Can You Put Styrofoam in the Oven?

If you have ordered food that came in a Styrofoam container, you may be wondering if you can put Styrofoam in the oven. This is a common question if people have ordered food that they need to reheat, but it came in a Styrofoam container.

Many people want the convenience of being able to reheat their food in the container that it came in. Reducing the number of dishes they have to wash and the effort that they have to extend to reheat their food.

There are many different kinds of packaging for food that are not made to be heated in any way. Because of this, it is important to understand what kinds of containers can be reheated and what can’t be exposed to heat.

Keep reading to find out whether or not you can put Styrofoam in the oven and if Styrofoam is a heat-safe material that is safe around your food.

Styrofoam Should Never be Used in the Oven

If you often buy food that comes in a Styrofoam container, you may be wondering if you can put this in an oven. Unfortunately, Styrofoam is a material that should never be put in the oven as it has a low melting point when exposed to heat.

Ordinary household ovens run at high temperatures that are far too aggressive for any kind of Styrofoam container. Basic Styrofoam that is used to hold food is not made to be heat safe and cannot be safely put in the oven.


This includes heating up your food in the oven or simply keeping it warm in the oven, as it will still be too hot for this material. Styrofoam is not heatproof and is not meant to be used to heat up your food if it has gotten cold.

Styrofoam is a type of plastic that is highly meltable and flammable, making it very dangerous when exposed to extreme heat. You do not want to heat up Styrofoam in any way, as this is not the purpose that it was made for.

If you have ordered food that came in a Styrofoam container, it is best to move your food to another kind of container to heat it up. As Styrofoam is not going to be safe for reheating food even if you received your food in that container.

At What Temperature Does Styrofoam Melt?

Now that you know that Styrofoam is not meant to be put in the oven, you may be wondering at what temperature Styrofoam will melt. Styrofoam will usually begin to melt at 446F degrees and will turn into a bubbly liquid.

Person Holding White Ceramic Plate With Food

Though this material will start to soften at just 212F degrees, and will no longer be a sturdy structure to hold food. Styrofoam can also become highly flammable if exposed to an open flame, as it will catch fire and begin melting.

Styrofoam is very sensitive to hot temperatures as the typical Styrofoam that you use is not meant to be heatproof. This type of Styrofoam is never meant to be put in the oven and will not be able to hold up to those kinds of temperatures.

Though this is a common material used for containers for food, it is not necessarily considered to be highly sturdy. Styrofoam is quite soft and can easily be torn apart, which is part of why it is so easily affected by heat.

Because of this, you do not want to try to reheat food in a Styrofoam container in the oven, as the container will not be able to support its shape. It will begin to soften and will gradually start to melt depending on how hot the temperature is set to.

This can create quite a big mess in your oven that can be quite toxic as the material is melted and chemicals are released. So it is never a good idea to put any kind of Styrofoam container in an oven as there is no Styrofoam that is oven safe.

Can Styrofoam be Microwaved?

Now that you know that Styrofoam cannot be put in the oven, you may be wondering if it is safe to use in the microwave. This is something that many people question as they may assume that Styrofoam would be safe in a microwave.

After all, a great deal of food is served in Styrofoam containers that may eventually need to be reheated. So it would make sense if the Styrofoam was made to withstand the heat from a microwave.

spring roll in styrofoam container

Unfortunately, this is not true, as Styrofoam is just as unsafe in the microwave as it is in the oven. A microwave can create quite hot temperatures, resulting in the Styrofoam softening or melting entirely.

It is not made to withstand any kind of heat, so it will not be able to be safely microwaved. Styrofoam is only able to hold hot food without starting to soften or melt, it cannot be reheated with that food.

Most places also avoid serving very hot food and Styrofoam containers as they can become soft if the food is very hot. Styrofoam can also start to leach toxins and chemicals into food if the food is very warm.

So, in general, Styrofoam is not considered to be a very safe option for any kind of hot food, even if you aren’t reheating it. Most kinds of plastic containers have this issue as plastic softens under heat and starts to release chemicals into food.

Heated Styrofoam Can be Unsafe

Not only can heated Styrofoam make a big mess as it softens or melts, it can also be unsafe. Styrofoam is a type of plastic material that has a very low heating point where it will begin to soften and release chemicals and toxins.

This is why there are many people who avoid using any kind of Styrofoam as they do not want it leaching into their food. As it is a material that could easily start to release chemicals, if it is hot and is holding food.

This can be unsafe for a number of reasons, which is why people may want to try to avoid using Styrofoam too frequently.

Toxins are Released

Styrofoam is known to release toxins as it softens and melts. This is a natural process as these toxins and chemicals are released as the structure of the Styrofoam is compromised and it begins to turn into a liquid.

This is something that happens with any kind of plastic material as it melts and will release chemicals and toxins into its environment. This is not good as these chemicals and toxins can be released into your microwave or your oven if you heat it up in Styrofoam.

This can lead to further contamination as you continue to use your microwave or oven for other heating purposes.

Contaminate Food

If you heat Styrofoam containers with food inside, you are contaminating the food before you eat it. Though there is no research that shows that this is extremely unsafe, it is considered to be unsafe in the long term.

Packed Food in Containers

You most likely will not be harmed if you consume food that has been contaminated by Styrofoam once or twice, but if this happens regularly it can become an issue. As you will be regularly exposed to cross-contamination from the Styrofoam container.

This can lead to health issues and complications that have not yet been fully studied or understood.

How Can Styrofoam be Used?

Styrofoam is a type of material that is still used for food and drink packaging. It is not as common as it used to be, as most companies have moved to other packaging options, but you still may come into contact with Styrofoam.

This material is often used to make cups that can hold hot drinks that you can safely hold without burning your hands. This may not be an ideal option, as a very hot drink could result in the Styrofoam leaching toxins into your drink.

Styrofoam containers are also used to hold leftovers after you have eaten in a restaurant or for takeout fast food. This is generally considered to be safe as these containers are only holding the food that is not hot enough to start to melt the Styrofoam.

So you will need to move your food to a different kind of container before you reheat it if it has gone cold. As this is unsafe to do any Styrofoam container, whether you put it in the oven or the microwave.

Styrofoam containers should never be reheated, whether they contain food or drinks, as they are not made to withstand this kind of heat.

Final Thoughts

Styrofoam is a type of plastic material that is not considered to be heat-safe in the oven or the microwave. This is because Styrofoam has a melting point of 446F which can result in the structure completely melting, if you are heating it up.

This can be unsafe for your health as hot Styrofoam can begin to release toxins and chemicals as it melts. Contaminating your food or your drink, which is not going to be ideal, especially if you are frequently exposed to Styrofoam.