Pyrex was first manufactured in 1908 in the US. It was more thermal shock resistant than other glass.
However, today, the manufacturing process has changed. When before borosilicate glass was used, today soda lime is used and the product isn’t as sturdy.
Today’s pyrex dishes aren’t resistant to thermal shock. Hence, they would shatter if moved from one extreme temperature to the other.
However, as far as normal baking goes, you can use pyrex dishes.
Can You Put Pyrex Cookware in the Oven?
The short answer is, yes. You can put pyrex glass in the oven and use it for cooking, baking, etc.
However, you should remember that putting pyrex on your stovetop is a bad idea. You should also not move the pyrex pan from one temperature extreme to the other.
That’s thermal shock and the pan will most likely shatter as a result.
Temperature Capacity of Pyrex
As a rule of thumb, you should only heat the pyrex pan or dish to about 400-450 F in the oven.
Anything higher than that can damage its structural integrity severely.
Your pyrex dish has limits. Remember that you can only take it from the fridge to the freezer, to the oven through long intervals.
Besides that, here are some limits of pyrex you should be aware of.
- Preheat your oven before placing pyrex dishes inside. Long exposure to heat should be minimized.
- Don’t use pyrex on your stove or your toaster oven or on a grill.
- Allow pyrex to cool down before you place the hot dish back into the fridge or freezer.
- Allow the pyrex pan to cool down before you introduce moisture.
- Don’t use Pyrex to microwave popcorn or heat food that is in browning wrappers.
- Don’t heat empty glass containers in the microwave.
- If you’re heating cheese, oil, or butter in a pyrex pan in a microwave, don’t overheat. Heat for the minimum time required.
Check the warranty that comes with your pyrex pan or dish. There are usually clauses that you can use to replace the dishes or pans that are shattered by oven heat.
As a precaution, you should probably check this warranty before you buy the dish.
- If you’re cooking with pyrex, make sure to wear close-toed shoes. This will ensure that no glass gets into your feet or cuts your feet if it breaks.
- Also, wear thick gloves if you’re cleaning up the glass. This will protect your hands.
- Make sure that your exercise caution when picking up broken shards. Tiny shards can go into your eye or cut your skin.
- Discard any food which was in the pyrex dish when it broke. Tiny shards can embed themselves into food. Cleaning the food of any shards is pointless. Any small piece of glass entering your body isn’t worth the most delicious food in the world.
Remember that these precautions and guarantees are only for the pyrex pans and dishes.
They don’t apply to the lids that come with pyrex pans. The lids can only be used for microwave heating and storage.
Safely Using Pyrex Dishes
Pyrex, though a very well-made tempered glass, can shatter easily given the right conditions. Hence, you need to know how to handle pyrex glass professionally.
So here are a few precautions you can take to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself. These will prevent you from being burned, cut, or otherwise bruised or harmed in any way.
- Place a sheet pan in the oven and preheat it. Then place the pie plate or pyrex pan on top of it. This will distribute the heat to the entire pan and not put pressure on it.
- Don’t put a hot pyrex glass pan on a cold surface or a cool pyrex glass pan on a hot surface. Both will subject the pan to thermal shock. This will result in the pan being shattered; most likely.
- Use a silicone or cloth hot pad before putting the pyrex glass on a stove. This will prevent it from shattering.
- You should also use a dry dish towel or wooden cutting board on a countertop surface before the pyrex pan. This will prevent the pyrex pan from slipping off and falling.
- Refrain from cooking a dry dish in a glass pan. Instead, put a little liquid that can cover the bottom of the dish before you place the dry food. This will avoid the hot glass surface from coming into contact with the cool juices from the dish. Hence, a surface between the two will stop the pyrex from experiencing a thermal shock.
- Make sure you use dry mittens or towels when handling the pyrex dish. This will prevent thermal shock and the pyrex dish or pan shattering in your hands.
- Make sure that the pyrex pan is dry and at room temperature before washing it. This is to avoid thermal shock.
- Don’t use pyrex pans to reheat dry foods in the microwave oven. As a rule of thumb, don’t use Pyrex pans to heat anything in the microwave. This will cause damage to its structural integrity. If not, it will probably reduce the structural integrity of the glass.
Alternatives to Pyrex
These are all the dishes that are available to novices that they can use in lieu of pyrex glass.
The glassware may not be available to some and others may be starting out right now. Hence, they may need something they can work with that they have on hand.
Not to worry, at least one of these may be in your kitchen.
Casserole dishes can work very similarly to Pyrex glass dishes. If the casserole is deep enough and if the lid fits tightly enough.
You will also have to saute or sear meat in a frying pan before you place it inside the casserole.
This extra step is required because an open fire can’t be used to heat a casserole dish. This is where the casserole dish is very similar to a pyrex dish.
Clay pots do work in the same way that any small oven works when it comes to heating. Hence, they can do the same work that a pyrex dish does.
The moisture slides down the back into the dish once it evaporates. This is great for self-basting and for cooking turkeys. However, it’s not as great for baking cakes.
The lid design of the clay pot allows the steam to rise as the dish is being prepared.
The moisture then condenses on the lid and then drops back down. This is called using the principle of convection to your advantage.
Today, clay pots are produced glazed, so a lot of care has to be taken when choosing a heat source. Open fire isn’t a good heat source. However, an oven is.
Metal pots are a great alternative to a glass pyrex pan. They can absorb heat much quicker and retain heat for much longer than pyrex pans can.
However, you should always read the instructions on how much heat they can handle. This can differ wildly when it comes to the manufacturer.
A ceramic pot is perfect for cooking soups and stews.
However, it can’t really be a substitute for bakeware. It can handle things like melting chocolate and mixing different ingredients over a low flame.
A stockpot with a tight lid is a great substitute for a pyrex pan. You can saute, sear, and bake in it if you want.
You just need to do it over low heat to avoid sticking. You will have to use low heat and regularly check the level of the liquid.
For baking, you can use the same techniques that are applicable while using a pyrex pan.
The soup pot will work much the same way as a stockpot does.
Just remember that you will have to adapt a little to different recipes.
Braisers can prepare nearly everything that is fried or baked. The main difference is that the circumference of the pots’ sides is quite different.
If you have a braiser then you can adapt recipes for it with a little bit of ingenuity.
Skillets are great to saute or sear if you want. You can also fry different things on it if you need to. You can also cook a roast in the oven on a skillet.
However, slow cooking and stewing aren’t things that you can do on a skillet. There’s no cover either so you need to improvise there as well.
Frying pans need a lid to work as effectively as a pyrex glass dish. As with other appliances, this substitute for a pyrex glass dish allows you to saute and sear in the pan.
You can add ingredients as you wish and cook as desired.
A roasting pan is a great alternative to a pyrex glassware dish. The pan should be used in the same way as you use a frying pan.
Taking heed of these precautions, you can safely use your pyrex dish or pan in the oven.
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