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My Pyrex Pan just exploded!

Well, it happened. I had meatballs baking in the oven in a pyrex pan and I heard the sound of glass smashing. It was a pretty loud explosion and really startled me. I opened the oven and sure enough, there was the pan in a couple of hundred pieces. I think I remember reading about stuff like this happening on a thread somewhere here on CH - like maybe with age pyrex can weaken to the point where it explodes like this. All I can say is thank god it didn't happen when I opened the door! I think I'm getting rid of my other remaining pyrex pans and switching to all ceramic pans from now on...

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  1. The most common way this happens is from thermal shock; the two easiest ways for this to happen are taking a chilled Pyrex pan and putting it in the oven, or putting a hot Pyrex pan from the oven on a wet spot on the counter. Older Pyrex is actually less susceptible to this since it's made from a different material than current Pyrex. If the Pyrex is scratched, it makes it more susceptible to explosive effects.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

      But I did neither. The pan was room temp. when it went into the oven and I never got the chance to take it out - it exploded IN the oven.

      1. re: flourgirl

        What a nasty mess you must have had to clean up!

        I had a Pyrex explode in a non-customary way as well. It was at room temperature and all I did was ladle a bit of hot tomato sauce into it - not more than a few tablespoons. As I turned away, I heard loud pops, and it was the Pyrex shattering. I'm sure it had to do with the thermal shock, but not to the extremes that people always claim are the ways that Pyrex will shatter.

        1. re: flourgirl

          Mine did the same last year. Never is 30 years of cooking had one do this. I was a fairly new pan too.

          Mine was lasagna so what a mess. Room temp, 350 degrees. Was in there for maybe 15 minutes and then boom. I have a couple of pie plates and a loaf pan and 2 casseroles, 1 round and my 13x9. I use them all the time. That was a first.

      2. oh crap! i live in fear of this. i read on this site u can bake over 350* in pyrex but i still haven't worked up the nerve to try. We must have aa moment of silence for your meatball massacre!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Boccone Dolce

          Wow. This is really good to know about Pyrex. I have a pyrex casserole type pan. It's one that's like 9x10, and about 2 inches deep. It was given to me as a wedding present about 3 years ago. I hadn't had any problems with it, but a few months ago, I baked some salmon in it. I lined the pyrex with aluminum foil, for easy clean up (don't know if that has anything to do with this or not). I baked the salmon at 400, for 40 or 45 min. When I went to clean the pan, I noticed a spot in the middle that looked like it had melted a little. No lie, it was in the shape of the salmon fillets. Maybe I'm not supposed to bake it at 400 degrees, but my pan didn't come with any special directions, so I just figured that I could bake in it like a regular pan.

          1. re: amselby81

            Hmmm, you know, I never really thought about whether or not there were temperature limits above which it's not safe to use pyrex. I have often used my pyrex pans in the oven with temperatures of 425F. I wonder if that had anything to do with the pan exploding. It was at 350 when it happened but maybe it was weakened in the past from too high a temp? I have no idea.

        2. Heck, we had an old Pyrex under the broiler (electric) the other day. Seemed fine. I was more nervous after reading stuff on here, but it seems to be fairly rare.

          1. That is really scary! So glad you weren't hurt. I have 3 Pyrex baking dishes, and pie plates of varying sizes and use them regularly. Not with aluminum foil nor at 425*.
            They are Very Old.... Since my pantry is a cool buttery type room, I always let them come up to room temp, or let them sit in warm to hot water before using them. Never a problem. Of course now that I've read this thread..... you know what's going to happen don't you.

            1. Flourgirl: A few months back, CI had a clear explanation about exploding Pyrex. Look it up.

              4 Replies
              1. re: FallsChurch2

                I don't have a CI membership and I can't find the article, but the stuff I could find that talked about it basically seems to say that most cases of exploding pyrex are due to thermal shock. But the pan I was using came out of the cabinet - not the fridge or freezer. And it exploded in the oven, so it wasn't because I set it on a wet spot or on the range. BUT - I've also found out courtesy of this thread and other sources that apparently scratches can cause this to happen such as those caused by scouring pads. This is probably how the pan got weakened to the point that it shattered - but I am still going to replace my remaining pans with ceramic.

                1. re: flourgirl

                  Tempered glass is designed to withstand pretty high heat and temperature changes; that's why it's been tempered. Pyrex (or any other tempered glass product) can be weakened by microscopic scratches in the surface caused by normal use. Any hard impact to the surface can also weaken the tempering; but define "hard impact". That could mean clunking dishes together, dropping a serving spoon etc. This damage results in shattering, without any warning and for no apparent reason.

                  There's really nothing you can do to prevent it. I had a very large tempered glass cutting board shatter in the middle of the night. Sounded like someone broke into the house. The cutting board was not used for cutting, unless a plastic board was over it, but we did use it for hot pots and such. I'm sure moving things around caused small scratches and it just finally gave up.

                  1. re: Dee S

                    It's the scratches.

                    Been there, done that. Mom used to gouge out the old Pyrex ware with one of those darned coiled-metal scrubbers and sure enough, I had three of 'em pop on me... all with complicated, expensive casseroles inside (actually one lovely bread pudding).

                    In the restaurant business, we use tempered glass all the time. And it's strong and seemingly impervious to heat differences... until you push it over the edge. I recall the first really great oven that I ever had was a Thermador with the tempered glass door... a housekeeper sprayed glass cleaner on it after it was hot as Hades... pow! a gazillion pieces. I guess that's how tempered glass breaks (kinda like the safety glass in our cars, now, that can't break into deadly shards).