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Why You Should Stop Baking with Your Chipped Pyrex

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Earlier this month, Sheree noticed a small chip on the edge of her Pyrex pie plate* and turned to the Hotline to find out if it was still safe to bake with.

Drbabs advised against it, pointing her to a recap of some of Pyrex’s Safety and Usage Instructions, one of which notes: “DO NOT use or repair any item that is chipped, cracked or scratched.” (Chips can turn into cracks, and cracks combined with a temperature change—like putting a glass dish in an oven or freezer—compromise the structural integrity of the whole item.)

Not chipped, and not Pyrex, but you get the idea.
Not chipped, and not Pyrex, but you get the idea. Photo by James Ransom

A reminder to take the time to read equipment instructions isn’t the only smart tip we picked up from drbabs on the Hotline lately—which is why she's this month’s Hotline MVP.

Here are couple more of our favorite tips from her:

I haven't made these (But I want to! Thanks!). Here is my suggestion: Make the cookie dough today, refrigerate it for the 3 hours, then bake off 3 to 4 cookies, let them cool thoroughly, wrap them well, and freeze them overnight. See what happens when you take them out tomorrow. (Let them defrost uncovered so you don't get condensation on them.) I suspect they will be fine, but if not, you can freeze the unbaked dough for another time and make something else.

With candy you are always going by temperature. (Your pot could be broader and shallower than hers [which would affect the time].) Make sure the liquid is heating evenly and you are not just finding a hot spot with your thermometer.

Chocolate-Covered Almond Halvah
Chocolate-Covered Almond Halvah

Congratulations to drbabs and thanks to everyone who participates over on the Hotline—the community wouldn’t be the same without you.

New here? To thank our members for their dedication to helping out their fellow cooks, every month we’ll choose a Food52er whose activity on the Hotline has caught our eye, and treat him or her to a $25 gift certificate to our Shop. Want to boost your kitchen karma? We’re looking for enthusiastic participation throughout the month that is helpful, thoughtful, and considerate.

*(If you have vague recollections of Internet stories of exploding Pyrex dishes, World Kitchen would like you to know that their Pyrex glass products “are, and always have been, durable, reliable and safe.” Fact-checking sites like Snopes note that some viral claims are false, like: "The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that Pyrex glass bakeware products are unsafe." (CPSC has never issued a recall or reported a safety issue with Pyrex.) Though they've found other pieces are true, saying: "Pyrex, like all brands of glass bakeware, is subject to breakage due to thermal shock" and, "Different brands of glass bakeware have different usage guidelines, and what consumers consider "ordinary use" may not fall within those guidelines."

Tags: Tips & Techniques, Contest