There are many valid reasons why you might want to put a glass dish in the oven.
Cooking food in a glass dish will eliminate the risk of flavor being transferred to the food from a metal pan, and since glass retains heat for longer than metal, it’s also an excellent way to keep your food warm after cooking.
Unfortunately, there is a risk involved in putting glass in the oven. You may have heard horror stories about glass dishes exploding in the oven before.
So, can you put glass in the oven? Well, that depends on many factors, and this is what we’re going to be discussing in this guide. Read on for everything you need to know.
The Short Answer
Yes, you can put glass in the oven. That’s why you can find glass dishes for cooking and baking in the kitchenware section. However, some types of glass dishes are not suitable for oven use because they can’t withstand the hot temperatures inside of the oven.
Even oven-safe dishes can sometimes react badly to certain conditions, so there is no simple answer to this question. However, by learning what causes glass to break in the oven and how you can avoid it, you can make sure that you only use glass dishes in the oven safely.
What Temperature Is Safe For Glass?
There are many factors that dictate whether or not glass can safely be put in the oven, apart from temperature. What’s more, different types of glass have different levels of heat tolerance.
However, understanding the general heat-resistance of glass is an important first step when learning about glass and oven safety. First of all, glass doesn’t handle rapid temperature changes well. This applies to all types of glass, including oven-safe glass types.
Depending on the exact type of glass you’re cooking with, there are different temperature limits you need to adhere to. These are as follows:
- Tempered glass may break if heated to above 470 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pyrex glass should not be heated above 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- When cooking with Borosilicate glass, the maximum temperature is 330 degrees Fahrenheit
As you can see, there is quite a significant difference between the maximum temperatures these oven-safe glass types can handle.
Therefore, it’s not enough to know whether your glass dish is oven-safe or not. You must also be aware of the type of glass, so you know its limitations.
Why Glass Sometimes Breaks In The Oven?
Glass can break in the oven for a number of reasons. Understanding these reasons will help to avoid some common catalysts for glass breakage in the oven. Here are some of the main reasons glass might break when heated in the oven:
1. The Glass Is Not Oven-Safe
The biggest reason why glass tends to break in the oven is simply that it’s not the right kind of glass. Regular glass is not designed to be exposed to high temperatures, and they will often break when you put them in the oven.
Only oven-safe glass dishes should be put in the oven. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the difference, and this is why we so often hear about glass dishes shattering when exposed to heat.
2. Your Oven Is Too Hot
Even if your glass dish is oven-safe, if your oven reaches a certain temperature, it could break. Oven-safe dishes still have maximum temperatures they can safely be exposed to.
If you’re cooking at very high temperatures, you could find yourself with broken glass to clean up. As we discussed earlier, depending on the specific type of glass you’re working with, you may have to stay within different temperature limits.
Remember, just because 460 degrees Fahrenheit is a safe temperature for tempered glass doesn’t mean you can safely cook Borosilicate glass at the same temperature.
An acceptable temperature for one type of glass might be far too hot for another, so always bear in mind that ‘too hot’ is relative to the type of glass.
3. The Glass Is Damaged
Before you put any kind of glass dish in the oven, you should always check it for cracks, or even small scratches. This is because damage like this weakens the structure of the glass, making it more likely to break when exposed to direct or intense heat.
4. Temperature Fluctuations
It’s not only high temperatures that can cause glass to break in the oven, but also significant temperature fluctuations.
For example, if you take a glass dish out of the refrigerator and put it straight in a preheated oven, the chances that the glass will shatter are much higher.
How To Know If Glass Can Go In The Oven?
We’ve mentioned that some kinds of glass can safely go in the oven, while others are much more likely to break, and should not be exposed to high heat levels.
But how do you know whether a specific glass dish or bowl can go in the oven or not? Here are a few simple criteria to check before you get cooking:
1. Look For The Oven-Safe Symbol
The easiest way to check if a glass dish or bowl is oven-safe is to look for the oven-safe symbol. This should be engraved on any glass dish designed to go in the oven. The oven-safe symbol will usually be a circle with a drawing of an oven inside.
It may also say ‘oven safe’ underneath the picture of the oven. If you see this symbol on the bottom of a glass dish, you can safely assume it’s fine to put it in the oven.
2. Read Your User Manual
Unfortunately, not all oven-safe glass dishes have the oven-safe symbol on them. This can make it much more difficult to determine whether it’s safe to put that dish in the oven.
Luckily, if your dish came with an instruction leaflet or usual manual, its oven-safe status (or lack thereof) will usually be stated there.
3. Research the Glass Type
If you know what kind of glass your dish is made from, you might be able to figure out whether it’s oven-safe after a bit of research. For example, if it’s borosilicate glass or tempered glass, you can usually rely on them being oven-safe.
With that being said, if you don’t see the oven-safe symbol, we recommend trying to check the user manual or contact the manufacturer before cooking with it.
Putting Glass In The Oven Safely
1. Ensure The Dish Is Oven-Safe
If your dish is not oven-safe, the other steps in this section might not be enough to ensure that the dish doesn’t break.
So, if you’re going to cook food in a glass dish, make sure it’s either got the oven-safe symbol engraved on it or you have some other form of confirmation that the glass won’t break when exposed to high temperatures.
2. Store The Dish At Room Temperature
Before adding ingredients to your glass dish or putting it in the oven, make sure it’s at room temperature. This will greatly reduce the risk of the dish breaking because there won’t be as much room for dramatic temperature fluctuations.
3. Add Liquid Before Baking
This tip is very useful if you’re baking primarily dry ingredients in a glass dish. When you bake dry ingredients in a glass container, the glass basically starts to bake as well.
However, if you add a small amount of liquid to the bottom, this is less likely to happen, and as a result, your dish won’t be as likely to break. Just make sure to add the liquid to the bottom of the dish before you add the ingredients.
The liquid will only help to stop the glass itself from baking if it’s in contact with the glass. Adding it on top will not only potentially make your ingredients soggy, but probably won’t work.
4. Put The Dish In The Oven Before Preheating
Many of us only put our dishes in the oven once the oven has finished preheating. With most types of baking dishes, this is absolutely fine.
However, if you’re going to be baking food in a glass dish, you should consider putting the dish in the oven while it’s preheating.
This is another way to stop the temperature of the glass from fluctuating too much because it ensures that the glass’s temperature increases gradually.
Using oven gloves, you can take your dish out of the oven and put your ingredients into it once the oven has finished preheating.
5. Choose Longer Cooking Times Over High Temperatures
It can be tempting to turn the temperature of your oven up as high as possible to speed up the cooking process.
This is especially tempting when cooking with a glass dish because glass doesn’t take as long to heat up compared to metal, even though it retains heat longer.
However, not only can this affect the final consistency of your food, but it’s a very bad idea if you’re cooking with a glass dish. If you’re using a glass dish to bake your food, consider turning the heat down and cooking for longer, rather than the alternative.
Your glass dish is more likely to be able to tolerate moderate temperatures for a longer period of time compared to sudden, very high temperatures.
6. Let The Dish Cool Down Before Washing Or Refrigerating
Bear in mind that the risk of your glass dish breaking doesn’t go away the second you remove it from the oven. The timing of washing or refrigerating the dish can also determine whether or not it will break.
Before rinsing your dish, let it go back down to room temperature. The temperature difference between the hot glass and the water could cause breakage, otherwise.
Similarly, if you’re planning on putting the leftovers in the refrigerator while still in the glass dish, make sure to allow the dish and its contents to cool down all the way to avoid temperature fluctuations.
Dealing With Glass Breaking In The Oven
Unfortunately, if you take a risk and put a non-oven-proof dish in the oven, or forget one of the steps above, your glass dish could end up breaking. This can be really stressful, but here’s how to deal with it if it happens:
The most important thing is not to panic. The sound of a glass dish exploding in your oven is likely to be very loud and alarming, but it’s essential to remain calm and think logically because broken, hot glass is not something you should handle frantically.
First, turn off the oven, and leave the door closed for a while. This will give the glass and the inside of the oven time to cool down without risking any hot shards of glass falling out.
If possible, put on some glass and use a dustpan and brush or a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the glass. Avoid touching any shards of glass with your bare hands to reduce your risk of injury.
Don’t cook any food in your oven again until you are absolutely sure no shards of glass remain.
Putting glass in the oven is something you should only do after carefully checking that the dish or container in question is oven-safe.
You should also take precautions to avoid extreme heat increases and temperature fluctuations, such as putting the dish in the oven while it’s preheating and choosing lower temperatures over shorter cooking times.
If glass does end up breaking in your oven, you should be extremely careful when handling it. That means waiting until it has fully cooled down before trying to clean it up and using gloves, a vacuum, or a dustpan to dispose of the shards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Glass that has reached room temperature may still feel cool to the touch, and this doesn’t mean it’s not safe to put in the oven, assuming the dish is oven-safe.
However, it is never a good idea to put cold glass from the refrigerator into your oven, even if it is marked as oven-safe.
If you put glass in the oven while it’s cold, you’re creating the perfect conditions for large temperature fluctuations, and this is one of the main risk factors for breakage. Always let a glass dish get to room temperature before you put it in the oven.
Pyrex glass is usually oven-safe. However, this doesn’t mean you should take risks by putting it into the oven while it’s cold or turning the oven up to the highest possible temperature.
If you have a Pyrex dish, you should still look for the oven-safe symbol or check the user manual or packaging to make sure it’s safe to expose it to high temperatures.
Even once you have confirmed it’s oven-safe, try to minimize risks by reducing the chances of temperature fluctuations and avoiding intense heat exposure.
Many glass containers are microwave-safe, but some are not. Additionally, just because a glass container is marked as oven-safe doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to put it in the microwave, so you should confirm this information separately.
With that being said, the majority of glass containers are suitable for microwaving and the risk of explosion is not as great as it is with oven use.
Once a glass dish has been broken, you should not put it in the oven. This applies even if the dish is oven-safe, and even if you put it in the oven before preheating to a low or moderate temperature.
The reason for this is that even a very well-repaired glass dish will still have tiny cracks or scratches in it, and these are weaknesses in the structure of the glass.
Weakened glass is much more likely to break than glass that is fully intact. Therefore, if you break the glass baking dish you usually cook with, it’s best to replace it.
Some glass dishes are built for use on the stove, and if that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with putting glass cookware on the stove. However, stove-friendly is not the same as oven-friendly.
So, just because a dish is oven-safe, don’t assume you can put it on the hob. The heat produced by the stove is more direct than the heat from an oven, so if a dish isn’t specifically designed for this purpose, you’re likely to end up with broken glass everywhere.
Although there is a risk of breakage when cooking with glass, you shouldn’t let this put you off using glass cookware entirely. There are actually many benefits to baking with glass dishes.
One good reason to cook with glass is that glass is both non-toxic and non-reactive, so it won’t contaminate your food with any harmful metals or chemicals.
Additionally, glass is usually easier to clean compared to metal because it provides a non-stick surface, and you don’t have to worry about it rusting.