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The Trouble With Pyrex

Pyrex was the first glass cookware, introduced in 1915 by the Corning Glass Company. The breakthrough was borosilicate glass, which doesn't break when it's heated. Pyrex is still sold in stores by Corelle, but there's a steady stream of consumers who check out thrift and antique shops for old Pyrex cookware, with good reason.  

Clear glass Pyrex cookware is practically an American icon. With its pleasing heft and remarkable resilience, these famous clear pans have been essential when cooking biscuits, casseroles, and pies since 1915. There’s only one problem. A few years ago, the pans started exploding when they got too hot—which is ironic since Pyrex glass was specifically designed to be heat resistant. Some blamed a change in the glass formula and flocked to thrift stores to buy older models. Others cried hoax. Everyone agrees that exploding glass is bad.

The rate of shattering glass is low, considering the number of Pyrex pans in circulation, but the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 850 reports of shattering glassware in the past seven years. Read about the chemistry of glassware and the history of Pyrex manufacture at Gizmodo. When you read it, you'll learn the important difference between the two measuring cups shown above.

(Image credit: Picofluidicist)


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I nearly had a fit when one of my family members broke my Father's Pyrex. It was larger than the normal size one I have now . I use it and never leave it in the sink . It gets washed put away They are tough cookies but don't stand a chance around my family !
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My 'Pyrex' casserole dish exploded on first use in a moderate oven. Really pissed that the potatoes au gratin were ruined. Never buy anything for cooking that does not overtly state it is borosilicate.
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