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Anchor Hocking vs Pyrex

  • c

I have been reading a lot about pyrex exploding. Is Anchor Hocking better? Or should that not be used either from hot to cold? Thanks.

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  1. I may be wrong but I think Anchor Hocking is plain glassware not oven proof. Maybe you are thinking of Corning ware? We have Pyrex baking dishes that must be 20+ years old, we use them all the time and have never had one explode.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Eric in NJ

      Corning makes Pyrex. I have both Pyrex and Anchor. Maybe it's because I'm a guy, but I can't tell the difference. And as most are saying, it's plain science, most things don't take extreme sudden temperature changes well. Nice reads in here. Thanks.

      1. re: goggchow

        No, pyrex kitchen ware is not made by corning. Corning sold off its kitchen stuff about a decade ago. Sometime after that, pyrex sold in the US stopped being made out of the glass its named after, and is now made of rather ordinary glass. Borosilicate glass has a very low rate of thrermal expansion, which makes it suitable for use as oven ware. It also has another desirable property, which is that when it does break, it tends to fall apart into large pieces, and not explode into fragments. The current Pyrex is another case of someone taking what used to be a good brand, changing it into junk, and trading on their banked loyalty.
        (Outside of the US, the trademark is owned by a different company, who haven't, yet, turned it into junk.)

      2. re: Eric in NJ

        Anchor Hocking definitely makes oven proof glass and has for many, many years. I have quite a bit of that too ...

        Their jadite was oven glass, and I believe they started making that in the '30s or so.

      3. Plain and simple: ANY glass, heatproof or not, will shatter when subject to sudden temperature changes. That appears to be what's happening with Pyrex. The same thing will happen with any "heat proof" glass. Or non-heatproof for that matter.

        However there are certain kinds of glass/ceramic that are made to handle open flame cooking, and that can handle a certain level of "temperature shock" if the material they are moved to is not super cold. Pyrex made glass coffee pots and double boilers in the fifties and sixties that were excellent when not subject to fire-to-ice temperature shock. The double boilers were especially great because you could see what was happening.

        Pyroceram is also technically glass. It's the white stuff that Corning Ware is made from. It was developed and designed as a heat shield for the nose cones of space program rockets, and it is, by far, the most shock resistant of any of the glass cook ware on the market, but even it can become discolored if overheated improperly.

        If you don't want your Pyrex (or Anchor Hocking, or any other glass, heat resistant or not) to explode, don't shock it!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Caroline1

          Has anyone tried using Pyrex in an electric oven? Does pulling it out of the oven to a kitchen with cold air affect it?

          1. re: janie23

            We use it in electric ovens. I think the heat radiating from the pyrex would not allow the surrounding air around it do anything. I don't put it down on the cold granite counter though, I set it on the cast irn stove top or on a wood cutting board.

            1. re: Eric in NJ

              Thanks Eric. My oven has the exposed heating rods. Does yours? Just want to be totally sure I can use the new (recently bought) pyrex.

              1. re: janie23

                Our top element is exposed but the bottom one is cvered. Pyrex is made to be in the oven...have no fears.

        2. According to their website, Anchor Hocking does make bakeware, serveware, mixing cups. I've used both mixing cup lines, and have come to prefer the Pyrex.

          I've personally shattered an old Pyrex pie plate when I took it from the oven and laid it on top of an unheated glass cooktop. I really don't know why it shattered, but I'd used if for years, usually for microwaving. When it broke, it just cracked and broke--it did not explode.

          I would continue to use Pyrex, and intend to do so. But if you like Anchor Hocking, you would have to treat it the same as you would Pyrex. Don't shock it, and understand it has a finite life.

          1. Thanks! I am new to cooking, so apologize in advance regarding the naivetie of my next question, but shouldn't glass be hand washed and not in the dishwasher if it can't handle heat change? My dishes always come out warm in the dishwasher.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cafe

              You can dishwash Pyrex in the dishwasher with good results. I do this all the time. I have had Pyrex etch over time as it is dishwashed. Pyrex will withstand the temps of the dishwasher just fine, but will chip if knocked against a hard surface. Even chipped, I've used Pyrex measuring cups for a good long while. You know, many pots and pans have Pyrex lids, which have to withstand the heat of stovetop cooking.

              You should never dishwash fine glass. Crystal should not be run through the dishwasher, nor any decorative glass. But everyday use glass can be, just as drinking glasses are usually dishwashed.

              I would not dishwash knives, non-stick cookware, anything with a wooden handle, woodenware, or iron pots.

            2. I've used both from freezer to NON-preheated oven. No problem.

              One thing though, unless stated by the manufacturer, you should not use Pyrex or any other glass for cooking on your stovetop. Ever. This of course does not apply to glass tea kettles nor to Visions cookware, which by their very nature are meant to be used on a stovetop.

              3 Replies
              1. re: MplsM ary

                I have read that the shattering problem comes from going from hot to cold, not cold to hot. I got rid of my pyrex because I make quiches and cheesecakes where I pour the cool filling into a hot pan with a just-baked crust. I also use a toaster oven which is also a no-no with current pyrex.

                I have also read that borosilicate glass (pre-1989 pyrex and others) handles thermal shock much better than soda-lime glass (new pyrex). I was thinking about getting this from crate & barrel which is made from borosilicate glass: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family....
                The crate & barrel customer service people say that it can be used in a toaster oven, but they also say not to pour cool liquids into a heated pan because it's not "heat-tempered" whatever that means. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

                1. re: foo1024

                  To add to the mix - an old Julia Child recipe for Cherry Clafouti says to pour some of the batter into a pie plate and set it over moderate heat to set it up before proceeding. I'm going to assume they don't mean on the stove so I guess that leaves putting it over a pan with water in it. It's not too clear. I know I won't be setting it on my glass-top stove. In older recipes you could use a diffuser on electric coil stoves.

                2. re: MplsM ary

                  I had a visions sauce pan for some 10 years. Cranberry colored glass. One day while on the stove as usual (not out of the refrigerator or anything unusual) it exploded. I did some research and found that I was not alone in the experience. No one was injured, but it sure made a mess.

                3. Cafe, let me add to the list of longtime Pyrex users who've never had it explode. Crack? Yes. Explode? No.

                  I am also guilty of putting straight-from-the-oven Pyrex on granite countertops and other cold surfaces, so maybe I've just been exceptionally lucky.
                  NB: I have been doing this for more than 40 years and really ought to be in line for some disaster.

                  Visions cookware comes in and just as quickly goes out of vogue. I've found it to be very forgiving. I partuicularly like it for re-heating starchy foods in the microwave - bean purees etc do not scorch as they're likely to do on the cooktop.

                  1. Not about exploding, but I have both types and I find that the Anchor measures less and Pyrex measure more. Does anyone know which is more accurate?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cakesncookies

                      I'd bet neither, except by chance. I've got a pair of elderly 1/2 quart Pyrex measuring cups. (from a thrift store, no idea how old) A measured half-litre of tap water is 490ish grams in one, and about 505 grams in the other. They're not precision measuring devices. measuring the volume of liquids is very difficult, if you need super high accuracy. If you spend time in a lab, you'll quickly find they use specialized measures, that are accurate for a specific volume. The inaccuracies in mine are on the order of 1 or 2%, which is less than the error I'd expect from not bothering to measure accurately in the first place.

                    2. I have never ever had any pyrex or anything corelle explode. Myself and others who purchased some Anchor Hocking baking dishes have had them explode in the ovens while baking. I simply avoid it now.

                      1. I would only use a borosilicate glass. I have older Pyrex I have used for well over 25 years with no problem.

                        With glass and ceramic items too, just be careful with rapid temperature extremes.

                        I had not realized Pyrex had been sold and now uses soda-lime glass. This explains some breakage I encountered in new pieces I purchased for an employer. The older borosilicate, with its lower coefficient of expansion is more resistant to thermal shock than the new products using soda-lime glass. Soda - lime is what your drinking glasses are most likely made from. Yes, you can put them in a dishwasher, but they would probably crack if you poured boiling water in them.

                        My advise, hit the thrift stores or yard sales and find the pre '98 Pyrex. It is great stuff, has so many good uses in the kitchen. I would not want to be without it! I have/use for baking casseroles, loaf pans, cake pans, pie plates, custard cups...use them all and love them!

                        BTW, most of mine is Pyrex, but also have a few products from other companies (most circa '80's or prior) and they all preform well.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: meatn3

                          How do you tell if the pyrex is 'pre-98?

                          I have a set of pyrex - round and rectangluar with lids that I use for baking, microwaving and storage in the fridge. I've had my set for over 10 years and only recently have had problems with cracking of the plastic lids, and misplacing a container with lid. I can't find it anywhere.

                          I bought my parents a set of anchor hocking about a year ago. The containers are difficult to open because the lids are inflexible. All the lids are cracking. I will never buy Anchor Hocking again and advise others to avoid their products.

                          1. re: rtms

                            I don't know about dating the plain, clear pieces. The patterned pieces are easier to date. Here is a great site - if you don't already love old Pyrex get ready for a new interest!

                            http://www.pyrexlove.com/

                            1. re: meatn3

                              Seriously old clear pieces take on a yellow tinge ... those are probably from the 60s or so at the latest?

                              There are at least a couple different Pyrex reference books, but I don't think they cover the 80s or early 90s, when I was buying my Pyrex and Corningware. I have seen the ovenware my mother bought in the 70s in books. My Corningware is the iris pattern, and I have seen it for sale before in antique malls. My mother has the cornflower pattern ... that is definitely old and I'm sure there must be a ton of it around.

                        2. I had an Anchor Hocking (second hand, don't know age) pan explode into *lots* of small pieces in my hands today, with shards flying across the kitchen, on landing (lightly) in my friend's foot. I had been broiling something in it, as I have several times before, and it exploded as soon as I removed it from the hot oven into the warm air--no contact with anything cold.
                          The only thing I might have done wrong was to put it under the broiler, but I would have thought that would be OK (and not vetoed in the fine print on the bottom).