In this article, we will answer the question “Can you cook pizza on cardboard?”, and how to safely bake a pizza without the cardboard?
Can you cook pizza on cardboard?
No, you cannot cook pizza on cardboard. It is not safe at all. It might be tempting to just put the pizza along with the cardboard it came in and treat yourself to a feast. But it is not worth it because safety comes first. Cardboard can ignite when exposed to 427°F or above temperature. Regardless of its contact with any heating element, the cardboard can catch fire even at temperatures lower than 427 degrees.
Moreover, the cardboard base that comes with the pizza and other frozen food products, has an anti-grease layer which contain harmful chemical that may leech into your food resulting in contamination. Read on if you want to know other reasons why you should never be using cardboard in the oven again.
Why you should never put cardboard in the oven?
Risk of ignition
The average baking temperature for most pizzas is 425°F and the cardboard will combust at 427 degrees. This difference is way too low and if you decide to use cardboard in the oven, you are definitely living on the edge.
Moreover, older ovens have an even greater risk of catching fire because their heating elements are more exposed to the heat inside the oven. Relatively newer ovens will have a lower risk of combustion but this should not be the reason to use cardboard in the oven. It is totally unsafe and is not recommended in any condition.
Slows cooking time
The cardboard creates a hindrance between the pizza and the heat, slowing down the baking time of your pizza resultantly. This is particularly what you are looking for when you want a quick-fix for your hunger cravings.
However, some frozen food products come in cardboard or paper packaging that is oven safe and can withstand oven temperatures. These can be safely used in the oven to bake your product.
Even if the cardboard does not catch fire, it can release toxic fumes that will make your pizza or any other product taste and smell funny. Moreover, most of the frozen products including pizza come packed in heavy-duty freezer plastic to protect them from freezer burn.
If you put the entire cardboard with the pizza in the oven, this plastic can melt and contaminate your food.
What purpose does the cardboard base serve?
The sole purpose of the cardboard base in pizza and other frozen foods is support. The cardboard base holds the pizza so that it keeps its shape during its transport.
The base can also be used as a base for cutting the pizza and you can discard it later. This base may be made up of oven-safe material for some frozen products.
How to safely bake frozen pizza?
Whether it’s pre-made casseroles, nuggets, or frozen pizza, pace them on a cookie sheet and slide it in the oven. Bake safely and get a nice and crisp crust. Remove the cardboard base before placing the pizza on the baking sheet.
Casserole dish/Baking pan
Using large-sized baking pans or casserole dishes to bake your frozen pizza. This method is particularly useful to bake pre-made casseroles because they come in a rather fragile container.
Aluminum foil is a cheap substitute for cookie sheets and baking pans. Cover the middle rack of the oven entirely or just in the middle with aluminum foil and slide it in the oven for pre-heating. Aluminum is a great heat container. It reduces the baking time whilst making the crust extra crispy.
You might want to invest in a pizza block especially if you frequently want to bake frozen pizzas and other dishes like casseroles and burritos. These blocks are made up of ceramic and help make the crust nice and crispy.
Directly on the rack
If you have nothing to place underneath your pizza but you do not want to risk your safety by baking it with the cardboard base, just put it directly on the rack. This will result in some drippings of cheese and toppings but for what it’s worth, your safety won’t be compromised.
In pizza pan
A pizza pan is a great way to reheat frozen pizzas. Pizza pans with the perforated base especially make the crust crispy with the perfect golden-brown hue. It, however, results in some drippings like in the case of reheating the pizza on the rack.
In this article, we answered the question “Can you cook pizza on cardboard?”, and how to safely bake a pizza without the cardboard?