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Worried my pie pan will break

Most pie recipes I use call for putting the crust (in pie pan) in the fridge or freezer to chill before filling it. I understand the purpose of this, BUT my favorite pie pan is my glass Pyrex pan, and I am worried that putting a cold glass pan into a preheated oven will turn into a messy disaster, a broken pan, and no pie.

How do others deal with this situation? Am I being overly cautious? I have definitely broken pyrex by putting a too hot pan into cold water...

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  1. Most of the pie crust recipes I have used that call for chilling have you chilling the crust before you roll it out.....not sure of the purpose of rolling it out and then putting it in the pie pan in the fridge??? Maybe you could try it the other way around?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunflwrsdh

      The purpose of putting the rolled crust in the fridge is to prevent shrinkage and melting of the crimped edge when it is first placed in the oven. I don't think that putting a chilled glass Pyrex pan in the oven presents the same danger level at all as putting cold water on a hot one.

    2. No worries Pyrex is meant to go from freezer to oven
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/432583
      Scroll down to "browniebaker"s post.

      4 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        Sure it is...

        If if was purchased in the last ten years or so, watch out. Thermal shock is reality. There are a number of exploding Pyrex threads on these boards.

        If you really think you must refrigerate and then fill and bake, switch to a metal pan or to a clay or stoneware pan. Emile Henry makes lovely pans (expensive) and pie tins are cheap. Better safe than sorry.

        1. re: RGC1982

          Even Cook's Illustrated okayed this practice. It is what they do.

          1. re: RGC1982

            Never had a problem in 30+ years

            1. re: RGC1982

              Freezer to preheated oven is not a thermal shock situation.

          2. Being cautious isn't a fault. I understand if the pan has a scratch that can make it vulnerable to breakage with severe temperature changes. If you've had the pan a long time I'd say go with putting it on a thin cookie sheet before putting it in the oven. I'm a potter and that's what I recommend people do who cook with handmade ceramic pieces that go in the oven. The cookie sheet will warm up more gradually and protect the pan more so than placing a cold pan directly on a hot oven rack.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Leepa

              I put mine from the freezer to oven all the time and they have plenty of scratches (I've even etched initials on the bottom with etch cream to be sure I get them back) The point of chilling is to go from cold to hot quickly to prevent shrinking/misshaping (keep those crimps pretty!) so heating gradually on a sheet pan would seem to defeat the purpose.

              1. re: sarahjay

                I understand the point of chilling, amazingly enough. What I'm talking about heating gradually is the bottom of your pyrex dish not your crimped edge of the pastry which should not be affected whatsoever by what the pan sits on. By gradually, I don't mean a huge amount of time. Just not an instant shift from frozen to 400 degrees within the space of a few seconds.

                Good luck with your pan. I hope you have a self clean oven. You'll probably need it at some point.

            2. I take my pie crust from the freezer, fill it, and have it in the oven within five or ten minutes. I bake it on the lowest rack for 20 minutes or so, with a thoroughly-preheated pizza stone right underneath. After 20 minutes, I pull the pie out, remove the oven rack, and put the Pyrex pie plate directly on the pizza stone. I've never had one break (and my bottom crusts come out remarkably crisp!)

              1. if it is an older pyrex pan, i wouldn't do it.

                1. Here's the deal from a Safety and Usage Instructions and Warranties flyer from Pyrex (World Kitchen) sent to me recently in an order:

                  "Avoid Sudden temperature changes to your glassware. Do not add liquid to hot glassware on a wet or cool surface, or handle hot glassware with a wet towel, wet potholder or other wet cloth. Do not place hot glassware directly on a counter top or metal surface..."

                  "Oven must be preheated before inserting glassware. Do not insert glassware into oven for cooking or reheating until the oven has been properly preheated to the desired temperature."

                  So you can take the glassware from the frig or freezer and place it in a preheated oven. To quote the flyer regarding the one of three reasons for product risk and fail: "Breakage due to sudden temperature change applied to the glassware."

                  Pyrex also mentions avoiding the use of damaged glassware, "Do not use or repair any glassware that is broken, chipped cracked or severely scratched."

                  You broke the "Rules of Pyrex" when you put a hot pan into cold water. Breakage will not occur when putting a cold pan into a hot oven, it's just not enough of a temp change/shock. Of course, I can't say it'll never occur...but it's never happened to me.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    Yeah, I do it all the time with no problems.

                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      Cold to oven? Yes, it's not a problem. It's a sudden change in temp, hot to cold water, touching the hot pan with a wet towel or placing a hot pan on a cold surface might be an issue. Actually most glass reacts the same way; glass doesn't like a quick hot to cold change.

                      I recently, without thinking, took a glass out of very hot dishwater and attempted to fill it with cold running tap water, end of story. I also accidentally tapped my hot oven light, while cleaning the oven, with a wet towel, pop! The filament stayed in the socket and was a bear to remove when I replaced the bulb. I forgot to unplug the stove first and grabbed the filament with the pliers; I got a bit of a jolt. Then I nastily cut my finger on a small piece of broken glass still attached to the filament.

                      I suppose my experience was all child's play when compared to the mess a hot food-filled Pyrex glass dish shattering on the counter would make, to say nothing of the heartbreak.

                  2. Only slightly related question, but here goes: can I put the hot-from-the-oven pieplate (or whatever) onto my cold-ish granite countertop with no harm to the hot pan or the granite? Never had granite before, so I'm a little cautious, I guess.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: pine time

                      Use a hot pad or rack, especially if the pie plate is glass or ceramic. That's the classic hot onto cold scenario that cracks glass.

                      Even with a metal pie plate it would be better to use a hot pad. It may not damage the granite (though temperature cycling does crack granite in the wild), but rapid cooling might crack the pie crust or filling. Another type of stone, marble, is used to rapidly cool candy and chocolate.

                      1. re: pine time

                        you're as likely to crack your granite countertop as you are to shatter your pie plate, which would be far more tragic, expensive, and difficult to deal with than a ruined pie.

                        Use a hot pad.

                        1. re: pine time

                          +1 for paulj's & sunshine'842's answer.

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            Thanks, all. I've been obsessive about using a hot pad or a wooden rack for hot pans on the granite, so I'll keep calm and carry on.

                          2. re: pine time

                            I lost a glass pie pan when I took it from the oven and placed on my glass top stove which was cool It has been a long time, but the cooktop might have had a little water on it. I wouldn't put the heated glass onto the cool granite myself, because of the possibility of glass breakage.

                          3. If the oven is preheated to 325F before putting the cold pan in, it shouldn't be an issue. But don't put the pan into cold oven, then turn on the gas. This is where the breakage from thermal shock is most likely to occur.

                            1. Hi, rds246:

                              With respect, is your kokua (care) more for your pie or its plate? There is no wrong answer, but it is good to ask one's self.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Pie plates are cheap, pie is priceless.