It's tempting to put your frozen dish straight into the oven, right? But should you do it? What'll happen when you put your cold glass, Pyrex, or other dishes in the oven? That's what we asked experts, and here's what they have to say.
Putting a cold dish in the oven is not recommended. For best results, bring the dish to room temperature first; otherwise, the sudden temperature change can cause thermal shock and stress the glass material. Even Pyrex glassware manufacturers advise putting room temperature bakeware in the oven to avoid thermal shock damage.
Keep on reading to know more about the reason why you can't put your cold glass casserole dishes immediately in the oven. We'll also talk about properly using Pyrex brand glassware to make it last longer. This article will also answer if it takes longer to cook using glassware and which is better to use between glass or metal pans when baking. Let's begin!
Can you put Pyrex straight from fridge to oven?
Glass bakeware has become very popular among home cooks. It offers so many advantages, such as:
- Glassware is beautiful. You can cook in style and serve the food straight from the oven without transferring it to a serving plate. After the dinner feast, it is so easy to remove the food residue and have it cleaned in no time.
- Glass cookware also makes it very convenient for home cooks to check on the food as it is cooking. You've got a clear view on all sides to see how far along the cooking process is going.
It is very important to ensure that the dish you use can withstand the high heat inside the oven, and there won't be any elements or substances that'll interact with the food as you cook it.
One particular drawback of using glassware is that it can break. It can shatter into smaller pieces when you drop it, upon impact, or collision.
Glass bakeware can also break during sudden temperature changes, such as putting it inside the oven after being in the fridge or the freezer. The same thing can happen when you put a very hot dish inside cold storage. Some glass bakeware cannot endure the stress. The glass undergoes thermal shock and can break or shatter.
Let's use some science in our explanation. Glass generally expands when heated and contracts when cooled. It has a high coefficient of thermal expansion. It means that when you put it inside the oven, its cool part is still contracting while the heated portion is expanding.
This causes a lot of stress on the material, leading to cracking, breaking, or shattering. The thing is, even the smallest crack will render your glassware unusable. You have to replace it immediately for your own safety.
Will Pyrex break from cold to hot?
Pyrex is a trusted brand when it comes to quality glassware. In a span of over a century, it has proven its worth when it comes to durability, affordability, practicality, and safety.
Pyrex glass products are made differently. They have a low coefficient of thermal expansion, which means that they don't expand as much when heated nor contract too much when cooled.
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That's why you can be more confident about putting your Pyrex dish inside the oven, even if coming straight from the fridge. The manufacturers even confirm this on their website. They say that their ovenware can go directly from the freezer or fridge into the oven - be it a conventional, convection, or microwave oven.
However, Pyrex manufacturers still advise home cooks to be cautious about using their products. They also do not recommend subjecting their glassware to rapid temperature changes to prevent them from shattering. Here are some of their reminders:
- Ensure that traditional and convection ovens are preheated prior to putting the cold Pyrex dish inside.
- Put some water on the glassware, especially if the food that you're cooking releases juices as it is heated.
- Do not put hot glassware on a cool or wet surface. Put it instead on a cooling rack.
- Use a potholder or dry piece of cloth to handle the hot Pyrex dish.
- Allow the dish to reach room temperature before putting it inside the fridge or freezer.
It is best to follow these recommendations so that you'll be able to enjoy using your Pyrex dishes for a long time.
Does it take longer to bake in a glass pan?
One of the distinct qualities of glass is that it has a lower thermal conductivity than metal. It means that it takes longer for it to conduct heat. Consequently, food takes longer to cook in a glass pan.
On the brighter side, it is more energy-efficient since it can hold heat much longer than metal. This is advantageous when the temperature inside the oven is fluctuating. It is also helpful when you serve the dish on the table as food stays warm for a longer period of time.
Is it better to bake with glass or metal?
Some home cooks are facing a dilemma - whether to use metal or glass pans when baking. Is there a difference? Or are there certain foods that are better cooked using glass and metal dishes? Let's find out.
Metals are known as very good heat conductors. This means that you can expect your baked goods to be cooked evenly all throughout. You can also expect your goodies to have a better rise and the top and edges will also be crisper and browner. This is important in bread and pastries as any home baker would know.
Interestingly, the darker the color of the metal pans, the better they are at absorbing heat. You might read some recipes that specify dark or light-colored pans and the time involved in cooking. If the recipe says to use a dark-colored metal pan but you only have a light-colored one, you need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Using metal pans will also give you well-defined and sharp edges for your brownies. It contributes to the overall presentation of baked goods especially when you have to slice them into pieces.
Glass, on the other hand, is not a very good heat conductor. But it is a good insulator. This helps in keeping food warm long after the dish has been taken out of the oven. However, it could also cause uneven baking. The inside of your cake might be moist but the outside portion is dry and overcooked.
Glass is considered safe to use since it is non-toxic. It is also non-reactive. This is a common concern especially when you've got acidic ingredients in your dishes such as citrus or berries. You won't have to worry about certain elements within the glass material mixing with your food while it's cooking.
Some metals react negatively to acids. You have to take note not to use metal pans when baking lemon pie. Acid can cause metals to corrode which would make your pan unsafe to use for cooking food. Their reaction can also produce salt and hydrogen gas which can mix with your food.
Metals are extremely durable bakeware as long as you know how to take care of them properly. Unlike glass, they won't break or shatter upon impact or collision. Glass, as we've discussed earlier, is prone to breaking when exposed to thermal shock or involved in a collision or heavy impact.
Glassware is more expensive than metal pans. Aluminum metal pans are relatively cheap so you can start your baking journey for less cost.
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In general, experts recommend that you use metal pans for baking bread and pastries. You can use your glass dishes when you have to cook casseroles and pasta.
While glass can be a clear choice when it comes to bakeware, be cautious regarding its use. Make sure it is at room temperature before you put it inside the oven or fridge to avoid causing stress on its material.
You may also visit the following posts for some related reading:
Can You Put a Casserole Dish in the Oven or Microwave?