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While you’re probably already aware that a casserole dish can safely go in the oven, there might be other scenarios where it might benefit you to put another type of glass container in there.
For example, you might have saved your leftovers in a glass storage container (this is becoming very popular). Can you simply take this from the fridge and put it in your oven to warm it up?
Even with casserole dishes that are known to be safe in the oven, is there an upper temperature limit that you should be aware of? Are there any situations where it’s not safe to put your casserole dish in the oven?
These are all valid concerns, and as I covered in a previous article about putting glass containers in the freezer, you have to take certain precautions when cooling or heating glass.
So, can glass safely be put in the oven? Let’s find out.
Can Glass Go in the Oven?
Although you have to take some precautions, yes, glass can safely be used in the oven to heat or reheat your food, as long as it’s oven-safe glass. In fact, there are many benefits to using glass cookware, as noted later on in this article.
When handled properly, you can put glass in the oven. However, you should be aware of some potential reasons that might cause glass to break when heated. We’ll take a look at these reasons next.
But first, here are several other common kitchen items that you may want to check out, as they are not all oven safe:
What Can Cause Glass to Break in the Oven?
While we’ve already determined that glass can safely go in the oven, there are times where it doesn’t make sense and can even cause the glass to break.
1 – Drastic Temperature Changes
One of the most common reasons for glass breaks in the oven is thermal shock. Glass is simply not able to handle rapid temperature fluctuations. While people often put their glass containers from the fridge directly into the oven without the glass breaking, it’s not recommended due to the risk.
In the video below, The Fluffy T Rex demonstrates how glass can break from drastic temperature changes.
2 – The Wrong Type of Glass
While tempered glass can safely be put in the oven, the same can’t be said for non-tempered glass. You should never put drinking glasses in the oven, and anything that’s not specifically labeled as oven-safe shouldn’t go in there either.
Go with something like this basic set from Anchor Hocking, which safe for the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher.
3 – Temperatures That Are Too High
One of the drawbacks of baking with glass that many people aren’t aware of is that it has a temperature limit. This temperature limit is based on the manufacturing process, so always stay below the manufacturer’s recommendation, which can often be found on the glass itself.
How to Keep Glass from Breaking in the Oven
It’s not too difficult to keep your glass container from breaking when heated in the oven. To safely heat your food in glass, you just need to take some precautions.
1 – Don’t Change Temperatures Drastically
Glass cookware doesn’t handle temperature changes well. When putting glass in your oven, it’s best to go from room temperature to a preheated oven. Never go straight from the fridge or freezer to the oven. Although many people do this without trouble, you’re running the risk of the glass breaking.
The same concept applies when taking your glass dish out of the oven. Don’t put it on a cold surface. Instead, place it on a warm or room-temperature surface, such as hot pads (I like this set, because it’s low cost and comes in various styles and colors).
2 – Use Tempered Glass
Not all glass is safe to put in the oven. Only use glass that’s been tempered or is labeled as oven safe. Often times, an oven-safe glass container will also list a temperature limit as well, so make sure to stay below that limit.
Drinking glasses and smaller glass bowls are typically not made to withstand oven temperatures, so never put these in your oven, unless they are specifically labeled as oven safe. The same goes for the lids on your glass dishes. They may not be safe to use in the oven, so check the labeling.
3 – Avoid High Temperatures
When using oven-safe glass, make sure to adhere to the upper temperature limit recommended by the manufacturer. This temperature limit could be anywhere from 350 F to 500 F, but try to stay well below it to be on the safe side.
4 – Look for Structural Weaknesses
Whenever cooking with glass cookware, inspect the glass to make sure it is free of any small cracks or scratches. Cracks or scratches represent weak points in the glass that may break when subjected to temperature fluctuations.
5 – Add Liquids to the Bottom for Dry Foods
When baking dry foods in a glass pan, it’s recommended that you add a small amount of water to the bottom of the pan. The reason for this is that as the dry food cooks, it will likely release some water content, which will find it’s way to the surface of the glass.
Since this water might still be cool, you don’t want it contacting the hot surface of the glass. By adding a thin layer of water to the bottom layer of the glass, you’re allowing the water to warm up as the glass is heated.
What Are the Benefits of Heating Food in Glass Containers
So, why use glass in the first place? It might be the only option you have, but assuming that’s not the case, there are several reasons that make it appealing.
1 – Non Toxic
Unlike other materials with non-stick surfaces that are known to release toxins at higher temperatures, glass bakeware is non-toxic. With so people trying to find ways to eliminate toxins and chemicals from their lives these days, this is one of the best reasons to cook with glass.
2 – Retains Heat Longer
Although you may find the longer heating time of glass to be a drawback, the benefit is that it retains heat longer than other bakeware as well. This makes it ideal for using as a serving dish, keeping your meal nice and warm for you and your guests.
3 – Clear Surface
A nice benefit of baking with glass is that you can easily see the contents of your food while it’s cooking. With other types of bakeware, you can only see the top surface, which makes it difficult to determine how much longer you should cook your food.
4 – Easy to Clean
While this benefit doesn’t apply to heating the food itself, it’s still a benefit of using glass for heating your food. Unlike some other bakeware choices, glass is non-porous and relatively easy to clean.
5 – Can Be Used for Storage and Reheating
With other cookware, you have to transfer your leftovers to another container for storage. With glass, that’s not the case. As long as you let your food thoroughly cool, you can put your glass container right in the fridge or even in the freezer. You can also reheat your foods in the same glass container.
Glass provides an ideal storage medium for storing, cooking, and reheating your foods. While it is possible to break glass in the oven, this will only happen if you don’t follow the proper precautions.
The main points to remember when heating your food in glass are to use tempered glass and to make sure the temperature isn’t changed too suddenly. As long you follow these basic steps, you shouldn’t have any trouble putting your glass in the oven.