Sometimes along life's way, one experiences something so revealing, potentially life-changing and urgent that one feels inclined to tell others - I find myself in that position today - and wanting my clients, my colleagues and the general public to know something that I found out the hard way two nights ago.
It seems that there have been some stories, some studies and some information put out there in the great hum of information dissemination about the increasing occurances of late of both Pyrex branded, and other glass-look-a-like cookware exploding in kitchens - but I, personally had never heard of, nor experienced this phenomenon. Maybe you, or your clients haven't either. So here's my story:
I was cooking a recipe for pork chops in a Pyrex brand glass baking dish - one that stated "safe for oven, microwave, dishwasher use." This is the same in appearance, standard looking Pyrex dish that I watched my Mother bake in since I was knee high to a bullfrog. This is a "baked and broiled" pork chop recipe - which is delicious, by the way, that I've prepared dozens of times without incident in the vary same dish.
As I removed the porkchops from the oven, carried the pan over using oven mits to my stove and gently tipped the pan to allow the drippings to flow into a sauce pan below, for gravy preparation - BOOM - the entire glass pan exploded in my face, and shards of glass - some large and jagged, others small - but all equally sharp and dangerous scattered across the kitchen, some going as far as 15 feet away. This pan of pork chops had turned, suddenly into a K.I.D. - Kitchen Incendiary Device! Needless to say, I was scared. My step daughter who had been sitting at the kitchen counter chatting with me had be sprayed with glass. I had a shard hit the edge of my eye, and only by the Grace of God was my vision spared.
During the process, I sustained burns from the food, small cuts from the glass, and a healthy dislike for glass cook ware in general. It's important to note that at no time did this glassware touch a flame, touch the edge of the saucepan or experience anything other than a normal change in temperature from the oven to the ambient temperature of the room. As far as I can tell, it was the motion of turning the heated pan sideways to drip the liquids that caused the violent explosion.
I consider myself, and my step-daughter extremely lucky that worse injuries weren't sustained, as they were absolutely possible. Imagine having your vision taken or a shard sharp enough to cut an artery, moving at projectile speed causing irreversible harm, over the desire to prepare a simple dinner? Warned? I truly hope so.
Investigating this phenomenon afterwards, I came across paper published by American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 91, No. 7. It seems that today's "Baking Glassware" from both Pyrex and others is not your "mother's bakeware" - the glass formula has been changed, and the glass that was touted as impervious to heat and safe to go from freezer to oven is not, in fact, that same formula. Please read for yourself - I blog this, because I wish that I had seen this article before choosing glass bakeware - I am grateful to still have my vision, and minor injuries, but I know, but for a milimeter of chance, this story might have ended very differently. Be safe out there!