We tested five 3-quart glass baking dishes, using them to make sheet cake and lasagna.
Published Nov. 1, 2016. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 19: Cooking at Home with Bridget and Julia
Three-quart, or 13 by 9-inch, glass baking dishes are ideal for bringing lasagnas, casseroles, cobblers, and crumbles straight from the oven to the table. Unlike metal baking pans, which brown food more readily, glass dishes can keep foods like delicate cakes more light and uniform. And because they’re transparent, it’s easy to monitor any browning that does occur. You can’t broil in them, but these inexpensive pans are dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe.
In the test kitchen, we’ve used and loved the classic Pyrex 3-Quart Oblong Baking Dish for many years. But with several new baking dishes on the market, it was time to see if our old favorite could stand up to the competition. To find out, we tested five baking dishes priced from about $7.00 to just under $20.00, including the classic Pyrex dish, using them to make sheet cake and lasagna.
The good news is, you can’t go too far wrong. All the dishes did a fine job of cooking the food, and there were only minor differences in how easy they were to use. Dishes with long, broad, flat handles were easier to grip than dishes with short, stubby, or sloped handles. We particularly liked models that were lighter in weight; heavier models were harder to maneuver, especially when loaded with lasagna.
Four models were made from tempered soda-lime glass; a fifth was made with borosilicate glass. Both materials are manufactured in ways that reduce the risk of thermal shock, a state in which glass shatters when subjected to extreme changes in temperature. While borosilicate is more resistant to thermal shock than tempered soda-lime, we found that with the proper handling, all of the models were perfectly safe to use.
We still like our old favorite, the Pyrex 3-Quart Oblong Baking Dish. But we like its newer sibling, the Pyrex Easy Grab 3-Quart Oblong Baking Dish, even better. Though not quite as light as the older model, it’s still lighter than the other brands, and we like its big handles. It also has the lowest price in our lineup.
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.