It’s natural to be concerned about glass shattering in the oven. While it isn’t common, it is possible if you are not cautious. Can glass go in the oven? How to avoid having glass shatter or fracture in the oven?
Tempered glass bakeware is generally safe in the oven if you take it from room temperature and place it inside a preheated oven. Glass specifically designed for ovens can handle up to 350°F (176°C).
The most important thing is not to subject the glass to temperature shocks as that can cause the glass to shatter. So do not move a glass dish from the fridge or freezer directly to a hot oven. Instead, let cold glass rise to room temperature first.
Also, only use tempered glass (also called toughened glass). Avoid using any other glass, especially hand-blown glass, which will shatter easily in the oven.
Read on to learn more about glass, its properties, its limitations, and how to safely use it in the oven.
Can You Put Glass In the Oven?
Before using glass in the oven, check if the glass has an ‘oven-safe’ label. If this is the kind of glass you are putting inside the oven, there is a low risk of it shattering or fracturing in the oven.
However, even oven-safe glass can shatter in the oven if it is subject to a big enough temperature shock. So just ensure that the glass is brought to room temperature before putting it in the oven.
To ensure that the glass won’t shatter, you should also carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the directions on how to use the glass in the oven, and you won’t have to deal with broken glass.
Putting Glass in the Oven
Independent testers have tried to put six glass dishes containing sand inside an oven as hot as 450°F for 80 minutes. When the oven temperature was raised to 500°F, five of the glass dishes shattered. Only one of the dishes remained intact. In other words, most oven-safe glasses can withstand 450°F. You should also consider that sand tends to get hotter than food.
It has become an industry standard for glass bowls to be stamped or marked at the bottom to indicate if they are safe in the oven or not. If there is no mark at the bottom, you can call the manufacturer and ask.
U.S. manufacturers of oven-safe glass dishes claim that their products are safe to use. But they leave it to consumers to determine if they are worth the risk. Even oven-safe glass made of tempered glass and borosilicate glass can occasionally shatter due to several reasons.
Some of the reasons are cracks and scratches on the glassware. Other reasons include the improper use of the glass dishes, such as subjecting them to sudden temperature changes, not following the manufacturer’s instructions, placing hot glassware on top of cold and wet surfaces, and so on.
But rest assured that with the right care for the glass, you can minimize the risk. You only need to know what your glassware can handle and what it can’t. If you are careful, you can safely put your glassware inside the oven.
What Is Glass Made Of?
Pyrex introduced the first oven-safe, heat-resistant glassware in the 1900s. They were glass pie plates. Consumers were easily convinced, and other designs of oven-safe glass bakeware followed. At that time, they were sold like hotcakes – so to speak.
The original Pyrex glass dishes were made of borosilicate. But later on, some glassware manufacturers ditched borosilicate for soda-lime, which some industry observers say is just like ordinary glass. Meanwhile, most European manufacturers continued the use of borosilicate.
Soda-lime glass manufacturers claim that they changed the material for safety reasons. It seems that soda-lime manufacturers wanted their glass dishes to shatter in less dangerous ways – if they should break at all. As proven by experience, the risk is there, tempered or untempered glass.
Glass dishes made from borosilicate tend to shatter into little pieces. Shards of glass are the usual consequence of shattered borosilicate glassware. In contrast, soda-lime glass dishes tend to break into larger pieces. The edges of the glass pieces are duller, too.
Also, soda-lime glassware manufacturers claim that when their products come in contact with sharp objects and hard surfaces, they won’t easily break. As it is, both borosilicate and soda-lime glassware manufacturers claim that their glass dishes are oven-safe.
Can you put glass in the oven? The best judge in this situation is the organization that runs Consumer Reports. A one-year study involving American- and European-made glass bakeware finds out that those made in the U.S. are more prone to shattering than those made in Europe.
Are There Any Limitations to Glass?
No matter how tough a product is, if you don’t use it properly or subject it to extreme conditions, its life span will be drastically altered. You can reduce the service life of your oven-safe glassware if you subject it to:
1. Temperatures Beyond the Range It Can Handle
After unpacking your glassware, one of the first things you need to do is to read its user manual. Go to the page of the glassware manual, where it lists the limits of the product. Try focusing on the temperature limits, especially the highest temperature that it can take. Remember it, or better yet, mark it in the glassware. If you forget it and put it in an oven that is hotter than its temperature limit, it can break.
2. Wrong Type of Glass
Before putting glassware inside the oven, be sure to check if it is oven safe. Only borosilicate and soda-lime tempered glass are allowed inside ovens. All non-tempered glassware are not allowed. They include non-tempered drinking glasses, glass bowls, glass plates, and the like. Anything that goes in must have an ‘oven safe’ label.
3. Sudden Change in Temperature
Thermal shock is the most common reason why glasswares shatter in the oven. No matter how tough a certain glass is, if you subject it to sudden extreme temperature changes, it can break. Yes, it may not happen to your glassware once, twice, or thrice. But beware: it will eventually happen if you will not change your approach.
Here’s How to Ensure Glass Won’t Shatter Inside the Oven
It’s discouraging to buy another glass dish because the first one you purchased shattered into small pieces inside the oven. What can you do to prevent the same thing from happening to your newly bought glassware?
1. Read the Manual That Came with Your Glassware
Problems often arise because of not reading the product’s user manual. Don’t use oven-safe glassware on a stovetop, toaster oven, or broiler.
2. Don’t Go Over the Maximum Temperature
Strictly follow the instructions about oven temperatures that your glass dish can handle. Don’t subject the glass to temperatures that are more than the temperatures indicated in the manual.
Can glass go in the oven at 350 F? Yes, most tempered oven-safe class dishes can last in an oven at 350 F, or hotter, even up to 500 F. Although, I usually avoid going hotter than 400 F.
3. Examine the Glass Each Time You Use It
Before putting glassware in the oven, always check for any structural weaknesses. Look for cracks, scratches, and anything that may compromise its integrity while being subjected to high heat. If you have doubts, don’t use them.
4. Don’t Subject It to Sudden Temperature Changes
Oven-safe glass dishes are not good at handling sudden changes in temperature, particularly extreme temperatures. Preheat the oven first before putting the glass inside it. Avoid going straight from the freezer into the oven. It might not happen to you the first time, but for sure, it will happen soon if you do it relentlessly. Also, allow glassware to cool down before immersing it in cold water.
5. Add Water When Cooking Dry Foods
Pour enough water into the bottom of the glass pan or dish if you are cooking dry food. Dry food will release some of its liquid content as it heats up. This liquid is still cool. It will get in contact with the glass, which is getting warmer.
In other words, the glass will experience a sudden change in temperature, which is what you don’t want to happen (refer to the previous point). That little amount of water you added at the bottom will warm up the liquid as the glass gets warmer.
6. Do Not Put Glassware on Top of Wet or Cold Surfaces
Place your glassware on a cooling rack, cutting board, or towel and not directly on wet or cold surfaces.
7. Be Careful in Using Metal Utensils with Glassware
Metal utensils can cause scratches or cracks on the surface of the glass.
Why Should You Preheat the Oven First Before Putting in Glass?
When you turn on the oven, its heating element will go on full blast. Anything inside the oven at this time will be exposed to a surge of radiant heat. This amount of heat will practically broil everything inside the oven.
A rapid change in temperature is not good for glass, even if it is oven safe. Glass will expand if you heat it too fast. Cracks may also develop in the body of the glass. Additionally, when the oven is preheated, the inside temperature will help heat the glassware evenly. These are the reasons why manufacturers of oven-safe glassware recommend the preheating of ovens before putting glassware inside.
Moreover, you shouldn’t pour cold water into hot glassware to cool it down faster. A better way is to put the hot glass on a rack or towel. This method will allow the hot glass to cool down in a gentle and even manner.
So we’ve answered the questions: Can glass bowls, plates, pans, lids, or any other glass dishes go in the oven? Next, let’s look at what to do if the glass shatters in the oven.
What If Glass Shatters?
If you’ve done everything and the glass still shatters, you need to do the following:
1. Protect Yourself
You have to clean the shards of glasses inside the oven. But before you do that, you have to wear a pair of goggles, a pair of hand gloves, and some picking tools, like small pliers, a kitchen tong, or a metal spatula. You will need a small vacuum cleaner, too.
2. Allow the Oven to Cool Down Before Doing Anything
While the oven is still warm, use a spatula or spoon to scrape off the big chunks of splattered food inside the oven.
3. Pick up the Pieces of Glass Shards, Including Spoiled Food
Once the oven has cooled down, use pliers or tongs to pick up large glass shards. Wipe or sweep the tiny shards with a cloth and collect them with a small pan. There will be some food splattered on the inside walls of the oven, too. Wipe them off with a piece of cloth.
4. Use Baking Soda to Clean Stubborn Food Residue
Sprinkle baking soda inside the oven. Get a sprayer with water and sprinkle water inside the oven. Allow the baking soda to sit and do its work for at least three hours. Wipe off the stubborn food with a cloth.
5. Vacuum the Oven
To ensure that no more shards of glasses remain in the oven, use a small portable vacuum. The vacuum will suck out all the remaining pieces of glasses not removed in step 3.
If you don’t have a portable vacuum, get a slice of bread (the thicker the bread, the better). Wipe off the surfaces of the oven with the bread. The small shards of glasses will stick to the bread as you sweep it on the surfaces.
Conclusion – Can Glass Go in the Oven?
So, to answer the question: “Can glass go in the oven?” Generally, tempered glass is safe in the oven if you take it from room temperature and place it inside a preheated oven.
Glass specifically designed to go inside the oven can handle up to 350°F. The important thing to remember is not to subject the glass to sudden temperature changes because it will cause the glass to shatter. Don’t put hand-blown glassware inside the oven, too.