MEL Magazine recently dispensed a bit of pizza advice for you, and as your resident pizza boy, I can’t believe I have to repeat it here. Please, don’t ever reheat your pizza by keeping it in the box. Until I read this MEL article, I had no idea this was common practice, and I’ve gotta say... what the hell?
In theory, I guess I get it. Keeping your pizza in an enclosed box while it’s heating in a warmed oven lets the pizza steam while it’s heating up, rendering the crust soft. But there are plenty of other ways to do this. Have you ever heard of aluminum foil? It’s pretty useful. You should buy some.
No, the box probably isn’t going to catch on fire in the oven, unless it touches the heating element in, say, an electrical oven. MEL looked into this and found that cardboard combusts around 480 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’re probably safe. Still, there are a lot of other reasons not to reheat your pizza in the box.
First, there’s grease from the pizza in the box. (When I worked at a pizza joint, we included liners to keep the pies from getting soggy on the bottom, but still.) Cardboard boxes also vary in thickness, and there’s the potential for that cardboard to include different materials that could lower the box’s combustion temp.
Most importantly, don’t forget that these boxes are typically treated with chemicals that you don’t want in your food. PFAS, which have been linked to serious conditions like cancer, could possibly be transferred to your pie as it’s heating up. Does that sound tasty to you? The answer had better be no.
Besides, do you really want your pizza to taste like steamed cardboard? Because it will. If you’ve been reheating your pizza in the box, please stop. Do anything else. In fact, here, we’ll show you the best ways to reheat pizza that don’t involve the box. You’re welcome.