Conflicting stories of Grandma using Pyrex on her stove compared to Mom’s exploding Pyrex on the stove keep us hesitant about whether it’s safe to use our favorite Pyrex on our stovetop. We have researched these stories to see which are tall tales and which warnings you need to take seriously.
Whether or not you can use Pytex on a stovetop depends on the type of Pyrex dish you're using. Pyrex makes cookware, bakeware, and glassware which differs in its properties and uses. Always read the instructions that come with your dish and follow them. Generally speaking -
- Pyrex cookware can be used on the stovetop.
- Pyrex bakeware should not be used on the stovetop.
- Pyrex glassware and serving dishes are not safe to use on the stovetop.
Keep reading to learn more about the changes made in the manufacturing of Pyrex that changed it’s sturdy usage to the new care and safety guidelines that it has today, along with safety and clean up tips.
Can Pyrex Be Used on a Stove Top?
Pyrex originally was manufactured with borosilicate. Borosilicate is created with a mixture of silica and boric acid, which forms a low-melting glass that is resistant to thermal shock. Thermal shock occurs when the object’s stress becomes too intense, causing the material to lose its shape. The bakeware that was made during this time was able to withstand a bit of hard usage.
In the late 1990s, Corningware sold their Pyrex line to World Kitchen, who changed the manufacturing material from borosilicate to soda-lime, which does not have the same thermal resistance. This change is why Mom had problems, but Grandma did not. Grandma and Mom are both correct.
That's why you have to check the instructions for your specific dish. As a rule of thumb, Pyrex cookware is made with heat-strengthened soda-lime that works well on the stovetop. However, the Pyrex bakeware line cannot be used on the stovetop. The uneven heat from a burner causes thermal shock to the pot, resulting in shattered bakeware. You can use Pyrex bakeware in microwaves, preheated convection or conventional ovens.
How to Avoid Mishaps with Pyrex Bakeware
- Pyrex is safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven.
- Preheat oven before placing your bakeware in as the oven puts out a blast of high-temperature heat to speed up the trip to preferred baking temperature.
- Do not use Pyrex under the broiler.
- Avoid drastic temperature changes such as moving the Pyrex from the freezer to the oven or moving from the oven to the freezer.
- Do not add liquid to the dish while it is baking or hot. Put all the water in before putting the dish in the oven. If basting, use the sauce in the pan to baste.
- Do not cook without a layer of liquid at the bottom of the dish.
- If it is deeply scratched or chipped, do not use Pyrex as the dish is compromised and can break.
- Do not place nearly empty Pyrex dishes in the microwave.
- Do not place Pyrex on a damp or wet towel.
- Do not pop popcorn or heat things with browning wrappers on them. The targeted heat that both builds will cause the same thermal shock as using on the stovetop.
- Use your favorite non-abrasive cleaners
- Use baking soda and dish soap for hard to remove spots.
Why Does Pyrex Shatter?
Pyrex and glass bakeware made with soda lime is only tolerant of even temperatures. When it is subject to uneven temperatures, the glass expands and contracts in different places, which causes stress against itself, which causes the bowl to shatter with a loud sound that sounds like an explosion.
What to Do When Pyrex Shatters?
- Make sure everyone is okay. Check for injuries. Provide first aid if needed. Do not try to salvage food from the mess. Invisible shards of glass can become embedded in the food.
- Put on gloves and wear shoes
- Pick up the big pieces carefully
- Use a broom and dustpan to gather as much of the tiny shards as possible.
- Use a damp paper towel folded to a thickness that the shards cannot cut through, carefully press it into the glass. The glass will stick to the paper towel, making clean up easier.
- Inspect oven and kitchen as glass shards can travel across the kitchen.
Can Glass Cookware Be Used On a Stovetop?
Pyrex cookware is designed to be used on the stovetop. Pyrex cookware is made with the same soda lime that the bakeware is. The difference is that the cookware’s soda-lime is heat-strengthened. Other cookware brands can be used on the stovetop only as long as the instructions clearly state that they are stovetop safe.
f you don't have the instructions on hand for a particular glass dish, avoid using it on a stovetop. All glass (including Pyrex) is fragile. It will not put up with the same abuses that metal cookware will withstand. Be cautious of banging the side with a spoon or dropping it.
What Pans Should Not Be Used on a Glass Top Stove
Cast iron behaves the worst on a glass top stove. Cast iron is slow to conduct heat and is rough so it can scratch the surface of the stove. Once cast iron is up to temperature, it holds the heat and transfers it back onto the stove, causing damage.
Stoneware can scratch the surface as it is not smooth on the bottom. It is heavy, so it cannot be easily removed from the stove.
Avoid ceramic and glass as they can scratch the glass surface.
Pans That Work Well on a Glass Top Stove
Stainless steel with a sandwich-clad bottom conducts heat well and does not scratch the stovetop. Stainless steel does not leave a residue as a copper or aluminum bottom would.
Can You Put Pyrex in the oven?
Pyrex glass bakeware can be used in used for cooking, baking, reheating food in preheated ovens. Do not put Pyrex in a cold oven. Preheat first and make sure the Pyrex bakeware is at room temperature.
In conclusion, Grandma is correct. There used to be Pyrex that is safe on the stove. Mom is right that some will shatter when it’s placed on an opposing temperature burner. Pyrex bakeware cannot be used or placed on a hot stovetop. Pyrex cookware is stovetop safe.