Pyrex dishes have been around for many decades, but they are one of those pieces of kitchenware that we just wouldn’t be without!
These versatile pieces of bakeware seem to last forever, no matter how much cooking and reheating we put them through.
But can your Pyrex dishes go directly from the fridge to the oven? Transferring a cold Pyrex dish directly from the fridge to the oven carries a higher risk of the glass shattering, due to the extreme change in temperature. It is a good idea to allow Pyrex to come to room temperature for around 1 hour before putting it into the oven.
Have you forgotten to take your Pyrex out of the refrigerator before reheating it? Or maybe you’re worried that your favorite dish is going to shatter into millions of pieces in the oven?
Let’s find out how to take the best possible care of our Pyrex bakeware!
What Is Pyrex?
Pyrex dishes come in all shapes and sizes, to suit all your baking needs. They are safe to use in a hot oven, and can also be used to store food in the freezer.
There can’t be many kitchen cupboards that don’t contain some form of Pyrex dish, and for good reason!
Believe it or not, the Pyrex brand has been around for over 100 years, and the longevity of these baking dishes means that they are often passed down from one generation to the next.
The wonderful thing about Pyrex is that it is a very tough and safe form of bakeware, resistant to breakage and scratches. It is easy to clean, and baked-on food can be soaked off in soapy water.
What Is Pyrex Made From?
Pyrex is made from a patented form of toughened glass, designed to withstand extreme temperatures. If you were to put normal glass into the oven it would most likely shatter, but Pyrex dishes have been treated to avoid this problem.
The great thing about Pyrex dishes is that they come in a range of different sizes, both with and without lids.
This ovenproof bakeware also comes in clear glass, or with a range of different patterns. It is even possible to get Pyrex jugs, designed to withstand the heat of boiling liquids.
So, these wonderful dishes make it easy to prepare a meal in advance, and then simply pop it into the oven to reheat! But if you’ve kept your Pyrex dish in the refrigerator, is it safe to put it into a hot oven?
Can Pyrex Go Directly From Fridge To Oven?
Whilst Pyrex is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, one thing that will potentially cause it to break is sudden temperature changes. This is called thermal shock and will cause many types of bakeware to shatter into pieces.
The manufacturers of Pyrex advise that you “DO NOT add liquid to hot glassware; place hot glassware on a wet or cool surface, directly on countertop or metal surface, or in sink; or handle hot glassware with wet cloth”.
From this, we can safely assume that putting a hot Pyrex dish into something cold will very likely cause it to break. But is the reverse also true?
There are some exceptions, but the instructions for most modern-day Pyrex dishes advise against putting a cold dish into a hot oven.
“Allow Pyrex to come to room temperature before immersing in water or placing in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave, or pre-heated oven.”
However, it does depend on the type of Pyrex dish you own. The original form of Pyrex is made from borosilicate glass.
This can withstand extreme temperature changes and can be taken from the fridge to the oven without the risk of breakage.
This all changed in 1998 when the manufacturers began making a different form of Pyrex from soda-lime.
Whilst this form of Pyrex is still able to withstand the hot temperature of a modern oven, it is not resistant to thermal shock. This means it can shatter if exposed to extreme changes in temperature.
So, if you can be completely sure that your Pyrex dish is the original version, then go ahead and pop it straight from the fridge into the oven!
But if you can’t be 100% sure which kind you have, err on the safe side and bring it to room temperature first.
Can Pyrex Go Directly From Freezer To Oven?
Most forms of modern Pyrex cannot withstand the thermal shock of going from one extreme temperature to another, whether from hot to cold or the reverse.
This means that the standard manufacturer’s advice is to bring Pyrex to room temperature before popping it into the oven.
This can be very frustrating if you have forgotten to get your Pyrex out of the freezer, but it is not worth risking putting a frozen casserole straight into the oven.
Imagine the hours you would have to spend carefully picking up broken shards of glass, mixed with your ruined dinner!
The only exception to this would be if you were 100% sure that your Pyrex dish was a pre-1998 borosilicate glass dish.
These Pyrex dishes are better able to withstand thermal shock and can be transferred straight from the freezer to the oven.
We would still, however, strongly advise that you take the time to defrost your food in a Pyrex dish before popping it into the oven.
The only way this can be done is by leaving it sat out at room temperature, as Pyrex dishes cannot be microwaved when frozen.
However, if you can take the food out of the dish and put it into a microwave-safe container, then you can defrost the food in the microwave whilst the Pyrex dish comes to room temperature on the kitchen worktop.
What Is The Safest Way To Heat Pyrex?
The safest way to heat Pyrex is to bring it to room temperature first. This means taking it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you want to reheat your food.
Remember that most foods should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, or even just 1 hour in hot climates.
If you’ve forgotten to take your Pyrex out of the fridge beforehand, is there any other way you can safely put it into the oven?
You might be tempted to put it into the oven while it comes to temperature, but this is the worst thing you could do! When an oven is preheating it circulates very hot air in the oven, which will put your Pyrex at high risk of breaking.
So, while you are preheating your oven, there are other steps you can take to warm the glass up quickly.
The easiest way to do this is to stand your chilled Pyrex dish in a shallow bowl of tepid water. Make sure the water is not hot, as you will have the same problem as putting it into a hot oven!
All you are trying to do is bring it from fridge temperature to room temperature.
Now that we’ve gone over why you should avoid transferring a Pyrex dish from the fridge directly to the oven, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
Can Pyrex go from oven to fridge?
It is not a good idea to move a Pyrex dish straight from the oven to the fridge, for two reasons.
Firstly, the Pyrex dish is at high risk of shattering if exposed to sudden changes in temperature. This is due to thermal shock, which puts the glass under extreme stress and increases the likelihood of it shattering.
The second reason is that it is not good for your fridge either! Hot food should be allowed to cool to room temperature before being placed in the refrigerator, otherwise, it may raise the overall temperature of the fridge.
Food should be refrigerated within two hours and can be decanted into smaller containers to speed up the cooling down process.
Can Pyrex go in the microwave?
Pyrex dishes are microwave-safe, but certain precautions must be taken when using them in the microwave.
These dishes are designed to withstand high temperatures, but cannot cope with sudden temperature changes. If Pyrex dishes go from cold to hot very suddenly, they can shatter and break.
The first thing to bear in mind is the temperature of the Pyrex dish and its contents when they go into the microwave—they should be at room temperature, not chilled or frozen.
It is also important to ensure that you select the correct temperature setting to cook or reheat the food gradually.
Microwaves do not heat food evenly and can create pockets of scalding hot food. It is a good idea to start on a low power setting, stirring the food frequently to distribute the heat.
Can Pyrex go in the dishwasher?
One of the great things about Pyrex is how easy it is to clean. You can pull a bubbling casserole from the oven, serve it up and leave the dish to soak while you enjoy your dinner.
After a short while, any burnt-on food will simply wipe away, leaving a gleaming piece of bakeware!
But if you are in a hurry, there is no reason why you can’t wash your Pyrex dishes in the dishwasher.
These toughened glass dishes are dishwasher safe and will come out gleaming after a standard dishwasher cycle. The only exception is with tough baked-on food such as cheese, which may need to be scraped off first.
If you have a very old Pyrex dish, it may not be dishwasher safe and should be washed by hand.
The same applies if your Pyrex dish has any chips in the glass, as these will weaken the overall integrity of the dish and increase the risk of breakage.
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