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Can You Put Cardboard in the Oven? 4 Correct Ways to Reheat

It’s happened to all of us. You have leftover pizza in the fridge and want to heat it. The easiest solution seems to be to toss the cardboard box full of pizza in the oven.

But, can you put cardboard in the oven?

You can, although you shouldn’t. The combustion point of cardboard is around the same temperature it takes to cook food.

Let’s take a deeper look at this answer and explore other solutions.

Why Shouldon’t You Put Cardboard in the Oven?

As mentioned above, the answer to “can you put cardboard in the oven” is yes and no.

How can it be a bit of both? Although you can reheat your pizza in the oven while it’s still in the box, you risk burning your food and starting a fire.

You can reheat pizza in the box if you set the oven to a low temperature, around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. However, It’s not ideal.

There is always a chance of paper and cardboard catching fire when exposed to heat.

So, is it safe to put cardboard in the oven?

More often than not, the answer is no. Although you can use the pizza box to keep your pizza warm or reheat it, you should do so with caution.

Cardboard and parchment paper can catch fire at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It creates a fire risk that is twice as scary considering the oils and grease exposed to it. That’s why you shouldn’t put parchment paper in the microwave either.

pizza in a cardboard box

If the risk of burning your food and starting a fire isn’t enough to put you off using cardboard to reheat your food, it also slows down cooking time.

Additionally, even if the cardboard doesn’t burst into flames, it may still burn slightly. The burnt cardboard will undoubtedly affect the taste of your food.

If you enjoy eating pizza with the perfect taste and texture, throw the cardboard box away and find another vessel for heating.

What To Use in the Oven Instead of Cardboard?

put pizza pan in oven

Now that we’ve established that you definitely shouldn’t be using cardboard in the oven, here are some safer alternatives to reheat your pizza and other foods:

1. Directly on the Rack

Many frozen pizza companies recommend using this method of cooking. Baking your pizza directly on the rack leads to a crispier crust.

The downside to this method is you’ll end up with grease, cheese, and other various toppings on the inside of your oven. You’ll have to give it a good cleaning the next chance you get.

If you choose this method, be careful not to burn yourself when removing the pizza from the rack. You should wear oven mitts and have a plate ready to shimmy the pizza onto using a spatula.

2. Use a Cookie Sheet

Cookie sheets are an excellent choice regardless of what kind of food you’re cooking or reheating.

The metal of the cookie sheet will guarantee that your pizza will cook evenly and ensure the bottom of your pizza is crispy. If you use a cookie sheet, be sure to place the pizza in the middle.

3. Place It in a Casserole Dish

Casserole dishes typically aren’t as big as cookie sheets, so you may need to get a bit artful with arranging your pizza.

Nonetheless, they are perfect for cooking or reheating foods, including pizza.

4. Make a Tray Out of Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is an excellent alternative if you’re not keen about having to clean your oven after reheating your pizza.

To use aluminum foil to heat your pizza, you can either line the rack with aluminum foil before heating the oven.

Or, you can create a tray, albeit a flimsy one, to slide your pizza in once the oven is preheated.

5. Put It on a Pizza Stone

Pizza stones are ceramic or stone and are made explicitly for cooking pizza.

They are the ideal baking tool because they provide even heating and cook the crust to crispy perfection.

Other Things You Can’t Put in the Oven

having pizza

Aside from cardboard, there are other things you should never place in your oven [1], including:

  • Wax paper – Wax paper is not heat-resistant and will melt.
  • Pot holders – Pot holders are amazing for protecting you from heat, but don’t put them in the oven or they may catch fire.
  • Sloppy, oily foods – Sloppy oily foods can spill while cooking and can lead to oven fires.

When it comes to exposing anything to heat, you’ll want to exercise caution and use your common sense.

How to Reheat Pizza Without Cardboard

safely reheat pizza

Using one of the preferred food vessels listed above, you can use either an oven, a grill, a toaster oven, or even the stovetop to reheat your food.

1. In the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your oven is ready, bake the pizza for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it while it’s heating up so that it doesn’t overcook.

2. On a Grill

If you’re one of those lucky people who has a grill at home, you can reheat your pizza on it using a pizza stone.

As with the oven, you’ll want to keep an eye on your pizza to make sure it doesn’t burn.

3. In a Toaster Oven

Toaster ovens are the best for reheating when you’re in a hurry. Ensure your toaster oven is on the bake setting before preheating it.

Place your slice directly on the rack or the provided baking sheet and heat it for a few minutes until you notice the cheese is deliciously gooey.

4. On Your Stovetop

 Heat an appropriately sized skillet and place your slice in once it’s hot enough. Keep an eye on the pan and remove the pizza once the cheese begins to melt.

FAQs About Cardboard

Can you put cardboard in the oven with pizza? Is it safe to put cardboard in the oven? Read on to learn more.

At what temperature does cardboard burn?

Most cardboard boxes are made using corrugated cardboard. Most cardboard will catch fire around 450 degrees Fahrenheit [2], whereas corrugated cardboard can stand slightly more heat.

Additionally, parchment paper is heat resistant, but only up to a point. For example, Reynolds brand parchment paper is safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can You Bake Frozen Pizza on Cardboard?

No, you won’t want to bake your frozen pizza on cardboard. Cardboard is flammable and the temperature at which you’ll need to cook your pizza is right around its combustion point.


Instead of using cardboard, you should use a safer method of reheating your pizza or food. Safe alternatives to cardboard include cookie sheets or aluminum foil. You can even cook directly on the rack!

As with any cooking, be diligent about checking on your food to ensure it’s cooking well and not burning. Safety always comes first!

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I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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