Kitchen Glassware: The Wonders of Pyrex

I love Pyrex glassware.  It doesn’t come with pretty patterns and isn’t concerned with aesthetics, it’s just simple, clear glass that you can put in the oven, in the fridge, serve chips and dip out of – whatever you want.

Pyrex offers plenty of great solutions for your kitchen.  If you’re going for the most basic approach, I recommend picking up a bakeware set with lids, and a set of mixing bowls (which are also oven-safe).  You can find inexpensive sets online and at any department store (I’ll post some links to good deals at the end of this blog entry).  The reason these items are so great, especially for anyone with little time and little money, is that they let you prepare your food, cook your meal, and save your leftovers all in one bowl for lots of great casserole-style recipes (some of which I’ll provide in a later post).  Throw everything in a glass bakeware dish, stick it in the oven, enjoy the meal, eat the leftovers later in the week, and still only have to wash one cooking-related dish.

You can even freeze stuff in these guys, and put them in the microwave too – but don’t expose the glass to severe temperature changes (meaning, don’t take it out of the freezer and put it in a 400 degree oven, duh) as this can cause breakage: if you’re not sure what you can and can’t do, this may help.  Don’t be scared, though – just use common sense.

Additional Tip: Read recipes thoroughly when you’re making brownies, breads, or cakes (you know, the good stuff) because cooking times vary depending on if you’re using a glass or metal pan.

Featured Pyrex Product: My Favorite Cutting Board

As a tribute to one of my favorite food prep items, I’d like to introduce you to the Pyrex glass cutting board: get one, it will become one of your best friends in the kitchen.  Hygienic, heat resistant, and easy to clean, glass cutting boards don’t stain or scratch the way that wood and plastic boards in a similar price range do.  They last for years and easily wash clean with the rest of the dishes, or wipe with whatever cleaner you prefer (make sure it’s food safe).  They’re also dishwasher safe.  You can put hot pots and pans and cooking trays on top of these boards to cool, and use them just to protect the countertops, too. As an added bonus, this particular board has rubber corners that hold it firmly in place (another problem I have with many of the plastic & wood versions).

The Pyrex version I linked to also provides guides for portion control and uniform cutting, if you’re concerned with these things. Other brands come with different designs and colors underneath the glass to match whatever decor you’ve gone for; you might consider buying two – that way if one is dirty or sitting in the dishwasher, you’ve got a clean one already out and ready to go.  These things are perfect for guys and ladies who want to apply a no-fuss policy to their kitchen.

Keep in mind that if you are someone who likes making your own bread or cookies, glass isn’t the best surface to roll dough on.  I have heard marble is the best for this, but I make do with a floured wood board when I need to.  Another downside is that glass surfaces, while they themselves don’t scratch, might wear down your knives.  I would imagine this happens to an extent with other surfaces too, but it is worth a mention.

Glass Bakeware Deals

Here’s some links to reasonably priced bakeware and cookware sets.  Keep in mind that these will last you a long time and are very versatile, much more so than plastic storage containers and oven-only baking dishes or metal cookware.  Also, you CAN’T use these on the stove  top – pretty much their one weakness.  Open flame = Pyrex kryptonite.

17 pc Bake & Store set – $50 – Okay, so they count the lids as “pieces”, which is kind of misleading.  Either way, you will use this a lot, and it comes with a handy measuring cup too.  There’s also a pie plate and loaf dish in case you start getting adventurous.

8 pc Bakeware set – $20 – Smaller set for smaller storage spaces, or if you don’t want to spend the extra $30 on the bigger set and aren’t interested in the pie plate/loaf extras. This has the essentials.

8 pc Mixing Bowl set – $20 – You can use these for everything, they do double and triple duty.  Fill them with tortilla chips, put last night’s leftovers in them, hell, even cook in them.  The world is your oyster.  If you’re interested, there is also a deluxe set that comes with vented lids for reheating in the microwave.

I chose to link to Target, because I like to shop there and their prices are pretty average and consistent. Don’t limit yourself to one place, though – stores like JcPenney and Kohl’s are great places to shop for good quality kitchen stuff at low sale prices, so keep an eye out for advertisements about their frequent sales.  Seriously, they practically give stuff away sometimes. Yes, this stuff costs a little more than something you might find at the dollar store – but you’ll be glad you spent the little bit of extra cash and got something that is going to be helpful and durable. Don’t make the same mistake I did when I moved into my first apartment and ended up having to replace almost everything in my kitchen a few months later.

And no, I don’t work for Pyrex. 🙂 I just think that practical, useful products should be shared so we can all enjoy their awesomeness.  There are some non-Pyrex equivalent versions of this type of glassware out there, so just be sure to read the specifications on the box and cover all your bases – it should be okay to use in the oven, microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and fridge, and if it’s not, you might want to spring for the name brand to be safe.

Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget or food prep item? Let me know in the comments!

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Categories: Cookware & Bakeware

Author:literatrue

I'm a writer of web content and advertising copy in the interactive space. I'm kind of a geek, but I like other stuff, too. My passions and loves include cooking and food, travel, music, and reading; my husband & favorite architect Jonathan; my wonderful family and friends; and my loyal, quirky dog.

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One Comment on “Kitchen Glassware: The Wonders of Pyrex”

  1. Stephanie Walulik
    September 3, 2009 at 2:01 am #

    Another great thing about Pyrex and other glass cooking items: there is no leakage of harmful toxins when you freeze or heat it, like with plastics. My mother also introduced me to the wonder of silicone, which provides all the benefits of metal and glass products without rust or stains.

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