do I microwave my box?
Even though you can microwave pizza boxes for short time intervals, I do not do it. The chances of the pizza box catching fire are high. And putting the pizza in a microwave safe is not an inconvenience.
I would just say that check the pizza box thoroughly before microwaving it. Get rid of any metal or plastic from the pizza box.
Lastly, if you have a microwave-safe plate, then use it instead because it is not safe to microwave cardboard boxes.
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