Which Baking Dish Should You Use For The Oven?

Know what kind you have to avoid it from "exploding" when used.

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Bakeware comes in many shapes, sizes, and even materials. The most common material you'll find for bakeware is metal. These can be coated or uncoated. There are even those made of glass, ceramic, and porcelain baking dishes. These however should be labeled as oven-safe and made with a kind of tempered glass to ensure it's safe for use in the oven.

Using metal bakeware is the most common way of baking but for those who have glass bakeware, you'll need to know a few keys things to ensure that you are safe from an avoidable kitchen accident such as it cracking or even "exploding" when you use it.

Here's how to tell if your glass baking dish is safe to use in the oven and how to use it right:  

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1 Use glass bakeware made of tempered glass or borosilicate. 

The safest type of baking dish should be made of tempered glass. Tempered glass is heat-treated soda-lime glass that is made to withstand heat and basically be more durable. The tempering of the glass makes this kind of glass "four times stronger" than your usual glass which is perfect for homes with kids.

That's because tempered glass is meant to break a certain way if it breaks. If you have ever dropped a glass dish that didn't at least crack upon impact on your hard floor, it's probably made of tempered glass. If it fell hard enough or from a high enough place that it shattered into small shards instead of big pieces, it's made with tempered glass. Tempered glass is meant to shatter into small shards that are not sharp while normal glass will break into the bigger, sharp-edged glass pieces. 

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There's another kind of tempered glass material that makes it even stronger and less prone to changes in temperature: borosilicate. Borosilicate tempered glass contains boric oxide, a material that has a high resistance to thermal shock, or abrupt changes in temperature, and chemical corrosion. This is why many glassware that will contain hot liquids such as coffee carafes, glass pie plates, and baking dishes may be made with tempered glass with borosilicate. 

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2 Check for the oven-safe symbol.

Other than the box straight out telling you that the bakeware you have is safe to use in the oven, the product itself should be able to tell you, too. Flip your baking dish over and look for the oven symbol (above). If the baking dish is meant to be used in the oven, it can be indicated by a similar-looking symbol on the bottom or underside of the baking dish. 

Photo by Roselle Miranda
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3 Always cool baking dishes before storing in the refrigerator.  

Despite the ability of tempered glass to withstand changes in temperature, it is still safer to completely cool down any heated baking dishes before placing these in the refrigerator for storage. Just like metal can warp, glass can shatter if exposed to abrupt changes in temperature. This is usually the main cause of the "sudden cracking" or even the "explosions" of shattered glass from kitchen horrors stories you may have heard. This can also happen in reverse if you don't warm baking dishes that came from the refrigerator first before placing them in a hot oven.

This mishandling is easily avoided by cooling or warming baking dishes first. 

Do you have bakeware that are made with glass? It's important to note that only tempered glass and those made with borosilicate should be used in the oven for safety reasons. While tempered glass is recommended, ceramic, porcelain, clay, and other kiln-baked cookware and bakeware can be used in the oven as well. 

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