Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pyrex Bake/Storage Ware

As any of my regular readers already know, I am an avid cook and cookbook author.
(My cooking/craft/cat blog can be found at: Veggies, Yarns & Tails if you'd like to take a look!)
With all the time I spend in the kitchen, I have definite likes and dislikes when it comes to bake and storage ware. Up until the past couple of months, I was a big fan of Pyrex ware, but no longer!

This is one of the bowls (lid colors have recently changed) that came in a set of Pyrex that I've had for about 2 years.

 I used these bowls on a fairly regular basis but ONLY for food storage.
I have never used any of them for cooking or baking, not even for heating anything up. And when I've stored anything that was hot that needed to go in the fridge, I always made sure that it was cooled before I did, to insure that the temperature change wouldn't be a concern for breakage.
One of the things I always liked about Pyrex was that if a piece was dropped (in the past) it usually didn't even break/crack. Well, Pyrex isn't what it used to be. I found that out a few weeks ago when I dropped this same size container a short distance, onto our arborite kitchen counter and....

It shattered like a piece of fine china!
Shards of glass everywhere, most of them so fine that they needed to be vacuumed up, which I did in a big hurry as Mr. Cheddar was curious to check out what was going on! I wish I had a photo of the mess from that day, but I did save a few of the bigger shards:

How I didn't end up with some of this glass in my eyes is a miracle. It just exploded on impact.
Even days later, after several vacuuming, there were tiny shards of glass in the hall and living room, adjacent to the kitchen. On the day the container broke, I had a large pot of soup cooking on the counter and that all had to go in the trash too. WHAT A MESS but it could have been so much worse.
Somewhere along the way, Pyrex has changed in terms of durability/formula although according to their company website, that never happened. This is not the same quality that I remember from years ago. My mom used Pyrex in the stove and for food storage for years and never had anything break like this container did.
This was a very upsetting and unexpected experience and a few days later, I decided to contact the Pyrex company to let them know about my experience. I filled in a customer service form at their website, explaining what had happened. Then I waited....and waited.
After sending this third detailed email:
Third attempt to contact your company! No one is getting back to me. Here's the previous email I sent last:
I wrote about an product issue I had over a week ago and haven't had an answer, it was in regard to this set:
one of the bowls in this set shattered into a million tiny pieces, when I recently dropped it a short distance to the kitchen (arborite) counter. It was very upsetting and unexpected and we were picking glass shards out of the carpet in the next room for days afterwards, they flew that far. Also, I had a large batch of soup cooking on the counter at the time, and this all had to be thrown out, with the risk of glass having landed there too.
These bowls were never even used for cooking, just for storage. Very unexpected and upsetting as I said above. I expect something to be done by way of compensation for the lost bowl, wasted food, wasted time and the shock of having this happen. It could have been even worse, if one of these shards had hit my eye.
Geraldine Hartman
PS: This set is a couple of years old fyi
Finally, I got a high priority email in reply to this one, with apologies and an offer of a credit for more Pyrex by way of compensation.
Funny that it took three emails AND mentioning my upcoming reviews to get any response! ;<) Well, not really funny, I'm guessing they get a lot of complaints to respond to, these days.
The last thing I want or need at this point is more Pyrex!
 I explained the whole experience in detail, repeatedly and asked for a small monetary credit in lieu of the shock of what had happened, all the cleaning, wasted time, wasted food....and was told I would have to submit a detailed, written complaint and send in some of the broken glass to be analysed and they would consider my request.
More delays, more wasted time, several emails back and forth and LOTS of forms (customs, labels, incident report....) to print again and again and fill out. Then, for over  a week this package was suppose to be picked up but never was.

I finally gave up in frustration. This whole fiasco had been going on since the early December with no resolution in sight.
I won't be buying anymore Pyrex in the future and I'm now in search of a safe, reliable alternative for glass bake/storage ware.
If you've been using Pyrex with a sense of security when it comes to it being safe/shatter-proof, think again! This was a very unexpected and upsetting experience and as I said above, it could have been so much worse!
Here's just a sampling of the Pyrex horror stories  I recently read online. What I think is even more frightening in my own experience is that these containers were NEVER even heated for cooking or baking, not once and this one still shattered like china.
This is not safe bake OR storage ware. Buyer beware!
Overall rating for this product: BAD 0 out of 5.


  1. Geraldine, I have three sets of those dishes, and like you I have never used them for heating up food...and now never will. I can't believe how dangerous that is...

    And shockingly poor customer service, I think you should post some of this on Pinterest! All of us that have been using this product thinking we are doing ourselves a favor should be able to see this also.

    I have noticed that ever so rarely is there a response from retailers...it doesn't seem to matter how many emails they are sent.

    Green Beaver sunscreen, don't bother, it's crap..and they never even got back to me about the clotted product that cost $27.00 for a tiny amount...not impressed.

    Thanks for letting us know, we will be super careful with the exploding pyrex from now on.


  2. thats poor publicrelations on their part for sure, I had the same thing happen with a dish, but mine hit the apartment floor in the kitchen and I know its cement under the tile so,,,, but really they never use to break by dropping, I did have one explode in the oven though, it was an older piece so now I just don't heat any pyrex, I think something must happen to degrade the glass after repeated heatings, when you find a substitute please let us know!

  3. Hi Jen, I'm hoping to spread the word about this personal experience as much as possible (and other Pyrex horror stories) so if you can, do share on your Pinterest page etc. I don't have an account there. This is a product that's not just inferior, it's downright dangerous. Thanks!

    Hi Laurie, I dropped this container less than a foot, onto the kitchen counter. I didn't even back up much as I was expecting it to just "bounce" or at worst, crack in two. Wow, was I in for a nasty surprize. I will definitely let you know what I find for good alternatives.

    To all readers, do spread the word on your Facebook pages etc, if at all possible. So many people have Pyrex in their kitchen and I'm sure many (like me) never expect something like this to happen.

  4. Thanks goodness you didn't get hurt. I was just outside the kitchen, in another room and it sounded like an explosion, it was so loud. When I came out, I was shocked to see glass everywhere. What a mess. This is not a safe product to use.

  5. Good heavens it could have blinded you or Cheddar that's awful glad you wrote about it for all those people who may purchase them unknowingly, atta girl, glad no one got hurt, you have an angel watching over you, and I'm damn glad.

  6. Oh geez, I left a comment and blogger gobbled it up.
    I have some of the really old ones so have not had a problem and now I won't be buying any new ones.
    Thanks for this indepth report.

  7. Hi Joe, It was loud, wasn't it? I was so shocked by how this shattered into such fine shards and the sound...I could hardly move for a moment. It could have been so much worse, I agree.

    Hi Lorraine, I'm so glad no one got hurt either. Mr. Cheddar was heading towards the "wreckage" in speed mode. Had to put him in the bedroom and vacuum up the mess asap. But even days later, there were still tiny shards of glass in the carpet, in the next room. I hope I do have an angel watching over me. Sometimes, I feel a presence of protection around me, no doubt about that.

    Hi Teri. They say repeatedly that Pyrex has not changed it's formula but it even looks different from the older kind. More of a blueish cast to the glass color and lighter in weight. I'd be careful with any Pyrex you have though. Glad you enjoyed my review. I hope it keeps many readers safe! I've also left reviews at Amazon etc...to spread the word and hopefully my readers here will pass this info. along to via Facebook etc.

    Thanks for your comments and visits, most appreciated, G :<)

  8. This definitely could have been a disaster of the worst kind. As Meowmie mentions above, I was heading into the kitchen to check out the big bang, when I was intercepted at the door. Good thing, I would have cut up my paws, big time. I'm doing some long-overdue blog visiting today and thought I should comment on this review.

    Speaking of reviews: I will be back with a new one myself in the not too distant future. I'm working on one right now. And as my readers already know, my reviews are always worth the wait. Snort... ;<)

    Chiao for now,
    Mr. Cheddar, Celeb blogger and all around fab feline!

  9. well now...there is an honest review....ugh on the poor customer service...and it stinks that their quality has gone down hill like that....

  10. Hi Ched, Yes, I'm so glad you weren't hurt either. And good to let readers know you will be back with a review soon. I know you've got one in the works. ;<)

    Hi Brian, I always try to give unbiased, honest reviews Brian. And I agree, the customer service and quality of Pyrex needs a big shake up! Not acceptable on either count.

    Here's another site of MANY reviews/horror stories re: Pryex that I just found today. This story keeps getting worse:


    Do spread the word and also let me know if you have viable, safe alternatives to suggest. I have one I'm looking into right now.

    Thanks and Happy Thursday, G

  11. Hello Geraldine,

    My name is Stephanie and I work for a company called Kavalierglass of North America, Inc. My company makes products similar to pyrex, BUT we make ours out of the highest grade borosilicate glass that is available.

    I would love to talk to you more about this, and possibly send you some free samples. You can check out our website at: www.simax.com

    Please email me at stephanie@kavalierglass.com

    Hope to hear from you!

  12. WOW people are seeking you out, I love it...boy you deserve it!!!!!

  13. Hi Stephanie, I have responded to your comment via email. Thanks for your interest. I'm looking forward to learning more about your products.

    Hi Lorraine, I hear from quite a few companies actually. :<) Always nice to find out about new products.

    New book review coming up tomorrow! Another one I'm really excited about.

    Happy Weekend, G

  14. This continues to be a learning experience for me. I wanted to share an excerpt from an email I received from Stephanie at Kavelier Glass (her comment is above) explaining in more detail some of the differences in types of glass bakeware available and safety issues.

    here's part of her email:

    "Pyrex used to make their all of their kitchen glass out of borosilicate glass, until they sold the US branch of the company to World Kitchen. At that point the company decided to cut costs and make the products out of tempered soda-lime glass. The Pyrex brand in European countries is still made from borosilicate glass. My mother had a similar experience that you did, but with a small square Pyrex casserole dish. It slid out of our lower kitchen cabinet from about 3 inches off the ground and just shattered everywhere. There were tiny little shards of glass all over our kitchen..

    The biggest difference between soda-lime and borosilicate glass is the
    rate of thermal expansion. The thermal expansion of soda-lime products is
    MUCH higher than the thermal expansion of borosilicate glass. And when I
    say thermal rate of expansion I mean it in regards to how much the glass
    expands when heated. (I hope you'll excuse me, I'm still a fairly new
    addition to the company; I dont know ALL the scientific terms/explanations
    but more of the basic components of what makes our glass better.)

    Our glass brand is Simax, we make our kitchen glass from the same
    borosilicate quality grade that we make our laboratory glass from. All of
    our Simax brand products are made over in the Czech Republic. There are
    many other companies who make borosilicate glass around the world, but are
    not distributed to the North American market. Also, out of all the other
    companies who make borosilicate glass, ours is still is always 3.3
    borosilicate glass whether someone is ordering our technical glass or our
    kitchen glassware. Other companies cut costs and use less Boron in their
    mixture for kitchen glass because it is an expensive commodity, so other
    companies sell a 3.5 x 10^-6 grade borosilicate glass.

    The reason that Pyrex dishes explode when they break is because it is
    tempered glass, its supposedly "safer" to clean up a million shards
    of glass.. If you were to experience a breakage from our products your piece would break into a few large chunks."

    PS: I'll take a few chunks of broken glass vs the many, many tiny and dangerous shards, that was my (and many other people's) experience using Pyrex!

    I'll keep you posted with alternatives I find, including the products made by Kavelier Glass which I am looking forward to trying out soon.

    Wishing you a happy and safe week, G

  15. We are talking about dropping a glass dish here, if you drop glass on a hard surface it does tend to break.... Just a thought.....

    1. Breaking in a couple of pieces, I could have understood but NOT into a million tiny shards of glass as explained above. If you read my review of Simax glass products:


      you'll see that glassware doesn't necessarily break at all, when dropped. The "old" Pyrex didn't either, but that product is long gone now. I'm glad Simax is available though, a safer alternative to Pyrex and Anchor Hocking products.

  16. My small glass baking dish cracked when put in the sink sans water. I'll use a baking/cookie sheet.


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