Can you cook with Pyrex dishes in the oven?

Written by alexis vega-singer
Can you cook with Pyrex dishes in the oven?
Oven cook casseroles and other dishes in pyrex containers. (Image by Michael Dunn; Flickr.)

Rumours have circulated for years that Pyrex dishes can explode during use for no reason. That theory has since been disproved, but you can allay any lingering concerns by learning more about the history and proper use of Pyrex glass bakeware.

History

Pyrex glass baking dishes were first sold in 1915. The product was a result of two years of work by a scientist at Corning Glass Works. His wife had been unhappy with the baking dishes available at the time and had asked her husband to make her a new baking dish made from the glass he used at work. Pyrex was originally made from borosilicate glass, but it is now made from a tempered soda lime glass composite. In 1998, Corning sold the Pyrex line to World Kitchen.

Function

Pyrex is glass bakeware that is safe to use in the oven, microwave, fridge, freezer and dishwasher. The care instructions warn against exposing the bakeware to an open flame, so don't use Pyrex on the hob or under a grill. Since Pyrex is a type of glass, it will shatter under certain circumstances involving extreme temperature changes. Follow the usage instructions included with your Pyrex product and never put a hot dish on to a wet or cold surface or run cold water into it. Some Pyrex dishes come with plastic lids. These lids are intended for covering the dishes for storage, not for oven use.

Pyrex cooking

Use the classic 22.5 by 32.5 cm (9 by 13 inch) pan to bake a lasagne that you can bring directly to the table, or make a meat loaf in a 2 litre (2 quart) oblong pan. For dessert, bake a cherry pie in the 22.5 cm (9 inch) round pie plate or make brownies in the square pan. Casseroles and cakes are other foods that are easy to make in Pyrex bakeware. Pyrex makes glass roasters that are the right size to bake a whole chicken or a turkey breast as well.

After care

Allow your Pyrex dish to cool at room temperature on a trivet or on top of the hob (when there is no flame on). This won't be a problem if you are using your bakeware to serve instead of just for cooking, as it will naturally cool at the table. After the empty dish has reached room temperature, wash it in the dishwasher if there are no stuck-on bits of food. For stubborn stuck-on food, soak it in the sink and use a plastic or nylon cleaning pad to scrub it. (Do not use abrasive cleansers that may scratch the glass.)

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