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Can You Microwave McDonald’s Burger Boxes?

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Do you have Big Mac leftover from yesterday and wonder if it is safe to microwave a McDonald’s burger box to reheat a hamburger?

Unless specifically indicated on the packaging, McDonald’s burger boxes are microwave safe with food inside. The disposable container is made of carton board, and does not contain any metal or plastic coating.

From cheeseburgers to Quarter Pounders, McDonald’s burgers fulfill your fast food cravings. But, if you over ordered, then how do you microwave a McDonald’s burger so it won’t be soggy?

McDonald’s serves many different sandwich options on the all day menu. However, each McDonald’s menu item requires slightly different microwave reheating methods for the best taste.

The main issue being how to refresh a room temperature burger compared to properly refrigerated burgers. Reheated hamburgers offer a great meal to get you through the day, so what is the best way to microwave a McDonald’s burger box?

Are McDonald’s burger box microwave safe?

Reheating leftover burgers in the original cardboard box can bring positive and negative results. Because not every ingredient in sandwich is the same, they do require different handling procedures when it comes to reheating in the microwave.

Burger boxes are made with carton board and does not contain harmful materials that counter act with a microwave. The middle layer is sourced from 70% recyclable materials, while the outside layer uses sources from controlled wood forestry.

On the other hand, microwaving burgers inside boxed can result keep buns moist instead of dry and burn the edges. 

Sometimes, choosing in-between burger box and a wrapper to reheat in the microwave can be confusing. What is the difference between the two?

What is the difference between a burger box and a wrapper?

The difference between the McDonald’s burger box and a wrapper is the finishing. Both disposable packaging use paper or cardboard, but the burger box does not contain any wax or plastic coating at all.

A cardboard burger box is designed to be:

  • Durable for stacking
  • Heat-resistant
  • Retain warmth
  • Prevent soggy sandwich buns

Cardboard burger boxes are solely intended for takeout, and are devised with that specific intention. Several important considerations are made when manufacturing the box.

In contrast, the reheating method is a bit different if you consider to microwave McDonald’s wrappers. The inside of the sandwich wrapper is coated with wax, which is a grease-resistant solution to takeout packaging. 

Can you microwave McDonald’s cardboard?

Is it safe to microwave cardboard? On its own, cardboard is not microwave safe. Without any food to absorb the electromagnetic energy, cardboard can overheat and catch fire.

In general, you can microwave McDonald’s cardboard containers and boxes. Food must be inside the disposable packaging, and someone should be supervising the kitchen appliance while activated. 

Using a cardboard box to reheat food is a great alternative solution. It absorbs water, fat and sugar molecules.

In addition, covered foods circulate heat around the inside of the container. The motion generates heats and warm up your food even quicker inside cardboard boxes.

Typically, cardboard has a moisture content of 9-12% and if you use them to reheat food in the microwave, then the moisture content will start to evaporate. So, if you place empty cardboard without food, there is a very high chance that it will completely dry out and catch fire. 

Related: Is it safe to microwave a pizza box?

Things to know before microwaving McDonald’s burger box

There could be many reasons why you would want to microwave cardboard, it is a quick and convenient serving container that you can throw away with no need to clean up afterwards.

Some burgers have more complex ingredients than others, so evaluate the best reheating methods, tools, time and temperature as needed.

Here are essential things you need to know before microwaving a McDonald’s burger box:

  • Avoid heating the empty burger boxes in the microwave.
  • Make sure to look for any label on the cardboard box to see what it is made out of. 
  • If the burger box is made with a blend of plastic, wax, or metal, then transfer the food to a microwave-safe plate to reheat. 
  • Check the box if it is labeled as microwave-safe.
  • Set the microwave on medium power level to reheat food safety.
  • Proceed with 30 seconds increments and monitor after every time period. 

Pure cardboard burger boxes from McDonald’s can be reheated, but not cooked in the microwave. Always make sure the container does not contain any materials that are unsafe to use in the microwave, such as plastic, wax or metal. 

If you have been using McDonald’s burger boxes in the microwave, then continue doing so with confidence. When in doubt, only use containers that are labeled as microwave safe. 

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