Watch Out For Shattering Pyrex Pans This Christmas

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Most of us have a Pyrex (or other glass baking dish) in our kitchens. But did you know these pans and other cookware are prone to…exploding? And that the incidences of explosions have been sharply on the rise?

Pyrex is made by the company World Kitchen, and Anchor Hocking is another common manufacturer of glass cookware.  For both companies, complaints and incidences of problems have increased, from two in 1999 up to 144 in 2011.

Consumers report problems with baking pans (one woman quoted in the article linked above had her Pyrex pan explode on the table at Christmas morning brunch!), measuring cups, and other products, as well. A sudden shattering of glass could be very dangerous, contaminating food as well as posing a serious risk of injury (imagine if you got that in your eye!)

Scientists at the University of Alabama, in a new article backed by the American Ceramic Society, suggest that today’s cookware is of a poorer quality than the pans our mothers and grandmothers used and suggest that the quality is responsible for the increase in shattering.  Glass cookware today is made out of soda lime silicate glass, not the borosilicate glass that manufacturers used before the 80s.

But World Kitchen and Anchor Hocking say that the increase of shattering is due to consumers not using the pans properly. Apparently, these pans come with instructions, although I can’t say I’ve ever seen or read them…until now.

Here are a few manufacturer tips for careful Pyrex/glass cookware handling:

  • never place the hot plan on a wet surface
  • always allow oven to fully preheat before placing baking dish in oven
  • always cover the bottom of the dish with liquid before cooking meat or vegetables
  • always place hot glassware on a dry towel or potholder, never on a trivet or or directly on the counter or sink
  • be careful about impact–repeated banging or dropping can weaken the glass, increasing the probability of breakage or shattering

Wow. I knew NONE of that information about how to properly use glass cookware. Did you? Good tips to take with you into the weekend as you do your Christmas baking and cooking.

Photo: Shutterstock

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    • rusty

      There may be one “rule” missing from this list. I was taught never, ever put a cold glass baking dish into a hot oven. Your dish had to be at room tempertature. The way around the wait was to put the cold, out of the fridge, dish into a cold oven and heat both together. This makes me question the tip regarding always preheating oven before inserting dish.

    • Grandma

      In 1963 or sometime around then, my roommate and I baked something, then removed it from the oven and put it on the tile counter that just happened to be wet. The Pyrex dish shattered. Over the years I have bought glassware, and there is a paper glued to the bottom that has care instructions and warnings, so I did know these things.

    • Simon

      Anchor Hocking is junk anyway. Breaks just looking at it, has rough seams and the bases of their glasses are slanted.