You Can Upcycle That Plastic Pizza Table Into a Useful Kitchen Tool—Here’s How

published Oct 15, 2020
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Woman removing the plastic table from a takeout pizza
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Recently, my family has taken to making our own Friday night pizzas from scratch—dough and all. (Our weeks and our Friday nights are less hectic than usual, now that we’re all at home, so we have the time to do it.) Sinking my teeth into perfectly chewy dough that also cracks as it breaks and knowing that we made it with our own hands is quite satisfying. But there’s something I found out about recently that has me wanting to pick up pizza or have it delivered, and it has nothing to do with the pizza itself. 

It’s a tip about the pizza saver—that little white, round piece of plastic that looks like a miniature table, stuck right in the middle of your pizza. The original purpose of the pizza saver is something worth pausing to appreciate: The three-pronged piece of plastic was designed by Carmela Vitale of New York in 1985, and it’s there to prevent the lid of the pizza box from sagging onto the top of the pizza when steam weakens the cardboard. Because of this little thing, millions of pizza eaters have been saved the frustration of opening their pizza box only to find the cheese all stuck to the lid. 

So what about that tip? Don’t toss that pizza saver in the trash once you’ve finished dinner! Wash it off and save it—because you can use it as a handy phone holder.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Flip the pizza saver upside-down and prop your phone between its prongs. This way, you can easily look at recipes or cooking videos as you’re making your own pizza. Or you can read your book while you eat said pizza at the table, keeping your hands free for holding a slice and your drink.

Note: Some brilliant life-hackers online suggest using scissors or clippers to cut one of the legs a little more than halfway down, so that you have an unobstructed view of your phone. But honestly, I don’t find that extra step all that necessary. Better to keep things nice and simple.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: You Should Save That Plastic Table in Your Next Pizza Box — Here’s Why