Can You Microwave Cardboard?

Q: Sometimes you are pretty lazy to cook or you are so busy, that you buy ready-to-eat food in the store or order it online. Once in a while this happens to all of us. As you might guess, one of the most ordered delicacies is pizza. It’s faster, cheaper, less stressful and 24/7 in some places. But what if there’s a traffic jam and your favorite food is late and cold? Then you find out that your pizza is small enough for a microwave. Can you microwave it as it comes, in a cardboard pizza box?

How to Microwave Cardboard Food Containers?

Many prepacked foods come in special plastic, paper or cardboard containers with an indicator that the package is microwave friendly.

If you have a food container made of cardboard and you want to heat it in your microwave oven, follow a few simple rules:

  • Read labels
  • Have some food in your container, it’s obligatory
  • Set the device at low temperature mode
  • Don’t microwave it for too long
  • Use potholders and check the cardboard a few times during microwaving to prevent your food from overheating, which may cause damage to your health or leave mess in the microwave

Again, one of the most important rules here is to microwave a full container. The food in the cardboard is aimed at absorbing micro waves. Warming up an empty oven can lead to an explosion.

Remember that the exposure time of microwaves should be short, and the oven must not be left unattended.

When microwaving the cardboard boxes, cups or plates, follow a few precaution measures:

  • Line the bottom of the box with a clean paper napkin or a piece of parchment paper
  • Place small pastries like croissants, rolls, pies
  • Cover the top of the box with another napkin
  • Don’t use cardboard containers with wax coating (it may melt at heating and spoil the taste of your food)

Keep in mind that it’s only possible to cook foods that are low in fat, sugar or water.

Are Cardboard Pizza Boxes Heat-Resistant?

Let’s define the terms first. There are two types of cookware: heat-resistant (that withstands temperatures up to +140 degrees Celsius) and fire resistant (that withstands heating to 250-300 degrees Celsius.)

You’re staring at the cardboard container wondering if you won’t spoil your pizza now or burn the kitchen in the next couple of minutes.

Since pizza in boxes was primarily intended for home delivery, which takes some time, several important requirements have been taken into account when designing the box.

The cardboard box for pizza is durable, heat-resistant (70-80 degrees Celsius), it keeps warmth and prevents pizza from getting soggy.

In certain circumstances, every housewife feels like an engineer, an architect, a designer or a builder. Do all of them have anything in common?

One of the most obvious things is that all of these people need to know the nature and the structure of the materials and products before they start working with them.

Well, now you know that pizza cardboard boxes are prevalently heat-resistant. If you’ve checked it thoroughly and find that it’s microwaveable, then you can quickly warm up the delicacy.

Can All of the Cardboard Pizza Boxes Be Microwaved?

Actually, the high quality pizza cardboard which has all of the above mentioned functions cannot always be placed in the microwave.

The reason is a thin aluminum inside foil coating, as well as outer metal or plastic parts which simply can’t be microwaved.

The best option in this case will be to replace pizza on a glass or a ceramic dish and heat as usual.

Be aware of the fact that pizza will be chewy, not crunchy after microwaving.

Also, read the marking on the box because it can be made of a microwaveable cardboard.

3 thoughts on “Cardboard

  1. This settles an argument I have been having at work. I bring a lot of leftovers, especially pizza, in for lunch. My boss and a few other co-workers told me I can’t use the cardboard to microwave my food which means I have been needing to bring in plates from home and then lug them home. They don’t supply paper plates or anything. I have done microwave meals for years that are frozen in cardboard containers which to me, is no different. I am sharing this with everyone tomorrow.

  2. I was under the impression you couldn’t but it makes sense that so long as food is inside it or there is some form a moisture, it is fine. I always get those personal pan pizzas and throw out the box because I assumed I couldn’t warm it up in them. Now I know better!

  3. I just ran out of paperplates, had a circle cut out of cardboard from a frozen pizza… wanted to microwave somethin real quick and used cardboard as paperplate alternative…figured it could get hot and catch fire so only did for 20 sec then wated a sec then 20 sec more… it did the job but now I wonder if it damages the microwave any… I know there are some TV dinners that are in cardboard boxes too but not really sure what type of cardboard my pizza circle was

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