Can You Put Styrofoam in the Oven: The Ultimate Guide
can you put styrofoam in the oven

Heating your food in the oven is among the most convenient and quickest to reheat your meals. But can you put Styrofoam in the oven? That’s what we’re here to find out through this article. 

In today’s technological revolution, rapid food deliveries have become a part of our daily lives. Restaurants often use Styrofoam as food containers when sending your meals and your meals sometimes arrive cold and mushy.

So, what do you do right after you get your meal? Your first reaction is to quickly heat your food in the containers in your oven. But that can be harmful to human health.

That’s exactly why we’ve put together this article and will answer “Can you put Styrofoam in the oven?”

What is Styrofoam?

Before we answer the question “can you put Styrofoam in the oven,” you should know what it’s made of. 

Styrofoam is made by a company called The Dow Chemical Company. The packaging material has been trademarked by the company, which means they have the sole right to produce and distribute Styrofoam. 

The company produces the packaging material through a process known as polystyrene foam extrusion, which is a variety of polystyrene that has been expanded specifically to manufacture Styrofoam. 

You’ll notice numerous white spheres upon close inspection of the Styrofoam. These are the polystyrene beads that have been subjected to steam, heat, or thermal insulation, and further expanded. And that’s how they take the desired shape of boxes, cups, and other objects. 

Polystyrene beads have potential health concerns for you and the environment. Click on this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet to learn more about it.

Can You Put Styrofoam in the Oven: Answered!

Microwave oven with frozen food

Simply put, the answer is no, you should not put Styrofoam in the oven. Here are some concrete reasons why you shouldn’t put Styrofoam in the oven.

Styrofoam Melting Temperature

To answer can you put Styrofoam in the oven, you should take into account the melting point of Styrofoam. The packaging material is primarily composed of polystyrene beads and the melting point of these beads is around 240 degrees Celsius, or 464 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oven temperatures range from 160 degrees Celsius or 320-350 degrees Fahrenheit for reheating. 

You may notice a gap between the melting point of Styrofoam and oven temperatures for reheating, however, you should keep in mind that these particular temperatures refer to Styrofoam’s melting point – the temperature at which it starts softening and becoming sticky are much lower. 

The containers will start softening and sticking to your meal at temperatures of about 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), which is around the boiling point of water).

So, can you put Styrofoam in the oven? No, not at all. You’ll ruin both your meal and the container if you do so. Moreover, the toxic polystyrene beads mixed with the oily liquid in your meal aren’t what you want as a first bite. 

If you’re dealing with a clogged sink, our guide on How To Unclog Your Kitchen Sink: The Ultimate Guide will surely be of help.

Other Factors to Consider

There’s a chance you forget the Styrofoam containers in the oven simply because you’re in a hurry or just lazy. But that can turn into a dangerous and messy situation and we hope that never happens to you.

If you forget your leftovers while reheating the in the oven and you end up burning the food in Styrofoam containers, the polystyrene beads – the main component of Styrofoam containers that are made of toxic and harmful chemicals – release dangerous chemicals into the air when exposed to intense heat. 

These fumes are a health hazard and harmful to your lungs, the people around you, and the environment.

Rather, what we’d suggest is using an oven-safe container when reheating food in an oven. You can transfer the hot food to this container from a single-use Styrofoam container and then reheat it. Although it seems a bit cumbersome, remember: Better safe than sorry!

This article on the Dangers of Accidentally Burning Styrofoam rightly captures what we wish to convey.

Oven-Safe Containers

woman heating food in microwave oven

Instead of putting Styrofoam in the oven,  use microwave-safe or oven-safe containers to reheat your meals. We’ve listed a few safer options below:

Ceramic Plates/Bowls

You’ll be able to find ceramic dishes in your local supermarket or on e-Commerce sites like Amazon. But we always recommend checking the product labels to be 100% sure.

Glass

Glass makes for ideal dishes to be used for reheating purposes in ovens. The best part is that you can use the same dish for eating as well. You can also use glass cups for hot drinks or sauces.

Metals

Dishes made of stainless steel, cast iron, or other metal also make for great alternatives to Styrofoam if you’re looking for oven-safe dishes. 

When shopping for oven-safe dishes, never buy dishes made with wood or plastic detailing. 

Moreover, we recommend keeping your kitchen hygienic and clean before, during, and after prepping meals. Check out these three methods and tips on How To Clean a Kitchen Sink Drain

Summary

Can you put Styrofoam in the oven? No, it is not recommended to put Styrofoam in the oven. Always adopt safe cooking methods when preparing meals and reheating your leftovers when choosing alternatives to Styrofoam for the oven. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our article. Make sure to check out our other awesome blogs – we’ve got a plethora of effective and super helpful Kitchen guides.

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