Which Pyrex casserole dish is best?
In 1915, Corning Inc. introduced a brand-new line of clear bakeware dishes made of shock-resistant glass. This bakeware was less likely to crack or explode under extreme temperature changes. They used this to develop the well-known Pyrex bakeware. Today, Pyrex casserole dishes are made out of soda-lime glass, stoneware and metal. You can find them in both professional and amateur kitchens.
For cooks who need a durable dish that’s great for sides and smaller households, the Pyrex Easy-Grab Glass Casserole Dish With Lid is the best choice.
What to know before you buy a Pyrex casserole dish
Open stock vs. a set
If you are just starting to outfit your kitchen, it may be easier to purchase an entire set of bakeware. You usually save money buying a casserole bakeware set versus individual pieces. However, if all you need is a casserole dish, or if storage space is tight, you may not want the additional pieces that come with a set.
If you choose to buy a set, consider the pieces you’ll receive. Some sets only contain casserole pans, usually two to four dishes. Others contain a mixture of casserole dishes and other pieces of bakeware, such as pie pans, ramekins or baking trays. You may or may not get lids with your set, which is worth bearing in mind if you want casserole dishes with lids.
If you choose to go with individual pieces, consider which size works best for your needs. Some casserole recipes measure quantity in quarts, while other recipes measure in inches. You’ll also find that Pyrex lists the capacity of some of its dishes in quarts and others in cups.
Pay attention to what kind of meals you cook frequently and how much you tend to make. This will help you find the best selection for your kitchen. For instance, those who only ever cook for one or two people only need a small Pyrex dish, while those who cook for a crowd need large casserole pans or multiple dishes.
Most cooks reach for 2.5- to 3-quart casserole dishes most regularly. This is a good midsize option that can hold around four to six servings, depending on whether it’s a main or side but is still easy enough to handle. Your mileage may vary, but if you’re unsure what size casserole pan to buy, that’s a good place to start.
Casserole dish vs. baking dish
A common query is whether casserole dishes and baking dishes are the same. Casserole dishes are types of baking dishes, but not all baking dishes are casserole dishes. The term “baking dish” can describe any pan used for baking food in the oven, including roasting trays and ramekins. Casserole pans are particular types of baking dishes designed for cooking one-pan meals, such as lasagna or green bean casserole.
Rectangle, circle or square?
Believe it or not, the best casserole dish shape depends on what you plan to make and how many people you’re serving.
- Rectangle: It’s best to bake lasagna, casseroles, roasts and cakes in a rectangle dish, and it’s suited for larger households.
- Circle: Circles work well for soups, stews and grain-based dishes. They can serve anywhere from two to six people and typically come in quart measurements.
- Square: Use a square casserole dish to create the same delicious goodies you make in a rectangle on a smaller scale.
What to look for in a quality Pyrex casserole dish
Pyrex is famous for its wide, easy-grip handles. With more surface area to hold on to, you’re less likely to lose your grip. Handles don’t stay cool to the touch, so you’ll always need to use mitts when removing dishes from the oven.
Some Pyrex casserole dishes come with lids. This makes them more versatile for cooking, serving and storing food. If you’re looking for a casserole dish with lid, it’s a good idea to learn more about the types of lids available.
- Glass: Most glass lids use high-quality, shatterproof glass and have handles molded into the lid. Glass lids are oven-safe.
- Plastic: Plastic lids seal tightly to preserve food and odors inside the container. However, they’re not suitable for oven use, so if you want a lid to cover your ingredients while they’re cooking, this isn’t it. Plastic lids for Pyrex casserole pans are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.
- Combination: Some lids come in a combination of Pyrex glass and oven-safe silicone. These are great for cooking recipes that need covering in the oven, as well as traveling and food storage.
Consider the depth of your casserole pan, especially if you want to make recipes like lasagna or enchilada casseroles that need plenty of depth for the best results. You want to avoid dealing with the mess of an overflowing casserole pan or being left with flat dishes.
Microwave- and dishwasher-safe
Pyrex is safe and easy to use in the microwave. However, be careful of hot surfaces when handling it, especially on the bottom of the dish. These are easy to clean up, too, as most are dishwasher-safe.
Oven- and freezer-safe
You can safely use Pyrex in the oven for up to 450 degrees. At the other end of the spectrum, you can use Pyrex to freeze casseroles for later use, too.
How much you can expect to spend on a Pyrex casserole dish
The price varies depending on the size of the dish, if it comes with a lid and if it’s part of a set. You can expect to spend $15-$85 for some high-quality Pyrex casserole dishes.
Pyrex casserole dish FAQ
Can Pyrex explode on the counter?
A. Although Pyrex resists the effects of thermal shock, a hot casserole dish can shatter if you place it directly on a cold surface after taking it right out of the oven. To stay safe in the kitchen, follow these tips:
- Avoid sudden temperature changes: Newer Pyrex made of soda-lime glass is less resistant to big temperature swings.
- Let it cool in the dishwasher: Refrain from removing a hot casserole dish from the dishwasher and placing it on the counter. To be safe, allow the glass to cool completely in the dishwasher.
- Do not use Pyrex on the stovetop: It is not designed to stand up to direct heat. Use a wooden trivet: The wooden trivet absorbs heat without changing the temperature.
- Be careful with liquids: Do not add hot liquid to a cold dish or vice versa.
Do you put the lid on a casserole dish in the oven?
A. If you have casserole dishes with lids, you might be wondering whether to put the lid on the dish in the oven or leave it off. This depends entirely on the recipe. Some recipes call for being covered either throughout the whole cook time or for part of it. This prevents too much liquid from evaporating and drying out the dish or keeps the top of the casserole from burning if it has a long cook time. Other recipes need to be left uncovered to keep them from getting soggy.
Check the recipe to see whether you should put the lid on or leave it off. Of course, even if the recipe needs to be covered, you should only do so with the right lid type. Glass lids are oven-safe, while plastic lids are for storage and transportation only and shouldn’t go in the oven.
How do you remove stuck-on food?
A. Since Pyrex is dishwasher-safe, most bakeware just needs a quick trip through the dishwasher to come clean. However, if you find yourself with stubborn, stuck-on food, soak your Pyrex in warm, soapy water and use a scrub brush to remove it.
What’s the best Pyrex casserole dish to buy?
Top Pyrex casserole dish
What you need to know: This durable, versatile workhorse is great for smaller households. It’s also ideal when you have limited storage space.
What you’ll love: It is a 2-quart casserole dish perfect for making delicious sides. The handles are wide and comfortable and are very easy to use.
What you should consider: If you feed many people, this will be too small. Additionally, the larger handles take up extra storage space.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Pyrex casserole dish for the money
What you need to know: Start your collection of Pyrex with this durable two-piece set.
What you’ll love: You’ll get two dishes: one dish measures 13 inches by 9 inches, and the other measures 11 inches by 7 inches. They have wide handles for a firm grip and nest inside each other for easy storage. The set comes with a two-year warranty.
What you should consider: Some users felt these seemed less substantial than the older Pyrex models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: With its insulated carry case, this is the perfect set for potlucks and picnics.
What you’ll love: This nine-piece set comes with one 3-quart casserole dish, two 6-cup baking dishes, BPA-free plastic lids, and a portable insulated bag. The lid fits securely to prevent spills, and the glass dishes and lids come with a two-year limited warranty.
What you should consider: This is an expensive choice, but it’s a solid investment if you travel with food frequently.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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