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Can You Broil Pyrex?

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Pyrex is a world-renowned brand that produces durable cookware that can be used in multiple ways. But can it withstand scorching temperatures when broiling food?

Can you broil Pyrex? No, Pyrex shouldn’t be used for broiling. Even though Pyrex produces high-quality and durable glassware, you should not use glass bakeware to broil food since the unusually high temperatures can cause the glass to shatter.

Learn more about Pyrex bakeware, how strong these products are, what Pyrex bakeware is suitable for, and what the correct equipment is for broiling!

How Tough Is Pyrex?

Pyrex is an iconic glassware brand that has been around for decades, and with good reason!

It is one of the leading names in high-quality glassware and the brand has cemented its reputation by producing some of the toughest and most advanced glass products in the market. 

But here’s the thing: Glass has fundamental flaws and it can’t disobey the laws of thermal dynamics. 

Sure, you can toughen glass and make it resist high temperatures, but at the end of the day, the durability of glass will always come second to other materials in the kitchen, especially when it comes to very high temperatures. 

Pyrex usually uses borosilicate glass, a type of glass that is strengthened to reduce thermal expansion and stress. The company also uses advanced manufacturing processes to further improve the build quality of its glassware. 

This allows its customers to easily cook and heat food right in the dish without worrying about damage — unless, of course, you are going above a certain temperature range, like when broiling.

Why Does Glass Shatter?

When glass is heated, it can expand by tiny amounts in different areas — and while this change might not be noticeable to the eyes, it is enough to cause tiny fractures in the glass that eventually lead to it combusting.

Yes, you read that right, glass can combust quite violently if it is not treated properly. 

What makes this flaw especially dangerous is the fact that sometimes, glassware may look fine, but as soon as you remove it from the oven and set it on the counter, it can shatter instantly!

This happens due to mechanical stress, i.e., picking up and putting the glassware down on the counter

As we said, putting it up and down isn’t much, but it is enough to cause the glass to completely shatter.

But it isn’t all bad!

Most Pyrex products are rated to work well within certain temperature ranges. 

If we are talking exclusively about heating food, then you can easily heat food up to 400°F–425°F in a Pyrex container. 

This is usually the maximum limit set by the brand for most of its products, but you should always refer to the user manual or handling instructions to know the exact detail about your specific glassware product.

Using Pyrex is also one of the best ways to conveniently heat food right from the fridge or freezer. This is because Pyrex also works well with freezing temperatures!

Some Pyrex products can be frozen rock solid at 0°F and can be put directly in the oven at up to 400°F without it shattering. 

So, Pyrex seems like it can truly handle varying temperatures, right? Well, things are a bit different when it comes to broiling food.

What Is Broiling?

Broiling is an age-old cooking technique that relies on high heat to cook food and give it an interesting texture. 

The primary difference in this method is that food is exposed to higher-than-usual temperatures when broiling, usually around 400°F–550°F.

Broiling is an excellent way to finish off any type of meal. It is primarily used at the end of the cooking process to give the superficial layer some color and a crispy texture

However, broiling can be quite dangerous when glass is involved. 

Remember the upper-temperature limit for most glass products? Well, broiling comfortably crosses that temperature range and easily goes to uncomfortable extremes. 

Some ovens have a dedicated broiling feature that can truly up the ante and bring up the internal temperature to about 500°F! When this type of heat is applied to glass, it will definitely shatter — no matter what type of glass you use. 

Why Shouldn’t You Use Pyrex For Broiling?

You might be thinking that if Pyrex can handle temperatures up to 400°F, then you may be able to get away with broiling food at or below that temperature range. 

The thing is, most ovens aren’t that accurate when it comes to temperature — and depending on ambient conditions, there can be some natural discrepancy in the internal temperature of the oven. 

Please also keep in mind that the type of food that you heat in the glassware can also have a significant impact on the overall temperature of the glass

For example, a dense food like lasagna that covers most of the surface of the glassware will heat up very quickly and may even push the temperature of the glass past its breaking point. 

If you have previously used Pyrex at such high temperatures and the glassware survived to tell the tale, then you should consider yourself lucky — because you likely won’t be able to pull off the same feat again!

See, when you heat glass past its recommended temperature zone, it will likely develop faults around the surface

These faults will not be visible to the naked eye, but they can be detected under a microscope.

These micro-fractures create instability in the structure of the glass, which means that the next time the glass is exposed to the same high temperatures, it will likely shatter.

Best Materials For Broiling

With all that said, we clearly wouldn’t advise using Pyrex when broiling food. We recommend going with the following alternatives for the best results when broiling food.

1. Steel 

Steel in general is a sturdy material that can withstand mechanical and thermal stress. It has been the default choice to cook food under direct heat for centuries and is one of the best materials to use in a broiler.

Steel has a way higher temperature tolerance and can easily withstand the maximum temperature of most ovens. 

Steel products are also excellent at spreading heat around the pan, which results in way better and more consistent superficial textures than other materials. 

If you do want to broil food, then we recommend using cast iron, steel, stainless steel, or virtually any other food/oven-safe steel bakeware. 

Just be careful when handling it because while steel may not look that hot coming out of the broiler, it is notorious for instantly blistering the fingers!

2. Aluminum

Aluminum is another great material that doesn’t just tolerate heat, but is also lightweight and much easier to handle. 

Bakeware made from reinforced oven-safe aluminum is usually your best bet at broiling food because of its cost-effectiveness and general ease of use. 

These heat-resistant bakeware products are available in multiple sizes and you can get more or less the same texture and results that you would expect from steel pans. 

3. Porcelain

Porcelain products may cost a bit more, but they are one of the best bakeware for broiling food. 

This material is made from refined ceramic that is specially treated with higher temperatures, thus giving it a far sturdier structure and tolerance. 

You can also use them straight from the fridge or freezer without worrying about damage! Sure, they might break when dropped unlike steel or aluminum, but they are the closest to glassware in how they heat food. 

4. Ceramic

Ceramic bakeware is an excellent choice for people who want the same characteristics as glassware.

These specific pans work in the same way as porcelain — they are slightly less durable, but in most cases, they are well-equipped to deal with broiling temperatures. 

Another benefit of going with ceramic bakeware is that they are also cheaper. They come in many different sizes and can have printed designs on them too — which adds to their appeal in everyday kitchen use. 

Safety With Pyrex

Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when using Pyrex:

  • Always follow the user manual and check the usage indications mentioned on the packaging of your glassware. If you don’t have the original packaging, then check out the details on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Always try to heat food a few degrees lower than the maximum recommended temperature for your glassware. Remember: ovens can be inaccurate and there can be a slight discrepancy in temperature.
  • Be careful when dealing with hot glassware. Use thick gloves and keep the dish away from your body when moving it.
  • Let the Pyrex cool down for a few minutes in the oven after you are done cooking — this will allow the material to gain back its structural integrity. Then, gently remove it from the oven and place it down (gently) on a dry counter.

Related Questions 

Now that you know why you shouldn’t broil food in Pyrex, here are some related questions! 

Can you use old Pyrex in the oven?

As long as the Pyrex is in good condition, then you may continue to use it in the oven for everyday kitchen tasks.

Please avoid broiling food in old Pyrex glassware because it will likely be the first to crack or shatter due to its repeated use in the past. 

Can you broil Pyrex for a few minutes/seconds?

No, broiling Pyrex for a short time isn’t recommended either because the glass will likely cross its maximum range only a few minutes after it is put in the broiler.

In addition, you will probably not get the desired food benefits or characteristics after broiling for that short amount of time. 

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