Making homemade pizza is always a fun and delicious activity to try with your family. However, you may not always have something to cook your pizza on. Oftentimes, the only thing lying around may be the cardboard the pizza came in. But before you put your pizza in the oven, you’ll want to make sure it’s safe to bake on the cardboard. If you’re unsure of whether or not you can do so, keep reading.
Can You Bake Pizza on Cardboard?
To put it plainly, you should absolutely not bake your pizza on cardboard. For one, cardboard is extremely flammable, which means the second you put it in the oven, chances are it will catch on fire. This is especially true since you typically have to bake pizza on high heat. The higher the heat, the bigger the risk.
Why You Should Never Bake Pizza on Cardboard: Three Reasons
1. It Could Light on Fire
As mentioned previously, one of the main reasons you shouldn’t bake your pizza on cardboard in the oven is because it could catch on fire. This is not only a major hazard, but it will scorch your pizza entirely, thus ruining your dinner plans.
Cardboard will ignite at just 175 degrees Fahrenheit, and typically for a pizza to cook, your oven’s temperature will need to be much higher than that. Therefore, the chances of the cardboard catching fire are very high.
2. Cooks Slower
Another downside of baking your pizza in a cardboard box is that it slows down the cooking time of your pizza and keeps it from getting nice and crispy on the bottom. Even worse, you’ll end up with pizza stuck to the cardboard.
3. Affects the Taste
If the threat of your pizza catching on fire and the fact that it’ll end up stuck on the cardboard isn’t enough to make you want to use something other than cardboard to cook it on—this might. Baking your pizza on cardboard will leave your food tasting bad, pretty much just like cardboard.
Baking the cardboard may also end up releasing toxic fumes that come from the chemicals used on the cardboard box.
What Is the Purpose of a Cardboard Base?
Since you now know that the cardboard base that comes with your pizza isn’t meant to be put in the oven, you may be wondering what the purpose of it actually is. The cardboard is there to provide a safe barrier between the pizza and the plastic tray. The cardboard is also helpful because it absorbs any grease or oils that may leak out of the pizza. Best of all, it keeps your pizza from becoming soggy or wet.
What to Use Instead of Cardboard: Five Alternatives
Luckily, you don’t have to rely on your pizza’s cardboard base to bake it on. Instead, you can use a variety of other alternatives.
1. The Rack
Believe it or not, one of the easiest and best ways to cook a pizza is to simply place it directly on the oven rack. Doing so makes sure that the pizza cooks evenly and all the way through. The only thing you need to do is make sure your pizza has cooled down enough before you try and take it out of the oven.
2. Aluminum Foil
If you are pressed for time and don’t feel like dealing with the clean up after making the pizza, you can simply use aluminum foil to bake your pizza. Aluminum foil is a great alternative because it doesn’t catch on fire as easily as cardboard and it can be disposed of right after use.
3. A Cookie Sheet
Cookie sheets are extremely useful, and not just for making cookies. These are meant to be used in the oven, so they are definitely safe to use. All you need to do is take the pizza out of the packaging and place it directly on the cookie sheet, then place the cookie sheet into the oven.
4. A Glass Dish
If you’re an avid cook, chances are you have a glass dish on hand already. Because of the fact that glass has a tolerance to high temperature, it is safe to use in the oven. One of the best things about using a glass dish is that you don’t have to worry about your pizza getting soggy and you can use it to bake a deep dish pizza. To use, just place your pizza inside the dish and place it inside the oven.
5. Pizza Stone
A pizza stone is perhaps the best thing you can use to cook your pizza on, as that is what it is meant to do. All you need to do is place the pizza on top of the pizza stone and place it into your oven. Using a pizza stone is ideal because it will make your crust crispy and golden, as it should be. A pizza stone is also easy to clean so you don’t have to worry about a mess to clean up once you have finished baking your pizza.
Other Ways to Heat up Pizza
Aside from using the oven, there are several other ways for you to heat up your pizza. The easiest method would be to use a microwave. Place your pizza inside of the microwave and microwave it on high for about 15 seconds. Of course, the size of the pizza depends on how long you leave it in for.
If you have a skillet handy, you can also use this to cook your pizza on. All you need to do is make sure you are cooking it thoroughly on all sides.
At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that using the cardboard box to bake your pizza isn’t a good idea. It can catch on fire, make your pizza taste weird, and could significantly slow down the cooking time. Instead of cardboard, use any of the above-mentioned alternatives such as aluminum foil or a glass baking dish.