Pizza is one of the most popular and beloved foods around the world, and it’s common to have leftovers that need to be reheated.
When it comes to reheating pizza, many people wonder if it’s safe to use the microwave to warm up their slices in the pizza box.
It may seem convenient to use the same container to reheat and serve the pizza. But is it safe to microwave a pizza box?
In this article, we will explore the safety concerns related to microwaving pizza boxes and provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
What Are Pizza Boxes Made Of?
Pizza boxes are typically made from corrugated cardboard, which is a type of paperboard that consists of three layers: an inside liner, an outside liner, and a fluted or wavy layer in the middle.
The fluted layer provides strength and insulation to the box, while the inside and outside liners provide a smooth surface for printing graphics and information about the pizza inside.
The cardboard used for pizza boxes is usually made from recycled materials and is designed to be strong enough to hold the weight of the pizza and resist grease and moisture.
The boxes are often coated with a layer of wax or a similar material to make them even more resistant to grease and moisture.
Overall, the use of cardboard is a practical and cost-effective solution for packaging pizzas, as it is lightweight, easy to manufacture, and can be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Related: How long to cook pizza roles in a microwave
Can A Pizza Box Be Microwaved?
No, it is not recommended to microwave a pizza box.
Pizza boxes are made of cardboard, which can catch fire or release harmful chemicals if microwaved.
Additionally, if the box contains any metallic elements such as staples, they can cause arcing and damage to the microwave.
If you want to reheat pizza, it is recommended to remove the pizza from the box and place it on a microwave-safe plate or dish before heating it in the microwave.
Things to know before microwaving a pizza box
Here are some things to know before attempting to microwave a pizza box:
- Check the box: Make sure the pizza box is made of cardboard and does not have any metallic or plastic parts. If the box has any metallic parts, do not attempt to microwave it.
- Remove any leftover pizza: Take out any leftover pizza slices or food from the box before attempting to microwave it.
- Cut the box: If you must use a microwave to heat the pizza, remove the pizza from the box and place it on a microwave-safe plate. You can cut the box into smaller pieces and place them in the microwave as a makeshift heat shield for the pizza.
- Don’t overheat: Heat the pizza in short increments of time, usually 30 seconds at a time, and check to see if it is warm enough. Do not overheat the pizza or the box as this can cause a fire.
- Avoid microwaving altogether: It’s best to avoid microwaving a pizza box altogether. Instead, use a conventional oven or a toaster oven to reheat the pizza.
Things to know before microwaving a pizza box
It is generally not recommended to microwave a pizza box, however, if you must microwave it, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Remove any leftover pizza or food from the box before microwaving.
- Make sure it is completely empty, with no plastic or metal components, as these can cause a fire or damage your microwave.
- Check that the pizza box is not coated in any metallic or glossy finishes that may not be microwave safe.
- Place the pizza box in the microwave and heat it for only a few seconds at a time, checking frequently to ensure that it does not overheat or start to smoke.
- Always be careful when removing the pizza box from the microwave, as it may be hot and could potentially start a fire if it has overheated.
- It’s generally safer and more effective to transfer the pizza to a microwave-safe dish and heat it that way instead of using the cardboard box.
Overall, it’s best to avoid microwaving a pizza box altogether, and instead, look for alternative ways to reheat your pizza, such as using an oven, stovetop, or toaster oven.
Guidelines For Microwaving A Pizza Box
Here are some guidelines to follow when microwaving a pizza box:
- Remove any leftover pizza from the box and place it on a microwave-safe plate.
- If the box is made of metal or has metal parts (such as staples), do not put it in the microwave.
- If the box is made of cardboard or paper, make sure it is free of any metallic or plastic coatings before microwaving.
- Place the box in the microwave and microwave on a low power setting for short intervals (e.g. 10 seconds at a time) until the box is warm.
- Keep an eye on the box while it’s in the microwave to ensure that it doesn’t catch on fire or emit any fumes.
- If you notice any smoke or burning smells, immediately stop the microwave and remove the box.
- Once the box is warm, remove it from the microwave and dispose of it properly. Do not reuse it for food storage or any other purpose.
Potential health risks associated with microwaving a pizza box
Microwaving a pizza box can be dangerous and potentially harmful to your health for several reasons:
- Fire hazard: Most pizza boxes are made of cardboard, which is a combustible material. If you place a cardboard pizza box in the microwave, it can catch fire and cause a serious fire hazard.
- Chemicals: Pizza boxes are often treated with chemicals to make them water-resistant or grease-resistant. When heated in a microwave, these chemicals can be released into the food and cause health problems.
- Bacteria: If the pizza box has any food residue or grease on it, it can attract bacteria. When microwaved, these bacteria can multiply quickly and cause food poisoning or other infections.
- Fumes: Heating a pizza box in a microwave can also release harmful fumes, such as carbon monoxide or other chemicals that can cause respiratory problems and other health issues.
To protect yourself from these health risks, transfer the pizza to a microwave-safe plate or container before heating it in the microwave.
Alternatives To Microwaving A Pizza Box
Microwaving a pizza box is not recommended as it can start a fire due to the metallic components in the box. Here are some alternatives to consider:
- Use an Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the pizza directly on the oven rack or on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through and crispy.
- Use a Toaster Oven: Preheat your toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the pizza on the toaster oven tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through and crispy.
- Use a Skillet: Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and place the pizza in the skillet. Cover with a lid or foil and cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Use a Grill: Preheat your grill to medium heat and place the pizza directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.
Best way to warm up pizza in the microwave
Reheating pizza in the microwave can be quick and easy, but if done improperly, it can result in soggy or unevenly heated slices.
Here are the steps to properly warm up pizza in the microwave:
- Place the pizza slice(s) on a microwave-safe plate.
- Dampen a paper towel with water and lay it over the pizza to help prevent the crust from drying out during microwaving.
- Microwave the pizza on high for about 30 seconds to 1 minute per slice, depending on your microwave’s power. Start with 30 seconds and add more time as needed until the pizza is heated through.
- Check the pizza frequently to avoid overcooking it, which can result in tough, chewy pizza.
- Let the pizza sit for a minute or two to cool down slightly before eating.
By following these steps, you can enjoy hot, delicious pizza that has been properly reheated in the microwave.
Don’t microwave an empty pizza box
You should never microwave an empty pizza box because it is a fire hazard.
Pizza boxes are made of cardboard, which is highly flammable, and they often have leftover grease and food particles on them.
When you put an empty pizza box in the microwave, the cardboard can catch fire, and the grease and food particles can also ignite, causing a dangerous fire.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and use caution when using the microwave. If you want to reheat pizza, it is best to remove it from the box and place it on a microwave-safe plate.
Is Domino’s Pizza Box Microwave safe?
No, Domino’s pizza boxes are not microwave safe.
Pizza boxes are typically made of cardboard, which is not microwave-safe because it can release harmful chemicals and potentially cause a fire.
Additionally, the boxes may contain adhesives or other materials that are not microwave-safe.
It’s important to transfer the pizza onto a microwave-safe plate or container before reheating it in the microwave.