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Should I stop baking with pyrex?

I always knew not to use pyrex with direct flame (on the stovetop or in the broiler), but I'd thought it was fine in the oven and microwave until recently coming across all these discussions of it breaking/cracking/shattering/exploding from oven or microwave use, while in the oven/microwave, or while sitting on the kitchen counter. It looks like a lot of ppl have issues with pyrex even when following typical warnings (don't go from cold fridge to hot oven, don't put cold food in hot dish, don't put hot dish directly on cold counter, etc.). I have zero interest in having my meal lost, cleaning up glass (especially in the oven), or getting injured by some flying shard.

We can still add things to our registry- should I stop baking with pyrex and replace it now? (I tend to use their pie plates for pies and rectangular pans for baking macaroni & cheese/cakes/lasagna.)

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  1. Pyrex is no more likely to break than Anchor, another brand of tempered glass ovenware. Glass ovenware can shatter, but it is more likely to happen by being dropped on the floor than by other means. When it breaks it goes into lots of relatively small pieces. You are not likely to be injured unless you are careless when you glean it up. If you want never to have to clean up broken glass, you should get rid of all of your glassware of every type.

    7 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Yes, sorry. I didn't mean stop baking with pyrex while continuing to bake with other glass- I meant to ask whether I should stop baking with glass. (pyrex just happens to be the only glass bakeware I own.) I never drop my bakeware on the floor really. I'm talking about glass bakeware shattering/cracking/whatever you want to call it while sitting in the oven, on the counter, or in the microwave, etc.

      Dropping a glass & cleaning it up are no big deal to me. But putting together an elaborate large dish in a 11x14 pyrex to have it end up all over the oven and the glass too- that's a bit much of a hassle imo compared to just cleaning up a broken drinking glass from the floor.

      1. re: Shkra11

        Everything is a tradeoff, but the complaints you read misrepresent the risk. There are not "lots" of people with breakage issues compared to the millions of people who use this type of ovenware. I have used Pyrex pie plates for about 40 years without a breakage. I also use Anchor baking dishes which I have had for about 20 years. If one broke in the oven I would clean it up and likely buy another.

        But if this is for a registry and you want something better, try for a Pillivuyt ceramic baking dish. I have a couple of pieces of this and it's very nice.


        1. re: GH1618

          I meant "lots" compared to the none I thought it would happen to if ppl took reasonable precautions and didn't cook on stovetops or in broilers, etc.

          1. re: Shkra11

            but on that very long thread, if you take out the people who didn't "follow the rules", there's not much spontaneous breakage out there.

            Does it happen? Yes. Is it "a lot" of spontaneous breakage? No.

        2. re: Shkra11

          it's more complicated than that.

          Pyrex as a "brand name" was originally applied to low expansion glass.

          big broad brush strokes, 'borosilicate' glass - aka lab ware - versus 'soda lime' glass aka 'window glass.

          "low expansion" was of benefit because as glass is heated / cooled it expands / contracts - like any other solid - and any small weakness causes the glass to break / explode - pick your term. the low expansion factor simply means the glass is subject to lower strains and stress in heating / cooling making it less likely to break.

          'tempered' glass refers to glass that has been heated to it's near melt temperature, then cooled at a slow even rate. that slow cooling produces smaller 'crystals' in the glass, which results in 'safety glass' - glass which fractures into small chunks vs. large jagged shards.

          for Pyrex, it all gets a lot more fuzzy - because the trademark "Pyrex" was sold - and badda-bing-badda-boom - now applies to el cheapo soda lime glass that has been tempered.

          1. re: PSRaT

            Tempered soda-lime glass was used by Corning for ovenware long before the brand was sold (or licensed). US-made Pyrex ovenware is made in one of the original Corning plants. I don't believe that current US-made Pyrex is any more prone to breakage than it always was, but the creation of the World Wide Web makes it easy for people to raise alarms about it. In the olden days, when we broke a glass item we just cleaned it up and moved on.

            1. re: PSRaT

              The best bet to avoid problematic glassware is to troll the charity shops (nd maybe your parent's kitchens ;) ) for pre-trademark-sale Pyrex. I have a few pieces from my mom that have never given me any trouble.

        3. My short answer is no - Pyrex is still good for baking in, it's dishwasher safe and doesn't warp or deform. I've never had a glass baking dish break, and I'm not specially careful. But if you've been having actual problems - not just reading about others' problems - that's different.

          26 Replies
          1. re: John Francis

            I've never had a problem myself and have been using (probably new) pyrex in baking for over 10 years. Didn't even know that these problems existed until a few days ago.

            1. re: Shkra11

              Hi, Shrka:

              These Pyrex threads are hilarious. Folks who have themselves never had a bad experience insinuate that their good luck means exploding Pyrex doesn't happen with any frequency. Some will even argue with posters who *have* had glass bakeware explode, telling them that they misused the product without knowing ANYTHING about how it was used.

              I've given the statistics in earlier threads which you can search out, and there are multiple sites replete with honest accounts of exploding glass bakeware causing injuries. It happens, and often enough that there are complaints, lawsuits, and million-dollar verdicts for some who've battled the makers. There are hundreds of these honest accounts which are not capable of being explained away as misuse. And I'm confident that there are tens of thousands of other folks whose glass shattered who just cleaned up, stuck on a Band-Aid and kept their traps shut.

              Is the risk big? Quantify big--is a 1:1,000,000 chance you'll lose an eye or the use of your right hand big? Is it a big risk to drive a Pinto or a Corvair? Only you can decide.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                Thanks. I didn't want to argue with others. I'd seen multiple posts and accounts of it exploding or shattering very loudly while in the oven or while in someone's hadns and with no misuse that I could discern. That sounds terrifying to me, especially when no other cooking I do poses that same type of risk. So part of me thinks that maybe this is the time to just stop baking with it and to make sure we get the items we'll need to replace my pyrex from our registry (or from our completion discount).

                1. re: Shkra11

                  >>no misuse that I could discern.

                  which is the key issue. when things expand, the expansion creates "stresses" - so long as the stress is distributed equally, there's likely nothing to happen.

                  however comma and so forth, should there be anything that becomes, in engineering terms, a "stress riser" then suddenly the stress becomes concentrated in a local area and eventually exceeds the material strength and 'it breaks'

                  the slightest chip is a stress riser. basically, damages you would never notice can create a situation - a damage + an 'overload' of thermal expansion/contraction - that will result in breakage.

                  the exploding thing is a bit over-done - but in my own personal experience having worked in the borosilicate glass industry and having glass fail in a hot oven - yes, 'exploding' is accurate - but over done.

                  1. re: PSRaT

                    Hi, PSRat:

                    What a sensible post. I'm familiar with stress risers from heat-treating tool steels.

                    Since you've worked in the borosilicate industry, let me ask you a few questions. One: The way these wares are made, are there no stresses inherent in the new, finished article at room temperature, i.e., are any/all stress forces (in normal use) exerted solely through heat expansion?

                    Two: In your opinion, does this "explosion" phenomenon *require* a chip/scratch/abrasion, or are there stress risers which could produce that result in a pristine pan in normal use?

                    Three: Given the differences in the rates of thermal expansion between borosilicate glass and soda lime glass, do you still believe the concern over exploding wares is overblown for the latter?

                    I'm not trying to score points here. Rather, you are the first poster I've read in these threads who seems to have actual, applicable industry experience, so I have something to learn. Thanks.


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      most all glass products are annealed - similar to metal annealing - bring it to a temp where it is soft enough that stresses from forming can 'relax' / dissipate.

                      the rate of cooling is what makes for 'tempered safety glass' i.e. tiny pebbles vs. 'shards' i.e. a dropped coffee carafe - even though both have been annealed - the hot thingie is called a lehr in the glass industry - an annealing oven in the metal industry.

                      it is possible for expansion due rapid / uneven temp change to simply exceed the material strength - no physical damage required... pouring cold water into a hot glass casserole will do that trick - or setting a glass measuring cup on a gas burner for example.

                      in addition to physical damages, internal defects to the glass - air bubbles and/or 'seeds' - can act as stress risers.

                      there's no question that soda lime glass is not as good as borosilicate in thermal shock resistance. it is 'better' but the question is perhaps better asked is properly done soda lime glass 'good enough'?

                      the Pyrex move away from borosilicate is way in the past - so history would seem to support the theory that soda lime is 'good enough'

                  2. re: Shkra11

                    My aunt had a modern pyrex dish explode on her when taking a lasagna out of the oven. Needless to say they scooped it all up off the floor and ordered pizza that night.

                    I have a few pieces left but as I can afford to do so I am replacing my collection with Pillivuyt. I inherited a lot of new and vintage pyrex. The new has gone to goodwill and the vintage stayed with me.

                  3. re: kaleokahu

                    You are twisting the facts here. I have never had a bad experience with Pyrex, but I don't insinuate that Pyrex does not shatter with "any" frequency. It does, but the frequency is extremely low. The figure, whatever it is, does not depend on my experience alone but on the experiences of the many millions of Pyrex users who are not complaining about breakage.

                    I do, however, take exception to your characterization of "exploding" Pyrex. This is hyperbole. Tempered glass does not "explode," it "shatters." I'm still waiting for you to do the experiment of putting a hand grenade in your oven so we can all see the difference. How is that coming along?

                    1. re: GH1618

                      We don't know the frequency.

                      This is the difference. Some people relate instances of pyrex breaking suddenly into many small pieces while others tell of their pyrex suddenly breaking apart in a violent way with parts flying outward.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        Hi, GH:

                        LOL, if you think a fragmentation grenade is the lowest common denominator of "exploding", you need a better dictionary. Were I to have an extra grenade, your suggested use would fall near the bottom of my target list, especially in my own oven. 'Explode' is the term most reporters of these mishaps use, with common reportage of glass shards flying dozens of feet, sticking in walls, etc. The saving grace of a large % of these explosions is that they were contained within an oven.

                        And actually, if you canvass the Pryrex threads here, you will find them replete with posts beginning with something like: "Well, this has never happened to me in 40 years. Must've abused the thing..." I'm not naming names, but...

                        Anyway, there were millions of non-exploding Pintos, too. Would you call that hazard a "fuel-air interaction"?


                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          I didn't say it was the lowest form of explosion.

                          An explosion involves a rapid expansion of gas creating a pressure or shock wave. It is the shock wave that causes the most damage. If, for example, your oven fills with gas and then ignites, the rapid expansion of combustion products can tear the oven door off its hinges. A shattering baking dish cannot do this. Stored energy in the tempered glass will convert to kinetic energy in the pieces of glass, so they will be scattered around, but there will be no expansion of the air, so no explosion. A shattering tempered glass dish does not make a small explosion — there is no explosion at all.

                          Only those with a weak case need to exaggerate.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            Hi, GH:

                            Like I said, you obviously need a better dictionary. The etymology may come as a shock, even without a wave or gas:

                            "explode (v.) 1530s, "to reject with scorn," from Latin explodere "drive out or off by clapping, hiss off, hoot off," originally theatrical, "to drive an actor off the stage by making noise," hence "drive out, reject" (a sense surviving in an exploded theory), from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plaudere "to clap the hands, applaud," of uncertain origin. Athenian audiences were highly demonstrative. clapping and shouting approval, stamping, hissing, and hooting for disapproval. The Romans seem to have done likewise.

                            At the close of the performance of a comedy in the Roman theatre one of the actors dismissed the audience, with a request for their approbation, the expression being usually plaudite, vos plaudite, or vos valete et plaudite. [William Smith, "A First Latin Reading Book," 1890]

                            In English, used it to mean "drive out with violence and sudden noise" (1650s), later, "go off with a loud noise" (American English, 1790); sense of "to burst with destructive force" is first recorded 1882; of population, 1959. Related: Exploded; exploding." http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?t...

                            Or, for try this from the Oxford English Dictionary for American English:

                            "Burst or shatter violently and noisily as a result of rapid combustion, decomposition, excessive internal pressure, or other process, typically scattering fragments widely" http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/...

                            But I see why you need gas to make your narrow definition the only one...


                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              There are lots of common usages of most words which end up in dictionaries. I'm an engineer and when an engineering phenomenon is being discussed, I use engineering definitions, not layman's definitions, because they are more precise.

                              To clarify, it is not a gas which is the essential characteristic of an explosion. An explosion is a sudden release of a large amount of energy in a restricted space, which then expands outward with great force. It is the expanding energy wave that is the explosion, whatever the medium that carries it.

                              A shattering glass dish does not have this property. Energy is stored throughout the dish somewhat evenly, but with irregularities. Upon shattering, the pieces acquire kinetic energy randomly. Some pieces will fly away some distance, but others will not. The result is a lot of glass scattered about randomly, not a pattern of outward propulsion of the fragments. That is because there is no expanding pressure wave — none at all, hence no explosion. The difference is not merely technical. Because there is no pressure wave behind the fragments, they do not have the force do do much damage. There is no "explosive" force. I doubt whether a shattering baking dish in a closed oven could even force the door open, let alone tear it off.

                              The strength is a secondary aspect of an explosion, because it is somewhat subjective. A sneeze is a sudden release of energy in a restricted space, which then is propelled outward, but it is a small release of energy incapable of causing serious damage. No one would call a sneeze an "explosion."

                              The only reason for using the term to apply to a shattering glass dish is to make it sound more serious than it actually is. The motivation seems to be not clarify what is actually happening, so as to assess the true risk, but to exaggerate the risk, to raise alarms. That's not how I approach problems.

                              1. re: GH1618

                                Hi, Again, GH:

                                "Explode: Burst or shatter violently and noisily as a result of rapid combustion, decomposition, excessive internal pressure, or other process, typically scattering fragments widely."

                                There you have it--exactly. You can take your case to the OED Editorial Board.

                                "To clarify, it is not a gas which is the essential characteristic of an explosion."

                                Oh no? Who wrote this: "An explosion involves a rapid expansion of gas"?

                                "That's not how I approach problems."

                                Yes, apparently you define problems away, ignoring common usage--including your own.


                                1. re: GH1618

                                  obviously you've not experienced a glass vessel energetically disassembling itself.

                                  there's this loud noise, then pieces of glass go flying everywhere with secondary noise as they strike other things.

                                  it is a sudden release of energy. if it's in the oven it is a sudden release of energy in a confined space.

                                  I question how many engineers would describe the detonation of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima as "in a confined space" - but I think most all them would consider it an explosion.

                                  the rapid physical dis-assembly of a glass vessel most certainly does produce a shock wave in the surrounding air.

                                  1. re: PSRaT

                                    <I question how many engineers would describe the detonation of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima as "in a confined space">

                                    I think you misunderstood GH or did not pay attention. What he wrote was that " An explosion is a sudden release of a large amount of energy in a restricted space, which then expands outward with great force.". This is correct.

                                    In other words, the initial energy is built within a confined space, and then finally released into the greater space. Hiroshima is the greater space. The warhead is the confined space.

                                    < if it's in the oven it is a sudden release of energy in a confined space.>

                                    Actually no. The oven is the greater space, not the confined space. The glass itself is the confined space (if you want to argue that the glass exploded). If the oven is the confined space, then you are in big trouble. That means the explosion started from the oven and exploded into your entire house.

                                    If Hiroshima is the confined space, then we are talking about a planetary explosion.

                                    1. re: PSRaT

                                      I certainly have. Awhile back I dropped a glass lid on my concrete floor and it shattered into hundreds of pieces which were scattered around the kitchen. I was still finding pieces a few months later which had been flung under something. It doesn't matter how the fracture starts, the shattering process is the same. It is a release of energy stored in the material in the form of locked-in stress. It is not an explosion, and although the energy released is probably greater than a sneeze, it is nevertheless small. It is not a "bomb" as some have described it in earlier threads.

                                      The detonation of an atomic bomb is certainly an explosion. It is a sudden release of a large amount of energy in a restricted space which causes the energy to expand outward, creating a shock wave. In this case, a rather extreme one. I don't know why you would think thete would be any controversy about that. There is no comparable blast effect from a piece of shattering glass, even on a very small scale. You are simply wrong about that. The sound of the fracture is a pressure wave, but not an explosive one. Nobody calls a sudden sound an "explision." The pieces of glass that are found a few feet from the origin of the incident were not propelled there by an explosive force (an expanding pressure wave) but merely by the kinetic energy imparted to them at the instant of fracture. This energy is small and very quickly dissipated.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        when temperature gradients cause a strain resulting in stress exceeding material strength you get a kaboom. a little kaboom, a bigger kaboom.

                                        dropping a glass lid on concrete is not the same failure mechanism as having internal stresses exceed material strength.

                                        when a balloon bursts, is that an explosion?
                                        what about "explosive decompression"?

                                        you do not want to be around a chunk of glass that disassembles itself from heat strain. there are shields to prevent workers from being injured by flying glass shards.

                                        as to the controversy over confined space, how does one explain the boom from a stick of dynamite or a lump of C4 - the paper wrapper does not provide much confinement and naked C4 does a nice boom all by itself. and a bag of fertilizer and some diesel makes a nice open air boom - you don't have to put it in a 55 gal drum.

                                        low order explosives like gunpowder burn fast. if they are contained the pressure builds up and the bullet goes out the little hole. if the 'barrel' is not strong enough - or blocked - it 'blows up' - which of these is an 'explosion'?

                                    2. re: GH1618

                                      Hi GH1618,

                                      <I use engineering definitions, not layman's definitions, because they are more precise.>

                                      Can we agree that most people are not engineers, and when we (laypeople) say "explode" we're talking about what the result looks like to us? See, we don't know that "The result is a lot of glass scattered about randomly, not a pattern of outward propulsion of the fragments." What we DO know is that there was a muffled pop or explosive-sounding noise (as we understand sound), followed by an ungodly nasty mess ALL OVER THE PLACE! That's what we (laypeople) see.

                                      <The only reason for using the term to apply to a shattering glass dish is to make it sound more serious than it actually is.>

                                      Given the above, isn't it just a little bit possible that we (laypeople) aren't trying to sensationalize the event, but rather describe what we see?

                                      So maybe you could give us the benefit of the doubt? With the understanding that we're not engineers, of course. I won't even mind if you laugh your ass off because I don't know what an explosion is.


                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        I see your point, and it has merit, but the reason I object to the usage is because there is a substantive difference in the effects. In a true explosion, there is a force from the expanding shock wave which can propel debris, and this is much stronger and more dangerous than the forces from the energy released in shattering glass. So, for example, if a glass jar containing a firecracker is at your feet, and the firecracker explodes, the force of the explosion can easily drive glass fragments into your face. But if you merely drop an empty jar at your feet, it is unlikely that any fragment will have enough energy to rise a few feet against gravity to strike you in the face. When I dropped the glass lid to my iron skillet (alas, difficult to replace!) I had a big mess, with fragments strewn about the kitchen, but was in no danger from flying glass because of the relatively low energy of the event.

                                        Granted, if your face were close to a glass dish as it shattered, you could be struck in the face with a fragment. I don't doubt that there are a few injuries that have occurred. Considering that many millions of pieces of glass ovenware have been produced and been used countless times, it seems to me that the risk is small compared to other risks in the kitchen, so I don't see why it should be exaggerated out of proportion to the actual risk. For comparison, cuts from knives are a real risk in the kitchen. We have people here advocating the use of the sharpest Japanese knives, but there doesn't seem to be any lobby group against sharp knives. The risk of burns is probably even greater than that of cuts from knives, but people advocate high heat for wok cooking or searing steaks without objection.

                                        I advocate careful procedure in the use of glass ovenware instead of giving it up altogether. Here are some of my safety rules:

                                        1. Keep small children out of the kitchen. This is a general rule, not just pertaining to the use of glass ovenware.

                                        2. Handle glass ovenware carefully, even when cold, to avoid mechanical shock.

                                        3. A glass baking dish is not a roasting pan!

                                        4. When done baking, allow the dish to cool partially in the oven before handling.

                                        5. Set the hot dish on potholders which are completely dry.

                                        I may add a rule and start wearing my safety glasses when cooking with my Pyrex and Anchor ovenware. It costs nothing for that extra margin of safety.

                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          Each person must look at risk vs benefit and decide for themselves. My grandkids are in the kitchen with me learning to cook. My main concern is breakage from thermal shock. We can easily use other materials to eliminate this problem not just decrease the risk. Even if you follow your rules, you still have the chip/flaw in the glass issue.

                                          1. re: GH1618

                                            Hi GH,

                                            < I don't see why it should be exaggerated out of proportion to the actual risk.>

                                            My point is that people who are not engineers would use the words "explode" and "shatter" interchangeably, seeing no practical difference between them, when it comes to breaking bakeware. This will be especially true when food is found to be coating the walls of an oven. It looks like something blew up in there. So, explosion. We are not exaggerating, we're describing as best we can.

                                            Because ceramic produces comparable baked foods with less risk of shattering, I've quit using glass in my oven. All it took was one big sharp mess to make a believer of me.

                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                Coincidental aside: I actually saw a pinto in a TJ's parking lot yesterday. Carry on.

                                1. re: Susangria

                                  I drove a Pinto station wagon for years.

                                  It was the most popular car in the gang because it would carry coolers, chairs, boom boxes, and 4 girls to the beach.

                                  (the wagons were never the issue, but you get where I'm going)

                                  1. re: Susangria

                                    In the '70s, drove a Pinto for a decade, and I lived to tell the tale. Also use Pyrex, going on 40 years. Guess I'm a risk-taker.

                            2. Add them to your registry, you will love them! Make sure you ask for the ones with the matching lids, great for taking food places and storing and stacking and etc.

                              I love my pyrex. And I shattered my beloved late grandmother's pan by putting a half frozen pork tenderloin in in, putting the room temp pan with the semi-frozen pork on my slightly preheated oven on the slightly preheated pizza stone. About 5 minutes later sounded like a gun shot in the oven, and the pyrex split very neatly in half. Oops.

                              Now I'm more careful, but I still use it. And the broken pieces aren't recyclable if you were wondering. . .

                              1. " I have zero interest in having my meal lost, cleaning up glass (especially in the oven), or getting injured by some flying shard. "
                                You have answered your own question. The new stuff is higher risk for thermal shock breakage because the soda lime glass can only tolerate about a 100F difference with in the piece of glass. They also tend to have large handles. When you take it out of the oven at 350F to a room that is 72F and the handles sticking out that would cool quickly,as they say now --BOOM.

                                I really like the way Pyrex bakes and haven't had trouble with it but all of mine is the older borosilicate type(clear, almost colorless) which tolerates about a 300F differential. After reading and learning as much as I could, you can reduce your risk by using the older stuff and using it in ways that would not be as risky, but you still have bruising and chipping referred to above that you can't see. Each time you use a piece, that risk grows. I don't want to take a chance on losing what I am cooking let alone possibly getting cut on broken glass, whether it is from a loud "explosion" or simple crack. I have replaced every thing that I can over the last few months with pyroceram, also known as Corningware. It tolerates about 800-900F differential. Unfortunately World Kitchens, the same company that bought the "pyrex" name also bought the "corningware" name and changed it from pyroceram to stoneware. You can only really get the baking pieces on the secondary market. They have reintroduced a few small pieces in the pyroceram, calling it "Stovetop" but they are pricey and I don't like it on the stove. I have been fortunate to find pristine pyroceram bakeware very inexpensively mostly at antique malls and thrift shops but of course that would not be able to go on your registry. There are many other choices. I have found quite a bit of pillivuyt and apilco bakeware at thrift stores but you can put that on your registry.
                                My niece just got a whole big set of pyrex bakeware at a shower.I think that her mother will have her take it back.


                                18 Replies
                                1. re: wekick

                                  Yet another eminently sensible post. That vapid heart symbol doesn't do it justice.

                                  FWIW, the last time I checked, there is a New England company still doing real borosilicate, and one in Poland making bakeware in it.

                                  1. re: wekick

                                    Like wekick, I'm phasing out all my glass baking dishes, replacing them with vintage Corningware, along with Emile Henry and some LeCreuset baking dishes. I like the EH because it is specifically rated to go from freezer to a HOT oven, which can be handy at times. But mostly I'm looking for vintage corning ware, because it's lightweight, durable and super cheap, when I can score it at the local Goodwill.

                                    In the meantime, I use my glass bakeware for other things, or briefly in the microwave, where accidents won't be as nasty as in my main oven.

                                    If you're interested in adding some Corningware to your registry, it is being made again.



                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      One thing to keep in mind, in buying vintage corningware, is that the original white pieces, with the blue cornflower design, will become VERY hot if used in the microwave. The ceramic composition must include a metal.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        Thanks, Grey.

                                        I'll keep that in mind. So far I've only acquired French White and the lack of handles guarantees I use potholes when handling them.


                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          It doesn't have to contain a metal. Any molecule with a dipole moment will absorb energy from microwaves. Water is heated by microwaves, but water is not a metal.

                                          1. re: GH1618

                                            Not even sure if metal will really heat up. I think metal reflect microwave actually, which is why the walls of a microwave oven made of metal.

                                            Yes, for the dipole moment. Rotational energy.

                                        2. re: DuffyH

                                          I've added some le creuset and pilluyvit. For the pyroceram corningware, it looks like my most common type of dish (rectangular and large, not square) is not common for them to make or always out of stock. I'll look into EH. For some reason, I never go freezer to oven.

                                          1. re: Shkra11

                                            If you don't go freezer to oven, also consider LeCreuset stoneware. Like the EH, it's very durable, cleans up in a snap and comes in lots of sizes.

                                        3. re: wekick

                                          Thanks. I'm not dedicated enough right now to track all of this older stuff down- especially when ppl are very graciously trying to buy us whatever we need.

                                          For pyrex- I have 3 large rectangular pieces (2 of those have plastic fitted lids, one we registered for, received and already used, so no returning it probably), 2 smaller rectangular dishes w plastic fitted lids, and 3 pie plates. I'm at least glad that none of it was pricey.

                                          For registry purposes, is there some downside to listing ECI to replace my pyrex rectangular pieces? Should I list this flame line of corningware and then not use it on the stove? I've looked around a bit but I'm having a hard time understanding (besides price) what would make me choose ceramic or stoneware over ECI for rectangular baking dishes. I'm guessing that probably neither has something like the great plastic lids that pyrex has that make transporting food so much easier, so back to foil it would be?

                                          Also for pies and quiches- glass gives a great crust- would ceramic, stoneware, or ECI be most likely to give a nice crisp crust? I'm guessing that ECI is not best for pies as it would continue cooking them for longer than I or my recipes intended, so I'd need to re calibrate everything? I do have some non-glass, non-metal pie dishes that work well but no clue what they are between stoneware or ceramic.

                                          For now, I'd still consider using my pyrex for non-baking dishes- like layering banana pudding in there. Should I avoid it even for that?

                                          1. re: Shkra11

                                            I love crusts baked in Pyrex. There's no equal as far as I'm concerned (with the bonus that I can SEE if my crust is done!)

                                            I bake in Pyrex regularly, and am going to have to see a lot more hard data of a lot more issues to give it up.

                                            you absolutely can continue to use Pyrex for non-baked dishes. If it's not changing temperature, your only risk is dropping it.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              I continue to use pyrex pie pans and casseroles but I put them onto a room temp metal baking pan/sheet before putting them into the oven, and do not remove them from that sheet until they are out of the oven and have had a few minutes to cool a little. Then onto a folded dry towel or cloth pad. I've shattered two pyrex pieces over the course of 40 yrs cooking. Both out of ignorance of their limits. But I completely believe that spontaneous failures occur and at least having a pan beneath the pyrex would contain the food so it doesn't burn onto the oven floor.

                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                I usually put fruit pies on a baking sheet because it catches the inevitable ooze...

                                            2. re: Shkra11

                                              I'm also fine skipping stoneware and ceramic and getting some ECI and some porcelain to replace my pyrex. I'm reading up on pillivuyt, apilco, and revol now.

                                              1. re: Shkra11

                                                I really like porcelain for it's versatility and beauty. It has an elegance that can be hard to match. There's a nice little bonus, too. if it's got handles, those don't heat up in the microwave, making it a joy for reheating all kinds of things.

                                                1. re: Shkra11

                                                  Hi Shkra,

                                                  Aside from weight and the carryover cooking you mentioned, I see no drawback to using ECI in place of glass bakeware. And one of our most famous baked foods is cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet. Some recipes will need to be adjusted, but once you've noted those changes, you'll be good to go. I like thin metal baking pans (mine are from USA Pans) for some baked goods, like brownies, where carryover cooking from stoneware or ECI can really overcook the edges. But for casseroles and such, heavy stoneware or cast iron will work very well. Additionally, they're very pretty on the table or buffet. Much better looking than glass.

                                                  It can be hard to find non-glass baking dishes that come with plastic lids, but it can be found. You can buy stretch lids, but they have mixed reviews, no more than about 70% positive.

                                                  There's no reason at all for you to discontinue using glass for non-baking applications. It's thermal shock that causes unexpected shattering, normally. But when it comes to non-thermal breaking, well, anything may break when dropped, even cast iron.

                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                    Breakage characteristics (when dropped) vary considerably though. I have some Corelle cups which are more resistant to breakage from mechanical shock than glass, but when they do break they go into large shards with razor-sharp edges. In a broken state, these are much more dangerous than the smaller pieces that result from breaking annealed soda-lime glass. I expect other ceramics would be similar.

                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                      this is actually a very good point. I had once broke a crystal glass in a hotel. I was embarrassed and started to pick up the broken pieces, and then realize how extremely sharp they are. Nothing like the typical glass pieces we typical see in our kitchens. I am think I must have spoiled by modern glasses which break into safer and round edge glass pieces. Anyway, I picked up as much as I can, but finally call the hotel and ask them to clean up the rest with the proper tools.

                                              2. This is really more of an opinion than factual comparison.

                                                Short answer: Yes, it can shatter and break, but so do many things.

                                                Longer answer.

                                                Pyrex is still safe to use for oven usage. Many people use them, and only very few people have problems. To put it in perspective, you are much more like get in a car accident or cut yourself with a kitchen knife or have your chinaware break on you and of course pee yourself in bed (just kidding).

                                                However, there is also no question that Pryex like any glass can shatter. If this low frequency (no matter how small) is unacceptable to you, then a metal based bakeware is definitely safer. No question about this. A metal bakeware may deformed and get twisted, but it would hardly shatter. It is just that many people also claim that they can never get the same reason from a metal bakeware vs a glass bakeware.

                                                To be rational though, you should also ask yourself if there is a problem using ceramic based and glass based dinner set as well. I mean.... those things can shatter as well.

                                                29 Replies
                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  With ceramics, the main danger of breakage is from dropping. Having broken both annealed soda-lime glass and ceramic by dropping on my concrete floor, I know that the ceramic fragments are far more dangerous. The reason is that the shards are much larger and razor sharp, so capable of making a deep wound. Cuts associated with cleaning up small pieces of glass tend to be superficial.

                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                    I've twice broken (dropped) stoneware baking dishes, and they broke into some pretty big pieces, with no sharp shards to speak of. Is it possible that the choice of clay and the firing temps tend to make ceramic bakers less sharp than decorative ceramics?

                                                    I have noticed that whether I'm breaking a drinking glass, a porcelain plate or a stoneware baker, there are ALWAYS a lot of very small, very sharp pieces. I've also been easily cut picking up a big chunk of glass. IME, it's all quite dangerous when dropped.


                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                      Duffy -

                                                      glass is a crystalline structure. how big / small the crystals are is the issue with how big/small the shards are.

                                                      is clay. firing clay to high temps make for vitrification (big word for 'melts stuff into glass like structures')

                                                      for the generic "clay" to turn into "glass" requires the proper mix of elements plus the proper level of heat.

                                                      china & porcelain - is a special kind / refined sort of clay that can be made into thinner - translucent in fact - 'clay' pieces.

                                                      betwixt and between all the hundreds of 'types of' is stuff like Corelle, Corningware, etc. highly engineered compounds designed to produce some sort of glass like schufft when heated. the details abound and regrets to say I don't have any special expertise in every type of 'glass anything ever made'

                                                      1. re: PSRaT

                                                        Hi PSRaT,

                                                        Glass is an amorphous solid, not crystalline. Your explanation struck me as incorrect (thinking WAY back to my college chem classes), so I looked it up.

                                                        As I said, IME, it all breaks in more or less the same way, with a lot of little, very sharp, pieces. Big glass pieces may be dull-edged, but they're just as likely to be razor sharp. Bigger ceramic pieces are seldom if ever sharp. Still, those little pieces always seem to be able to cut like, well, glass.

                                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                                        There is a difference from one ceramic to another, as there are very many different ceramics. The example I am most recently familiar with is Corelle, which produces some very sharp, large shards when broken. I am sure that there are other ceramics which tend not to be so sharp when broken.

                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                          I love my Corelle (and my Pyrex....) -- but yeah -- it's kinda mindblowing how sharp those little shards are when you do manage to break one.

                                                          (only breakage in decades has been dropping it onto a hard surface)

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            I've never broken a pyroceram dish. Does it produce shards similar to glass? I hope not, I'm just re-acquiring some after getting rid of the stuff I had long ago.

                                                            I do to take care in handling to prevent breakage, but I've supposed it would break like stoneware does, with only a few really sharp little needles.

                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                              Corelle used to have a lifetime warranty -- they stopped doing that 20-some years ago, but it's still incredibly durable stuff.

                                                              It makes shards like glass because it basically IS glass.

                                                              But like I said -- I use Corelle for my every day dishes and the only breakage I've ever had is where I'd expect just about anything to break -- dropping it onto a ceramic floor tends to destroy just about anything.

                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                i've do the same thing with my corelle plates, AND additionally use them as cutting boards for small things such as fruit, tofu, soft cheese, when i'm using a cheap/crap knife. (they are too hard to accommodate a delicate top-of-the-line knife)

                                                                they are SO easy to put in the dishwasher and they don't hold any smell and they don't stain.

                                                                i love my corelle dishes

                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                  I've had so many compliments (both here and when we lived in France) on my Corelle -- it's Abundance (fruits and veggies on a fluted rim) -- that I don't think twice about using it for casual dinners with guests.

                                                                  They're also light, go in the microwave and dishwasher without flinching (they'll go in the oven, too, but I don't try it) they don't stain (e.g., not like my mom's melmac!) and they don't cost so much that you're pissed if you *do* break one, and replacements are easy to find.

                                                              2. re: DuffyH

                                                                Those milky color Corelle may look like china, but they are pretty much glass, so they do break just like glass.

                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                  Actually, not so much. Yes when dropped on a concrete patio (2 hands on the plate kiddo!) but I've watched my dad drop a dozen or so plates/bowls onto their laminate kitchen floors over the years, and only2 broke.

                                                                  1. re: autumm

                                                                    I agree -- they're amazingly tough -- many pieces of my dinnerware has survived multiple drops onto the linoleum with no ill effects.

                                                                    The tile that I had in the old house was particularly dense, and extracted a high toll of things that were dropped. Even plastic tended to break, not bounce.

                                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                                  Is Corelle pyroceram? It does not break like soda-lime Pyrex. Pyrex shatters into hundreds of relatively small pieces. Corelle breaks into large shards (there will also be some small pieces, of course). When I broke two cups, the largest shards were of the same order of size as the cup (inches) and they were razor sharp. Corelle does not break easily but I have a solid concrete floor.

                                                                  Stoneware would not likely break just like Corelle. Each ceramic would have its own characteristic breakage patter, depending on the material. I expect that the finest, hardest, most difficult to break ceramics would leave the sharpest edges.

                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                    depends -- the Corelle I broke on a hard floor scattered small pieces far and wide. When we moved, I was pretty surprised to find pieces under the refrigerator that was clear across the room from the dishwasher (where I dropped the dish....)

                                                                    That floor (150-year old fired tile of some sort) managed to shatter pretty much anything dropped on it, so I wasn't alarmed by the spread of the shards. Pretty much anything but wood and metal was destroyed as soon as it hit that floor. (including feet and ankles if I was standing for long periods...)

                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                      <I expect that the finest, hardest, most difficult to break ceramics would leave the sharpest edges.>

                                                                      Seems logical.

                                                                      As to whether Corelle is Pyroceram, it seems not. Distilling info from a couple of websites dedicated to Corning, Pyroceram began as specific term, but has morphed into a generic term that includes several glass-ceramics, not all of which can be used on stovetops or in microwaves. This was news to me, especially the microwave part. I always understood the coolest thing about Pyroceram was it's transparency to radar.

                                                                      Corelle is a glass-laminate called Vitrelle. The website mentions that it's major flaw is that it "shatters into many small shards of glass."



                                                                      Thanks for asking the question, GH. Looking up a simple answer turned into an enjoyable read.

                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                        I see. I didn't realize that Pyroceram is actually a trademark for that white Corning material. It looks like a generic term. By way of clarification, my Corelle cups are not Vitrelle, they are stoneware. Most people think of Corelle as the thin, white dinnerware made of Vitrelle, but the brand has been applied to stoneware as well. My oversight in not recognizing this earlier.

                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                          Hi GH,

                                                                          <I didn't realize that Pyroceram is actually a trademark for that white Corning material>

                                                                          I'm not sure whether it's a trademark or not. That was a little murky to me.


                                                            2. re: GH1618

                                                              <Cuts associated with cleaning up small pieces of glass tend to be superficial>

                                                              I agree your larger point. However, I have broken a crystal glass before and the glass pieces are very sharp. Quite different than those relatively smoother glass pieces which I had seen before.

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                They certainly can be sharp and I have cut myself on the relatively small pieces that result. Let me draw a distinction, however, between a small, sharp piece of glass and a large, sharp shard. The former will cut a vein. The latter can cut an artery. There is a substantive difference in the severity of the wound.

                                                            3. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                              " It is just that many people also claim that they can never get the same reason from a metal bakeware vs a glass bakeware."

                                                              Typo. I meant to say that some people claim that they can never get the same RESULT from a metal bakeware

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                Yes, I'm not worried about things shattering when I drop them on the floor and they break. That's to be expected imo and I'm fine with that. I have tried to clarify a few times that what I'd like to avoid is cookware that shatters/breaks while sitting in the oven, on the counter, or in my hands despite not being moved from fridge/freezer to oven etc. from what I've seen online, it appears that glass is much more likely to shatter/break even when not dropped than are stoneware, porcelains/ceramics.

                                                                1. re: Shkra11

                                                                  Hi Shkra,

                                                                  <from what I've seen online, it appears that glass is much more likely to shatter/break even when not dropped than are stoneware, porcelains/ceramics.>

                                                                  You are correct, soda lime glass is more likely to explode in your oven or hands.

                                                                  1. re: Shkra11

                                                                    >> it appears that glass is much more likely to shatter/break even when not dropped than are stoneware, porcelains/ceramics.

                                                                    true. but as pointed out in the plethora of messages, this is an unusual event. and yes, it's typically due to physical damages. so - check your glass molded cookware - run your finger nail around the edges. any chips, snags - anything but perfectly smooth - is an indication the piece is damaged and could fail.

                                                                    just like so many other 'media' events, somebody discovered Pyrex morphed from borosilicate glass to tempered soda lime glass and suddenly it's:

                                                                    "Houston, we have a problem."

                                                                    they did. we earth bound glass users likely don't.

                                                                    1. re: PSRaT

                                                                      And I 100% don't have the same problem at all with ECI, stoneware, or ceramics/porcelain. Since ppl are buying us kitchen gifts right now and we'll get discounts on anything we purchase, it seems that we might as well register for non-glass cookware that meets our needs.

                                                                    2. re: Shkra11

                                                                      <it appears that glass is much more likely to shatter/break>

                                                                      I think that problem is really more for tempered glass as opposed to glass in general. What you described is often called "Spontaneous glass breakage" because the glass appears to break spontaneous for no clear reason.

                                                                      In fact, there are reasons. Glass does not really break for no reason. It is just that there is often a delay time between the event and actual breakage for the tempered glass.

                                                                      It could be that you banged the glass a day or that you rapidly cool the glass 3 hours ago.... etc.


                                                                      <are stoneware, porcelains/ceramics>

                                                                      I think the others material (including non-tempered glass) tend to break at the very moment of the incident.

                                                                      Have fun shopping.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                        Yes and things breaking at the moment of the incident makes it easier. I have never dropped a full dish in the oven and I've never dropped a full dish on the floor. I've never dropped a full dish at all actually. If I drop an empty dish (which I haven't yet for a baking dish), I would not expect the break from that to occur 3 weeks to years later. It is easier for me planning-wise and not being concerned if I am baking w cookware that either breaks at the moment of impact (when I expect it to) or won't break.

                                                                        1. re: Shkra11

                                                                          I believe you have sufficient information and have made your decision. Have fun with your registry.

                                                                    1. I have one dedicated Pyrex baker for times when I have to prepare something for a large crowd. I bought it new, and I only use it if I have to, and I store it safely. Otherwise, I don't bake with Pyres. I have some pie plates that I have relegated to the micro, and I got rid of all my old Pyrex bakeware. I use Pyrex measuring pitchers and cups, and I do place them in the micro from time to time, but they are usually used for when I am mixing ingredients.

                                                                      I made the decisions I made after having a glass pie plate come out of the oven and break. I think I must have set it on a damp surface--the glass cooktop I had at the time.

                                                                      So many other people have reported explosions and breaks while in use, I decided that using Pyrex was not safe, and I don't want to take chances in my kitchen.

                                                                      Others insist that older Pyrex is safe, but the use of the present glass formula is actually quite old by several decades. So you would have no way of knowing how old any used Pyrex is if you came into any.

                                                                      For me, my decision is a no brainer.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                        Couldn't have expressed it better, Sue.

                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                          Agreed. While I hate paying more for porcelain I just realized it is possibly cheaper in the end. I am a healthy person with a high deductible HSA. Its not worth paying a huge ER bill because I didn't want to cough up $100 for a pillivuyt or apilco casserole dish and then have to meet a $2500 deductible should the pyrex explode.

                                                                          1. re: dobs737

                                                                            Hi dobs737,

                                                                            In addition to my everyday dinnerware, I've got almost a dozen porcelain serving/baking pieces in different sizes and shapes. None of them are Pillivuyt or Apilco. Instead, they're a mix of store-branded wares from Pier 1, Target and Linens n' Things.

                                                                            They're all the same shade of pure white and the same thickness. They're also quite durable. If you're not wedded to one of the big names, check out other sources. You can get some very nice stuff for less.


                                                                        2. I cook a lot in glass dishes in the microwave & oven. I also like to use it for refrigerator storage because it's inert. For baking however I prefer metal pie plates and cake pans because of their superior heat transfer. You just have to use common sense and handle with care. The biggest risk is thermal shock. Don't put a hot dish on a cold or wet surface. I usually transfer from the oven to the grates on my stove to cool for a bit.

                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                          1. re: zackly

                                                                            <For baking however I prefer metal pie plates and cake pans because of their superior heat transfer>

                                                                            For baking, it may not be as big an issue for heat transfer. The reason is that baking usually occurs in an oven and most oven produces heat is a rather uniformly (in all direction). Therefore a glass bakeware will heat up uniformly. Glass actually absorbs infrared light very well which means most of the oven energy/heat is absorbed rather than reflected.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              and glass pie plates consistently win consumer testing in all kinds of magazines.

                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                Yes, because it's easier to monitor the crust with glass. Still, that's a plus, no question.

                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                  IIRC both consumer reports and Cooks Illustrated gave a Pyrex pie plate top marks over everything because of its performance, not just because you can give it a visual check.

                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                    They have also come in so many sizes over time. That is one problem replacing them. Corningware pyroceram only comes in one size. I have a couple of recipes that only work in glass-not sure why.

                                                                                    1. re: wekick

                                                                                      I've only ever owned two sizes -- standard 9" and 10" deep-dish.

                                                                                      I've had to replace a couple of them due to droppage over the years, but I could go out right this minute and replace both of them for $15 or so....?

                                                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      CR may have rated them at one time, but it's not available online. CI does rate the glass best, docking the ceramic not for it's overall baking but because the one they chose had wide ribbon-like flutes that were too thin and resulted in edges that browned too quickly.

                                                                                      Other sites have noted that a trade-off to glass' visual cue is that the walls are so slick dough can sometimes slide down the walls.

                                                                                      So on balance, it seems they're about even, with each having one feature the other lacks.

                                                                                    3. re: DuffyH

                                                                                      I don't think that's it. I think it has a lot to do with how the glass heat up. Kind of like a dark metal baking pan heats up different than a shiny metal baking pan.

                                                                                      I use glass baking plate/dish for my pie. It does a good job, but I never really "check" it during the baking. I mean, once you have perfected your baking (timing and temperature), there is no need to check the baking.

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        Hi CK,

                                                                                        A couple of sites noted that ceramic and glass baked about equally, unless the ceramic dish was especially thick, in which case it took longer.


                                                                                2. re: zackly

                                                                                  In the past, I did the very same thing -- placed the Pyrex on an empty stove grate (gas stove). Having read a few threads on this topic, however, I recently decided to change my practice and place the Pyrex on a DRY towel on a DRY counter.

                                                                                  I think there is more potential for the glass to cool unevenly on the grate than on a cloth, because on the grate, only parts of the Pyrex are in direct contact with the metal.

                                                                                  Easy change to make, and I am still using my Pyrex pie plates.

                                                                                3. i cook dried legumes in my microwave using my pyrex casserole dishes practically every day.
                                                                                  the pyrex is perfect for this purpose. i can soak the legumes in the pyrex the night before and then put the SAME DISHI into the microwave for cooking,
                                                                                  because i can program the microwave for two stage cooking (the first stage on high heat and the second stage on low heat) set it and leave the house.
                                                                                  by the time i get back, the legumes are perfectly cooked and i've only soiled one container which can go directly into the dishwasher.

                                                                                  this technique of two-stage microwave cooking in a covered pyrex casserole dish is also perfect for rice. no need for a rice cooker. also, the casserole dish goes right in my dishwasher afterwards: NO HAND WASHING necessary.

                                                                                  i have no intention of changing.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                    You are so right about cooking rice in the microwave -- 5 minutes on high, 15 minutes on 50%. Cook, serve and store in same dish. I've been cooking rice this way (in the same microwave) for almost 30 years.

                                                                                    1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                                                      when you replace your microwave you will probably be able to reduce the amount of time on high and substantially reduce the temperature of the second cooking stage.

                                                                                      my current microwave will do a fine job with the second stage of cooking at 10%. my old microwave used the same settings that you are currently using.

                                                                                      PERFECT rice every time.

                                                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                        Thanks -- I'll remember that when I have to replace my microwave. I'm presently going for the oldest microwave in America record. Since we use it only to melt butter, defrost hamburger, and cook rice, it could last many more years. (When I had children at home, it was in heavy use for hot chocolate and puddings, but those days are gone.)

                                                                                  2. I’m getting tired of this Pyrex debate. I’ve taken matters into my own hand and instigated some intense Internet research, going all the way to the ends of the web to finally figure out the highlights in the history of the great Pyrex dilemma. This is what I found.

                                                                                    The War of 1812 was exasperated when Great Britain refused to allow a US ship containing “that bedamed convulsive bakeware” from entering the Port of Southampton.

                                                                                    Picasso experimented by viewing his models though a Pyrex dish, thereby creating the cubist movement.

                                                                                    The great Northeast blackout of 1965 was caused when a Pyrex dish containing a workman lunch we left sitting on a transformer at the Niagara generating station No. 2 in Queenston, Ontario. One workingmen stated “My lunch, it went kablooey!” 30 million people were left without electricity for 13 hours.

                                                                                    A spokesman for the TV show Ghost Hunters said, “We have never ever attracted ghosts to ethereal food when offered in a Pyrex dish. Pyrex is worthless as far as ghosts are concerned. Tupperware! Now that’s a different story.”

                                                                                    An finally, an unknown source at the White House stated, “Pyrex is the cause for the current stalemate in Congress. The Democrats keep inviting the Republicans to “Unity Dinners”. But the Republicans refuse citing, “Your cooking with Pyrex, I’m not going to risk my life just so we can all get along!”

                                                                                    And that’s the truth!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: blackwing94

                                                                                      "I'm getting tired of this Pyrex debate?"

                                                                                      Only you can answer that question.

                                                                                    2. You risk cracking the pyrex if you mishandle it, such as putting a hot dish on a cold surface and worse if there is any water on the counter. My Mom had a pyrex dish that she had for well over fifty years, and we still have it which attests to its functional utility. I collect Pyrex, in fact I love it! Great for casseroles.

                                                                                      1. You're probably more likely to die in an accident on your way to the store to replace it than to use it.


                                                                                        27 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                          100% false.

                                                                                          (replacements will be shipped to me ;) )

                                                                                          1. re: Shkra11

                                                                                            you're more likely to trip and fall as you make your way to the door....or stab yourself with a pen...or cut yourself opening the box...or...or...or...

                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                              Oooo, paper cut. The worst type of cut <eyes rolling>


                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                I was agreeing with you.

                                                                                                Point being that you're statistically more likely to incur just about any kind of injury before you'll be hurt in a Pyrex blast.

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  As Samuel Clemens once quipped, there are 3 principal forms of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

                                                                                                  The statistical risk of being injured in a Pyrex blast if someone in your home bakes in it is overwhelming compared to the risk to people who don't.

                                                                                                  The simple truth is that sometimes Pyrex explodes, and sometimes people get hurt. Would you be willing to buy a lottery ticket if the prize was losing an eye or the use of a hand?

                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                    Mark Twain was not a statistician and, I suspect, neither are you. But it is certainly true that if you don't have Pyrex you won't be injured by it. That's a trivial conclusion. If you don't have knives you won't cut yourself with a knife. If you don't have a stove to cook your food you won't burn yourself on it. So?

                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                      And you're no logician. If some knives spontaneously exploded, you might might have a point.

                                                                                                      The "so" is that there is no need for Pyrex bakeware--there are other, safer choices, so the risk is unnecessary.

                                                                                                      Therefore not trivial.

                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                        There's no need for most things in the kitchen. There's no need to use gas for cooking, for example. A gas leak in a kitchen range can lead to a real explosion that will blow your house to pieces. Yet people cook with gas because they like the way it works, so they take necessary precautions. People use Pyrex because they like the results.

                                                                                                        If the right choice were alwayes the safest choice, we should be cooking with electricity instead of gas. And certainly not with a wood stove. A wood stove can produce carbon monoxide which will kill everyone in the house without warning.

                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                          <There's no need to use gas for cooking, for example. A gas leak in a kitchen range can lead to a real explosion that will blow your house to pieces>

                                                                                                          Hmm... this is actually a very good point. I still stick by my original idea. People can decide if they want to take that risk, or if the risks worth the benefits.

                                                                                                          Eating raw and sem-raw food has a higher risk of getting sick. Does that mean we always cook everything well-done? Using a glass cutting board is more sanitary than a wood/plastic cutting board, but the glass cutting board also dulls a knife very quick. Why don't we all use wood and metal plates, since ceramic plate always have a chance of breaking?

                                                                                                          It is really a give and take, and people should able to make their personal decisions.

                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                            Hi, GH:

                                                                                                            To say that there is no need for some things in the kitchen is about as practical as cleaving to a narrow, hypertechnical definition of 'exlosion'. Really? Kitchens don't need knives and stoves? This is pure sophistry, and not the way people live.

                                                                                                            Speaking of stoves, thanks for making my point by mentioning gas stoves. One can believe that other kinds of stoves are safer, just as one can have an enormous and fine batterie of bakeware which includes no Pyrex at all. But the kitchen still needs a *kind* of stove, just as one needs bakeware.

                                                                                                            You are also wrong in comparing the risks of a woodstove to the risks of Pyrex. In the former, there is no risk that the stove will randomly poison anyone (or anything else, FTM). The risk is ONLY user error.

                                                                                                            In the latter, the risk is that the Pyrex product will spontaneously explode WITHOUT user error. This random risk is small but very real. You may have some narrow definition you insist on using, but this is what judges, juries, Congress and regulators call 'defective'. As far as I know, there are no defective wood stoves being put into commerce. But if there were, I would trust that the maker would be liable for damages; that regulators would act to protect the public; and that an *informed* public would stop buying the defective product. Which brings us around to the OP's original question.

                                                                                                            Would you sleep on a brand of mattress which occasionally spontaneously combusts? Would you compare that risk to the risks of smoking in bed on a different brand?


                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                              I dunno....gas leaks poison people (not necessarily operator error)...a blocked flue that the user is unaware of could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning (think rental properties) with a wood-burning stove -- this very scenario sent my next-door neighbors to the ICU a few winters ago -- all 6 of them!...knives slip all the time...or ask me about how oven door hinges can break, causing injuries requiring a trip to the emergency room (I saw that happen).

                                                                                                              It's pretty interesting how you have opted to pick and choose the risks that not only you are willing to take, but to use as illustrations.

                                                                                                              We ALL take the risks we deign to be acceptable -- why do you view using Pyrex as any different to a gas- or wood-burning appliance, or to driving a car, or to taking a shower (you know, slips and falls...)

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                Hi, sunshine:

                                                                                                                Sorry, gas leaks are not usually an issue with a stove product defect. Neither is accidental misuse of a knife.

                                                                                                                And a blocked woodstove flue IS user error.

                                                                                                                The risk to the user of Pyrex who does everything 100% right and acts out of an abundance of caution is small but real. The same cannot be said of a woodstove. One is a risk that cannot be prevented; the other depends on misuse.

                                                                                                                Your philosophical pronouncements on risk above--life is fatal, we all take risks we deem acceptable, etc. remind me of my good friend and high-altitude climbing partner, Nancy. Nancy's last words to me were much like yours. She died on a winter ascent of Mt. McKinley. Now Nancy was--as are we all--an independent moral agent, and it was her life to lose. But please don't try those platitudes on the children she orphaned or the spouse who suffered with raising them alone. At least Nancy knew the risks.

                                                                                                                A problem with assuming the risk of exploding Pyrex is that the risk is not disclosed adequately. The $1.5 million Canadian award turned on this precise point. It is only relatively recently that the spontaneous explosion risk intrinsic to formed soda lime glass has even been discussed. Yet Owens-Corning has known, and made how many millions?

                                                                                                                I would be OK with letting people assume the Pyrex risk if they are adequately informed. Maybe World Kitchen will do this after the big verdict--or the next ones. Until that happens, it's good to publicize this small but real risk, and bad to suggest it's insignificant or doesn't happen outside of user error.


                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                  While I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, your discussion about Nancy is absolutely irrelevant to this discussion (and if their father is still living, her children were not orphaned.) And you're going to be really, really hard-put to convince me that there is anyone on the planet who would not know before they ever bought the first piece of equipment that mountain climbing in the winter can be fatal (as can hunting, boating, SCUBA diving, snow-skiing, etc., etc., etc.)

                                                                                                                  The blocked flue that nearly killed my neighbors was ruled by the police and the insurance company as not the fault of my neighbours, but of the landlord. But they nearly died anyway.

                                                                                                                  The chances of "explosion" without are so small as to be nearly statistically insignificant, especially when you remove the incidents of user error, the incidents of injury are even smaller.

                                                                                                                  It's my money and my kitchen. Those who purchase and use Pyrex are adults who are capable of discerning their own level of risk aversion, and it's truly not your job to swaddle the entire planet in cotton wool just because you don't like something.

                                                                                                                  You don't want to use Pyrex? Okay. Your choice.

                                                                                                                  But to continue to paint those of us who have made that choice as foolhardy and lacking mental function is simply ridiculous.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    Hi, sunshine:

                                                                                                                    Mental function does not reason make.

                                                                                                                    I hope your neighbors are OK, and that they held their negligent landlord accountable.

                                                                                                                    I'm just trying to make the risks known, so that people can make their own informed choices. As the proliferation of exploding Pyrex threads here proves, many people are not adequately informed.

                                                                                                                    I applaud your informed consent to the risks.


                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                      but it's NOT a proliferation -- it's overwhelmingly the s.o.s., hashed and rehashed.

                                                                                                                      And as any trip down the docket of a negligence court will show you, all the warning labels in the world won't eliminate stupid.

                                                                                                              2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                Whether there is user error or not is not always clear. When one of my neighbors had a gas explosion in her stove (apparently because the oven didn't ignite as it should have) I wouldn't say it was her fault. Perhaps she could have prevented it by always checking when using the oven to be sure that it was burning, but that is not generally how people use things. In US civil law, consumer products are expected to be safe when used in the ordinary way.

                                                                                                                Shattering of Pyrex ovenware is often a result of misuse. I suspect that it is usually a result of misuse, but I can't document it. However, if Pyrex does indeed shatter spontaneously, and if it presents a serious hazard, then somebody ought to be able to document it and to get regulatory bodies to act to eliminate the hazard. We do this all the time for other hazards. We prohibit lead in tableware, we are banning most uses of PFOA, eliminating BPA from food containers, and so on. Yet no one has been able to document that Pyrex needs similar regulation to make it safe. Most likely that is because the case can't be made.

                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                  I've done a couple of quick google searches on exploding Pyrex and it would seem that it is a pretty safe assumption that misuse (or careless use) is the reason for failure.

                                                                                                                  Again, if kitchen safety is the goal here, Pyrex ain't the place to start looking. I think we can agree on that.


                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                    Hi, Davwud: "it is a pretty safe assumption that misuse (or careless use) is the reason for failure."

                                                                                                                    No. Misuse is *a* cause of failure. There are may reported cases where misuse is not indicated. The plaitiff in the Canadian case documented several thousand there and in USA.

                                                                                                                    To say as you've said is to deny that the spontaneous explosions occur at all.


                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                            but you've skipped right over the part about how the risk of being injured doing, oh, just about anything, far outweighs the possibility of your Pyrex blowing up.

                                                                                                            We were COMPARING risks of injury by various incidents, not figuring the risk of just one of them.

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              The reductio is that only great (IYO?) risks are to be avoided. The fallacy is the same as in "Russian Roulette is more dangerous than golfing in a thunderstorm. Ergo, swing away."

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  (and therefore risks don't matter)???

                                                                                                                  Shirley, you jest.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                    While I'm sure that it would piss you right off to have a dish explode, and there are *some* reports of injury, there aren't any reports of deaths...and the reports of serious injury are even less than the reports of "explosions", which are exceedingly rare.

                                                                                                                    Taking a shower, going up and down stairs, and driving a car all have far higher risks of injury (and death!) than a self-destructing Pyrex dish, but you're not recommending people stop doing any of those...

                                                                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    I just LOL and I hate this expression (LOL!)

                                                                                                            2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              I know, I was extending it and having fun.

                                                                                                              Haven't you ever got a paper cut and inevitably someone will say "Oh, those are the worst." Like they're worse than chainsaw or broad ax cuts.


                                                                                                    2. After all the arguments and such, let me sum it up for you this way; If you're worried about a kitchen accident sending you to the emergency room, get rid of your knives, oven and pots/anything that holds liquid. Cuts, slips (from things spilt on the floor) and burns from those are the most common accident culprits. In fact, a quick google search of common kitchen accidents showed exactly zero evidence of Pyrex explosions.
                                                                                                      Yet I'm sure you employ those devices all the time without thinking of the risk.


                                                                                                      55 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                        Ha ha ha. This is pretty funny and you have a good point.

                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                          Not at all--your words out of your mouth.

                                                                                                          Let me return the favor: You think that whatever injuries are caused by the proper use of hazardous kitchen products are OK, even when the risks aren't disclosed. And that advising people of the hazards and opining they not buy the products is fearmongering.

                                                                                                          How's that?

                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                            advising people of the hazards and the wild-eyed foaming at the mouth with shrieks of "Oh the HUMANITY" are not even remotely the same thing.

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              OK, maybe I was wrong about mental function. I apologize.

                                                                                                            2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                              No, I think calling Pyrex a "Hazardous kitchen product" IS fearmongering.


                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                LOL, you missed my point: You mischaracterize my argument, I mischarcterize yours.

                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                  So, do we agree that there is a risk but it is really quite small?? Or is Pyrex the end of civilization as we know it. 1 kitchen explosion at a time??

                                                                                                                  My whole point, if you go back and check my posts is, if you're really worried about kitchen safety, Pyrex explosion related injuries are so far down the list of things to beware of (and yes, they can carry liquid that can spill/scald/burn, I know but that's not the point I'm making here) that it isn't worth worrying about if you're not concerned with the much, much larger risks.


                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                    Hi, Davwud:

                                                                                                                    Why yes, I'd agree that injurious Pyrex explosions which are not attributable to misuse are not common.

                                                                                                                    The question presented by the OP, however, was more along the lines of asking whether this risk is acceptable. IMO, in light of less-risky alternatives, and despite the probabilities, I don't consider it acceptable because it is not *controllable*. You disagree, but someone disagreeing simply because it hasn't happened to them isn't much of a argument.

                                                                                                                    And I do think the risks are worth worrying some about, regardless of where Pyrex explosions rank on an all-time perils list. My view is that we should be able to walk *and* chew gum...


                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                      "someone disagreeing simply because it hasn't happened to them isn't much of a argument."

                                                                                                                      I agree with that. But to me anyway, disagreeing because it hasn't happened to millions of people through millions of uses is. When weighed against hundreds, perhaps thousands of incidences through millions and millions of uses.

                                                                                                                      I've reread the OP and the follow up from the OP'er and will state that I don't feel there's a need to replace existing Pyrex but in future there's nothing wrong with opting for something safer in the future.

                                                                                                                      Years and years ago a buddy of mine put some bread in a toaster and went to the bathroom to wash up. He came back to a raging fire. Even though the likelihood of my toaster spontaneously catching fire, I will never leave it plugged in and unattended. Even though millions of people use their toaster millions of times without incident. Yet I'm not nearly as careful in my food handling as I should be and it's far more likely to send me to the hospital.


                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                        Hi, Davwud: "...disagreeing because it hasn't happened to millions of people through millions of uses is."

                                                                                                                        Well, not in my opinion. If millions of casualties was the threshold for product defect or failure-to-warn claims, no product would EVER be recalled or pulled from the market, and there would be no product liability law.

                                                                                                                        I haven't researched jury verdicts on toaster fires, but I'll bet you lunch there are tens of successful wrongful death claims.

                                                                                                                        The same arguments get applied to other issues, too, notably gun control. Example: Since the risk of your child being murdered in a mass school shooting is statistically small, we shouldn't worry about it as long as there are "bigger" problems to solve. That's what I meant about walking and chewing gum.

                                                                                                                        Again, I'd be satisfied if/when adequate warnings are given.


                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                          I swore I would stay out of the rest of the idiotic discussion, but some of the points presented are so far into outer space, I just can't.

                                                                                                                          so, first: start your car, get it up to 50 mph, steer directly for a concrete abutment.
                                                                                                                          now, open the glove box, get out the owner's manual, and point out where it says:
                                                                                                                          "When ramming an immovable object, apply brakes first."

                                                                                                                          go read the warning statements on a chainsaw - they basically say:
                                                                                                                          do not use this device.

                                                                                                                          the various tests to so dramatically demonstrate "exploding" glassware all violated all the manufacture's advice - as the testers freely admit. the "warnings" are there - that people don't bother with the warnings, is not a product issue.....

                                                                                                                          see "The Myth Busters" - if the myth isn't true, the next question is "How much C4 does it take to make it true?"

                                                                                                                          as to glassware exploding for no reason - that is a patently false assumption. there is a reason - whether it is known or unknown, there is a reason.

                                                                                                                          first exclude all the really stupid stuff you've been told not to do - running with scissors, setting hot stuff directly out of a 400-500'F oven on water. btw, don't try that with porcelain stuff - including the expensive le Cruset type stuff because you are very apt to wind up with a bunch of shattered glass inside a cast iron pot.

                                                                                                                          so what is left is incidents where for non-obvious reasons the glassware shattered.

                                                                                                                          I point out again the chainsaw instructions - which read to the effect "before every use examine everything to be sure it is in like new condition before not using this tool." check out you automobile owner's manual - it very likely says you must perform an inspection before every use as to the condition / inflation of the tires, the wipers, check to be sure no light bulbs have burned out, etc etc etc. you do this, right?

                                                                                                                          the exploding glassware had been "damaged" in some respect and in some fashion. it gets bashed around in the dishwasher. you do check every ceramic/glass anything every time it comes out of the dishwasher, right? you could get cut and bleed to death from the chip out of a drinking glass rim or a coffee cup. they obviously need to be banned.

                                                                                                                          this is the issue with the stuerm and drang about glass cooking vessels being so dangerous they'll kill everyone in the kitchen. have you ever witnessed a pressure cooker fail? have you ever witnessed what happens when a 14" cast iron pan fractures while full of hot oil and chicken parts?

                                                                                                                          stuff fails with random effects - there's _always_ a reason. there is no such thing as a failure without cause.

                                                                                                                          the list of injuries per whatever measure for so many devices will show glassware to be nearly non-dangerous. try lawnmowers. do you use a mandolin? (see prior post) how many times have you driven a automobile and been injured and how many times have you nicked a finger on a mandolin, in how many uses by comparison? per use / per mile / per ride - a mandolin is thousands of times more dangerous.

                                                                                                                          glass baking ware has some specific advantages when it comes to producing a browned crust. pies to mac&cheese. to rail around espousing it is so dangerous it should be outlawed is utter non-sense.

                                                                                                                          outlaw beds - how many people actually _die_ in a bed? very dangerous thing beds are.

                                                                                                                          1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                            <as to glassware exploding for no reason - that is a patently false assumption. there is a reason - whether it is known or unknown, there is a reason.>

                                                                                                                            I think that is the point. Glass does not break for no reason -- number 1. However, I like to take this one step further. Number 2, these pyrex glassware break due to heat shock. No Pyrex glassware have ever exploded in the middle of Macy's or TJ Maxx on the display counter. They do not break for no reason. The Pyrex glassware which have broken are the one used for baking or even cooking (or dropped)

                                                                                                                            I think mandolin is a great example. Mandolins have injured a lot more people in more serious ways. The only problem of the Pyrex is that the "incident at fault" and the "incident of breaking" are not the same. Someone heat shocked the glassware, but the glass does not break right away. It may take another hour or another day before it breaks. To a lot of people it seems that the glassware break for no reason because they cannot trace back the last incidents.

                                                                                                                            Imagine you cut yourself with a strange mandolin, but then you don't see blood and you don't see any cut on your skin. You go on your own little business and went to bed. Then, you woke up the next day to only see blood all over your bed, and your finger bleeds.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                              the problem with exploding Pyrex is a bunch of individuals who, on learning there was a change from Glass A to Glass B, and furthermore the alleged manufacturing shift to China, suddenly decided it was a problem.

                                                                                                                              it's the same thing with any of the popular "media" sites - they announce a change in the terms of service and there is this thunderous reaction from the sheeple that "it's on the Internet, it must be true and fatal."

                                                                                                                              the other side of the coin are those who feel "the government" must protect us from every thing. which is how we get the user manuals that say: "Do not use this product." no one is responsible for anything - I'm perfectly within my rights to be a serial killer because "my mommy spanked me."

                                                                                                                              1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                Absolutely, Psrat. There is certainly a trend of increasing complaints, and it may have do with individuals who learn that Glass A has changed to Glass B or that they worry about manufacturing site shifted.

                                                                                                                                It is unfortunately that there are those who feel the government must protect us from everything. The government certainly should protect us from some things, but glassware -- not. As you have stated, glassware do not really break for no reason. A Pyrex glassware sitting at the store shelf does not explode on its own. Pyrex which have been reported to break are the one which have been improperly used. No major difference than an aluminum bakeware warped under excessive heat -- granted that an aluminum bakeware does not shattered into sharp pieces. However, let's give credit where credit is due. If a Pyrex glassware break, it was almost certainly mishandled.

                                                                                                                                1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                  Actually, the problems are 1. the glass wasn't changed, and 2. It's still made in the United States. Arguments which start with elementary errors of fact have no credibility.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                    We know, but I think what PSRaT said is that people start to believe there is a problem as long as they "think" there is a reason for them to worry -- even if it may be untrue.

                                                                                                                                    The rumor has it that Pyrex is now being made oversea. So some people started citing it as one of the many reasons for Pyrex having lower quality and that glassware started to break. The truth is that Pyrex has always been made in US. Does it matter? No. People convinced themselves based on false premises.

                                                                                                                              2. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                Hi, PSRat:

                                                                                                                                Welcome back to the idiot's club. ;)

                                                                                                                                You are right, of course, about there being physical causes for Pyrex exploding. Heat expansion, stress risers, physical shock, thermal shock, stored energy, etc. Hell, maybe Kreskin or Geller can do it telepathically.

                                                                                                                                There is a subset of these cases, though, that have no causes which are apparent to consumers other than a vague association with heat or handling. There may be no visible cracks, chips, scratches--nothing to presage its violent dissociation. Hece the frequent descriptions of spontaneity. I consider this a hazardous latent defect.

                                                                                                                                Should glass bakeware be outlawed? I wouldn't be in favor of that, and haven't advocated it. Warnings on and with the product would be better than nothing, and would serve some educational purpose.


                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                  when you etch the warnings into the glass so the user cannot avoid losing them you create a possible failure cause. nor can you ensure that the user reads the etched warnings.

                                                                                                                                  the warnings already exist. go check them out.

                                                                                                                                  it is exactly the same class of hazard as failing to brake before hitting the immovable object because nothing in the user manual said you should do that.

                                                                                                                                  absolutely everything you do entails some kind of 'risk' - the theory that glass bake ware is some inordinate amount of risk is just simply false.

                                                                                                                                  you can't get out of bed without risking something, and if you stay in bed, you die in bed.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                    <you can't get out of bed without risking something, and if you stay in bed, you die in bed.>

                                                                                                                                    Tough choice. :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                      I'm talking about a warning that says there's a small chance the piece will shatter explosively even if the firections are followed. It doesn't say anything like that, and leaves the consumer believing there's no risk if they follow the directions. This is wwrong, both factually and morally, IMO.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                        About a hundred reports have been filed with the US Consumer Products Safety Commission since 1997 (when World Kitchen took over the brand) and the CPSC has not been persuaded that any action is needed. Perhaps you are wrong about the facts.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                          But the CPSC isn't denying that the glassware shattered or that people were injured. In fact, some of the incidents that CPSC examined were ER injury reports from glass shards.

                                                                                                                                          I could better live with the risk if the claims that soda lime glass didn't form needle-sharp shards were true. I'm not afraid of things that break into big non-sharp pieces. But analysis by CPSC and CR show this claim is false. CR documents one woman (from court files) who suffered facial lacerations and vision loss because of glass fragments.

                                                                                                                                          Use glass or don't, I don't care. Just don't tell me that there's no risk. Given that there are alternatives that work just as well as glass but don't offer the (remote) possibility of blindness, I'll pass on the glass.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                            You wrote: "I could better live with the risk if the claims that soda lime glass didn't form needle-sharp shards were true."

                                                                                                                                            I can find no such claim on the World Kitchen/Pyrex website. Under Use and Care it says:

                                                                                                                                            "Be careful when handling broken glass because pieces may be extremely sharp and difficult to locate."

                                                                                                                                            Anchor Hocking gives a better description of the breakage characteristics of tempered soda-lime glass, which applies equally to Pyrex.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                              I'm not saying those claims are coming from the maker, but they're commonly made here and elsewhere. In fact, IIRC, just such a claim was made upthread.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                It's better to rely on the manufacturer's statements.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                  That is completely irrelevant to the point at hand.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                              There is definitely a risk. I don't think anyone believe that a glassware cannot break.

                                                                                                                                              It is important to debunk the idea that Pyrex can "explode" for no reason. No brand new Pyrex has exploded in the middle of a store. It breaks under thermal shock. An aluminum bake pan will warp under thermal shock as well. It just doesn't shatter into pieces. Yes, an aluminum bakeware is safer than Pyrex bakeware. No question about it. However, it is untrue that Pyrex break for no reason, just like an aluminum baking sheet does not warp for no reason.

                                                                                                                                              Whether you or I choose to use Pyrex is beside the point. We all have our priority and our workflows...

                                                                                                                                              I think GH has a good point about other kitchen tools as well. A gas stove is inherently more dangerous than an electric stove. Not just because of the remote possibility of gas leak, but also the toxic gas emission during use, which is why an exhaust fan is much more important for a gas stove than an electric stove. Another example is the use of copperware. Copper is a toxic element for human in both acute and chronic.

                                                                                                                                              There are many more people who died from using gas stoves and copperware than using Pyrex. Some will choose gas stove, and some will not. Some will use Pyrex and some will not. People can choose what they think is best for their workflows. Yet, this get back to the original point. I think there is a risk of using Pyrex glassware, but we also have to realize that it is unfair to suggest a Pyrex bakeware is more dangerous than many other things in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                              Let's face it. There is also a risk in drinking alcohol and consuming sugar as well. Again, we can contribute vastly more people died from alcohol and sugar consumption.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                <It is important to debunk the idea that Pyrex can "explode" for no reason. No brand new Pyrex has exploded in the middle of a store. It breaks under thermal shock.>

                                                                                                                                                Perhaps we could recall that in general language use, "no reason" can be shorthand for "no apparent reason". It can also mean that the event was unexpected, which is a quite logical response when the dish breaks while you're holding it in your hands in mid-air, or when you open the oven door. That's what people are calling "no reason." The rest is splitting hairs when what matters is the real world experience.

                                                                                                                                                MY objection isn't that it breaks, or even that it breaks for no apparent reason, but rather HOW it breaks. Into sharp little pieces. My stoneware and porcelain baking dishes don't do that, and my pyroceram is a whole lot less likely to do it.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                  < It can also mean that the event was unexpected>

                                                                                                                                                  Expected or not, it is a matter of knowledge and understanding. Thousand years ago, people were dying from diabetes with no apparent reason (to them) as well. This does not change the "cause and effect" relationship. Someone heat shocked a Pyrex glass and had it breaks in his own hands, it does not change the fact what causes the breaking.

                                                                                                                                                  As for Pyrex breaks into little pieces, I think all glassware more or less break like this, and some much worse.

                                                                                                                                                  I understand why someone would want something other than glassware. Afterall, Pyrex is more risky than metal bakeware or stone bakeware. Something I have been saying for many years here. My objection is that many describe Pyrex as if it is one of the most dangerous things around which it is not. More people died from using copper cookware, and many people seriously injuried themselves using other kitchen tools, like a mandoline or a food processor or a blender.

                                                                                                                                                  Let's take a look at the numbers:

                                                                                                                                                  "Complaints about the problem to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission rose from just two in 1999 to 144 in 2011. That's a total of 576 during those 13 years, records show. This year, 93 incidents had been reported as of mid-November. "

                                                                                                                                                  So we are talking about 100 cases or so of Pyrex and Archor glassware breaking per year, not a small number, but not huge neither. Keep in mind that these are the reported Pyrex and Anchor glass breaking incidents, not the number of people sent to emergency room -- which is smaller. Meanwhile:

                                                                                                                                                  " Cuts from slicers and choppers accounted for 21,699 estimated visits to emergency rooms nationwide in 2011, up from 12,001 in 2001, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Blenders sent an estimated 7,261 people to emergency rooms in 2011, up from 2,424 visits a decade earlier."

                                                                                                                                                  Blenders alone sent 7000 people or so per year into the emergency room.


                                                                                                                                                  Is using Pyrex bakeware more dangerous than metal bakeware? Absolutely, yes. Is Pryex bakeware one of the top 30 most dangerous kitchen tools? Absolutely, not.

                                                                                                                                                  <what matters is the real world experience.>

                                                                                                                                                  Exactly, but real world experience is not the same as personal perception. Personal perception is very subjective and can miss the real world picture. The real world statistic has clearly shown that Pyrex to be safer than most of the kitchen appliances/tools -- by a huge margin.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                    <Expected or not, it is a matter of knowledge and understanding. >

                                                                                                                                                    Yes it is. But I don't think the majority of home cooks understand the how and why of the science behind thermal shock. They just know they didn't do anything wrong, and yet their dish broke. Ergo, no reason.

                                                                                                                                                    I'll go further and state that it is ridiculous to expect them to know and understand the science, and I don't want to be the one to correct them when say their dish broke "for no reason". I know what they mean, and that's good enough. That's all I'm saying.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                      <I'll go further and state that it is ridiculous to expect them to know and understand the science>

                                                                                                                                                      It isn't about expecting them to understand. It is a matter that the people should not discuss in the "lowest denominator" tone. Afterall, we are talking about who is responsible.

                                                                                                                                                      People describe events the best they can. Just like our ancestors probably thought the sun rotate around the earth. It is understandable. Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish personal perception with facts.

                                                                                                                                                      Many people also believe global warming and air population occur for no reason and that we human are not responsible.

                                                                                                                                                      Ultimately, we are discussing if Pyrex glassware are dangerous, so it is important to discuss why they break. Is the person responsible for breaking the glassware? Is human responsible for air population?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                        <Ultimately, we are discussing if Pyrex glassware are dangerous, so it is important to discuss why they break. Is the person responsible for breaking the glassware? Is human responsible for air population?>

                                                                                                                                                        I think all that needs to be known *for practical, real world purposes* is how likely a sudden, unexpected, unexplained failure is to occur, *when compared to* other baking materials.

                                                                                                                                                        Beyond that, I really don't care, because it isn't helpful to me when deciding which bakeware to purchase.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                    Stoneware certainly can break into sharp pieces. My Corelle stoneware cups shattered into many sharp pieces, some of which were large. A large, sharp shard is more dangerous than a small, sharp shard, because of the potential for a deep wound.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                      I love you, Duffy, but do you not own glass drinking glasses?

                                                                                                                                                      Have you never reached into a sink full of dishwater to find that one of your drinking glasses has shattered (whether from thermal shock or being rattled around in the sink)?

                                                                                                                                                      Have you never broken a glass while washing it?

                                                                                                                                                      I've done both of the above...there are plenty of documented reports of trips to the emergency room for sutures to repair these cuts, and one of my colleagues severed a tendon in her thumb while washing a glass, which earned her a hand full of stitches, and put her out of commission for several weeks, but I don't hear anyone clamoring to put warning labels on drinking glasses.

                                                                                                                                                      There's this video explaining the rules: http://www.worldkitchen.com/en/the-tr... (about halfway down


                                                                                                                                                      and there's this warning: http://www.shopworldkitchen.com/3-qua... (click on "use and care") on every baking dish on the site -- and the same warning is on the packaging when you buy them in the stores.

                                                                                                                                                      They're not saying anywhere that it won't break -- but yeah, the warning labels are there even if people won't read them.

                                                                                                                                                      (ask me about the guy who was thirsty on a construction site and decided to get a drink from the hose that just happened to be attached to a pressure washer.....)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                        Hey sunshine,

                                                                                                                                                        I love you, too. And yes, I do own some drinking glasses. I'm careful with them. I've never had one break in a sink while washing. I have had them break in the DW and from the usual bumps and drops.

                                                                                                                                                        I don't routinely use glasses at home, except for drinking water right from the filter. I drink my iced tea from the stoneware mug I make it in (less condensation on the vessel).

                                                                                                                                                        I do hear you. And I haven't quit using my glass bakers. I've only quit using them to bake things.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                  As I said, the plaintiffs documented thousands. These are the cases formally reported to safety regulators, and so represents but a small portion of actual incidents.

                                                                                                                                                  By your logic, only those who sue, preservere, and win in court would count. It took the Canadian plaintiff 10 years and several appeals, with Owens-Corning and World Kitchen fighting a scorched earth defence, to prevail.

                                                                                                                                                  You should get your facts straight about Pyrex shattering into "harmless" kibbles. Or are the needle-like shards and ER photos completely fictitious?

                                                                                                                                                  Of course CPSC hasn't acted. Yet.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                            <glass baking ware has some specific advantages when it comes to producing a browned crust. pies to mac&cheese.>

                                                                                                                                            This is demonstrably not true. Glass allows monitoring of the crust, so it's easier to tell when it's properly baked. But testing by CI has shown that stoneware is equal to glass when it comes to a perfectly baked crust.

                                                                                                                                            'Easier to get it right' is a distinct advantage, no question. It is also easily overcome by regular use of an oven thermometer and setting a timer. At least, that's my experience.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                              >> At least, that's my experience.

                                                                                                                                              and, my experience is the opposite.

                                                                                                                                              it likely depends on what is in the dish - radiant heat goes through glass, when absorbed on the crust surface it browns. same thing happens with light/shiny metal pans vs. dark pans - the dark pans absorb heat and brown faster.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: PSRaT

                                                                                                                                                What is in the dish, as I said, is a pie crust. Slow, uniform heating is key, and good stoneware excels at it. As does glass, but the stoneware is more heat tolerant and less prone to thermal shock than glass. Additionally, when it does break, it doesn't break into razor sharp shards, as glass can.

                                                                                                                                                <...radiant heat goes through glass,... >

                                                                                                                                                You're mistaken, and that statement is wrong. Glass absorbs radiant heat. If what you wrote were true, glass would be a wonderful conductor and electric stovetops would be remarkably responsive. That this is not true at all proves your statement is false. Glass absorbs heat and holds onto it, making radiant glass cooktops the least responsive of any, save cast iron. It is a crappy conductor of radiant heat.

                                                                                                                                                <my experience is the opposite.>

                                                                                                                                                I'll put my trust in independent evaluations.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                  You are confusing radiant energy with heat propagating through a material by conduction. Glass has low thermal conductivity but is transparent to radiant energy. That is why a room will heat up when direct sunlight comes in a window and why reflecting film on the glass will reduce the heating effect.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                    <Glass has low thermal conductivity but is transparent to radiant energy. >

                                                                                                                                                    I need to say something, and basically disagreeing both of you. Glass is a poor heat conductor. It is a great for transmitting visible light. However, it absorbs much of infrared red spectrum. In other words, it is not transparent to ALL radiant energy.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                      Well, yes, but the details depend on the type of glass. IR-blocking glass contains impurities for the purpose. Here's a chart:


                                                                                                                                                      Visible light is about 400 to 700 nm. Infrared is on the right, ultraviolet is on the left. You may have been thinking of UV being mostly blocked by clear glass.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618


                                                                                                                                                        I agree it depends on the glass. I am just referring to the typical soda lime glass, which has the similar spectrum as the one you have shown (from Shimadzu).


                                                                                                                                                        You are correct that infrared is greater than 700 nm in wavelength, and we can see the near-IR is being transmitted. However, you can also see the the transmission significantly reduced for wavelength greater than 2700 nm. Only small amount of mid-IR and far-IR are transmitted. Much of it is absorbed:


                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                          That's a better graph in this context. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                            No, thank you. I learn a lot from reading your writing.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                    >>I'll put my trust in independent evaluations.

                                                                                                                                                    I put my trust in my own experience.

                                                                                                                              3. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                It would be more relevant to compare the risks/benefits of using pyrex to the risks/benefits of using an alternative pan.

                                                                                                                                It is fair enough to point out that the absolute risks of using pyrex are quite low. But that doesn't imply that there's any good reason not to manage the relative risks (compared to whatever alternative you might use). Statistically speaking, driving a car is far more dangerous than, say, using a mandoline, and I drive a car nearly every day; but that doesn't mean it's a waste of time to pick out a relatively safe mandoline and use precautions while operating one.

                                                                                                                                Does pyrex have enough benefits to choose it over another baking pan that does not, on rare occasions, shatter for no apparent reason? Maybe, maybe not. But that's the question people should be asking.

                                                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                  Yes and that was my main point with this thread. Ppl are giving us items for our kitchen and we're getting great discounts and need to use up store credits, so I was wondering if I should consider getting something to substitute for baking in glass. Imo it seems that I might as well. I'm not throwing all the glass away, but, for me, I'll probably use porcelain, ECI, or some type of metal for most of my baking.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Shkra11

                                                                                                                                    " I was wondering if I should consider getting something to substitute for baking in glass."
                                                                                                                                    As Chem indicated below, I can only answer for myself. I would probably not buy pyrex at this point. But I'm also not so concerned as to go out and replace the few pieces of pyrex I've accumulated over the years either.

                                                                                                                                    If I were in your shoes, ehhhhhh..... I don't know. Depends on what other swag you might be able to get with your store credits/registry. I'd probably lean towards the 'might as well' approach too.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                      Yes and, thinking more about it, the newer cook in our house is really not the best with remembering or following the plethora of rules needed to use glass baking dishes safely- not directly from freezer or fridge to oven, not from oven to cool on stovetop, not from oven to counter unless counter is dry and there is a dry cloth on top of counter, not baking w too little in the dish, not adding cold liquid to warm/hot dish, not adding warm/hot liquid to cool dish, make sure there are zero nicks, etc. (he is fine with "no cooking on stovetop or in broiler," but the rest gets much more nitpicky than for any other dish he cooks or bakes with.)

                                                                                                                                      But he can use many other types of dishes that get comparable baking results without any issue and without remembering almost any of those rules. I agree that this is not about hysteria and mandolins and driving into walls. It's just figuring out what could work best for us in our kitchen depending on circumstances and hearing what works best for others.

                                                                                                                                      (Apologies if this is a double post. I thought I posted these thoughts earlier, but don't see them now.)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Shkra11

                                                                                                                                        One more important rule: don't scrub with abrasive cleaners.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                    <It would be more relevant to compare the risks/benefits of using pyrex to the risks/benefits of using an alternative pan. >

                                                                                                                                    The problem is that the risks and benefits are different for different people. I don't mean priority. Let's just take a Japanese gyuto for example. The benefits you can get out of a Japanese gyuto is entirely depending on your skill level and your style. You and Joe next door will not get the same benefits out of the same Sakai Aogami gyuto. You and Joe will also have different risk profiles using the same exact knife.

                                                                                                                                    Now, even if two persons with about the same skill and knowledge level, they will have different priority/preference in life. Which is why some kitchen knife experts like you prefer carbon steel and why some like petek prefer stainless steel at work.

                                                                                                                                    <Maybe, maybe not. But that's the question people should be asking.>

                                                                                                                                    I agree.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                    Don't overlook immersion blenders. That's a device I wouldn't have in a home kitchen.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                      And a device I wouldn't not have. I love mine, use it a lot. A very useful tool.

                                                                                                                                      That said, I don't lick the blades when it's running. At all for that matter.


                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                        I just googled "Immersion blender accidents." OMG I never realized. I will be tossing mine along with my food processor which I an only able to clean by hand with the blades spinning, and the lid off.

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for pointing out this possible death trap.

                                                                                                                                        Further reading here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/886457