Can a Pizza Box Go In the Oven?

Friday Aug 27, 2021

Can you put a pizza box in the oven? Theoretically, it is possible and can be safe if done correctly, but "can" and "should" are not the same thing. While it may be tempting to slide that whole box onto the bottom rack when reheating your leftover slices, here at Hungry Howie's® for safety's sake we want to provide you with all of the information you need before making a decision.

First, we'll go over the heating process, what can happen if it's not done correctly, and safety tips to follow if you really want to reheat your pizza directly in the box. However, never leave a pizza box in the oven unattended. Even if you follow all of the recommendations perfectly and you smell something burning remove the pizza immediately using oven mitts.

Can You Put a Pizza Box in the Oven? 

If the pizza box with your leftover slices is small enough to fit in your oven without touching the sides, the top of the oven, or the upper rack, there is a method to follow that allows you to reheat your pie while in the box. Note that there should be plenty of room around the sides of the box–a minimum of 2-3 inches to be safe. 

Oven Temperature 

Pizza boxes are generally made from cardboard, which can catch fire if they are near an open flame or exposed to high temperatures. Cardboard burns at approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the general consensus for reheating pizza in the oven is to keep the temperature set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit it should be safe to leave your pizza in the box, however, you must be extremely vigilant while it is baking. 

Baking Time

In addition to making sure the temperature of the oven stays well below the point of flammability, be careful how long you keep the box in the oven. Do not exceed a baking time of more than 10 to 15 minutes and be sure that you do not go far away from the oven. Stay within range where you can see or smell if something begins to burn and peek into the oven every few minutes to see how the pizza is doing.

If you notice that your pizza is getting too charred or the box is getting dark spots on it, take it out immediately. You are nearing the point of burning. 

Other Considerations

When asking can you put a pizza box in the oven, the answer is yes if you do so properly and carefully. However, there is more to consider than the box itself. If you are trying to reheat an entire pizza, for example, and not just a few slices, it is best to take the pie out and place it on a flat baking sheet. 

Additionally, if you are only reheating one or two slices, try to avoid doing so directly in the box. One other thing to remember is that pizza boxes often come with a piece of thin waxed paper under the pizza between the box. 

This paper is much thinner than the cardboard is, and it can catch fire much easier. Especially because it is usually loaded up with grease from the pie. Not only does this paper burn at a lower temperature, but it contains a lot more chemicals that can leak into your slices when exposed to a high temperature for too long. This can make your pizza taste funky, and can possibly be unsafe. If you're wondering "can you put a pizza box in the oven?" you can, but be sure to remove this piece of paper first.

Is Reheating Pizza in the Box a Good Idea?

While it is possible to put a pizza box in the oven to reheat your leftovers, here at Hungry Howie's® we think that it's much safer and worry-free to take the slices out of the box before doing so. Instead, use a cookie sheet, a shallow baking pan, or a sheet of aluminum foil to bake your pizza on.

While you should still check on your pizza every few minutes while it's reheating, you have a much lower risk of fire or accident when you avoid putting the cardboard on the oven rack.

When You Don't Have Pizza to Reheat

Are you craving a gooey, melty, delicious pie right now, but you don't have any leftover slices in the fridge to reheat? No worries! Hungry Howie's® has you covered. A fresh pizza is always the best in our opinion, though don't get us wrong we're huge fans of leftovers too. 

Give us a call or place a pizza order online to get a hot, fresh, delicious pizza, pasta, oven-baked sub, or fresh salad for dinner tonight. Order for delivery or if you're in the neighborhood stop by and grab your meal to-go.