If you’re a fan of pizza, you may have wondered whether you can put the cardboard box it comes in directly into the oven to heat it up. Or, perhaps you’re wondering if you can use cardboard as a makeshift baking dish.
The answer is not as straightforward as you may think, but the simplified answer is do not put cardboard in your oven.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at whether it’s safe to put cardboard in the oven and what precautions you should take.
If you’d like to read more about various materials in your oven, check out: What Materials Can and Cannot be Put in the Oven? A Comprehensive Guide
What Happens When Cardboard is Heated?
Before we dive into the safety considerations, it’s important to understand what happens to cardboard when it’s exposed to heat. Cardboard is made up of layers of paper fibers that are glued together. When exposed to high heat, the glue can melt, and the paper fibers can char or catch fire. This can release harmful chemicals and fumes, including carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous if inhaled.
Can You Put Cardboard in the Oven?
In general, it is not safe to put cardboard in the oven. The risk of fire and the release of harmful chemicals is too great. However, there are a few exceptions. Some types of cardboard, such as parchment paper or baking paper, are designed to withstand high heat and are safe to use in the oven. Make sure to check the packaging to ensure that the paper is safe for use in the oven.
Alternatives to Cardboard in the Oven
If you need to use something other than a baking dish or sheet to cook your food, there are several alternatives to cardboard that are safe to use in the oven. Here are a few options:
- Glass: Glass baking dishes are a popular choice for baking and can withstand high heat. Just be sure to avoid placing a cold dish directly into a hot oven, as this can cause it to shatter.
- Ceramic: Ceramic baking dishes are another great option for the oven. They can withstand high heat and distribute heat evenly, resulting in perfectly cooked food.
- Metal: Metal baking sheets and dishes are durable and can withstand high heat. They are great for cooking meats and vegetables and can also be used to make cookies and other baked goods.
Precautions to Take When Using Cardboard in the Oven
If you must use cardboard in the oven, there are a few precautions you should take to reduce the risk of fire and exposure to harmful chemicals. Here are some tips:
- Cut the cardboard to fit the size of your baking dish or sheet, and avoid folding or overlapping it.
- Use a single layer of cardboard, and avoid stacking multiple layers.
- Place the cardboard on top of a baking sheet or dish to catch any drips or spills.
- Check the cardboard frequently while it’s in the oven, and remove it immediately if it starts to smoke or catch fire.
In conclusion, it’s generally not safe to put cardboard in the oven. The risk of fire and exposure to harmful chemicals is too great. However, there are some exceptions, such as parchment paper or baking paper, that are safe to use in the oven. If you must use cardboard, make sure to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of fire and exposure to harmful chemicals.