Why Does a Glass Pie Pan Break in the Oven?

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There's almost nothing nicer than pulling a piping hot pie from the oven. But there's also nothing scarier than hearing a crash coming from the kitchen while you're baking. Some glass products crack when they get too hot or undergo abrupt temperature changes. It is important to ensure that each dish you put in the oven is safe for high-temperature use.

Thermal Shock

  • When glass changes temperature quickly, it experiences "thermal shock." This means that different parts of the glass expand at different rates, which can cause it to crack from the pressure. This is why you should never transfer a dish straight from the oven to the freezer.

Oven-Safe Glass

  • While you should never place your drinking glass in the oven, there are sturdier, heavier glass dishes that are oven-safe. The most common available brand is known as Pyrex, which is made of a compound called "soda lime" which is extra-resistant to breakage. The Pyrex company recommends that you follow all their safety instructions, including allowing your dish to cool on a rack or dry cloth.

Other Baking Dishes

  • Glass is not the only choice for oven baking. Dishes made out of stainless steel, cast iron or enameled cast iron, and ceramic are all excellent choices for cooking in the oven. Many dishes -- of all materials -- will note on the bottom if they are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe, so be sure to check.

Use Glass Properly

  • Glass dishes will only crack in the oven if you are using them improperly. If your dish is not oven-safe, if you place it on to a wet surface, if you use it on the stovetop or if you don't let your oven preheat, the dish could shatter.

References

  • Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
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