Replacing our plastic containers with Pyrex food storage dishes

I’m going to take an uneducated guess at… Profit!

Isn’t it just the US stuff that’s changed? I seem to remember seeing that somewhere, and the fairly recent (UK) stuff I have is the same as the older ones.

Yep, mine too. You can find replacements, but it’s a hassle. They last longer if you baby them (avoid extremes of heat and cold) but they still break. I’m going to look into the all-glass ones DiabloD3 posted about.

And the absolute worst part of the switch is now you can’t make your crack anymore with the new Pyrex!

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Apparently the euro stuff is all still borosilicate. But I’ve also been doing some reading (got curious). Apparently its not as simple as “old pyrex is better/borosilicate is better”

It now seems entirely possible that the vintage Pyrex I’ve been using is the “new” material, that the soda lime glass is (at least technically) better at dealing with thermal shock, and a bunch of other confusing stuff. However trying to track down the consumer reports article mentioned I ran across this:

It seems that both the modern US Pyrex (soda lime) and Euro Pyrex (borosilicate) had problems (though the Euro stuff fared better). The only stuff that didn’t show the problem was the vintage Pyrex, and if they really were making some pieces out of soda-lime back in the day I’m not sure how Consumer Reports could have firmly established that what they tested was borosilicate. So it looks like its more a general drop in quality than something as simple as a recentish switch to a new material.

Which all just goes to underline why I dislike glass bakeware. They break, its hard to find quality stuff, and in my experience things don’t cook right in them. The way they absorb/reflect heat has lead me to some inconsistent results, and frankly I’d rather not deal with it. So I don’t own any myself, and just use it round mom’s house.

Edit: Also apparently the manufacture of borosilicate glass is environmentally dodgy, so lower cost isn’t necessarily the only reason to switch it out. I doubt that was much of a incentive for the manufacturers though. Especially if they really have been switching things over for as long as they claim.

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I bought a set of these several months ago. Within two weeks, one of the lids permanently folded into an unusable shape, another melted through where it contacted the glass (both were being used in the microwave).

I contacted Pyrex via e-mail, and they replaced both (although with mismatched colors) at no cost.

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Sets of these show up on W00t! from time to time fairly cheap. We have bought four of them in the last year.

Sort of. You can still make them explode because Pyrex is not pyrex anymore. Rather than making them out of borosilicate glass, it is plain old tempered glass. Get it hot and let it touch anything cold and all that stress will be released all at once.

You want real pyrex Pyrex, you have to order from Europe now.

The only downside I have discovered so far is that most of my coworkers use these, and so there are often mass-emailings mid-afternoon that something left in a sink is now MIA. #firstworldproblems


Yes. But they take up all their space, even in storage. When you store them with the lids on, they don’t get stuck together, ever. Can’t do anything about your gravity troubles though.

I got a set about 10 years back, and a few additional pieces last year. The casserole dishes are great with their lids!

The modern tops are slightly better and less prone to cracking, but yes, the old blue lids would fail, especially after heating (don;t heat the plastic lids). I think the oven or the freezer are not a good idea, but that;s what aluminium foil is for anyhow.

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I don’t know where your sources got their information, but suspect it was managed by the manufacturer in some way. I too have seen the reports that soda-lime is ‘tougher’ in some way. But it is not. It is glass, and it breaks. And soda-lime breaks from thermal shock. I also suspct that it was Europe’s consumer protection laws that prevented the company from switching to the cheap stuff in Europe.

There once was a company called ‘Corning’ that further improved on Pyrex, and came up with a glass formula (albeit an opaque glass) that can survive thermal shock and being dropped. I think they use more spodumene in the mix, but don’t quote me on that, I’m not sure what the ceramic formula for Corningware is.

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Ah yes. I suppose “nest” was what I meant. That’s the nice thing about good tupperware. I swear I’ve had glass containers that nested before too: it’s not too hard, you just have to angle the edges a bit. I’ve also seen some (in the past, somewhere) with “ribs” to prevent sticking.

great dishes, lousy lids - mine are all broken.


Does anyone know where I can buy sets of rectangular borosilicate food storage containers with oven and refrigerator safe silicone lids?

The only places I find googling are all mail order from china. I am not fond of putting food on mail order items from china without doing major chemical and radiation testing first, and I don’t want to have to bother with that.

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Snopes always lists its sources at the bottom of the article. The Consumerist is owned by the same people as Consumer Reports, and very much act as their public access, tech savvy, younger brother. As such their source is both the Consumer reports article (behind a pay wall effectively) and presumably access to the actual data collected by their colleagues when they physically tested the products themselves. These also weren’t the only things I looked at, just the two that most conveniently sum it up. There’s actually quite a few people complaining about modern borosilicate products, and a lot of confusion with people trying to determine what they have from back in the day.

My assumption is that the manufacturers claims can be backed up, but still aren’t accurate to the product. You don’t claim something that can be checked like that if its baldly untrue. So I would guess that there is some form of Soda-Lime Glass tested in a particular circumstance that does in fact outperform a similarly specific type of borosilicate. But its clear from Consumer Reports tests that that is certainly not true of the actual product on the shelf. They’re effectively cherry picking.

But its sort of bury the lede situation. The Consumer Reports is the number one source cited for new soda-lime Pyrex being inferior. But I think the most important thing in their report is that neither modern soda-lime or modern borosilicate Pyrex performed nearly as well as the vintage Pyrex. To be clear: apparently even newly made “real” Pyrex sold in Europe is not as good as pre-90’s US made Pyrex. That, plus the confusion about when they actually introduced Soda-Lime products and difficulties identifying differences (Soda-lime apparently has faint blue color, but much of my mothers vintage Pyrex is amber colored), indicates that there is some other more significant change in the manufacture than the material used. Maybe its thinner, maybe its improperly heat treated, maybe they’re using differnt formulations of each material. Though I still doubt the Soda-Lime under practical use would perform as well as the borosilicate, you’ve got CR’s report, and lab equipment is still made from borosilicate.

Corning is the company that made Pyrex as well. The white “Corning Ware” is pyroceramic glass, apparently derived from missile nose cones. It still exists in some fashion, but is owned by the same company that now owns Pyrex. You still saw it from time to time, but apparently the material changed. Wiki is a bit confusing but it sounds like they may have recently brought back the original stuff? I always liked that stuff better than clear Pyrex, less cooking weirdness.


One of the big differences is weight, perhaps obviously. These are actually really terrible for leftovers if you don’t drive to work (or work from home). Having a container that adds an extra pound (or more!) that I have to lug around made me transition back to plastic, especially considering these lids are not very secure. Don’t try putting soup in your backpack with one of these things, unless you like sore shoulders and a soupy sack.

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Sometimes I ride a bike to work, but I usually walk. I don’t find the weight to be a significant issue, although it is there. I certainly wouldn’t wanna walk a couple miles with more than two Pyrex containers in my manpurse, that’s for damn sure.

As for the lids, there are sets with leakproof lids, but of course those cost more. We recently bought three of those based on the assumption that most of our use is simple fridge storage and we only need the leakproof lids for actual transport. (And even then only for certain less solid foodstuffs.)

Yeah, my wife and I have some “snap top” glass containers, but we use those for kimchi and garlic in an attempt to help seal in some of the odor (which doesn’t work very well, but better than non-snap top). I appreciate the heft, but yeah, not very portable.

No children needed for chipping our glassware. I have a glass file (made of metal, for use on glass) for such occasions. Works wonders on sharp edges.