Pyrex shattering or exploding

We just had a Pyrex dish explode when I moved it from the oven to the heatproof granite sink - the sink feels more like plastic and is not cold to touch like stone. The shards of glass flew a couple of meters in each direction and dinner was spoiled. I grew up with Pyrex as a reliable brand that my mum used forever, and I use mine pretty much every week…my confidence in the brand is now very shaky.

A quick Google search showed that Pyrex exploding well known. I checked their website, but the guarantee is only for 2 years, you need proof of purchase date and they also instruct not to put them from the oven to benchtop. I don’t recall reading this on the packaging. I don’t have my receipt, but would have thought this is a serious and dangerous flaw. I was lucky not to be injured by the flying glass shards.

Has anyone else had trouble with exploding dishes? What did you do? Any luck getting a response from Pyrex


This is why it has exploded. A granite sink will be significantly colder than the pyrex dish (a form of glass) and the differential heating on the granite side of the dish compared to the extremely hot contents side…would have caused enormous stress on the disk causing it to ‘explode’ where there are any microscopic scratches.


I did something similar to you.

Cleaned up the mess and told myself to do better.

I didn’t approach them as it was a case of user error. You can only expect pyrex to take limited thermal stress.


The sink was not true granite. As I explained, it does not feel cold to touch, it’s more like a resin with ground granite embedded in it. It would be the equivalent of putting the dish on a wooden chopping board, so not the extreme temperature difference. I’d understand if the sink was wet, or if I’d put it on true granite, but putting it on this seemed reasonable.


I understand what you are writing, and I have done much the same with our Pyrex measuring cups over 2 decades with never a problem.

Have you tried? A few years ago we had some Pyrex products with a very clever lid that had a reheating vent and clear window, and the windows cracked as reliably as the sun would rise. They replaced the lids a few times before discontinuing the product, but made it right as best they could by supplying a set of regular lids, and we were happy with that.


This is significantly cooler than the Pyrex bowl. The US Consumer Reports has provided information in the past about why Pyrex can shatter/explode…

It isn’t a new phenomenon, but due to rapid (differential or uneven) cooling as outlined above.

Pyrex also provide warnings in their user instructions…

What you have done causing the dish to ‘explode’ would be classed as misuse under the Australian Consumer Law.


When we looking at building a new house prior to buying our current home, we were told by kitchen bench fabricators that the synthetic stone benchtops were not suitable to place hot items on unlike the true granite benchtops we had in our existing home.

Perhaps check the specifications of yours so you do not damage them or use wooden trivets.


I had one explode in a cupboard!! I heard a very loud bang - rushed to the kitchen - couldn’t find any cause…
It wasn’t until some days later, when I opened the cupboard to get a dish out, and found the shattered glass, that I discovered the reason. I was very grateful that the explosion was contained: it had spread from the top shelf to the bottom one, and there were fragments (very similar to a broken car windscreen) in every dish, bowl etc stored in the cupboard.
It was a favourite sized roasting dish, which had last been used at least two weeks before - so no major temperature fluctuations involved…


The glass is toughened so has an amount of “tension” built in. If a weakness develops eg some scratching or it is cooled too quickly in an area of the glass compared to the rest of the glass around that area this can lead to the glass releasing that tension in an explosive way. If visible damage does occur to a Pyrex dish we dispose of it rather than suffer the possible outcome (we have experienced the explode in the past). Some people can have these damaged items and have no problems, yet others do. It is something Pyrex do warn of so we now err on the side of caution. Using items that do not tend to scratch or damage the glass limits the chances of damage quite substantially eg wooden spoons instead of metal.


We have had Corelle crockery (also a glass product) explode from a very light contact. As others have written, a slight scratch on the surface is a major weak point that can then lead to a shattering experience.

We have had a granite benchtop and it is significantly colder than a very hot Pyrex or Corelle item. The sudden change in termperature produces sufficient shock force on the scratch to cause it to expand violently. Once the surface tension is released, you can have a shattering if it is slow, or an explosion if it happens quickly.

Sorry, but this is incorrect. We have a resin benchtop now which is a lot less cold than the granite composite. but we will not put hot glass or ceramic items onto that lest they break from the temperature difference. We always put hot Pyrex or Corelle onto a wooden board or a wooden trivet.


I had a Pyrex Jug shatter and cut my hand badly . This was some years ago pre internet but when I approached the importer I was told that there are two types of Pyrex and the European variant is more shatter resistant . I have never checked this out but may be worth a Google search now .


Thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies. I will certainly be more careful in future.

Hearing others’ similar experiences, I’m not convinced that Pyrex have given adequate warning. I followed the link that phb sent and read the Pyrex use and care instructions. It’s a long page of text and the safety message is towards the end. The very first line on use of these states: “PYREX ovenware can go directly from refrigerator or freezer to a microwave, convection, or preheated conventional oven” which seems contrary to the advice to avoid extreme changes in temperature. (incidentally, I’ve never done that, it seems too risky!). I am the sort of person who reads safety instructions when I purchase an item, so I wonder if the detail on the webpage is included on the product when it’s sold. I’ll check that out once I’m in a store again.

I am also concerned about the nature of the shattering. It was dramatic and the shards were sharp with many fine particles as well. Nothing like a shattering windscreen. Again, hearing other’s experiences, I don’t know how comfortable I feel about using these now. They’re such handy dishes, but I feel I was lucky to avoid injury. I certainly won’t be buying more until things change.

Thanks again, C


The change you need to avoid is from very hot to cold. They stand up very well going from cold to hot. When tempering steel the risk in fractures is only when the metal is suddenly cooled not when it is heated from cold to hot, Pyrex is similar in behaviour.


Yes, going from hot to cold through direct contact or through conductance on a surface is very quick causing significant stress within the glass. Placing a cool container in an oven rack/shelf is gradual heat increase as conductance of heat through the air is poor compared to a surface (especially one that is cool (e.g. stone or water) or conducts the heat away (metals)).

I am pleased that @Caz has raised the issue as many might not know the limitations of Pyrex, Corningware and other kitchen glass/ceramic products and risk of shattering/damage with rapid change in temperatures. The other one to watch is non-stick surfaces which also shouid never to cooled rapidly.


The Pyrex dishes today are not the same as the originals.


While wikipedia, the details are verifiable from other sources. The type glass was changed, details included.


50 years ago I bought a set of Corning ware saucepans in the US. I frequently put them on an open flame to cook meals. I have always had such total confidence in them and now I am wondering if I should be more wary with how I use them.:thinking:


They would most likely be the true Pyrex make ie borosilicate based glass and as such are much more resistant to thermal shock issues than many of the Pyrex nowadays sold on our shelves which are often toughened soda lime based glass.


I have a so called pyrex casserole cooking pot, and so far has not failed.
But my experience with toughened glass drink tumblers has not been good.
I have had some that just exploded sitting in the cupboard. Two went just putting them into the dishwasher and they may have just touched another cup or glass.
I have thrown the lot out and just stick to normal glass, or clear plastic.


I recall watching a video clip of a large diameter glass top coffee table in a living room which suddenely started to completely disintegrate, and ended up like a pile of broken windscreen safety glass on the floor.

I don’t recall that there was anything placed on the top and it was all over in a matter of seconds.

The most mysterious thing was that there was a camera in the right place at the right time?