Eight minutes after I put a pan of brownies in the oven this morning, I heard what can only be described as a loud explosion. It sounded like a bomb went off. I peeked inside the oven to discover that my glass dish of brownie batter had shattered. Thank goodness I didn’t peak in moments earlier!


My first thought was, “now I don’t have dessert for the Super Bowl!” Naturally.

Then I spent over an hour just willing it to go away. After some extensive whining, complaining, soul searching and information gathering on Twitter and Facebook, I decided to attempt to clean it up by myself because Mr. How Sweet wouldn’t be home for a few hours.


I scraped up the batter (which was batter at first, but ended up “baking” on the oven floor) and as many pieces of glass as I could with a spatula. This was only after it took me about another hour to get the bottom rack off due to the batter “glue” and large shards of glass wedged in between.


[This is currently still sitting on our kitchen floor. I have separation anxiety.]

Then after getting that wretched rack out, I used the shop vac. Don’t worry, I wore oven mitts and sunglasses as goggles.

Here’s the details:

  • The dish was Pyrex, which I’ve used for years. Not anymore. I will never buy it again. I don’t believe it was a “fluke.” After doing some research, this actually happens often.
  • The oven temperature was on 350 degrees.
  • The dish was in the middle of the oven, touching nothing else.
  • The dish was room temperature when it went into the oven, not hot or cold.
  • The dish was fairly new. It didn’t have any (visible) cracks.
  • I just used it last week at a higher temperature (375), to bake cookie bars.
  • I’m not contacting the company, because I honestly don’t care what they will give me. I don’t want a coupon and I don’t want a new dish. I won’t ever use Pyrex or glass dishes again.

Now who wants a brownie?

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152 Responses to “How To Make Glass Shard Brownies.”

  1. #
    101
    Kristin — April 20, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    The same thing happened to me at almost exactly the same time! I was making Chicken Parmesan, and the glass Pyrex pan I’d bought that very day had been in the oven at 350 for 27 minutes. I was seconds away from taking out of the oven (over my bare feet!) when it exploded. Luckily, the chicken was already done, and none of the glass got in it, so I was able to quickly lift it out with a spatula and dinner was saved. I’m with you… no more Pyrex ever again!

    Reply

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    Bianca — April 27, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    My pyrex has never exploded but it has failed to cook food. I once made a no-stir, oven bake risotto and after the 45min cooking time all my pyrex dish held was semi-hot stock and raw rice. Grr… and I’d followed the recipe exactly.

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    Julia — April 28, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    Wooah… that’s terrible!! And yes I had heard that about the newer pyrex glass dishes blowing up to smithereens. However, knock on wood, so far that’s never happened with my OLD Pyrex/Fire-King glassware… at least, not on the oven. Dropped a few on the floor and busted them fair and square.

    I did some research some time ago, when I heard about a similar incident, and it seems to be more the recent Pyrex, the past 5-10 years ago… So far, my older Anchor Hocking and FireKing and Corning pieces have held up very well. My French White Corning is 25+ years old. I also occasionally find nice clean older Fire-King or older Pyrex at thrift stores and none of them have offered to explode either.

    The closest to an explosion I had was the day I made (?) or I should say, was gonna make Baba Ghanoosh but when I put the eggplant in the oven to roast, I forgot to slice in some steam escape holes. Soooo…. got it good and hot and it began to swell with cooked pride and juiciness and suddenly, KLA-BLAAAAM! I had exploded eggplant all over inside the oven. Oh joy! not quite as dramatic as Glass Shard Brownies (that really has a snappy title, I love it!!), but still a mess to clean up… heh. And it was on a metal pizza pan.

    So anyway, try the older stuff. By “older” (since I’m halfway to the 100 mark myself) I’m guessing stuff made 1950’s and older…maybe 1960’s. Not sure exactly when the Pyrex brand got bought out and started making it more cheaply…thus…more explosively….

    oh hey here’s one of the links – http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/pyrex.asp

    http://www.hillhousewares.com/category2.html

    anyway this is nothing that proves anything conclusively, just my observations and other “historical” detail… but … can’t blame you for not wanting to buy/use any of the (newer, for sure!) pyrex in the future.

    Reply

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    Peggy — May 22, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    The same thing happened to me with a Pyrex glass dish! My hubby had just bought me a new set of glass Pyrex baking dishes, and I had only used it a handful of times. I was making bacon wrapped Lit’l Smokies for my best friend’s baby shower. It was only about 10 min before guests were to start arriving & they were almost done when I heard a similar explosion. When I reluctantly peeked in the oven, I saw my new casserole dish split right in half! It was obvious by the way it broke that it was definitely a flaw in the design. Luckily for me, it didn’t shatter, so there was little mess & most of the smokies survived, definitely made me wary of baking in those again!

    Reply

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    Brandy Miller — June 13, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    Hi. I just came across your post about the glass shard brownies. I showed it to my husband and we both think you should report this to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). We checked the database and there are no reported cases of Pyrex dishes exploding. However, if you google Pyrex and any words like shattered or broken, there are tons of incidents where this has happened to people. Pyrex really needs to take some responsibility for this if it is happening as often as people are saying. You could have been seriously hurt! Thank goodness that you weren’t. Just my two cents, and I’m sorry for your scary experience.

    Reply

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    Anonym — August 22, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    Hello, I just wanted to share that Pyrex the brand name was taken over by some production elsewhere a few years ago, and they’re not necessarily using the Borosilicate glass formula the original Pyrex was using. The older stuff should be fine and not explode, or if you can find a company that actually still uses Borosilicate glass in the production of it’s glassware it would be good.

    http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/pyrex.asp
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borosilicate_glass

    Reply

  7. #
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    Katy — September 20, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing this! I have had some baking mishaps myself (got a spoon tangled up in my mixer once; then, there was that time I confused the wax paper and parchment paper while making cookies….). I have a glass dish that I shall only be using now for decoration purposes just to be safe. Love your blog & can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    Reply

  8. #
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    Frankie — November 12, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Just happen to click on this after reading the smores in the oven recipe. As I am reading I am cooking Chicken Parm in a sq. Pyrex…wish me luck ;)

    Reply

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    Anita — November 30, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

    Crap crap crap! I had two sets of pyrex on my christmas wish list! Oh well, I’ll find some metal pans with lids and insulated carriers. NO PYREX FOR ME. Thanks for linking this in the baklava recipe.

    Reply

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    Ginger — December 2, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    This just happened to me! I was heating previously frozen (but completely thawed) enchiladas, and I took the pan out of the oven and it cracked right down the middle about 30 seconds after I put it down. I had heard of this problem before, but my pan is definitely pre-1998, it was one my mom and dad got as a wedding gift in 1984. I’ve never been really comfortable using glass pans because I find them heavier than necessary and I’m prone to dropping things. However, like the Snopes page explains, everything can break, and continuous heating and cooling of ANY material will wear it out (warped cookie sheets, anyone?)

    Reply

  11. #
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    Gabrielle — December 20, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

    Luckily nothing like this has happened to me… and my mom and I have collected any Pyrex or Anchor stuff we find at flea markets (where I love getting a basically new pan for $2). Hoping this doesn’t happen, because I like my pie pans and baking pans. =( And the food inside them. Gotta love the food within and protect it like crazy!

    Reply

  12. #
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    Anita — December 21, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    I completely understand. It’s hard to have a sense of humor when you are fuming. And….husbands/ significant others generally don’t seem to be around to help when these things happen. I think you are a good person. You work really hard. I have a friend who will go unnamed here. She dropped a pyrex baking pan with the chicken dish in it that she was serving for company. She picked out the glass shards and served it anyway. Then the other yoga friend who cooked ahead for a party. Did not have enough space to store the lentil stew. Put it in the garage. It had 1/2 inch of mold on it by the time of the party. Scraped it off and served it anyway ( claimed it was all “natural” ). So you are still doing great by these standards. Still, it’s no fun to clean these messes up. Takes up so much time that could be used elsewhere. I understand entirely. Oh, just so you know, when my husband and son do help, let’s just say they have their own “methods”. Those methods usually end up with me saying: “don’t help me”. Maybe it’s planned that way. In any case, your baking is great, great that you are doing it, so many don’t bother anymore. Like we are all living on fast forward. Be well.

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    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions — December 26, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    Hah, loving read this literally less than 24 hours after I got two Pyrex baking dishes. Awesome. I’ve heard/read about this happening before, but I agree with what someone above me said–anything can break. Hopefully just not my Pyrex dishes haha.

    Reply

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    Lisa — December 26, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

    I had a glass Pyrex dish explode on me years ago as well. I had lined it with foil, and it was on the stove top when it exploded, but it was a pretty traumatic experience for me. I swore I wouldn’t cook with glass again. I’ve only recently started cooking with glass again, and it’s usually only this time of year, and I do it with great trepidation, that’s for sure.

    Reply

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    Elisabeth — December 27, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    I had one explode once, but I had the pan of half eaten brownies sitting on the stove top. My husband woke up late for work so I decided to be a nice wife, and start boiling water for french press coffee. The only problem was that it was early and I was so tired I turned on the wrong burner, the one that the pan of brownies was sitting on. It exploded on me and my entire kitchen! Thankfully I didn’t get cut, but after cleaning up with industrial strength gloves and goggles (gotten as a baby shower gag gift–no pun intended) I was still finding pieces months later… then there was this time I dropped a glass pan of brownies on the tile floor…

    Reply

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    Destiny — January 17, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    I’d just like to say, there are a few reasons the Pyrex pans explode. 1) You don’t allow the oven to pre-heat (Most ovens pre-heat using the broiler, which you are NEVER supposed to use with your Pyrex.) 2) When you set it down the area is wet or cold. (All instructions say to place it on a dry towel/rack/cooling mitt. When it goes from hot to cold quickly it causes the glass to warp and potentially shatter) and to the person who said they were using their Pyrex on the stove top, the website says specifically NEVER to do that. Glassware is becoming hazardous because younger generations (*My* generation specifically) don’t cook the same way people used to. We assume things, and that will be our downfall. (Basically, I’m saying to read up on the Pyrex website and the chances of your bakeware exploding will be significantly lower.)

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 17th, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

      I always allow my oven to preheat (I cook for a living so I’m well aware of this importance) and it was definitely at room temperature and not hot or cold.

      Reply

  17. #
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    mimi — February 15, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    ours just exploded tonight. We store them in the cabinets so they are always a room temp. We have several of them and have had them for quitte some time. oven was preheated. no extreme hot or coldness touched the pan. husband put the normal chicken pieces in it for cooking. cooked as normal in the oven. took the dish out and placed on top of burner and then kabam! there dish was not put on a wet spot or anything. Thank god he wasn’t hurt by any hot glass exploding nor being burned from the juices from the chicken. very scary!! have no clue what caused it and why now? we didn’t do anything different.
    Face it people, you can do everything correctly and still have it explode on you.

    Reply

  18. #
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    Holli — April 1, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    The old Pyrex was American made. The new Pyrex is now made in China out of very cheap materials. That is why they explode now. I never use new Pyrex anymore. The best place to get old Pyrex is from Antique or 2nd hand stores.

    Reply

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    Mary — May 28, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    I don’t think it matters when it was made. My mother had a Pyrex dish that she had had since the 70’s and it explored in the oven much like your brownies, when my aunt was making peach cobbler. Weeks later I was making a casserole in my Pyrex dish which was one of hers she had given me-which was also from the 70’s and it exploded in my oven. I don’t know why they do it, but I did call Pyrex, they did send me a new dish, but I will never bake in it again! I agree that I think the consumer safety office should be contacted.

    Reply

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    Rakel — December 24, 2012 @ 11:22 am

    Holy crap, I use a Pyrex baking dish all of the time. It looks like I need some new baking ware now. Hubby will not be pleased. :P

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    kellie — September 29, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    i just posted the link to this post on their facebook page. they should do something about this!

    Reply

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    Tammy — October 28, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    The same thing happened to me two days ago while i was baking chicken. I added some chicken broth to the pan while it was in the oven as it looked on the dry side.
    I have done this many , many times before without issue. The pan exploded! I’m happy it was contained within the oven, and I had to come up with a different main course that night. Not happy,.

    Reply

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