Caution: Beware of exploding Pyrex this holiday season

I admit to being a bit nervous about using Pyrex or similar cookware, and prefer to use ceramic or Le Creuset for precisely this reason.

Whether my fear is legitimate or not, there are more reports of problems with these dishes, so follow the instructions provided or available inside the link and be cautious.

Pyrex Warning

Pyrex Warning

Most people have no issues with these dishes but reading the safety instructions is a good idea.

At the advocacy agency ConsumerAffairs.com, which posts reviews about popular goods and services, the two top brands of glass cookware in the U.S. — Pyrex and Anchor Hocking — have drawn nearly 1,600 reports combined, mostly accounts of unexpected breakage, since the site began in 1998.

“This is without a doubt the highest number of complaints about a single type of cookware or kitchen accessory,” said Jim Hood, founder and editor of the site, which has been reporting on the problem since 2005.

Sheer volume might account for some of the complaints, considering that glass bakeware is found in at least 80 percent of U.S. homes. World Kitchen, the maker of U.S. Pyrex, produces more than 44 million dishes a year, company officials say. Anchor Hocking makes more than 30 million pieces a year.

Thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving via Shutterstock


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Sammy

    Pyrex is still made in the usa and so is Anchor Hocking. However, both are soda lime which is the real issue. In Europe and South America all glass bakeware is borosilicate. Only in the usa do consumers still accept soda lime. Both companies should change boro. Anchor cannot because they are on the verge of collapse anyway after being mismanaged for years by Monomoy. Pyrex is the better brand and leader that should change to boro. That would also lead to the demise of anchor.

  • tsuki

    Yard Sales – made in US only. My friend wanted to get into canning. She found “Mason Golden Harvest” jars at Florida Pottery. So much cheaper. They did not survive pressure canning.

    I’ve had my Mason, Ball, Kerr jars since the sixties, USA made all. I lose one when I drop it on the tile floor.

  • OtterQueen

    Both of those links confirm that the current type of Pyrex is more likely to shatter when heated.

  • smc

    This is not an urban legend…it just happened to my daughter THIS MORNING in her oven!!!

  • smc

    My daughter’s Christmas breakfast casserole just exploded IN THE OVEN!!! It was set at 350 (not high temp). It was almost ready to take out of the oven…thankfully she did not take it out or it might have exploded on the counter!! Big mess to clean up on Christmas morn!

  • Johnberry22

    Thinking things has been done through the ages; knowing things remains to be done.

  • rmthunter

    My Pyrex is vintage — from the ’40s — and the only breakage I’ve had is when something got dropped. Stove top, oven, makes no difference — it’s fine. I was thinking of getting some new pieces — small covered dishes — but maybe I’ll go with ceramic instead.

  • rmthunter

    One place I don’t use Pyrex is in the microwave — ceramic only, because the heat is localized and fairly intense. Stoneware is fired at 2000-2200 degrees, so I figure it can handle it. Glass, even tempered glass, I don’t want to trust.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Hows about purities?

  • Asterix

    When Corning had an issue back in the 70s with their coffee percolator coming apart, they issued a recall. You sent them the lid to your percolator and they sent you a special discount catalog with special prices. I saw a good thing and loaded up on the pie and cake pans, casseroles, bakeware and even a teapot. More than 30 years later, I still have every piece; most have gone from refrigerator to oven without incident.. I gave the percolator to Goodwill many years ago.

    It’s too bad that CGW is now selling garbage. A sign of the times, I suppose–profits over quality.

  • http://twitter.com/JafafaHots Jafafa Hots

    Oh… and borosilicate is clear – “white” glass, whereas soda lime has a bluish tint when looking through the thick sections. So if you aren’t sure…

  • http://twitter.com/JafafaHots Jafafa Hots

    When Corning made Pyrex, it was borosilicate glass (as were its competitors like Fire King).

    When World Kitchen bought the name “Pyrex” from Corning, they started making it from soda lime glass. Soda lime glass is cheaper, but is not resistant to “heat shock.”

  • Cletus

    It’s seems to be a bigger problem than reported. We had a casserole explode in the microwave. Never occurred to me to report it. I’m sure there are plenty of others out there that haven’t either.

  • Sally

    Mine all says “Made in USA” even the more recent ones. The Chinese ones are different. I have never had a problem, but I have a friend who sends out the scare email every so often. I finally got off her list, as she sent along everything without checking it out.

  • cfox

    Unfortunately, Pyrex is no longer made in the US, but in China. They changed the formula for the glass to make it cheaper, as a result of which the new pyrex cannot go from freezer to oven without shattering. Only use pyrex made before 1990–find it in garage sales and estate sales of elderly people.

  • OtterQueen

    My mom worked at a division of Corning, so I’ve been using Pyrex for decades. I’ve never had a problem until lately. All of my older stuff is still going great guns, but anything I’ve purchased in the last decade or so has broken, chipped, or cracked. Including a measuring cup. A MEASURING CUP! I finally stopped buying any more. I’m wondering if they still use borosilicate glass, or if they’re cutting corners to increase profits. Gives Pyrex a bad name.

  • ComradeRutherford

    I love glassware. It does need to be used correctly, the diagrams on this post are important. I have never seen exploding pyrex, but then again I’m using 20 year old stuff. Maybe the new Made in China stuff has impurities in it?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Unfortunately, like Fox News’ annual ‘War on Christmas’, the exploding Pyrex story is one that seems to make the viral rounds, albeit not on any particular fixed schedule.

    http://www.stats.org/stories/2009/exploding_pyrex_oct14_09.html

    and

    http://www.techfragments.com/1608/exploding-pyrex-cookware/

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