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Thread: Exploding Pyrex!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Exploding Pyrex!

    A friend just sent me this in an email

    Pyrex dishes: I HOPE EVERYONE TAKES THE TIME TO READ THIS MESSAGE.

    Got any new Pyrex dishes in your cooking utensils? This is a must read.

    I checked at Walmart and all the warnings are there.

    About 5:30 PM there was a loud bang from the oven. Sylvia opened the oven door and the Pyrex dish had shattered into a million pieces.


    The roast beef (our first in many months) was peppered with small shards of very sharp glass. Normally, I am quick to inform Sylvia she did something stupid. However,this time she was nowhere near the stove when it blew. I shoveled the glass and the now mashed potatoes into a bucket with two putty knives. I then sucked the remains with the shop vac. I let everything cool down and then scrubbed the oven with Simple Green and some hot soapy water. It took over an hour to clean up the goo. Upon completion I ran the oven empty to see if the temperature controller was working okay. I suspected the oven got too hot and the dish simply blew. This was not the case however. The oven came up to temperature and cycled normally. We threw a disgusting frozen pizza in the oven and it cooked okay.

    What is going on?

    I Googled exploding Pyrex dishes and got ten million hits. Exploding Pyrex is very common. Here is the story: A long, long time ago in a country we all know and love was a
    company named Corning. They made Pryex dishes. The material they used is called borosilicate glass. This stuff is indestructible.


    But like everything else, the Bottom Liners had a great idea: sell the technology to another company. The Chinese discovered that using soda lime glass was almost as good as borosilicate glass and a lot cheaper. Today, Walmart is the largest distributor of Pryex products. Corning not only sold the technology to a company called
    World Kitchen, they also sold the rights to the original Pyrex logo.


    Seamless. The consumer will never know.

    Now it seems people are getting hurt using soda lime Pyrex. We were lucky because the dish broke while the oven was closed and the damage was limited to the oven cavity. Others have been less fortunate. Some dishes explode when they are lifted from the heating rack in the oven with devastating results. Some people are heavily scarred. World Kitchen is in denial. They say that the dishes are another brand, not theirs. Contrary to their denials the victims usually have more than one of these dishes and the Pryex logo is clearly visible.

    If you buy a Pryex dish beware. The label on the front says oven safe, freezer safe, microwave safe. The instructions on the back tell another story. You cannot move a soda lime Pyrex dish from the freezer to the oven and expect it to survive. The fine print goes on and on about what you are not allowed to do with the Pyrex dish. The fine print has prevented World Kitchen from being sued because they have warned the consumer that their Pyrex dishes are junk from the get go. And they are the same price as the original Corning dishes.


    What a bunch of losers we all are for buying this crap. What to do?



    If you own borosilicate Pryex dishes, no fear. They have to be more than 25 years old to be sure they are indeed Corning dishes. I am not sure if the old Pryex dishes have anything stamped in them that indicates they are made by Corning. You may continue to use the soda lime dishes for holding stuff. Just do not attempt to roast or microwave with them as the hazard is very clear.

    The reason the soda lime dishes let go is that over time they develop micro-cracks. Once a few micro-cracks are present and once some liquid finds its way into the cracks you have the bomb situation. The liquid is like shoving a crowbar in the dish and pulling it apart. Super heated liquids expand rapidly and it is the super heated liquids that force the soda lime glass to shatter into tens of thousands of shards.

    Since Corning no longer makes Pyrex and Sylvia proudly holds a large collection of the soda lime Pyrex, we decided that one bomb in the kitchen is enough. The Pyrex dishes will go bye-bye in this week's trash. I do not know what we will use for cake and pie dishes going forward . If you have some suggestions we are listening.

    I strongly urge you not to use the soda lime Pyrex for the oven, stovetop or microwave. The slightest invisible crack is all it takes to have a mess and a possible injury.

    In case you are wondering: World Kitchen is not a USA company.


    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0.../08/pyrex.html
    Oh unhappy day!

    Most of my pyrex I inherited when my grandmother died, and I'm sure going to make sure I hang on to it!
    Springtime is my time of year!

  2. #2
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    Wowsers.

    If your "Pyrex" is oldish and well used but not super old, I wonder how to find out which it is...

    Mine both say (one Pyrex, one competitor) Made in USA--they should be fine, then, right?
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  3. #3
    This happened to a close friend of mine last year. They were lucky not to have gotten hurt, but the dish just exploded. It was at room temp when it was put in the oven and exploded about 20 minutes later.

    Cheryl

  4. #4
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    According to Snopes WK is a US company. There's danger in using any glass product in the oven. Just another thing to worry about.


    http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/pyrex.asp

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by charley View Post
    According to Snopes WK is a US company. There's danger in using any glass product in the oven. Just another thing to worry about.


    http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/pyrex.asp
    Thanks that was informative. I prefer my pottery as a rule, maybe I should invest in some stoneware too and just get away from glass altogether...
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  6. #6
    Around 5 years ago, I had a dish explode too! I called Pyrex and they sent me a free replacement. It still makes me nervous when I use it though that it will happen again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    Thanks that was informative. I prefer my pottery as a rule, maybe I should invest in some stoneware too and just get away from glass altogether...
    I tend to grab the pottery or stoneware too. About the only time I use Pyrex in the oven is when I need a 13x9 pan. I'm keeping an eye out for a Le Creuset in that size when I shop TJ Maxx & Marshall's.

  8. #8
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    How scarey! I had not heard this before.. I have several "pyrex" (not sure of the brand name) glass baking dishes that are Brown colored, and one Blue covered casserole. I'll have to go check the brand name. Bummer, I love using those, but the danger is not worth it.

    I also have several Pyrex Measuring Cups... We use these all the time in the Microwave to nuke soup, tea water, leftovers.... Yikes...

    So glad to have this warning on the BB, thanks for posting.
    Last edited by Litehouse9; 10-14-2009 at 03:57 PM.
    Keep Calm & Eat More Bacon !!

  9. #9
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    If this is true, it's very good to know.

    I frequently make dishes in my clients' pyrex dishes. Some are refrigerated, others are frozen (but thawed before baking). I would hate for this to happen to anyone, but I haven't heard of it happening before.
    Visit my website at www.simplydeliciouschef.com

  10. #10
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    One more thing to worry about...
    Karen

  11. #11
    I had one that exploded in the dishwasher (what a mess)!!!
    The dishwasher was not running either...it took us the longest time to find out what the noise was,,,I have 2 more dishes like that,but they don't go in the dishwasher anymore.

  12. #12
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    It happened to my mom with an old pyrex clear color, rectangular. Dinner was gone in no time. She was not impressed.
    Helene

    ''In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.''
    -Curnonsky


    My Blog: La Cuisine d'Helene

    Twitter: @lacuisinehelene

  13. #13
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    Are those Corning casserole dish still safe in the microwave & oven?

    Helene

    ''In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.''
    -Curnonsky


    My Blog: La Cuisine d'Helene

    Twitter: @lacuisinehelene

  14. #14
    The only thing I've read about was Pyrex breaking if you put a hot pan in a sink of cold water, or on a wet towel, or a pan straight out of the freezer into a hot oven etc.... its the contrast of temperatures. In recent years, I've seen a blurb about this in the instructions that are included with the baking dishes. The other info is new to me.

    I've never had a problem, perhaps because my baking dishes etc are more than a few years old and I've never done some of the above. Off topic, I've had a friend that broke an Emile Henry baking dish after pouring cold water in a hot pan so IMO some of this (not the spontaneous stuff) can happen with other types of dishes too. A few months back I burnt something in my microwave, while the smoke alarm was beeping and other chaos, I put the stoneware type plate in the sink (it was wet) and the dish broke in half.

    World Kitchen owns Corning, Pyrex, Ecko etc. I thought they were a US company based in IL but I could be mistaken.

    If the info is true, sorry to read that that quality has changed. I'm a huge Pyrex user -- my freezer is full of the glass containers (all sizes) with blue plastic lids. And, my cabinets etc. Love the stuff.
    Last edited by applecrisp; 10-14-2009 at 09:10 PM.

  15. #15
    I use Pyrex all the time, and I was very interested in the info here as well as other articles I found on the Internet.

    Apparently, the Pyrex sold here is made in the USA, but of soda lime glass rather than the borosilicate that was once used. The change seems to have been made sometime in the 1980's (could not find a firm date). Soda lime glass is cheaper to manufacture, causes fewer emissions (saving the manufacturer from making costly retrofitting after environmental legislation was passed), and less apt to break if dropped.

    However, it is much more sensitive to thermal shock. Thus, extreme care must be taken not to put a hot dish on a cold surface, or a wet surface, or to pour a cool liquid into a hot dish, etc.

    Interestingly, Pyrex brand bakeware made of borosilicate is made and sold in Europe (though the company Arc International). They just won't sell it here! I'd be much more worried about exploding glass due to thermal shock than about a glass dish breaking because I dropped it. Pyrex still sells labware in the USA made of borosilicate. I think they made the change to soda lime glass in bakeware here because of cost savings. If it's so superior, why don't they sell it in Europe, too?

    There is a brand of glass bakeware made and sold here in the US made of borosilicate. It's called Green Apple Bakeware. I saw some in Target last year. Target has some on their website, but I believe they no longer carry it in their stores. (Maybe it didn't sell all that well - it's more expensive than Anchor Hocking and Pyrex). Amazon has it. Here's a link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Green-Apple-Co.../dp/B001KVZAX0

    The Green Apple bakeware resists breakage from thermal shock and is also naturally nonstick. I intended to buy some last year, but never got around to it. Now I'm really interested. I will buy an 11 X 13 inch dish and try it out. They also make an oval casserole dish that looks nice. And an 8 X 8 inch dish, and a pie dish.

    Here's another picture and review:

    http://www.foodnetworkfans.com/forum...-bakeware.html
    Last edited by peachesncream; 10-15-2009 at 11:02 AM. Reason: additional info

  16. #16
    I found another brand of bakeware made of borosilicate. It's called Marinex, made in Brazil. Amazon.com has a set:

    http://www.amazon.com/Marinex-5-Piec.../dp/B0016LPX6I

  17. #17
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    This did, indeed, happen to me recently. First with the bottom of a casserole dish, and a year or so later, the top (which I had still continued to use), shattered as well. This was a dish that I had used for many many many years with no problems. It did, suddenly shatter.

  18. #18
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    This is excellent information. I am now sitting here trying to determine how old my Pyrex and corning-ware is. I will definitely be thinking about this when I replace or buy new items.
    Trish N.
    Omaha, NE
    "I'm not as sweet as I used to be" Ouiser Boudreaux - "Steel Magnolias" 1989

  19. #19
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    I have several Anchor Hocking brand glass dishes and measuring cups-- I was hoping they did not have the same Pyrex problem.

    However, research on the Web shows they have had the same explosions as Pyrex, and are just as dangerous.

    I hate to get rid of all my glass pans now (right before the holidays and baking/cooking season!), but would never want to have one of these dangerous explosions. I use the 2-cup and 4-cup measuring cups the most for everything in the Microwave-- melting butter, reheating soups and sauces, etc. I hate to give those up!

    So probably ALL glass bakeware that is from the last couple decades is suspect and should not be used....
    Keep Calm & Eat More Bacon !!

  20. #20
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    I got rid of my Pyrex yesterday. Did not want to do it but since it happened to my mom I have been scare to use them. Don't know what I'll be using to bake my squares now. I'll have to figure out something.
    Helene

    ''In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.''
    -Curnonsky


    My Blog: La Cuisine d'Helene

    Twitter: @lacuisinehelene

  21. #21
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    Two Episodes

    I've had two episodes of Pyrex failure. One was a true explosion. I took dish out of oven and placed it on top of stove (on regular burner, not one that was on or had been on). It absolutely exploded and sent glass flying in every single direction. I found glass months later (because some of it hit the floor and slide under furniture). Second episode wasn't as bad. I just gave up cooking in Pyrex and now use it just for food storage in refrigerator.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
    I read The Truth About Pyrex. Thanks for posting the link.

    While the Pyrex manufacturers have told us some truths about Pyrex, I'm not convinced they've told us the whole story. I take issue with their statement that soda lime glass,when compared with borosilicate, is "comparably resistant to breakage caused by severe temperature changes". Where is the proof?

    To know if this is true, some independent agency would have to test Pyrex against bakeware made with borosilicate, such as Green Apple. To my knowledge, no tests of this type have been performed.

    I believe independent scientific sources, which state that borosilicate glass is more heat resistant than soda lime. Here is an example:

    http://www.udel.edu/chem/GlassShop/P...Properties.htm

    Whether a particular brand of borosilicate bakeware is sturdier than Pyrex would need to be determined by testing. Logically, I would expect borosilicate bareware to be more resistant to temp. changes.

    By the way, I own a fair amount of Pyrex and Anchor Hocking bakeware, which is undoubtedly soda lime glass, and I've not had a problem with it exploding. But, I'm careful with it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintersummer View Post
    I've had two episodes of Pyrex failure. One was a true explosion. I took dish out of oven and placed it on top of stove (on regular burner, not one that was on or had been on). It absolutely exploded and sent glass flying in every single direction. I found glass months later (because some of it hit the floor and slide under furniture). Second episode wasn't as bad. I just gave up cooking in Pyrex and now use it just for food storage in refrigerator.
    see, this is, (sorry, wintersummer) a classic case of user failure, not product failure. the burner doesn't need to have been on... heat rises, and if you've ever touched the burner of a stove when the oven's been on a while, you know they can get very hot! then the slightest bit of moisture from the outside could make it worse. when a pan is made of glass or ceramic, any single drop of moisture that is cooler than the pan is a problem. but just setting on a burner, with the excess heat rising up, could make it crack. unlike a room temp metal rack which would absorb the heat instead of intensifying it.
    i'm not saying that there is no [possiblity that pyrex could be a problem-- but most complaints i've ever heard/read about good quality cookware, in the end, turn out to be based on user failure of some sort.

  25. #25
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    Here's a news story from last year I came across.

    A Problem With Pyrex? Experts We Consulted Say Yes

  26. #26
    Thank you, cafelatte, for posting that link. It answers some of the questions I had, after reading the Pyrex statement.

    The Pyrex statement said that the Charleroi plant has been using soda glass for about 50 years (implying that your mother's Pyrex is the same as today's Pyrex) BUT what about other plants they owned? What about other brands of glass bakeware? Turns out they may have been made of borosilicate into the1980's.

    I thought this part of the article from CBS was interesting:

    "Pyrex originally was made of borosilicate glass, a Corning invention, that enabled it go from the oven to the refrigerator and vice-versa.

    Pyrex in Europe is still made of this type of glass.

    Around 1946, Corning began making some Pyrex out of tempered soda lime glass. World Kitchen tells the 2 Investigators most Pyrex sold in the U.S. has been made of soda lime glass since that time., and that the transition was completed by 2001.

    "Both versions of Pyrex glass bakeware were made to meet similar performance attributes and were safe for consumer use," World Kitchen said in a letter.

    Professor Bradt says the glass as it's presently tempered is "very much more susceptible to fracture or breakage from temperature changes than the original Corning Pyrex, which is the classical oven-to-icebox glass."


    So, it seems there is still some debate about which formula for glass bakeware would be best, most durable and least apt to react to thermal shock.

  27. #27
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    I have lots of Pyrex. I did just get a new set for Christmas and noticed a warning about pre-heating your oven before you put the Pyrex in. I'm assuming that is due to the temperature change, as well.

    I had a Pampered Chef stoneware crack in the oven, but that is it. I just try to be mindful of temperature changes with any baking dishes.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by granolagirl View Post
    I have lots of Pyrex. I did just get a new set for Christmas and noticed a warning about pre-heating your oven before you put the Pyrex in. I'm assuming that is due to the temperature change, as well.

    I had a Pampered Chef stoneware crack in the oven, but that is it. I just try to be mindful of temperature changes with any baking dishes.
    Is that to say that you should put a Pyrex baking dish in a cold oven? How does that affect the product you are baking and the baking time?

  29. #29
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    it's good to know that the problem here is with thermal shock...
    i never do that with any pan, just because it takes longer for the food to cook if it's not at room temp to start with.

  30. #30
    Yes, the problem is with thermal shock (if there is a problem) and we can be careful about that.

    Awhile back, I called Pyrex because I had a recipe I was concerned about, that involved roasting chicken breasts in the oven, in a dish, then halfway through the recipe, you pour a sauce over the chicken.

    The Pyrex people said don't do that. That is an instance of thermal shock - adding cool or cold liquid to an already hot dish. So, I chose to make that recipe in a stainless steel pan.

    Other things you could cook in instead would include LeCruset or Staub or Martha Stewart enameled cast iron.

    I do use Pyrex dishes for casseroles that go into the oven. I use them for freezer meals - I can thaw and then reheat the thawed dish in the microwave or oven.

    I'm concerned about warnings about preheating the oven. Are we now not supposed to do this?? That would make me less apt to use Pyrex.

    I like Pyrex and Anchor Hocking glass for baking pies, as the pie crust doesn't get soggy in glass pie plates. But, you definitely need to preheat the oven for a pie!

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