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Need some glass bakeware: is all glass the same?

Simple question: is glassware simply glassware or is there degrees of quality, or other qualities i should look for?

Im just looking for a 9x13 general purpose dish to do lasagnas, casseroles, brownies/cakes, etc.

Thanks!

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  1. There has been a lot written about glass bakeware made in the US at the present time. The current version of "pyrex" which was sold off from Corning is made of soda lime glass. This type of glass will only tolerate a difference of temperature within the glass of about 100F degrees or even less. You can imagine if you take a dish out of 350F oven and part of the dish cools you could easily have that difference. There have been many reports of dishes shattering. Corning used to make clear PYREX out of borosilicate glass which tolerated about 300F difference. They also made opaque, mostly white PYREX that was made of soda lime glass. They still make PYREX with borosilicate in Europe. I use some of the older stuff especially pie pans but I would never buy the new stuff unless you could get the borosilicate stuff. Determining exactly what is borosilicate in the older stuff is not always 100%.
    Note the difference in trademarks of current products.
    Most other brands have been soda lime glass for awhile. I would not even consider new glass unless it is labeled borosilicate.
    If I were buying now I would avoid glass altogether.

    1. Check out the HIC Porcelain Lasagna Pan

      http://www.amazon.com/HIC-Porcelain-L...

      It came out highly rated in America's Test Kitchen and is what I use today. The older Pyrex was great for things like this but, the good glass is long gone.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sid Post

        Stoneware is a great replacement for glass. I've been replacing all of my old glass bakeware with LC and Emile Henry stoneware, and also USA Pans.

        A little oil makes the stoneware nonstick and it cleans easier than my glassware did. Most stuff rinses right out. What doesn't comes off easily after a short soak.

        USA Pans have a silicone coating that makes them incredibly nonstick, no butter or oil is needed, ever. They rinse or wipe clean, seriously. http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2...

      2. Interesting discussion. Here's some info from Consumer Reports testing: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ma...

        1. I use old corning wear and new and old pyrex, never had a problem (knock on wood) and I use them a lot. Rather have glass then coated metal.

          5 Replies
          1. re: daislander

            <i use old corning ware...>

            I was pleased to learn (Thanks, ellabee) that vintage Corningware isn't just "glass", it's Pyroceram, and is able to withstand sudden temperature changes of over 800ºF. Of course I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to twig to this happy fact, but I mention it because I think it might help the OP.

            Vintage Corningware could be just what she's seeking.

            1. re: DuffyH

              I agree -- and there is a great Corningware lasagna pan.

              like this one:
              http://www.replacements.com/webquote/...

              Keep your eyes open at yard sales and you will find Corningware -- it seems to be going out of style, but it is great for both oven and microwave.

              1. re: DuffyH

                Just picked up a smallish Corningware French White roasting pan to replace a pyrex casserole dish that broke. (I love it already -- looks just like my favorite lasagna pan but smaller.)

                No, the pyrex did not shatter when it was hot out of the oven -- my husband dropped it when it was cool out of the cupboard! We'd had it for 30 years or more.

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    Yes, I think so, too. I kinda miss that dish, though -- it had been around longer than two out of three of my kids.

            2. It appears the choice should be based on whether you're more likely to subject your glassware to bumping and dropping or thermal shock. It seems to me that thermal shock is something that you can plan ahead to prevent.

              12 Replies
              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I regularly bring my dishes from a 350F oven into room temperature air so thermal shock would be my primary concern. Posters here report shattering even when the dish was wrapped in a towel. The big handles on the newer "pyrex" would tend to cool quicker and increase the chance of creating a temperature differential of greater than 100 degrees. I'm not sure how you can plan to avoid it other than use it in situations where you do not vary the temperature more than 100 degrees as in refrigerated items or very low temperature cooking. I have never dropped a dish in 50 years of cooking so for me that would be a rare occurrence. I wonder how they tested impact resistance. Did they drop it from 3 inches or 3 feet? There would eventually be a height where they both break.

                1. re: wekick

                  thermal shock will not occur letting a oven temp dish come to room temp. it is likely to occur if it is placed on a cold countertop, or in water just out of the oven or while fairly hot. it is the drastic RANGE of any temperature change that will cause the shock. (in my layman's understanding).

                  i use old pyrex and corning ware. i love french white by corning ware, it is nice looking, dishwasher safe, always looks perfect, and you can serve in it at the table.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    The dish does not know if it is cooling on a countertop or not. It only can react to physical laws. Drastic is a subjective term. I would look at the actual temperatures involved. Some people consider the 100F degree differential of soda lime glass(modern pyrex) to be narrow when compared to 300F for borosilicate glass of old clear PYREX.

                    1. re: wekick

                      hot oven hot dish, cold countertop. i'd venture that is in the realm of "drastic" for a poor little glass baking dish filled with hot food.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Again, that would depend on the physical properties of the glass and oven temperatures. The article by consumer reports linked above did some testing and you can see how the different types of glass react in different situations.

                        1. re: wekick

                          I exploded a room temperature pyrex pan with a refrigerator temp pork loin roast by (Foolishlly) putting in on my 350 degree pizza stone. . Boom! And this was my late grandmother's pyrex, the "old" stuff.

                          I miss that pan. . .

                          1. re: autumm

                            There can be some things happen to glass that will weaken the structure and result in shattering. It might get nicks or scratches so it is advisable to inspect Pyrex you use and discard it if you see any. A dish might also survive an impact but the glass structure is weakened and is subject to shatter without further provocation. It can be sitting on a shelf and shatter. This you cannot see in advance.

                    2. re: alkapal

                      I still believe the higher the percentage of contact the higher chance of breakage. For example, if you place a glass dish hot from the oven directly onto cool or even room temp stone countertops, with 100% contact, there is a better chance of cracking rather than placing it on a gas grate with only say 10% contact. That's not to say cold water dripped onto a steaming hot glass dish won't shatter it.

                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                        Actually it's the opposite, the gas grate would cool only small areas of the glass causing those areas to expand while the hot areas are still contracted causing it to be more likely to shatter. If the glass cools or heats at an even rate it will all expand or contract at the same rate. It is safest to place it on a dry towel on the counter. Many cases of exploding Pyrex seem to have in common being placed on top of a stove grate. Also older formica countertops don't hold the cold or heat the way newer countertop surfaces like granite do.

                        1. re: Vicky123

                          Hmm. Never thought of it that way. I would think that the small amount of contact would have such a negligable effect on the temperature of the overall surface of the dish that it wouldn't factor at all. Of course you wouldn't be placing the dish on a grate just removed from the freezer or anything, just room temp or slightly warmed from the ambient heat of the oven below.

                          1. re: Jerseygirl111

                            The problem is that it can be unpredictable. You might do what you feel is safe, or has not resulted in breakage but it is outside of the tolerances of the glass. Add to that tiny chips or previous impacts that might allow the glass to become unstable. It is a good thing to be aware of the risks so you can make an informed decision about what you use in the kitchen.