Should I Put Cardboard Pizza Box in the Oven? 

Parties, game nights and family get-togethers. Or maybe just a simple night in, delivery pizza is a delicious meal most everyone enjoys. But we all know that its best when its hot and fresh out of the pizza oven. What if you crave a slice later that day, or maybe even a couple days later?

Is it Safe to Put a Pizza Box in the Oven?

A little bit of yes, and a bit more of no!

It is safe to put a cardboard pizza box into the oven, but only if you follow some key rules and know the limitations. And we can say that there is a better way to heat your pizza, outside the box it was delivered in.

Is it Safe to Put a Pizza Box in the Oven
Photo by Tejas Prajapati on

The average cardboard pizza box is quite thin and sometimes has a liner parchment paper on the bottom. Both these materials have the risk of catching fire at around 400 degrees. This makes it a potential fire hazard should you accidentally turn your oven up too much! Even if your box didn’t catch fire, the searing from the high heat would most likely char against your pizza. Yuck!

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A takeout pizza is packed and delivered to you in a cardboard box because it is a lightweight, inexpensive and somewhat insulating. This makes it the favorite packaging for pizza restaurants across the world. These boxes are usually imprinted with decals, dyes, stickers and inks. These are things that when heated, could be quite unhealthy and will likely change the taste of your pizza.

It is not an ideal method to re-heat your pizza in its box, but placing your pizza into an oven at a low temperature (say 170-200 degrees) is a good way to keep your pizza warm if needed. Maybe you have a birthday party or event and don’t want to put out all the pizzas at once? Stowing a few boxed pizzas away in the oven at a holding temperature until needed is a smart choice.

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Safest Way to Reheat Your Pizza in the Box

It can be done, and if you follow a couple key points I’ll outline, you can easily re-heat your pizza in its box, right in your oven.

First off, you want to preheat your oven to no more than 275 degrees. If you don’t preheat the oven first, you will almost certainly char the pizza box. Until an oven is up to temperature, the elements are on full. Its important to remember that once a oven is up to temperature (preheated) the elements only turn on periodically and for short intervals.

You should remember to check the pizza every few minutes. Take it out once the cheese is bubbling or you think it is heated up to your liking. This should be no more than 15 maximum at 275 degrees. More than likely, it will be up to temp within 10 minutes if you preheated!

But wait, there is a better way to heat that pizza up!

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3 Quick and Easy Ways to Heat Up Pizza Outside the Box

Reheat Pizza on a Baking Sheet or Tin Foil

This is the way we used to do it when I was a kid, when you wanted a leftover slice or two of last night’s pizza dinner. Simply preheat your oven to 350 degrees with your baking sheet, after its reached temperature, place the slices of pizza onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes and enjoy. Easy!

Alternatively you can follow the same steps, except instead of using a baking sheet, place your slices on tin foil and put it directly onto the oven rack. This gives you crispy crust and that almost fresh from the pizzeria taste!

Its key to note that baking at too high a temperature will char the underside of the pizza. Don’t turn your oven up too high!

Reheat Your Pizza in the Microwave

This is the quickest way by far, and you need less than 1 minute of time per slice, and if you do one simple trick, you’ll get nice crispy slice of hot pizza.

There is a great trick to heating up pizza in a microwave that avoids the soggy, floppy pizza you might remember getting before. In order to get an ultra-quick and almost fresh from the oven taste and texture, you will need to put a coffee mug with about 1/2 cup water in it into the microwave with your slice or two of pizza. Place the mug beside or place it under your pizza, with the plate balanced on top of the mug of water. Microwave on high, 30 seconds for 1 slice and 15 seconds for each additional slice. Somehow this magically removes the sogginess as you microwave your slices, and leaves you with a perfect re-heated pizza!

Reheat Your Pizza on the Stovetop
Photo by Vincent Rivaud on

Reheat Your Pizza on the Stovetop

This is another super easy and quick way to reheat pizza. You’ll need a large skillet or fry pan as well as a lid. Cast iron skillet will work the best if you have one, although any fry pan will do.

Warm your pan on the stovetop with medium heat. Place your slices of pizza into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Next you will want to add about a teaspoon of water into the pan and cover with the lid. Let the steam do its thing, and after a minute or two open the lid and check out your slices. You should have perfectly crispy crust and ooey-gooey cheese. The steam method makes sure the slices heat all the way through and all your toppings are perfectly heated.


So there we go; pizza can be reheated in the box, as long as you do it carefully.

It won’t give you the best results though, and there are easy ways to reheat pizza outside the box depending on what kitchen appliances you have available.


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