Why Do Glass Pans Catch Fire and What You Can Do to Prevent It?

Why Do Glass Pans Catch Fire and What You Can Do to Prevent It

Much has been said and done on the art of cooking but still, there’s always room to learn and grow. Mastering the skill of making your own food and learning the art of creating the perfect mix with the flavors is all that matters for most of us at the end of the day.

The subject becomes a lot more complicated when it comes to professional cooks who have to go through an enormous amount of training to create food that people love. They also have to adhere to using the right cooking utensils that guarantee the safety of the process.

Whether you’re an amateur cook or a perfect chef, it is always important to know how you can make the most of your pans and cook the best food without damaging your utensils.

When we specifically talk about pans, there are a few that catch fire easily and there are others that don’t.

What Can cause Glass Pans to Catch Fire?

With several incidents of kitchen fire related to glass cookware, it is important to understand why do glass pans explode and what you can do in such situations when safety is at risk.

Manufacturing Material of Glass Pan is a Major Factor

The material used in manufacturing the glass pan is one of the major causes of its explosion. Many blame the soda lime silicate for the frequent incidents of glass shattering.

Experts say that an explosion occurs because the material is not able to withstand a rapid exposure to boiling water. Some manufacturers also claim that they use heat strengthening or thermal tempering to increase the material’s resistance to heat, but that too does not make the material safe from breakage.

Another important factor of glass shattering is that some cheap brands use substandard material to manufacture it. While good glass material can stand pressure up to 470 degrees Fahrenheit, substandard material can burn or break at even moderate temperatures.

The only way consumers can avoid glass pans that are below the industry standards for heating is by carefully reading their descriptions and following the warning instructions during the purchasing.

Thermal Shock

In order to avoid damage or explosion, the glass pan was initially manufactured with a thermally robust composition called borosilicate glass, which was later replaced with silicate glass.

However, the utensil is still prone to breakage or explosion due to thermal stress failure which happens due to a change in the temperature. It is always better to avoid placing your hot glass pan directly on a cold surface such as a sink to avoid any damage to it.

It is also mandatory to maintain the right temperature in your kitchen to avoid the risk of explosion. Avoid keeping any glass material in the oven for long as it can definitely cause an explosion.

Experts suggest that a higher Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) means the glass pan material is less likely to withstand extreme heat.

Improper Handling of Hot Pans

In addition to the explosion, thermal state failure can also cause cracking or chipping in the glass when the glass pan is not handled properly. It is advisable to always put a heated pan onto a piece of fabric or potholder to avoid any glass breakage.

Experts also advise chefs to avoid colliding heated glass material with anything as this can result in instant breakage. Furthermore, putting other utensils close to a heated glass pan can also cause it to reach its breaking point.

Reheating of Glass Pan

It is also advisable to allow sufficient time for your pan to cool before reusing it for any other purpose. Reheating your pan can also cause flames to erupt and even damage your oven.

It is also a smart idea to inspect your glass pan each month for any gradual changes that may take place due to excessive usage. Never attempt to repair or seal a broken or cracked glass pan as it can shatter apart as soon as you resume using the utensil.

Pros and Cons of Using a Glass Pan

The first and foremost advantage in terms of using a glass pan is that it is an inert material. This means that no material can react with or leach into your food during the cooking phase. The companies that sell glass pans claim that their product is shatter-proof, but their qualities may vary.

Hence it is always advisable to carefully read and research all the manufacture instructions when purchasing any glass pan. While a glassware product may prevent any chemical from mixing into your food, they do carry a risk of explosion.

This is due to the aforementioned thermal shock that may quickly occur when the temperature changes or when a glassware product is mishandled.

The trick to buying a glassware pan in line with your health priorities is to look for a product that has the least amount of glass tampering.

Why Do Glass Pans Explode?

Glass panes are still used in many households due to some of their advantages that we will discuss later in this article. In the meantime, let’s look in-depth at some of the major reasons why flames erupt in a glass pan.

Interestingly, glass is a good conductor of heat but it fails to distribute this heat evenly which causes hot spots to develop. These then crack the utensil. This is the reason why glass pans are not efficient enough for stovetop cooking.

Again, any glass pan can heat up if its material isn’t of the highest quality. The heat resistant power of a glass plan also largely depends on how it is maintained.

Cleaning Method to Avoid Overheating

Not just the pan, but all glass material in the kitchen should be cleaned. A glass pan can be cleaned using a non-abrasive material that is specially formulated for this purpose.

In this regard, reading and implementing the instructions displayed by the manufacturer on the product is mandatory. If handled with proper care, glass pans can last up to seven to 10 years.

Alternatives to Glass Pans

It is important to look at some alternatives that can be used associated heat issue of glass pans. First of all, it is better to avoid non-stick pans as their coatings are sometimes made of toxic chemicals.

Aluminum

It is not surprising that most of the cookware available nowadays is made of aluminum, with some usage of other types of metal. This type of pan is not expensive and has less weight, making it convenient for use.

However, this type of material can get scratches easily and can also change the taste of your food. The risks associated with aluminum are still debatable but it is best to avoid using cookware that has been made out of it.

In order to avoid consuming aluminum, you can always use anodized aluminum cookware as its surface cannot easily be scratched. It is also best to read out the entire ingredients in your product, and reading the guidelines.

Copper

Copper pots and pans are able to distribute heat evenly and they also have a long lifespan. But the alarming part is that copper can leach into your food and give it a metallic taste.

While eliminating the use of copper pans is difficult, it is advisable to use cookware that is lined with stainless steel to be safe from the consumption of any unhealthy material.

Cast Iron

This type of cookware material is known for its durability and affordability. The only disadvantage of using this method for your cooking needs is that cast iron pans can be heavy and therefore they can be difficult to handle.

Secondly, food that is acidic can cause some iron to leach into your food. So you’ll have to be careful.

Stainless Steel Pans

Stainless steel is perhaps the most widely used method in cooking because it doesn’t mix with your food. It is also appreciated and liked by chefs around the world for the fact that it is durable and easy to clean.

Furthermore, stainless steel pans that are higher in quality allow for more uniformity in terms of how your food tastes. This happens due to the presence of an inner layer of the aluminum inside the pan and other utensils.

Another advantage of using a stainless steel pan is that it has a good finish which essentially turns them into nonstick utensils.

Related article: Copper Pans Vs Stainless Steel Pans

Ceramic Coated Pans

These pans or cookware material is relatively new to the market but is worth a try. The specialty of ceramic coated pans is that these are nonstick and are without any harmful material.

Another advantage of a ceramic coated pan is that it is heat resistant and also does not allow the flake to accumulate on the surface. This makes the pan free of all sorts of health or environmental concerns.

However, the biggest disadvantage of using this product is that it is known to use nano-particle coatings. The problem is that there is by far no scientific information available on the effects of these coatings on health.

This is the same reason that so far there have been no restrictions on the use of these products.

Final Words

Glass pans have a natural tendency of catching heat even when they are created with the most heat-resistant techniques. Hence it is absolutely important to look for a material that is more and more heat tolerable.

The right use of a glass pan allows it to last longer and helps you eat your food without worrying about any form of contamination.

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