Can You Microwave a Pizza Box? A Guide to Safe Heating

Can You Microwave a Pizza Box? A Guide to Safe Heating

Are you tired of reheating your pizza in the oven? Do you want a quicker and easier way to enjoy your cold slice? You’re in luck – you can actually microwave a pizza box! Read on to learn the simple steps and safety precautions to follow when microwaving your pie.


When it comes to reheating food, your microwave is often the simplest and fastest choice. But not all containers are designed to survive the radiation of a microwave. Before you toss a pizza box in your microwave oven and heat up last night’s cheesy leftovers, you may want to consider the potential hazards.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at whether it is safe to microwave a pizza box, explore some other wrapping options for your next slice of pizza, and review some helpful tips for safely heating food in the microwave:

What is a Pizza Box?

A pizza box is a corrugated cardboard box specifically designed to safely hold one or more pizzas. It typically has a lid and one or two side flaps that can be opened and closed to allow the pizza to slide in and out of the box while keeping it securely contained.

Pizza boxes are often manufactured with specialized venting holes in the top that allow steam from the hot pizza to escape, helping keep your food crisp and avoiding soggy crust. The inside of the box usually has printing, such as recipes or images of toppings.

When choosing a pizza box for delivery, it’s important to make sure that it is designed for food-grade cardboard and for food contact. This means that no chemicals have been used on the cardboard itself that could be harmful if ingested. It also helps prevent grease from leaking out of the sides or bottom of your pizza, which can make your delivery less appetizing!

Can You Microwave a Pizza Box?

Many of us have been tempted to give in to the convenience of sticking a pizza box directly into the microwave. After all, it would save time and lessen the possibility of mess. But is it actually a good idea? The answer is no, you should not put a pizza box in the microwave.

The main reason for this is that pizza boxes are typically made out of cardboard, which cannot be exposed to high temperatures or wetness and can easily catch fire. If you were to put the box in the microwave with your food, there is a risk that it may catch fire or become wet from condensation forming inside your oven. Additionally, many plastic components on the packaging—such as tape, liners and stickers—can melt or release toxins when heated up too quickly.

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In general, microwaving anything related to your food preparation should be done with caution and only if it has been specifically designed for that use. Microwavable containers can safely hold warm food and will often have either “microwave safe” written on them or be made from materials like plastic or tempered glass that are meant for microwave use. When you don’t have access to microwavable packaging, use aluminum foil instead to cover up any food containers before heating them in the microwave so they won’t overheat and create a fire hazard.

Potential Hazards of Microwaving a Pizza Box

Microwaving a pizza box is not recommended, as it can present several potential hazards. It can be difficult to determine the composition of the materials used in pizza boxes, so microwaving them could potentially lead to toxic fumes or other adverse health effects. In addition, a pizza box may contain layers of insulation to keep the contents of the box warm that could become hot enough to burn skin on contact when microwaved.

Particularly cardboard boxes may also burst into flames if microwaved due to their higher water content and flammable chemicals used in the production process. It is also likely that the plastic coating on some pizza boxes would melt when exposed to microwave temperatures, which could potentially release hazardous toxins known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Finally, food residue inside a used pizza box could combust if left inside for too long, creating a fire hazard. It is best to transfer any remaining slices or multi-layered delicacies from their original takeout container and place them onto an appropriate plate or dish designed for use with microwaves before heating.

Alternatives to Microwaving a Pizza Box

When you’re in a pinch and you need something to heat up your pizza, it can be tempting to pop the cardboard box in the microwave. However, it’s important to remember that pizza boxes contain multiple layers of material that can catch fire if heated in a microwave oven. Even if your box looks clean and intact, there are many potential health risks associated with microwaving empty food containers.

Instead of making the risky decision to microwave your pizza box, why not try out one of these alternative heating solutions? They will help keep your pizza hot and crispy while keeping your family safe:

  • Swap out the pizza box for an oven-safe dish – place your slices on a plate or casserole dish before popping them into the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes
  • Place a damp paper towel over your slices before loading them into the microwave – this will help create steam and keep them moist during short reheating sessions
  • Use reheating settings specific to pizza – some newer microwaves have preprogrammed rewarming cycles tailored just for hot slices
  • Stock up on some heatproof containers for next time – these are specifically designed for storing food safely and within FDA guidelines
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Tips for Reheating Pizza in a Box

For those of us who often find ourselves reheating leftovers in the microwave, we may have had the same thought when it comes to pizza – can you microwave a pizza box? While there is some debate about this, the general consensus is that microwaving a pizza box should be avoided due to potential health and safety concerns.

Before microwaving a pizza box, it is important for anyone considering this practice to review safety information provided in the product’s instructions. Here are some tips that may help those who choose to reheat their pizza in its original box:

  1. Remove the toppings before heating – Toppings such as vegetables or meats should be removed from the slice before heating it because they will take longer to heat than other components of the slice and could potentially become a choking hazard if not monitored carefully.
  2. Use shorter heating times – Since cardboard absorbs microwaves differently than plastic or glass, it is recommended that shorter heating times are used for food contained in cardboard boxes or containers. This allows for safer reheating as well as less leaching of toxins from the container into the food being heated.
  3. Be aware of vents – Some pizza boxes contain breather vents or holes designed in them to let steam escape during cooking and prevent soggy crusts from forming on slices during storage or transportation. When microwaving a pizza box with breather vents, these holes should be closed and covered with paper towels or waxed paper before putting them in the oven so they do not open while being heated.
  4. Place boxes away from walls – Due to differences between how cardboard behaves in different types of microwaves, it is always best practice to place any cardboard-containing foods away from walls when reheating them so that they do not become excessive hot spots during cooking and form potential fire hazards within your oven.

Cleaning a Pizza Box After Microwaving

When cooking food in a microwave oven, it is important to use microwave-safe containers. While pizza boxes are not recommended for use in a microwave due to their cardboard construction, they can still be used if absolutely necessary. If you decide to use a pizza box in the microwave, take extra precautions to make sure it does not catch fire from excessive heat or sparks.

Once your food is done cooking, you will need to clean the box before discarding. To begin, remove the pizza box from the microwave and allow it to cool down for at least five minutes. Ensure there are no sparks or residual heat on the box before attempting any cleaning activities. Using gloves and a damp cloth, carefully wipe away any melted cheese and residue from the top of the box.

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If any grease or oil has accumulated on the inside of the box, then this should also be wiped away before discarding. It may also be best to eliminate any potential odors by spraying a light layer of air freshener inside before throwing away. After cleaning, check once again that there is no remaining heat or sparking inside as this could cause an unexpected fire hazard when disposing of it in your trash bin.


In conclusion, it is not advised to microwave a pizza box. Not only could it result in the pizza inside not being heated evenly or thoroughly, but there is also the potential for the cardboard to catch on fire or release toxins when heated. Furthermore, when heated for extended periods of time or beyond the manufacturer’s temperature limit, ordinary paper-based packaging materials can become irreversible brittle and yellowed.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to heat up your pizza, microwaving it on a plate or in an approved container may be your best option. While almost all food packages present some type of hazard if ingested and should not be microwaved due to the risk of burning foodstuff on them, it is still important to be aware of how packaging materials will react in that setting. If you are ever unsure about microwaving a certain item – such as a pizza box – make sure to consult your owner’s manual before attempting it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you microwave a pizza box?

A: No, it is not safe to microwave a pizza box. The cardboard used to make pizza boxes is not suitable for microwaving, and it can release toxins and create a fire hazard when exposed to high temperatures.

Q: Is it safe to heat a pizza box in the oven?

A: Yes, it is safe to heat a pizza box in the oven. However, you should not leave it in the oven for too long as the cardboard may start to burn. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 350°F (177°C) and put the pizza box in the oven for no more than five minutes.

Q: Is it safe to put a pizza box in the fridge?

A: Yes, it is safe to put a pizza box in the fridge. The cardboard will not be affected by cold temperatures and can help keep the pizza fresh for longer.

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