Just recently, a brand new glass Pyrex casserole dish suddenly exploded while Clark Howard and his family were eating, causing quite a scare.
Clark said the bakeware broke into a zillion little pieces, sending shards of glass up to 15 feet across the room.
Pyrex bakeware explodes; scatters shards of glass
“All of a sudden, there was a loud explosion. Everybody closed their eyes for an instant and then opened our eyes back up and we’re all covered in glass,” Clark recounted on the radio show. “I’ve never heard or seen anything like it in my life.”
Clark’s 11-year-old son, Grant, said a piece of glass bounced off the edge of his left eye, but he was not hurt because his eyes were closed at the time.
Thankfully, there were no serious injuries — just a few very minor cuts.
Clark said a chili tortilla bake was cooked in the dish at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. After cooling for five minutes, it was moved to the dinner table. The dish shattered about 15 minutes later.
Hear Clark discussing the ordeal on the Clark Howard Show Podcast
You can see the aftermath in this video Clark recorded using his cell phone:
This is not an isolated incident: Beware of dangers of glass bakeware
As you heard Clark explain in the video, he immediately began Googling and discovered multiple stories about “exploding” Pyrex glass dating back to 2007.
In 2010, Consumer Reports tested Pyrex and other popular brands of glass bakeware.
CR said Pyrex is made from soda-lime glass, but many years ago it was made with a type of glass called borosilicate, which is still used in Europe to this day.
Manufacturers say soda-lime glass is less likely to break when dropped, but how does it stand up to temperature changes?
Consumer Reports lab tests found American-made soda-lime bakeware that was exposed to extreme heat and placed on a wet counter shattered every time.
In the same test, European glass bakeware made from borosilicate didn’t break.
World Kitchen, the Illinois-based company that makes Pyrex, said the CR investigation was flawed and stands by the safety record of its products, which are in about 80% of U.S. homes.
Pyrex: Our bakeware is safe
Clark invited a representative from World Kitchen to come on the radio show to discuss these cases of shattering glass. The company declined to go on air but did provide Clark.com with this statement via email:
PYREX is and always has been safe for use in accordance with its Safety & Usage Instructions. PYREX® glass bakeware has an outstanding safety record, established over decades.
Since 1998 World Kitchen has manufactured nearly 370 million PYREX glass products for sale in the marketplace. A very small number of consumers have reported to World Kitchen that their PYREX glass bakeware unexpectedly broke. Breakage can occur when any brand of glass bakeware is subjected to severe temperature changes or other misuse that our Safety & Usage Instructions specifically warn against.
We value our consumers and want them to use PYREX glass bakeware properly, as millions of consumers have done for generations. That is why we sell all PYREX glass bakeware with Safety & Usage Instructions, which are also available on our website (www.pyrexware.com). If consumers want a replacement copy of the Safety & Usage Instructions we will email. Our Customer Care Center representatives are available to answer consumer questions at 800-999-3436.
How to keep glass bakeware from shattering
If you have glass bakeware in your kitchen, it’s important to follow the instructions on the packaging to prevent the glass from breaking due to abrupt temperature changes.
Here are four things to remember when using Pyrex products:
- Always pre-heat your oven
- Add liquid to bottom of dish before cooking meats or vegetables
- Never use on burner or under broiler
- Always place hot bakeware on dry cloth potholder or towel
If you no longer have the instructions that came with your bakeware, review them on the manufacturer’s website.