We’ve all been there—hungry at 2 am with nothing to eat but frozen pizza in the freezer. You unwrap the plastic, throw away the paper label, and are left scratching your head over the cardboard circle.
Improper use of cooking equipment can lead to more than mediocre food. The wrong decision can lead to a fire hazard that puts you and your home at risk. Whether you’re cooking something as simple as a frozen pizza or something more complex, it’s best to observe kitchen safety.
So can cardboard go in the oven? Read on to find out and learn other kitchen safety tips.
Table of Contents
- Can Cardboard Go in The Oven?
- Other Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Put Cardboard in the Oven
- Other Things That Should Stay Out of Your Oven
- Alternatives to Putting Cardboard in the Oven
- Proper Pizza Making Technique
- Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents
Can Cardboard Go in The Oven?
The short answer to this question is no. You should never put cardboard and other paper products in the oven. Doing so can lead to a serious fire hazard.
Famously, the author Ray Bradbury named his book Fahrenheit 451 after the combustion point of paper. In reality, paper products (including cardboard) catch fire between 424 and 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
So as long as you’re baking below 424 degrees, it’s safe to put cardboard in the oven, right? In fact, it’s not.
Factors like humidity, paper composition, and the specifics of your oven can all play a role. This means that making an accurate prediction about whether the cardboard will catch fire is impossible.
In short, it’s best to avoid putting cardboard in the oven altogether. Besides, it doesn’t offer any practical benefit.
Then What’s This Cardboard Circle in My Frozen Pizza for?
The fact that frozen pizzas come packaged with cardboard often makes people think it’s meant as a baking tray. However, this was never the manufacturer’s intention at all.
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The main purpose behind this packaging material is to keep the pizza protected during shipping. Since most frozen pizza crusts are fragile when dropped or roughly handled, this is meant to keep them intact.
Some people also use them as serving trays or makeshift cutting boards for their frozen pizza after it’s cooked. As long as it doesn’t go inside the oven, using your cardboard circle in this way is considered safe.
Other Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Put Cardboard in the Oven
As you already know, putting cardboard in the oven can create a fire hazard in your home. However, this is not the only reason why it’s not safe to put cardboard in the oven. Take a look at some of these reasons if you need more convincing.
It Can Affect the Taste of Your Food
In the same way that plastic water bottles can change the taste of your beverage, cardboard can leach flavor into foods. While the paper itself may not have a strong flavor, the glue that binds it together certainly does. Cooking it, especially at high heat, can bring these unsavory flavors out.
It Makes for Soggy Food
This is especially true of pizza, which gets its crisp crust from contact with a hot cooking surface. Since cardboard is a poor conductor of heat, it will do almost nothing to get that sought-after texture.
It May Leach Chemicals
Generic cardboard generally doesn’t have any toxic chemicals that can cause serious health problems. However, some packaging materials may be coated in ink or other harmful substances. Heating these up in proximity to your food is never a good idea.
Other Things That Should Stay Out of Your Oven
Cardboard isn’t the only material that should stay away from your oven. To maximize kitchen safety, be sure to avoid these others as well.
Paper Towels and Plates
For the same reasons that cardboard isn’t oven-safe, you should keep other paper products away as well. Even though a paper plate or towel can be perfectly safe for serving hot food, they will catch fire in a hot oven. This applies to wax paper as well.
It’s easy to forget this one, especially if you are reheating leftovers. However, baking plastic can be the most dangerous of all.
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The reason for this is because plastics release harmful gases when they are heated. They also melt, ultimately ruining your food and possibly your oven.
Oven mitts are designed to handle hot pans, even at temperatures as high as 500 degrees. However, they can only tolerate the heat for a few seconds. While they won’t catch fire as fast as paper, they run the same risk if left in an oven long enough.
You can use pyrex and other oven-safe glass in the oven without worry. However, most glass cups and dishes are not made for oven use. Trying to heat them to high temperatures will result in them cracking.
Alternatives to Putting Cardboard in the Oven
Luckily, there is a wide range of alternatives to putting cardboard in the oven. If you’re looking for an easy way to cook your next pizza, try one of these.
A Pizza Stone
The best way to get a perfectly crisp crust on your pizza is a pizza stone. Preheating it for a few minutes before cooking will create an authentic pizzeria-style sear during cooking. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any of the downsides of putting cardboard in the oven.
A Baking Sheet
You don’t have to splurge on a pizza stone to get a quality crust on your dinner. Try preheating a baking sheet instead. This works well for pizza crust as well as roast veggies.
Bake Right on the Rack
Sometimes the simplest solution is best. Whether you’re cooking pizza, large vegetables, or pieces of meat, you can place it directly on your rack. This will burn grill marks into your food, creating a bit of extra flavor.
Just don’t forget to put a pan underneath your food to catch any stray drips!
If you’re really stuck on using paper products in the oven, give parchment paper a try. It’s designed specifically for oven use and is both heat resistant and nonstick. Also, it’s especially useful for baked goods like cookies and biscuits.
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If you’re just looking to reheat leftovers and want to skip the hassle, there’s nothing wrong with using your microwave oven. Unlike the oven, this appliance is perfectly compatible with cardboard and other paper products.
Proper Pizza Making Technique
Whether you’re making pizza from scratch or are simply reheating a frozen one, you should keep a few tips in mind. Of course, none of them include the use of cardboard!
Cook in a Hot Oven
Part of the reason why it’s never a good idea to cook pizza with cardboard is because of the high temperatures this dish requires. Temperatures of at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended. This way, you’ll be sure to get a perfectly crispy crust and browned cheese on top.
Don’t Load Up on Toppings
Even with frozen pizzas, adding a few extra olives or mushrooms from the fridge can be tempting. Feel free to express yourself, but be careful not to overdo it.
Putting too many toppings can result in excess moisture content. This means soggy crust and unmelted cheese, which nobody wants on their pizza.
When working with such high heat, it’s always a good idea to cook with caution. The best way to do this is to ensure you have the proper tools.
A pizza paddle is an excellent way to get your pizza into and out of the oven without burning yourself. A quality serving spatula can also be good to have on hand.
There are many ways to reheat a pizza without using cardboard, but let me tell you my favorite.
Take a cold slice from the fridge and place it in a cast iron pan over medium/high heat. Then, sprinkle a few drops of water in the pan and cover it with a lid for two minutes. Once you remove it, you’ll have nicely melted cheese and a crispy crust, ready to eat!
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know the answer to the question, “Can cardboard go in the oven?” Learn more tips for staying safe in the kitchen with these frequently asked questions.
- Battered foods. Avoid placing wet batter in the air fryer. ...
- Fresh greens. Leafy greens like spinach will cook unevenly because the machine uses high-speed air. ...
- Whole roasts. ...
- Cheese. ...
- Raw grains. ...
- Hamburgers. ...
- Toast. ...
Yes! “You can use either rolled parchment paper or parchment paper that is made specifically for air fryers, with holes. It's a great way to reduce cleaning time,” says air fryer expert Laurie Fleming, author of The Essential Air Fryer Cookbook for Beginners.What kind of containers can you put in an air fryer? ›
You can use any ovenproof dish or mold in the Airfryer, whether it is made of glass, ceramic, metal or silicone. You can also use silicone or paper cupcake cups or molds to bake cupcakes, muffins or small gratins.Can I put tin foil in an air fryer? ›
Yes, you can put aluminum foil in an air fryer. Tasteofhome.com explains that due to the air fryer's cooking process consisting of rushing hot air, your aluminum foil and the meal it's with will not be ruined by the air fryer.Can you fry an egg in air fryer? ›
Simply crack 2-3 eggs into individual lightly buttered pie dishes. If no pie dishes are available, use greased ramekins. Air-fry for 3-5 minutes at 190C, or until eggs are fried to your liking. Carefully remove from basket and slip onto a plate, using a spatula.Can you cook an egg in an air fryer? ›
Perfect Cook – When you want fried eggs sunny side up the air fryer cooks them perfectly. The golden runny yolk and tender egg whites will certainly brighten your breakfast. Fast – Cooking eggs in the air fryer takes on about 5 minutes, no preheating is needed.Can you put paper or cardboard in an air fryer? ›
🚫Why You Shouldn't Put Cardboard In The Air Fryer
Cardboard can ignite at temperatures as low as 451 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you put cardboard in the air fryer, it will likely catch on fire. In addition to being a fire hazard, cardboard can also release harmful chemicals when heated.
Putting paper towels in an air fryer is not recommended as it can potentially cause a fire hazard. Additionally, the paper towel may not allow proper air circulation within the fryer, resulting in uneven cooking. Using the tray or basket with the air fryer is better for optimal cooking results.Should you use liners in air fryer? ›
Why Should I Use Liners in My Air Fryer? Air fryer liners present three huge benefits: They cook things more evenly – Most air fryer liners are covered with very tiny pre-cut holes. The holes allow for even better air circulation than the walls or an air fryer's basket.Can you put a glass plate in an air fryer? ›
Depending upon the sturdiness of the glass dish, you can decide whether Glass Pyrex can be used in an air fryer. If the dish is oven-safe, made of borosilicate or tempered glass, it can work in an air fryer. However, if the dish is made of soda-lime glass, it can't withstand high temperatures in an air fryer.
You totally can! Popping popcorn in an air fryer is a great way to cook your popcorn snack because popping popcorn in an air fryer means your get to enjoy your favorite snack quicker, air fryer popcorn retains its taste, and there is typically less risk of overcooking and burning your popcorn!Can you put anything in the bottom of an air fryer? ›
In fact, lining your fryer basket with foil can really help when you're cooking something delicate, such as fish. However, there is one important caveat: Only put a layer of foil in the bottom of the air fryer basket where your food sits, not on the bottom of the air fryer itself.What are the best foods to air fry? ›
Here are some of the best frozen food for the air fryer that can be cooked quickly and easily. They include fries, hash browns, tater tots, Trader Joe's snacks like samosa and gyoza, chicken snacks like popcorn chicken and nuggets, egg rolls, and kid-friendly snacks like pizza rolls.Can you cook a chicken breast in foil in an air fryer? ›
Yes you can and we've got four delicious air fryer chicken breast foil packets for you to try! Chicken breast in foil cooked in the air fryer is super juicy and infused with flavour. These tasty chicken foil packets are really simple to make, plus the flavour combinations are endless!What can I use instead of foil in the air fryer? ›
If you don't want to use aluminum foil, or you don't have any in your kitchen, try using parchment paper in your air fryer instead. Parchment has a non-stick surface, is made out of non-reactive materials, and can do all the same things foil can do in the air fryer.Can I fry bacon in an air fryer? ›
Bacon is safe to cook in the air fryer, but you need to make sure that you use the proper temperature and that your air fryer is clean before you begin. The best bacon air fryer temperature is 350 degrees F. This will crisp the bacon without causing it to smoke or burn.Can you put bacon in air fryer? ›
The size of the air fryer basket will determine how many rashers you can cook at one time. Set the air fryer to 200C and cook streaky bacon rashers for 6-10 mins – just-cooked bacon will take 6 mins, but crispier bacon will take 9-10 mins.How long does it take to boil eggs in a Airfryer? ›
- Preheat a 3.5-quart air fryer to 270 degrees F. Add the eggs to the fryer basket and cook 15 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. Remove the eggs and plunge them into an ice bath. Peel when cool enough to handle.
- For soft-boiled eggs, cook them 10 minutes. For medium-boiled eggs cook for 12 minutes.
The short answer: no. An Air fryer is not meant for steaming food and you should avoid adding lots of water or any excessive amounts of liquid to the air fryer.Are air fried wings healthy? ›
Are Air-Fried Foods Better for You? By most measures, air frying is healthier than frying in oil. It cuts calories by 70% to 80% and has a lot less fat. This cooking method might also cut down on some of the other harmful effects of oil frying.
Can You Use Paper Muffin Cups in an Air Fryer? Yes if the paper muffin cups are oven safe they are OK if used to line an oven-safe ramekin.Can you put Styrofoam in air fryer? ›
No, absolutely not.Can you put oven bags in an air fryer? ›
Both Ready. Chef. Go!'s Microwave & Oven Bags and Oven & Grilling Bags work great in the air fryer. These air fryer bags are made of a heat-resistant material that has been tested to safely prepare meals with temperatures up to 400 degrees.What can I put in my air fryer to catch grease? ›
Simple Tip! Cooking greasy foods like bacon? Add about 1 cup of water to the bottom of your air fryer basket. This water will catch the grease and will prevent smoke.Is it OK to line air fryer with parchment paper? ›
Is Parchment Paper Safe In the Air Fryer? Absolutely! If it's safe for the oven, it's safe for the fryer. Most parchment papers can withstand a heat of over 400 degrees.Where do you put the paper liners in air fryer? ›
Cut a sheet of parchment to roughly the size of your air fryer basket, fold the paper, then punch holes. Lay it down inside the air fryer basket and, presto, you have a liner. Here's what their process looked like.Can I put holes in parchment paper for air fryer? ›
Yes, it's easy to make if you only plan on using the liners a few times a year. Just cut regular parchment sheets to the size of your air fryer. Use a hole puncher and punch a bunch of holes in the paper. The more holes, the more air circulation you'll get during cooking!Can you put a Mason jar in an air fryer? ›
If the jars get too hot rapidly, they can shatter. I have used mason jars in my Air Fryer and have had no trouble so far. It is something to be aware of. You can buy tempered glass jars to use for this as well.Can I put stainless steel bowl in air fryer? ›
Is It Safe to Use Metal in an Air Fryer? The short answer is yes, you can put metal in an air fryer. Cookware made from metal is designed to withstand high heat from an oven, usually up to 500°F. Most air fryers heat up to temperatures between 200-400°F, so this should be no problem for metal cookware.Can you put a microwave safe bowl in an air fryer? ›
Air fryers work similarly to a convection oven by circulating hot air around the food, so it's vital to use a safe container for high temperatures. Any heat-resistant container for oven use is also acceptable for an air fryer.
A top reason popcorn turns out chewy is because steam gets trapped in your pot when the popcorn kernels are popping. Fix this by using a well-vented lid or leave the pan slightly open to make a light and crispy popcorn.Can you use toothpicks in an air fryer? ›
Toothpicks can be used in an air fryer to help to secure foods and hold them down. Just be sure to keep them away from the heating element. And make sure that the toothpicks you are using are made of wood, as some are made of other materials that can be unsafe in an air fryer.What happens when you air Fry popcorn? ›
The air fryer has this special way of cooking food fast and with less oil than would be necessary on the stove. It circulates air that helps pop the corn from all angles at once, so the popcorn comes out airy and fluffy, without the use of a lot of oil.Can you put a plastic plate in an air fryer? ›
Unfortunately you cannot heat up your foods in plastic containers, such as Tupperware and plastic takeaway containers in the airfryer (like you can in a microwave). The general rule of thumb is what can go in an oven, can also go in the airfryer.
Not only does air frying still run the risk of creating acrylamides, but polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines can result from all high-heat cooking with meat. These compounds have associations with cancer risk, according to the National Cancer Institute .Do and don'ts for air fryer? ›
It's easy to burn yourself so make sure to not touch any of those hot elements with your bare hands. Do use a silicone glove or oven safe mitts. Use a silicone trivet or heat safe board/mat to place hot air fryer baskets and lids on. Don't cook in a non-ventilated area or a small closed off corner.Can you cook everything in Airfryer? ›
You can make practically anything that you would fry in an air fryer. It's great at heating frozen foods, but it's also fantastic for from-scratch foods, like chicken wings, potato chips, donuts, and extra-crisp cookies!Can you put raw meat in Airfryer? ›
It is safe to cook raw meat in the air fryer if it is fully defrosted, seasoned, and monitored. Some fully cooked foods, including chicken tenders or fries, can be placed frozen in the air fryer. However, with raw meat, it's recommended to thoroughly defrost to allow more even cooking and a tasty final product.What I wish I knew before I get an air fryer? ›
- 1) It's loud.
- 2) It smokes a lot.
- 3) It only goes up to 400 degrees.
- 4) You can't see the food.
- 5) It won't do batter fried food.
- 6) You still have to add oil.
- 7) The inside is entirely coated with non-stick surfaces.
Here are some of the best frozen food for the air fryer that can be cooked quickly and easily. They include fries, hash browns, tater tots, Trader Joe's snacks like samosa and gyoza, chicken snacks like popcorn chicken and nuggets, egg rolls, and kid-friendly snacks like pizza rolls.
Depending upon the sturdiness of the glass dish, you can decide whether Glass Pyrex can be used in an air fryer. If the dish is oven-safe, made of borosilicate or tempered glass, it can work in an air fryer. However, if the dish is made of soda-lime glass, it can't withstand high temperatures in an air fryer.What do you put in the bottom of an air fryer? ›
Add water to the air fryer drawer when cooking fatty foods. Adding water to the drawer underneath the basket helps prevent grease from getting too hot and smoking. Do this when cooking bacon, sausage, even burgers if they are particularly fatty.Can I cook a pizza in an air fryer? ›
To Air Fry Frozen Pizza: Preheat air fryer to 370 degrees. Cook frozen pizza for 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy. Store-bought Pizza Crust: You can use small Boboli or flatbread crusts instead of pizza dough. Skip the step of baking the crust.What is the trick for using an air fryer? ›
- Preheating isn't necessary.
- Use minimal oil.
- Use a spray-on oil from a reusable bottle.
- Shake the basket halfway through.
- Cooking times are not exact.
- Don't overcrowd the basket.
- Prevent sticking with parchment paper.
- You can use tin foil.
Rice. Like pasta, raw grains need to be boiled in water to cook, and while it's fine to add a few drops of water to your air fryer basket, these gadgets aren't built for boiling or steaming foods.Can you put soup in an air fryer? ›
Can soup be heated in an air fryer? Yes, as demonstrated, you can heat soup in an air fryer! Put the soup in an oven-safe ramekin, cover it tightly with foil, and air fry at 375F (190C) until heated through.Can you reheat pasta in an air fryer? ›
In general, an air fryer is not a great way to reheat pasta dishes, but there is one exception to this. Air fryers tend to make things crispy, even more so than reheating in an oven. This feature usually does not jibe well with noodles or sauces.What meat is best in air fryer? ›
As with all dry-heat cooker methods (grilling, broiling, pan frying and oven roasting), tender beef cuts perform best in the air fryer. Those cuts include Top Sirloin, KC Strip, Ribeye, Tenderloin and Tri Tip. Ground beef also can be easily prepared in an air fryer.Is raw chicken good in air fryer? ›
Yes, you put raw frozen chicken in the air fryer! You won't be able to brine it first or pound it to an even thickness (so the results are not *as* juicy) but if you forget to thaw your chicken, it's a great option to have on hand.Do you flip meat in air fryer? ›
To help food crisp, always turn, rotate or shake the contents in the air-fryer basket—just like flipping french fries, fish fillets or chicken tenders halfway through cooking in a traditional oven).