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There seems to be conflicting views on whether a pyrex dish can be used on a gas burner. Can anybody here provide a definitive answer?

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Question, why would you want to use a glass dish on the stove? Glass is a horrible conductor and you'd be wasting much of the heat from the burner... –  Trey Jackson Sep 28 '11 at 19:05
    
I feel a Darwin award coming on... –  g33kz0r Jul 27 '12 at 15:57

6 Answers 6

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Where do you live? European Pyrex is made from borosilicate glass, the same as in laboratory's equipment; American Pyrex is made from common soda-lime glass.

If you are in America, don't bother trying it at all; soda-lime glass is sensitive to thermal shock. Even though it's tempered for kitchenware, it is nowhere near good enough for the burner.
In Europe, you could take your chances if you have a bowl you don't mind risking. However, there is still a significant chance that it will break on the burner some day. While I think that they use the same raw material for both kitchen dishes and laboratory test tubes (which are obviously OK on a gas burner), kitchen stuff is much thicker. This makes it much more likely to break under thermal expansion.

If you decide to make the experiment with a borosilicate Pyrex, take care to warm it gradually, starting with a small flame, and don't pour cold ingredients into it. Proceed at your own risk. And ask yourself if you really have no pots better suited for the task.

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I would be surprised if Pyrex brand is not just plain glass all over the world by now! Even so it is not made of enough purity and casting quality to be compared to lab glass, and lab glass goes bang all too often, so this has got to be an accident waiting to happen. See consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/pyrex.html –  TFD Sep 24 '11 at 22:54
    
Also, Pyrex brand make ceramic pots safe for use on electric or gas stove top (hob). These should not to confused with their "pyrex" glass line –  TFD Sep 24 '11 at 22:58
    
@TFD, from the German site for Pyrex: "Aus welchem Material ist Pyrex-Glas hergestellt? Pyrex-Glas besteht aus Borosilikat". From arc-international-cookware.com/de/products/classic/…, there is a small "faq" tab beneath the second panel. It is confusing that the Pyrex line has products not made from Pyrex(r) glass, but I'm still quite sure that when they tell their customers that their dishes (rated for -40 to +300°C) are borosilicate, I believe them. Of course, they also say not to use them on a burner, which proves that it is a risky idea in itself. –  rumtscho Sep 24 '11 at 23:48
    
@rumtscho - I'm in Australia. We have both US and European versions, but I think we'll play it safe and assume NO on this occasion. I seem to recall my mother doing something on the stovetop with hers in the 60's, but maybe she just got lucky. –  Bill Sep 25 '11 at 7:41
    
@Bill ditto. And in today's world how can you be sure it's the real deal, and not some clone anyway –  TFD Sep 25 '11 at 23:20

From the PyrexLove FAQ:

Is it all right to use my vintage Pyrex directly on the stove?

We’d like to just nip this one in the bud and say - NO. Some pieces actually say “Not for stovetop”, but we never put vintage pyrex bowls, casseroles or whatever directly on the stove, ever. You can try it, but we’d rather not risk it.

But we do get a lot of people who are asking about Flameware and related Coffee makers / pots. Flameware was indeed meant to go directly on the stove, and that includes the coffee makers. However, some of those came with “heat spreader” grids to help diffuse the direct flame or intense heat from an electric stove. Some modern Pyrex (Visions, etc.) is also meant to go directly on the stove. Again, use your best judgement, and never temperature-shock the Pyrex by putting it on something cold!

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Just tried it - answer is no. Wish i'd read this before it cracked because of the heat.

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This is not an answer. Edit your original post -1 –  g33kz0r Jul 27 '12 at 15:56
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I'd actually argue that this is an answer. A general question was asked if it was safe. He actually did an experiment (though not intentionally) and broke his dish. It's a clear answer that it is NOT safe. It may or not be the best answer, but it's an answer, and on topic. –  talon8 Jul 30 '12 at 20:33

No. Tried it today melting some butter on a low heat and it exploded violently sending glass shards in a 1 metre radius. Suprised me as I remembered using Pyrex test tubes over a Bunsen burner in science class. Won't be trying that again. Epic fail!

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Test tubes are made with borosilicate, U.S. Pyrex dishes are made with lime glass. –  Jeff Axelrod Mar 10 '13 at 15:30

I have personally successfully broken a Pyrex dish through heat shock so I'd answer this question with a, "be careful," or, "probably best not to."

In my case I was making marzipan for my Christmas cake. I used the dish on top of a second steel pot containing water to warm the egg on the gas stove. Then transfered from that hot location to a bath of cold water to try to quickly cool and set the marzipan. After a few seconds in the cool water I heard a crack sound. In lifting the the dish up, the rim separated cleanly from the lower half of the dish leaving me with a glass hula-hoop.

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Glass of any kind is quite safe as a homemade double boiler. In fact, I prefer it, because it heats up much slower than steel bowls, giving me more time to react before the ingredients get cooked. Just don't shock it afterwards. –  rumtscho Sep 24 '11 at 15:54
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The issue was likely the cold water bath, not the stove ... I've broken a pyrex 9x13 dish from putting a bowl with hot (recently boiled) liquid in the fridge. –  Joe Sep 24 '11 at 15:59
    
And I'll add that I've since cracked another one (brand new, just out of the box) ... was pre-heating it to make Pfannkuchen, and had started it in a cold oven, but I think something from the rack above dripped onto it, and it exploded.) –  Joe Jul 25 '12 at 21:04

No no no. I cooked a whole meal and had to throw it away because my casserole dish exploded!

I was heating hot pan drippings to make a gravy on my stove top and after 5 minutes on low-med flame it exploded and glass (chunks and very fine pieces) flew 2 rooms away! Thank god no no one was hurt.

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protected by rumtscho Nov 26 '12 at 20:59

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