Has This Happened to You…


Anyway, yesterday began like no other.  Kids to school.  Breakfast.  Bread baking (oh yeah, and packing). 

I normally fill a broiler pan with water on the bottom rack of my oven when I bake bread.  With all of the boxing up of my kitchen, I couldn't locate my broiler pan.  Against my better judgment I used a Pyrex dish to do the job.  BAD IDEA.

I will admit, I do think of Pyrex as somewhat indestructible.  I've cooked with it at very high temperatures without incident.

However, in haste, I didn't consider sudden temperature changes.  When I added hot water to the hot pan, it violently shattered into a million glass shards, inside my oven.  It was literally like shrapnel hitting the walls.  Ugh.

What a total mess.  Thank gawd I was wearing my glasses because wow.  What was I thinking?

I did a little research and the rumors state, since Corning stopped making Pyrex, the durability of it has really suffered.  It goes on to say the new product is no longer made of borosilicate glass which is very resistant to thermal shock while the new Pyrex is made from soda-lime-glass, not as resistant to rapid temperature changes.  There were lots (I mean lots) of stories about removing dishes from the oven and in the face of cooling temperatures, dishes have shattered while sitting on the counter.

I haven't bought Pyrex in years.  I mostly use stoneware now but I do have some leftover Pyrex pieces.  This particular dish had no cracks or chips but possibly had Pyrex fatigue.

Anyway, be careful.  Has anyone else had a dish self-destruct before?

Yes, this was totally my fault, Pyrex does warn against rapid temperature change, but this scared the heck out of me.

The good part...my oven is now spotless after the clean-up.

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84 Comments

  1. HoneyB 1

    I hate to admit but since you did first, yes I have done the same thing. I have also broken unbreakable Corelle ware.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your mishap, but I am glad you are okay!!!

  3. Oh yes… the Pyrex explosion. I had this happen to me a zillion years ago when Pyrex was making borosilicate glass cookware

  4. Yes, this happened to me. I actually had mine on a cookie sheet on the grill. (My oven broke) It scared the bejeezies out of us. I new better but I was desperate. It ruined our meal. (We went out to eat after)

  5. nina 5

    Nope, my Pyrex is still safe and sound in the cupboard…..I seldom use it!!! Thx for the warning though!

  6. Oh yes, I have done this a couple of times. Pretty dangerous and no fun to clean up.

  7. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I have wondered about the likelihood. Sorry, it happened to you. Ugh. I’m so glad you weren’t hurt. I would have wanted to cry myself, but then would have done what you did and just cleaned it up. A clean oven is very rewarding. :-)

    Shirley

  8. No I haven’t. But I have dropped my share and ended with the same result.

  9. Hephzibah 9

    I’ve done that. My pyrex was full of cabbage when it exploded. Good times.

  10. dawn 10

    geeez thank goodness you were wearing glasses! Shards in the eye, oh I don’t even want to go there.
    I bet the clean up was impossible. Everyone wears shoes for a while as there is bound to be pieces of molecule sized glass everywhere, still.

  11. Robyn 11

    This is the 3rd blog that I’ve read this EXACT SAME THING happening on. So, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone.

  12. Just a day or two ago, I read another blogger post about the same thing – a blowup in the oven. dangerous!! glad you’re ok.

  13. I had a large Pyrex pot that we got as a part of a set for a wedding gift (19 years ago next week). I’m not sure when Corning stopped making Pyrex. One day when I was heating nacho dip (fresh batch, hadn’t been refrigerated in the pot or anything) in the microwave, the pot cracked in half without my knowing it. The microwave was at face level and when I reached in to grab the pot out, I almost got covered in hot nacho dip. Thankfully, I jumped back just in time and barely got splattered. I could have been burned very badly if I hadn’t stepped back in time. Having the microwave shelf that high was not our design and I will never have one at that level anyway. It’s a stupid idea and potentially dangerous for children and short people like me.

  14. That is scary! I recently did something totally weird by adding some things with different temperatures in a microwave and ended up completely breaking a dish (it was microwave safe too).

  15. Cath, check out Lisa’s post from Jerseygirlcooks from yesterday!
    The same thing happened to her, the Pyrex dish exploded at high heat!
    She shows the broken glass all over.
    You are dangerous in the kitchen, lady!

  16. Teran 16

    I had the same thing happen to me, only my dish broke in half. It was my largest casserole dish, I was not happy. I grew up with Pyrex and can remember putting cold to hot in it before with no problems. I am so happy you researched it, because I thought I was just some kind of idiot and I was really upset with the recipe that I had gotten off the web for this procedure. It probably would have been fine with “old” Pyrex but absolutely did not work with my new dish.

  17. OMG that’s scary! Thanks for the warning and I’m glad your eyes are ok!!

  18. Hilary 18

    Hi Cathy .. it looks like pyrex will only be used for mixing in the future .. thanks for the warning .. and interesting about the change of ownership .. & thus change of material composition .. I wonder if they advertised that fact?

    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  19. Mary Ellen 19

    I haven’t had it happen with Pyrex, but I had some horrible experiences a few years ago with Anchor Hocking shattering with temperature change—and not extreme change, either. After this happened to two pieces in a short period, I wrote to them and got no reply. Result: I never, ever, buy Anchor Hocking.

  20. Aimee 20

    A friend’s pyrex dish shattered on him a few weeks ago, sending a 2 inch shard into his foot! He’s been on crutches since and it went all the way to the bone, requiring stitches! Thank goodness you were okay!!!

  21. Bob 21

    Oh yeah, that’s happened to me. I didn’t hear that Pyrex had changed manufacturers, that’s disappointing. I just bought a new set, it better not explode on me. Well, any sooner anyway. Heh. Glad you didn’t get hurt though.

  22. Julia 22

    oh, gosh! yes, this happened to me once.. when I was taking dinner out of the oven it completely shattered in my hands. Yikes!

  23. Yup. With a gooey casserole. Glad you’re okay!

  24. Your pan didn’t self destruct, you killed it with the cold water.

  25. I once did this ON TOP of the stove. Glad you’re okay!

  26. Trisha 26

    Yikes! I haven’t shattered any Pyrex but have managed to shatter a microwave proof plate in the microwave.

  27. Lori E 27

    On a slightly different note I did complain to Corning Ware after buying a big set of French White casserole dishes.
    If you put a new one next to an older the NEW one has a gray tinge to it and they also have chipped a lot. My older ones have never chipped so I know it isn’t me being clumsy.
    BTW I never heard back from them.

  28. Mary 28

    I’m glad you weren’t hurt. In theory Pyrex should be OK up to 450 degrees. I’ve had one problem with Pyrex years ago – i took a casserole from the refrigerator and placed it in a hot oven. You can guess the rest.

  29. Sara 29

    Yikes – never happened to me before, but thanks for the warning! I usually use a cast iron skillet or metal baking pan for that purpose.

  30. dawn 30

    If you had ever had this happen to you, you would might agree with “self-destruct” as a proper choice of words.

    She also says she added hot water to a hot pan…I’m just sayin’.

  31. Marjie 31

    Holy ****! I actually prefer glass bakeware, because I just do. But the quality of everything is going downhill more and more every year, so I just keep my old stuff; my kids laugh at me and I tell them to cram it. My eldest son, the PhD in Economics, is upset with W**-***t because they are the reason Tupperware is basically gone: getting them to sell in their stores and open new factories to sell more stuff, then refusing to buy because it was too expensive. Sadly, we get what we pay for, and progress seems not to be.

  32. dawn 32

    I have also done this mostly because I think of Pyrex as being unbreakable. My mother used to make a dish where she added hot water to a Pyrex while I was growing up and this never happened. When I was older and asked for the recipe she gave me the instructions…my Pyrex EXPLODED into a million pieces and I had four shards in my arm. It scared the hell out of me. I feel your pain.

  33. Paula 33

    It’s happened to me too. I had a pork roast explode in my oven. Very scary! The old pyrex is nearly indestructible. You’ve got to be careful with the new stuff.

  34. Haley 34

    I did this a couple of months ago. I’m still finding glass shards in my kitchen. I totally feel your pain.

  35. Shawn 35

    I tend to kill my dishes the old-fashioned way. I drop ’em.

  36. Jeff 36

    Just started bread baking and this is really good to know. Most of my stuff is glass so eek!

    I am sure clean up was not exciting either.

  37. This is really frightening for me to read as our brand new oven comes today and back in ’03 when I remarried, I received A LOT of Pyrex as wedding gifts. I love the stuff. LOVE IT. But after reading this I’d be dishonest if I said I wasn’t thinking about heading to Williams Sonoma and investing in some stoneware.

    Scary stuff Cathy. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  38. Amy 38

    YES!!!! I was happy to read this because in college, I was baking in a Pyrex pan, and it also shattered in the oven. I thanked my lucky stars I hadn’t been hit by any of the razor sharp pieces. At the time, I blamed it on my lack of baking experience and college age naiveness {not sure if that’s a word}. I figured I just didn’t know anything about baking or bakeware. I feel better about my mistake, even though it was a good 9 years ago!! I completely feel your pain in the cleanup!! What a hassle! Glad you’re ok and dodged the Pyrex bullets as well.

  39. Betty 39

    Yes I’ve had this happen! The really nasty part was after it was all done baking, take it out of the oven, it self destructed on the counter. It happened a couple of times. We weren’t even married yet & my darling husband to be wasn’t sure I’d be safe alone in the kitchen. He was absoluteley sure that I had done something to the pan, except the 2nd time it happened he saw it happen & he changed his mind right then & there. I also now use lots of stoneware, + lots of times I just turn the oven off & let it cool down right there. I’m too old to get shot with a piece of flying pyrex glass. I tend to cry a lot with pain. Blessings for a great weekend to you Cathy

  40. leftfoot 40

    Wow.. I’ve never had anything shatter on me and now, after reading everyone’s comments, I’m completely paranoid about it. It seems like it happens to everyone at some point or another. After 15 years in the kitchen I guess my time will be soon.

  41. I use Pyrex all the time and have never had this happen or even heard of it happening. Now, of course, I’m scared to death! One more reason for me to stay out of the kitchen! (Besides the fact that I’m a mediocre cook at best.)

    So glad you weren’t hurt.

  42. deeba 42

    I had a similar shattering experience on Mother’s Day trying to make a Levobitz tart shell.I guess we live & learn Cathy!

  43. cncplyr 43

    I’m not the greatest cook ever, so together with 3 other guys we decided to microwave a leftover egg we had to see what would happen. Me, vaguely remembering this was a bad idea, said perhaps we should catch it with something incase it exploded or something, so ‘indestructable’ pyrex measuring jug it was. A min or two goes by, and it’s fine. Then suddenly the egg exploded, which shattered the pyrex into thousands of tiny pieces of glass, blowing the microwave door open and showering the kitchen with a not-very-appetising mix of glass and scrambled egg. Luckily my friend had just moved his head out of the way. Now you mention it, the shattering glass may not have been due to the force, it might have been the hot egg hitting it?

    p.s. the jug was not even ours, we were in uni halls at the time, it was just a random one in that kitchen!

  44. magpie 44

    Once, when I was in ~8th grade, I exploded a Pyrex pie plate by putting it on a gas burner. Pieces shot out in all directions. Frightening and kind of awesome.

  45. Stephanie 45

    My bestie and I were making holiday dinner one year, and she had just taken the corn pudding from the oven, and sat it on top the stove to cool. As she bent back down to shift something else in the oven, the Pyrex containing the corn pudding burst into a bazillion pieces, sending glass shards all over. Had she not bent all the way down, she would have taken the full force of the blast right in the face. We donated all of our Pyrex to Goodwill later that week, lol.

  46. Jenna 46

    That happened to me one time with a glass measuring cup! It surprised me by breaking in transfer from microwave to counter! Let’s just say that I boil my water for jello now, instead of microwave it!!! (:

  47. Kristen 47

    Yes! This happened to me last year. I put the pyrex glass dish from the oven to my granite countertop and DESTRUCTION! I even called the company to complain, as I have done this repeatedly with all my older pyrex dishes and never had it happen before. They gave me a canned answer and said to never go from hot to cold, etc.

  48. donna 48

    Yes, it has happened to me one time, luckily I was unharmed, it is so scary though, and a lesson never forgotten. I still continue to use the pyrex pieces I have. I should invest in stoneware. Good thought.

  49. April 49

    Yes, I have had more than one shatter on me. And just last week my daughter was unloading the dishwasher and tapped our 8 cup pyrex measuring dish against the granite counter top and it shattered all over the place. It was so strange.

  50. Lynda 50

    I’ve not had that happen to me, but I’ve heard of it happening to others. So glad that you weren’t injured!

  51. I had a Pyrex dish shatter on me once the second I got dinner out of it. I’ve never used Pyrex again!

  52. Katrina 52

    I think Lisa at Jersey Girl Cooks just posted about this very thing. Sorry. I HATE it when that happens. I’ve broken plenty of “unbreakable” dishes–and some that aren’t as well. Sigh.
    Way to look on the bright side with the now clean oven!

  53. I had a pyrex shatter on me even when I followed the instructions to take it out of the oven, put it on a dishtowel or oven mitt and let it sit. It blew lasagna all over and glass flew all over the kitchen as well. Thankfully no one was hurt.
    That was the end of buying pyrex for me. I wrote the company saying I followed their rules yet it still broke and I never heard a word back.

  54. Courtney 54

    Just did this not a month ago. I took the lid to a Corningware piece out of the over and ran it under hot water. Not hot enough, apparenty, because it shattered in my sink. The next hour was spent fishing glass out of the garbage disposal…fun…

  55. Megan S 55

    Ah the exploding dish. My mother was visiting once, washed a pyrex dish, and placed it on the stove (right on a burner) because she didn’t know where it went. Silly me, I turned the burner on for water and didn’t even notice it was there… It about gave me a heart attack when it exploded. I seriously feel your pain!

  56. Alisa 56

    Glad you’re okay! That would have scared the you know what out of me.

  57. Yikes! I’ve heard, but have not tested, a premise that says you should never nuke plain water (coffee, tea are okay) because the same thing happens.

  58. Lisa 58

    Was yours the white kind or clear glass? Very scary and now I am thinking it happens quite often.

  59. annbb 59

    My son was heating water in a 4 C. pyrex measuring cup to make ramen noodles (I know – gross)in the microwave. When the oven quit, he reached in to get it. Immediately there was a loud crash. Irritated, I asked him what the h*ll he was doing. He said he’d just burned his hand. Within minutes, he head huge blisters all over his thumb and index finger and palm of his hand. I took rested a meat thermometer against the pyrex glass (which didn’t break)and it registered 305!! I took photos and contacted Pyrex. They asked me to mail the container back. Never have told me what they found out.

  60. Wow, that’s amazing. I’ve never heard of that happening when the dish was in use. I’m glad you weren’t hurt!

  61. Sandie 61

    Not had this happen, but I have heard of it. I’m very leary of sudden temperature changes with any type of bakeware—as you learned, you can never be too careful. Glad to hear you’re ok and at least you have a shiny oven!

  62. Grace 62

    Something similar happened when we met our daughter-in-law’s parents for the first time the night before the wedding. They invited us over for dinner, and as we were getting to know each other before dinner, the glass lid to a casserole she had resting on the stovetop shattered in a bazillion pieces. Needless to say, we didn’t have a main course that night!

  63. My hub took one of my Pyrex dishes, which had drippings in it, and placed it on the stovetop directly on a burner and added liquid to make gravy. I told him I didn’t think you could do that but he assured me that Pyrex was made to withstand direct heat and he’s done it before (long before me!). Within a few minutes we had a mini explosion in the kitchen. It literally exploded! Thank God we weren’t injured, but what a mess! At least he’s never done it again…

  64. Liz C. 64

    Hmmm… mine are all really old & they still seem to break when dropped on the brick floor. Never have had one expolde on me. Yet.

  65. Wow, that’s a scary scene. Glad you weren’t hurt.

  66. Amy 66

    WOW!! WOW!! I am just glad to hear that no one was injured! That is totally freaking me out as my sous chefs are always around when I am cooking. Not to mention my little dog who seems to think that he needs to wear an apron and join us.

    I’ve never done it, but I am constantly thinking about the possibility.

  67. This is so something that would happen to me! I’m not even kidding! It would never occur to me that anything like that would happen. At all.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re okay and everything is fine. But how scary! Thanks for posting that information. It’s good for all of us to know.

  68. Julie 68

    Wow…I’m glad you didn’t get hurt! Any dishes that get destroyed at my house are usually at my hand. I do remember many years ago one of the coil-type burners of my stove had a small explosion shortly after I turned it on. Fortunately I had walked away already.

  69. Wow, that’s a scary scene. Glad you weren’t hurt.

  70. krysta 70

    i have had it happen TWICE! i even blogged about it. i’m really disappointed because i have had one chucked at my head and that one didn’t break.

  71. Bunny 71

    Oh yes i’ve done it, I had bread I was making from the Artisian Bread book and stuck a glass pyrex square glass cake pan in the oven and smash! Glass all over the place!!

  72. I had that same thing happen. I pulled the dish of beans that I had stored in a pyrex dish in the fridge out to make dinner. I didn’t even put them back in the oven. For some reason going from the fridge to the counter made it shatter. I did a whole post about it because … hello … thought pyrex was something that was passed down from generation to generation. Crazy!!

  73. KathyB. 73

    YIKES! From reading this post and some of the comments it sounds like cooking with this pyrex is akin to walking across a mine field…..fine glass shards all over are dangerous! No, this has never happened to me, but when Corell first came out I had a set, and piece by piece, they broke…easier than any china I had and one of my favorite serving pieces of it broke when I just set it down on the table….no dropping, or temperature changes, just set it down. Needless to say, I don’t use Corelle anymore.

  74. Kayola 74

    Thank goodness you were wearing glasses….you probably thought you had just been shot when it exploded….oh well one less dish to pack…

  75. Shannan 75

    Some years ago a 13×9 pyrex full of coolish lasagna shattered in my oven. I heard it shatter, but did not know where the sound came from. I went around the house to investigate the noise. I only discovered the source when I ran to the call of the fire alarm. A volcanic mess.

    A year or so ago I tossed the last of my pyrex when my niece cut her hand while washing a piece of pyrex in the sink. It seemed to have cracked and fell apart under the water and a shard sliced her hand.

  76. Leslie 76

    i had two pyrex dishes spontaneously explode in the oven a few months ago. i was roasting some beets, potatoes, and turnips, and about 30 minutes in i heard a “thud” type sound. i thought nothing of it, and when i checked the veggies i found both the pyrex dishes i was using had shattered inside the oven. it was very strange. they hadn’t gone to extreme temperatures either, they were room temp when i put them in and the oven was at about 375 or so. it was really weird, and really annoying to clean up.

    i wouldn’t buy pyrex ever again, the risk of injury seems pretty substantial.

  77. Jenny 77

    FLASHBACK…yes I lost my favorite green 9X13 pyrex dish when I was roasting some veggies. I guess the the dish couldn’t take the 450 degrees. Cleaning an oven mess is one thing but a GLASSY food mess….the worst!

  78. Scary! Scary! Scary! I just used a glass pyrex pan for water to steam my baguette for crispy crust. It’s old, ugly, and rarely chosen for any other task. NOT ANY MORE! I’ll be using the broiler pan from now on. Thanks for the warning!

    Your spud recipe above looks DIVINE!!!

    Good luck with the packing. (prayers for you)

  79. yep-had a small roast in a Pyrex, added some liquid as it had dried out. Exploded.All.Over.

    My sister broke Corelle too.

  80. Deanne 80

    Yep – was having a bunch of people over for dinner, baking a boatload of potatoes in a pyrex dish. I took the potatoes out of the oven and placed it on a trivet on the counter and it shattered in a few minutes. No potatoes that night. No more cooking with pyrex, either.

    I refuse to capitalize a product that makes a mess. And impedes my eating. Heh.

  81. Yes… I exploded a pyrex pie pan with a blueberry pie in it on Thanksgiving. I set it on an electric burner and turned the wrong burner on (I thought I turned the gravy on). It exploded a minute later and blew glass and blueberries into my gravy, mashed potatoes and asparagus.

    I’m still embarrassed!

  82. ntsc 82

    Good to know I’m not the only person who did this paticular stunt. As I started to pour the water the thought entered my head of: “This is not a good idea”, but it was too late.

  83. katie 83

    I go through Pyrex measuring cups as fast a paper cups. They break when I gently place them in the dishwasher, they break when they tip over on the counter, I swear they break faster and easier than my china. Apparently no one has this problem but me and I live in some sort of parallel universe to the rest of you.

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