Vakkotaur (vakkotaur) wrote,

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Pyrex Ain't Pyrex Anymore

I was unaware that Corning, or its inheritor World Kitchen switched from proper low-expansion borosilicate glass to ordinary (alright, tempered) soda-lime glass, which is not low-expansion. I just got to experience this cheapening. My 8x8 "Pyrex" pan went into the oven at room temperature and in one piece. It came out rather hotter (what's an oven for?) but in several pieces. Naturally, I am unhappy about this.

Pyrex had come to mean "can handle heat" and this utterly failed to. Now, borosilicate glass is not as low-expansion or change-in-heat tolerant as fused quartz, but I'm not going from boiling water to an ice bath (fused quartz can deal with that, borosilicate cannot). Soda-lime glass is very much not known for low-expansion or dealing well with changes in heat. The maker claims it's less prone to breakage when dropped. Also, it's cheaper to make. But that doesn't help it hold together when used for baking, which is rather the point of a thing called "bakeware."

Now, where do I get a right, proper borosilicate glass pan? After this, I am not sure I can trust any of this recent pseudo-Pyrex. I might end up preemptively replacing it all before I get a big mess. I was relatively lucky this time and only baking some fish - easy to recover for cleanup. Had it been a cake or brownies or something more fluid, I'd have had a much nastier mess to clean up.

Tags: baking, borosilicate, breakage, glass, pyrex, soda-lime
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