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As a former employee of many pizza shops, I’ve prepared an incalculable amount of pizzas. I’ve also been fortunate enough to take home hundreds of complimentary pizzas that the restaurant owners had left over at the end of the day. I enjoy cold pizza, but warmed pizza is much better. I learnt one thing from the beginning.

You should not reheat your pizza in a pizza box in the oven. The cardboard box has the potential to catch fire, particularly if the oven is set to a high temperature. Furthermore, the cardboard may leach harmful substances right onto your pizza.

In this essay, I’ll go through the reasons why putting a pizza box in the oven is a terrible idea in further depth. I’ll also show you some other, far more effective methods to reheat your leftover pizza.

Why Can’t You Put A Pizza Box In The Oven?

A pizza box should not be placed in the oven since it is potentially dangerous. Cardboard pizza boxes are designed to deliver the pie, not to reheat it. When put in a hot oven, the cardboard box may catch fire or begin to emit chemicals that end up on the pizza’s surface.

Flammable Materials and Dangerous Chemicals

The majority of pizza boxes are composed of combustible cardboard. They’re also often sprayed with pesticides. When baked at high temperatures in the oven, these compounds may be transferred from the pizza box to the pizza itself.

The auto-ignition point of cardboard is around 450°F (232°C). This degree of flammability indicates that if the material is put in an oven that reaches this temperature, it may easily start a kitchen fire. Even if the oven is set to a lower temperature, a cardboard pizza box has the potential to catch fire, thus I strongly advise you to avoid doing so at all costs.

Most food packaging materials, including pizza boxes, contain chemicals, especially PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). They contribute to a material’s grease, stain, and water resistance; nevertheless, they do not degrade naturally and have been related to cancer and other potentially fatal disorders in humans.

Furthermore, most pizza restaurants will print their own store information and other patterns right on the pizza boxes to make it simple to identify which pie is from which location. The printing ink used to add these graphics is also not meant to be placed in an oven or heated to high temperatures. Stickers are occasionally applied to most pizza boxes, which may potentially be combustible, in addition to the inked drawings.

Pizza Boxes Are Different From Frozen Pizza Discs

A common belief is that it’s ok to place a pizza box into the oven to reheat it since many frozen pizzas come seated on a cardboard disc that is intended to go directly into the oven. However, these frozen pizza discs are not made of the same type of cardboard as a pizza box.

The frozen pizza discs are made out of cardboard, but they are coated with special chemicals specifically designed to go into a hot oven safely. These discs are essential to the cooking process and are engineered with that process in mind.

However, even when it comes to frozen pizzas this isn’t always the case. Therefore, when cooking one, always read the directions carefully to see if the manufacturer intended the cardboard disc to go into the oven or not.

How To Reheat A Pizza Properly?

Warming a pizza in an oven using a pizza stone, baking sheet, or aluminum foil is the best method to reheat it correctly. If you simply need to reheat one or two slices, you may use the microwave, stovetop, or airfryer.

Check out this YouTube video from The Spruce Eats for a detailed breakdown of these four strategies for reheating your pizza:

Reheat In The Oven

Although the pizza box should not be placed in the oven, the equipment is an ideal method to reheat the pizza. Reheated pizza in the oven is the closest thing to a freshly-made pie, with that flawless crust and gooey cheese.

You may use your oven to reheat a whole pizza or just a few pieces. Place it on a tray to prevent the cheese from melting onto the oven floor and becoming a mess (and a fire danger!). Rather, set your pizza on a:

  • Sheet of aluminum foil
  • Baking sheet
  • Pizza stone

For an extra-crispy outcome, preheat the pan, tray, or stone in the oven before laying the pizza on top. Remember that pre-heating will add a few minutes to your total cooking time, particularly if you’re using a pizza stone, which might take a little longer to heat up.

If you need a pizza stone, I highly recommend this one (available on Amazon). It can fit both square and round pies, so you may use it regardless of the pizza type offered by your neighborhood pizzeria. This stone may be used for baking as well as reheating pizza, since it can produce beautiful cookies, loaves of bread, and calzones.

Follow the instructions below to reheat your pizza in the oven:

  1. To begin, preheat the oven to 350°F (176.7°C).
  2. Preheat your oven tray, pan, or stone for a crispier crust.
  3. Place your pizza tray in the oven when the oven is preheated (or your pan is hot).
  4. Bake the pizza for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  5. If you want an extra-crispy crust, leave the pizza in for a few minutes longer.
  6. Remove the pizza with care and let it aside for a minute or two before transferring it to a platter.

A regular-sized oven is ideal for warming up a full pizza or many slices; however, it may not be the greatest option for warming up a single piece. Following the same basic instructions, you may warm up a single slice of pizza in a toaster oven. Your single piece will cook quicker in the toaster oven, and it should be hot and ready to eat in three to four minutes.

Reheat In The Microwave

If you need to rapidly reheat pizza pieces, a microwave will suffice. Microwave-reheated pizza, on the other hand, may have a mushy feel with a solid crust.

Microwaves can reheat practically any sort of food in minutes. They are not like ordinary ovens in that they heat the food by quickly moving its water molecules. While this works well for things with an uniform moisture level, it might result in inconsistent cooking for dishes like pizza, which has components of varying textures and consistencies.

To prevent this issue, consider warming your pizza in the microwave with an extra source of moisture. Because the added wetness absorbs part of the microwave’s energy, the pizza will cook up more evenly throughout its whole surface. Before using the plate and cup, always make sure they are microwave-safe.

Follow these instructions to reheat your pizza in the microwave:

  • Place the pizza slice on a microwave-safe platter.
  • Fill a microwaveable cup or mug halfway with water.
  • Place the plate and the cup in the microwave together.
  • Microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds.
  • If the cheese has completely melted, remove it from the microwave.
  • Remove the plate and cup from the microwave with caution, as they may still be hot.

If you still want a crispy crust on your reheated pizza slice, consider pulling it out of the microwave early and completing it on the stovetop (more on stovetop reheating below). This additional step will not only help you get your pizza warmed up faster, but it will also lessen the odds of you getting a soggy piece of pie.

Microwaving pizza leftovers isn’t the greatest method to get that fresh pizza-shop quality, but it is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reheat them up. It also works well with one to two pieces of pizza; however, a complete pie is unlikely to fit in the microwave.

Microwaves also eliminate the need to switch on your oven, which is useful when attempting to keep your kitchen cool on hot days.

Reheat On The Stovetop

Reheating pizza on the stovetop is an excellent solution if you only have one or two slices you want to avoid turning on the oven for. Stovetop pizza will retain the crust’s crispness while thoroughly heating the pie and its toppings.

You can use different kinds of pans to reheat pizza on the stovetop. Most people will already have a stainless steel skillet in their kitchen, making it a popular and easy choice.

However, if you have a cast-iron skillet, this can be a better alternative to ensure a warm and toasty slice with perfectly melted cheese and a crisp crust. You’ll want to allow a little extra time if using a cast-iron pan as it will take slightly longer to heat up than its stainless steel cousin.

If you’re looking for a cast-iron skillet, I highly recommend this cast iron skillet (available on Amazon). It includes a lid, which you’ll need to achieve the perfect stovetop slice. This skillet is both oven and grill-safe and can be used for:

  • Frying
  • Baking
  • Grilling
  • Broiling
  • Braising
  • Sautéing

Follow these instructions to reheat your pizza on the stove:

  • Begin by heating your preferred pan over medium heat.
  • Once heated, add your pizza pieces and cook for one to two minutes, uncovered.
  • Place the pizza slices to the side and add a few drops of water straight to the pan, being careful not to get the water on the pizza.
  • Cook for a few minutes longer after covering the pan with a lid.
  • Once the cheese has melted and the pizza slices have been thoroughly cooked, gently remove them from the pan.

Reheat In The Air Fryer

You may use your air fryer to rapidly reheat one or two pieces of pizza without turning on your oven. The pizza will have a crisp crust and flawlessly melted cheese when it comes out of the air frying basket.

Your air fryer will most likely only hold one to two pieces of pizza. To obtain great reheated pizza with your air fryer, follow the instructions below:

  1. Heat your air fryer to 325°F (162.8°C) for thin slices and 350°F (176.7°C) for larger slices.
  2. If you’re using a basket liner, slide it into the air fryer basket.
  3. Fill the basket with pizza slices. Make sure your slices do not overlap or the pizza will reheat unevenly.
  4. Cook for three to four minutes with the basket in the air fryer.
  5. Remove the basket to examine whether the pizza has been completely warmed.
  6. If it’s not quite done, return the basket to the air fryer and cook for another one to two minutes.

Because air fryers cook food fast, keep an eye on it throughout the cooking process, particularly if you’re heating pizza with an extremely thin crust. Air fryers are intended to be opened intermittently throughout the cooking process, so no heat is lost while you check on your meal.

If you want to reheat huge slices of pizza or create more than one slice at a time, a larger-sized air fryer, such as this one, would probably work better. The bigger basket is ideal for pizza slices and can be simply cleaned on your dishwasher’s top rack. It also includes a stylish design and an easy-to-read LED panel, allowing you to conveniently monitor the temperature and cooking time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Keep Food Warm In My oven?

The most essential thing to remember while keeping food warm in the oven is not to set the temperature too high.

If the temperature is set between 300°F and 350°F, any meal will continue to cook, becoming overdone and dry.

However, if you lower your oven as low as it will go – approximately 170°F on my oven – with the door closed, food will keep warm for a long time.

What Is The Point Of Pizza Boxes Square?

Manufacturing boxes square rather than round is simpler and less expensive, but it also makes sense from an assembly standpoint. Round boxes would be significantly more difficult to construct.

Why Are Pizza Boxes Vented?

If the boxes are airtight, the steam will be retained, making the contents mushy.

I don’t know about you, but I dislike wet pizza. My pizza crusts should have a crispy outer layer and a fluffy, bread-like inside.

Can You Put Pizza In The Oven Without A Pan?

This will most likely depend on the kind of pizza you’re baking. Frozen pizzas are often put in the oven without a pan.

Many of them have instructions that say to place them directly on the rack, but you may use a pan if you like.

The disadvantage of baking a pizza without a pan is not knowing how to remove the pizza when it’s done. Prepare a strategy for removing the pizza from the oven without tearing it or scorching yourself.

Can You Reheat Pizza In The Cardboard Box?

While most cardboard boxes would not catch fire until heated to above 400°F, using a cardboard box to reheat your pizza is not advised.

Those boxes are untrustworthy and might easily transfer substances from the packaging with your meal. It’s preferable not to risk it and just move your pizza to reheat it.

Bottom Line

Heating a pizza in an oven is not recommended, but if you must, reduce the temperature and keep a close eye on the pizza since it is one degree away from burning down your whole home.

Remove any additional packing material that may contain metals or polymers that might create an explosion in the oven. Their functioning mechanism is comparable to that of wooden oven floors.

To prevent terrible situations, invest in different cooking techniques and possibilities, or just take the pizza from the box and heat as normal.