Why You Should Never Use Glass Pans Under The Broiler

There's a wide variety of cookware out there, and each item has its own specific functions and capabilities. From stainless steel frying pans to baking trays, strainers, and pots, depending on what you are making, your cookware should be right there with you to ensure the success of each dish. However, there are limitations to some cooking tools that you need to be aware of. Otherwise, you could be on the road to a kitchen disaster.

For example, some pans in your kitchen respond poorly to certain types of food. Aluminum and cast iron pans that have not been seasoned with cooking oil can be considered reactive cookware, which means that acidic foods such as citrus, tomatoes, or vinegar could bring out a metallic taste in your dishes, according to Martha Stewart. Also, stainless steel pans should never be used on the grill, because certain grades of the metal cannot handle the intense heat. When it comes to roasting, broiling, or baking dishes in your oven such as meat loaves, banana bread, pot roasts, or even a homemade lasagna, most cooks may reach for a metal or glass cooking pan. But, the two types of materials may not be as easily interchangeable as you may think. Unfortunately, glass pans can lead to disaster when heated under the broiler.

The sudden, fiery heat could cause your glass pan to shatter

The broiler option utilizes heating coils at the top of the inside of your oven. This function is ideal for quick cooking at a higher temperature — typically topping off at 550 degrees Fahrenheit — which adds direct heat to the dish that is popped underneath it. For quickly melting a cheesy, crispy layer on the surface of a meal, broiling can be all you need. But you have to be careful about what cookware you place under these elements. 

Because this cooking style utilizes quick, hot heat, you need a pan that can withstand the added temperature. Cast iron and metal baking pans are ideal because the material can hold up to high heat. Glass and ceramic cookware, on the other hand, have a much lower resistance to direct heat from a broiler. Although glass pans are poor conductors of heat — meaning it takes a bit longer for them to reach the desired temperature — once they do, they offer a more even cooking throughout your dish and can retain that heat for a while when removed from the oven. However, according to Clean Eating, under the extreme direct heat of the broiler, glass pans may shatter and cause a mess that will be annoyingly difficult (and potentially dangerous) to clean up, not to mention ruin the meal you were preparing. So if you're planning on making homemade lasagna with a broiled, beautifully browned top, choose a metal dish.