Who doesn’t have a glass oven casserole in their kitchen cupboards?
Apart from savory dishes, glass casseroles are also very well suited for sweet dishes—cakes in particular. Almost every household counts them among their most important kitchen items.
But what sets them apart from other traditional cookware, and what are the pros and cons of using them? This article will tell you all about them!
Glass Casseroles For Baking: Advantages and Disadvantages
The style, safety, and versatility of glass baking pans make them the star of top chefs and occasional cooking enthusiasts alike. I’m one of the latter!
Here are some good reasons to incorporate them in your cooking if you don’t already:
Advantages of using glass casseroles for baking
- Glass is safe for your health and is undoubtedly the healthiest and most hygienic material for cooking.
- It doesn’t contain any substances that can migrate into food when heated.
- It doesn’t retain stains or odors.
- It allows for soft, even cooking.
- Its transparency makes it aesthetically appealing: a dish or a cake in a transparent pan is always more appetizing! It can even be served directly at the table.
- Its transparency also allows you to better check how the cooking’s coming along.
- A glass casserole dish is also the best container to store your preparations.
- Glass is very resistant to scratches: you can cut your slices directly in the casserole without risk of damaging it. No need to remove the casserole.
- This type of casserole for dishes or pastries is resistant to high temperatures in the oven, but there’s more. It’s also cold resistant and can be stored directly in your freezer.
- You can use it in the microwave and in the dishwasher without any problem because it doesn’t stain or warp like plastic.
- It doesn’t contain BPA (bisphenol A, found in plastic).
Even though glass casseroles have many pros, they also come with a few cons:
Disadvantages of using glass casseroles for baking
- Glass doesn’t conduct heat well. As a result, unlike other casseroles used for baking, the baking process is quite slow.
- Glass, as a material, is very sensitive to thermal shock and sudden temperature changes. Don’t place a very hot casserole directly under cold water: there’s a near-certain possibility that it will break. Unless of course it is borosilicate glass (see below).
- This transparent material is sensitive to physical shocks: it can break like any other container made of the same material.
- It needs to be greased and floured (or lined with parchment paper) for easy removal—the main reason being that it’s non-stick.
- The weight of glass is a big factor to consider: depending on the dimensions, glass casseroles—especially an entire set—can be a bit heavy compared to aluminum or silicone ones.
The Case for Using Glass Casseroles in Baking
If I had to summarize the main advantages of glass baking pans for baking your various dishes and cakes, they would be the following.
Essentially composed of vitrified silica, glass is a very stable material. Some manufacturers have developed their own technologies to stand out from the competition.
These manufacturers of glass cake casseroles use patented techniques for each of them. Their different casseroles have the particularity of being particularly shock resistant. They can withstand extreme temperatures and don’t shatter from small hits.
Easy to maintain
Once your lasagnas, cakes, and other items are cooked, glass has the advantage of never being too sticky. Food comes off the surface easily. This is a very appreciable characteristic for casseroles made of this material.
However, don’t forget to butter them no matter what type of cake you’re baking. Otherwise, removing your cake can sometimes prove difficult.
In addition to easy removal from the casserole, no-hassle maintenance is another attraction of glass casseroles. Just run them through the dishwasher, and they’ll be as good as new!
And in case the food has still stuck, just remember to soak it in hot, soapy water for a dozen or so minutes before washing.
Experts recommend using clear glass casseroles rather than tinted ones. If you want to know more about this subject, read this other article where I talked about the same subject but about glass jars, and you’ll see what I mean.
But rest assured, by choosing Pyrex or Simax casseroles, you’ll be sure to make the right choice and have nothing to worry about.
Good to know
Pyrex uses borosilicate glass. What are the main reasons?
Borosilicate tempered glass is actually considered one of the best materials for cooking food. It is known to be resistant to heat and sudden temperature changes, making it a popular choice for cooking vessels used in ovens and freezers.
The addition of a key ingredient, Boron, to the traditional glass mix, enhances its strength.
Borosilicate tempered glass is able to resist temperature variations up to 428°F (220°C), which allows a food frozen at -4°F (-20°C) to be placed directly in an oven preheated to 392°F (200°C).
As for maintenance, if ever the glass of your casseroles tends to lose its shine, use white clay-based cleaning products. They are ideal for restoring the shine to all types of glass.
What’s more, you should know that in addition to glass casseroles, you can also use glass cookers. These can be used exactly like the steel or ceramic models. And they can be put in the oven without any problem.
Nevertheless, don’t forget to choose glass cookers with handles for easy handling—especially when removing them from the oven.
Can you bake a cake in a glass pan or casserole?
Of course, you can use glass baking pans to bake your favorite dish or cake without any problem. In fact, there is no danger of using them, except for burning yourself if you touch the pan with your bare hands when it comes out of the oven.
How to use glass casseroles?
It’s as easy to use a glass oven casserole as any other type. However, when preparing cakes in particular, always remember to butter or spray the pan with oil in order before adding the mixture. This will allow you to remove the cake more easily.
The Main Characteristics of a Glass Casserole
If you’re still reading, you must still be hungry to learn more, so here’s even more on this great material.
According to historians, the first glass containers appeared about 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Glass production began by melting sand, soda ash, and limestone at very high temperatures. The first glass containers were decorative bottles and vases, but over time, glass was used for many other objects, including as food storage containers.
Here are a few more details on the composition of this material today.
To obtain glass, the following materials are mixed at over 2,372°F (1,300°C). This is done for a dozen hours:
- Sand: called silica, it makes up more than 70% of the raw material.
It’s what we call the glaze.
- Soda: about 20% of the composition of glass. It allows to decrease the melting temperature. This is the flux.
- Calcium oxide (lime): it represents the remaining 10% of the composition and has the particularity of making the glass more resistant.
Glass is a safe material with good heat resistance. It is a great classic in the kitchen for the preparation and cooking of dishes and cakes.
By opting for this type of container, you’re sure to choose one of the best casseroles in terms of quality and safety.
The only important criterion to take into account is the cooking time. It’s often longer since glass doesn’t conduct heat as efficiently.
So, what type of pans do you use for baking? As for me, I regularly use a glass casserole (like this one) to bake banana cakes—a real knockout with my family. 😊