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Customer Discussions > Cooking forum

Has anyone actually seen Corning Ware Pyroceram or VISIONS cookware explode?

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Showing 201-225 of 648 posts in this discussion
Posted on Oct 2, 2014 9:38:17 AM PDT
No please don't shush. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my factory sealed box of amber Visions pots and pans. I'm getting closer to having the confidence to use them and every post gets me closer. :-) Thank you for your efforts.

Posted on Oct 2, 2014 9:09:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 2, 2014 9:12:28 AM PDT
philodygmn says:
I just received direct email confirmation from World Kitchen that Visions today is made of Calexium, which is more specific than previous verbal statements that it was merely borosilicate glass-ceramic. Calexium is what Corning named the clear borosilicate glass-ceramic formula developed back in 1966 in France. Pyrex was also clear, but not designed for stovetop use, which was why Calexium was invented; also, Pyroceram (marketed as CorningWare among others), though (originally) stovetop-safe boro glass-ceramic, is opaque (according to World Kitchen's statement that nothing American-made today is _not_ soda-lime, today's Pyroceram is therefore soda-lime, _not_ the original safe Pyroceram which _was_ true boro glass-ceramic).

So, I guess if you can find lids you _know_ are borosilicate, you could still buy today's pots if you wanted to, and don't mind a slightly fussy lid fit. Cranberry lids, for example, I'm pretty sure were never made of soda-lime. The trouble with amber now is since lids really offer nothing to identify their vintage, I don't know how one would distinguish today's soda-lime ones from vintage boro glass-ceramic ones (except as a post-mortem *ahem*).

OK, I'll shush, now (:-\

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 6:34:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 2, 2014 8:10:39 AM PDT
philodygmn says:
I also bought a vintage amber Visions 5 quart dutch oven, whose seller advised me that Teflon coating is a dark-ish brown, so thankfully there should be that visual way of telling whether or not it's present.

As for lid compatibility, given today's lids are all exploding soda-lime, my cranberry lids fit my 2012 boro made-in-France amber Visions but only just barely: the contact dots can be rested properly if placed precisely, but without care will roll off their rounded ends off-center to some direction or another, resting the rim of the lid directly on the edge of the pot. Thankfully, these being genuine boro lids, as part of the vintage cranberry set (even if only (though the true) Pyrex, as opposed to the stovetop-safe Calexium of the VISIONS pot itself), such direct contact poses no safety risk (though I'm not about to allow it anyway). The vintage pot and lid fit identically snug together as do the 2012 pot and its soda-lime lid, so the sizing is accurate for its intent: 1.5 quart for the cranberry versus 1.5 liter for the 2012 amber. The fitting isn't precarious, though: I can thumb them into the fridge without dislodging. You just can't be thoughtless about it, is all.

The cranberry also feels noticeably lighter, which may be due to its flat bottom rather than the thicker, textured outer bottom surface of my 2012 amber pots (plus the slightly larger size). Curiously, mine are completely un-stamped other than "Corning" and the part number on the bottom: no "VISIONS" anywhere, no "made in" stamp on the handles or anyplace else... If I hadn't opened them myself from a factory-sealed box, I'd have had half a mind to return them, though I suppose Corning needn't have further distinguished them given how distinctive cranberry is if they knew they wouldn't release other formula versions of particular boro glass-ceramic cranberry pieces...(there exists _non-cookware_ cranberry which is _not_ heat-resistant boro glass-ceramic, and was _not_ branded VISIONS, but was released by Corning as coordinating dinnerware for the cranberry VISIONS cookware).

The textured bottom I do notice has worn slightly unevenly, producing a flattened ovoid ring on the bottom of my 2012 pot, while the cranberry's smooth bottom lays absolutely flat against my FlameTamers, both of them, despite the 2012 pots now having only spotty contact with them (they do still boil up OK, but it can have hot-spots even with the FlameTamers because of the spotty contact with the bottoms as the texturing wears away as and how it will). I will try to remember to report FWIW on whether or not such an issue crops up with the flat cranberries (they do have a slightly raised small circle in the center of the bottom, I guess to minimize the possibility for potential heat stress). I have to hold a handle while stirring to keep the cranberry from sliding around, it's so slick against the FlameTamers; I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Kathleen: Yes, Corelle Corner is fairly exhaustive! Though its coverage of glass-ceramic cookware is only tertiary to its chosen subject, its information regarding that is still pretty comprehensive. I've found the following particularly valuable:

What are Glass-Ceramics? What about Pyroceram?

Company history section

Comparing Amber Visions and Fireside Pyrex

Tinted Clear Pyrex

P. S. Disgustingly, someone plagiarized portions of Corelle Corner into an unauthorized book:

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2014 3:47:46 PM PDT
Wow-Corelle Corner is something else.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2014 3:46:52 PM PDT
Thanks Kathy. It is truly weird--the avocado part.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2014 3:39:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2014 3:48:24 PM PDT
Kathy says:
The avocado green Corning Ware Ms Pelley found is likely from the Buffet Server line produced in the late 1960s. They were mostly round covered casseroles with tab handles and came in white, avocado, butterscotch and harvest gold. Many of these were sold with lids made of white pyroceram with screwed-on handles.

Posted on Sep 27, 2014 1:04:55 PM PDT
philodygmn says:
I'm not one for solvents, but scrubbing could degrade the integrity of the glass... Without more exacting description -- e.g. is it metallic at all, is any of it peeling, does it have a texture distinct from the rest of the piece... -- I think the best I can do is direct you to one of the best resources I have found on the variety of Corning glass-ceramic cookware, CorelleCorner, who have a page on non-standard patterns:

If this coating to which you refer doesn't seem roughly familiar in those pictures, then you could be dealing with something after-market and there's no telling what they did. I would be cautious about even attempting to remove whatever it is in case it off-gasses in the process or anything like that...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2014 12:53:43 PM PDT
philo: " I ran across for the first time mentions that Teflon was used in some Visions cookware":

I found one Corning Ware container in a local thrift store than had a very strange olive green almost paint-like exterior. The interior was the same as others. I have run it in the dishwasher and the strange exterior has not come off. I considered that the strange exterior surface was added by someone later who wanted it to harmonize with in home decorations. Any ideas?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2014 12:23:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2014 12:29:06 PM PDT
philodygmn says:
Yes, Mz. Pelley, you are surely correct in assessing your experience with true vintage pieces. This thread was begun to disentangle The Real McCoy, safe, reliable, original borosilicate glass-ceramic from today's soda-lime imposter masquerading under the same brand-names. Yet another vouchsafe for the genuine article.

After confirming my 2012 amber Visions pots were still the safe boro, I had crossed my fingers that the simple stovetop use I planned couldn't possibly trigger the soda-lime lids to explode...until KelleySquared's story. The reason why that story of a French White lid exploding unprovoked spooked me into just now buying a replacement vintage cranberry Visions pot set (quite a lucky find, factory-sealed box) is because of the cross-pollination of soda-lime amongst World Kitchen product lines these days. I do still think my Made in France 2012 boro Visions pots are safe, though. If I discover the old lids will fit them, I may simply buy vintage lids for them, and keep using them as well.

For anyone interested in glass-ceramic cookware for health and/or sensitivity reasons, like me, you may be interested to note that in looking immediately for replacements once my lids were confirmed dangerous soda-lime, I ran across for the first time mentions that Teflon was used in some Visions cookware, to my dismay. So, be aware that even in the vintage market, there are instances where the pieces will not be toxin-free :-( I wish I could provide guidance on how to tell, what periods to avoid, etc., but I honestly have no further information at this point. The set I bought's box said nothing of being non-stick or Teflon-coated, according to the seller, so I'm crossing my fingers...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2014 11:44:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2014 11:45:36 AM PDT
My experience with most of my lids on my Corningware is that they are what I called old fashioned Pyrex. These lids are all clear. A few lids are actually real Corningware--I think I have two on fairly large casseroles. Those lids are not clear glass. In the forty years I have dealt with any of these lids, I have never had a problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2014 2:52:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2014 10:57:15 AM PDT
philodygmn says:
Hmm, I suppose you're right, I'll just have to either luck into lids alone for sale, or pony up for pots, which would still be a lot less money than stonewear... Actually, I have no idea if old lids fit new pots in the first place, but yeah, I guess I was so disappointed I wasn't thinking clearly: vintage Visions should be my initial fall-back, not stonewear.

I should add: I found highly instructive that my mentioning explosions on the phone elicited nothing but pure silence, no surprise, no assurances that shouldn't possibly happen. They also mentioned that NOTHING CURRENTLY US MADE IS _NOT_ SODA-LIME. And, as I found out, even my France-made 2012 holiday-bought pots still come with World Kitchen's US, soda-lime lids :'-( The fact they told me nothing US-made and sold by World Kitchen is _not_ soda-lime confirms my suspicion that they're what in my opinion is abusing the brand-names of former Corning product lines which earned a good reputation by their original, borosilicate glass-ceramic formulae, no matter what fancy (R) and (TM) they tack onto it like calling it "ORIGINAL(R) PYROCERAM(TM)" or whatever, today.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 2:39:31 PM PDT
Check resale shops before you abandon hope. I find lots of the old stuff there! I sold my original visions in a garage sale, so it is out there, just waiting to be discovered. Good luck!

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 1:03:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2014 1:05:15 PM PDT
philodygmn says:
For those tracking this discussion, I promised to report back once I'd asked World Kitchen what the lids are made of, and it's as I suspected: Visions lids are soda-lime. I asked the person I spoke with to forward my inquiry as far as possible as to any availability of safe lids anywhere from their organization in the world, even if I have to special order them from France or whatever else. I'll let you know of any further developments. Given the dearth of alternatives and the fact that I don't have hundreds of dollars lying around to spring for a suitable set of stonewear (sensitivity being my prime motivating factor), I see little immediate option but to continue risking my bodily integrity by using the lids for basic stovetop cooking, but I also just as firmly see no choice but to turn my back on the product line given there's no way of using it without the involvement of unsafe components. Such a disgraceful shame.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2014 10:19:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2014 10:42:16 AM PDT
philodygmn says:
I have to wonder whether or not the amber lids that came with mine are any different. Next week I'll try getting details on what exactly my lids are made of and report back here. Can you estimate how old your piece was?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2014 9:16:32 AM PDT
Oh yes! Last night, I was minding my own business of the other side of the kitchen when the lid to one of my French White pattern Corningware casseroles exploded. It wasn't being used at the time, it was sitting neat atop the casserole in the open cupboard. Nothing moved, it didn't fall, nothing hit it... The only term for it is exploded.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 10:17:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2014 10:35:11 PM PDT
philodygmn says:
It is very confusing and sad. I wish Corning would reclaim their brand names wholly and reinstate their consumer glassworks, and make the lids boro, too. I guess we're too-small potatoes compared to gazillions of smartphone Gorilla Glass screens. All I can say is I'm glad the French seem to still be doing their thing at the factory there. Their domestic market is strong, as the French take their cooking pretty seriously, and from what I gather the formula was originally because there was demand for a fry pan you didn't have to lift the lid on. American consumers seem like they want made-in-America quality but at Chinese prices, and not just with cookware.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2014 10:05:00 PM PDT
Deanna Gale says:
I did not know any early pyroceram Corningware was not stovetop safe. I only knew of the French White that was ceramic and not for stovetop.

It is all very confusing.

I am hoping that all my garage sale Corning Ware is vintage and stovetop safe. However I seldom use it on the stovetop. I have a nice set of stainless steel pans I normally use.

I love my Corning Ware for oven use.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2014 9:46:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2014 9:58:31 PM PDT
philodygmn says:
I'm unsure of today's CorningWare, though it is marketed as stovetop, because it is soda-lime which _does_ explode, but one sure-fire sign a Pyroceram dish _is_ safe is the little "flame" or "star" symbol found on geniune vintage CorningWare Pyroceram borosilicate glass-ceramic pieces through a short period of time in I think it was the early 1960's, little tic marks arranged in an oval configuration, emanating from a blank center like rays of heat, it really doesn't look like a "flame", to me...or a star, really, either, but those're the nicknames people call it I guess. The formula remained the safe one for many years more than the symbol was used, but the symbol does provide an unambiguous vouchsafe. Today's World Kitchen site sells products branded Original CorningWare Pyroceram with marketing copy claiming, "This _is_ your grandmother's CorningWare", but I'm not sure it actually is the same formula because I inquired to World Kitchen personally the same way I did about my Visions and got no answer, whereas they did answer affirmatively for Visions that it is still boro.

You are also correct that the very earliest Pyroceram was not stovetop safe, which was the original reason for the symbol, to differentiate it as being so. *sigh* Such a mess.

BTW, I notice my 2012 boro Visions scratch much less easily than my vintage Pyroceram CorningWare conflower dish does. I am personally thrilled with the see-through feature of the Visions, but had hedged my bets getting a truly vintage piece when I first learned of World Kitchen's formula switcheroo and before I'd nailed down enough to know what to ask after to World Kitchen. Now that they told me Visions is still boro, and since the handles on what I received are stamped Made in France where the formula originated, I feel comfortable using them, though am very conservative with the lids because they in all likelihood are soda-lime. I also prefer the Visions' lid design with contact dots instead of an inner flange and direct contact all the way around of the vintage Pyroceram, I find it less prone to boil-over.

World Kitchen's site _does not feature_ Visions anywhere except the bottom footer under "Shop by brand", probably because they make the least amount of money on it and given its higher price-point has less impressive sales figures.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 9:22:47 PM PDT
Deanna Gale says:
Some of the French White Corningware products are not stovetop safe. Last I knew World Kitchens was also marketing some stovetop safe Corningware. It is unfortunate that not all Corningware is stovetop safe as that makes it confusing for consumers.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2014 9:06:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 4, 2014 2:02:33 PM PDT
philodygmn says:
Hmm, Joanne, if Corning Ware in quotes _is_ a direct quote, then I'm sure we'll all be very interested in the details, however, if it's a perjorative, generic like "Kleenex" for any facial tissue, then we have an instance of exactly why this thread was established: The thread title specifically lays out that it is Pyroceram and Visions being solicited for explosion, as they are the true caliber, borosilicate glass-ceramic, which together with Corning's Code 7740 glass used in consumer Pyrex (which it no longer is, only Corning's own Life Sciences products) pioneered the whole class of glass cookware products and earned their legendary reputation. Not a one has unambiguously been boro, thus far. Those of us interested in fostering a healthy market for the non-toxic, affordable, versatile borosilicate glass-ceramic cookware we love are eager to dispel the tarnishment of its reputation by cheaper, dangerously inferior soda-lime formula glassware recently marketed, in a travesty of consumer justice, under the brand name Pyrex. I don't think World Kitchen's present formulas for CorningWare branded products are borosilicate, either, so it could be that your dish was of their recent ilk, and, like most people out there right now, you had no idea. World Kitchen has been granted a license to the brand names and can apply them however they see fit.

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 6:13:44 AM PDT

I, personally, was cooking stove top with CorningWare and the casserole burst apart! A frightening experience and enough of a shock that I have never cooked stove top with CorningWare again. Unfortunate and costly incident...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2014 6:08:17 AM PDT
YES! I, personally, was cooking stove top with "Corning Ware" and it completely burst apart, pieces flying in every direction. As a side note, I was and continue to treat all of my cooking utensils with great care, so this piece was not specifically weakened in any one spot.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2014 4:25:09 PM PDT
Thanks. I'll check.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2014 3:24:51 PM PDT
philodygmn says:
I personally was told by World Kitchen that my Visions bought holiday 2012 were borosilicate, but not their lids. My pots are stamped Made in France and so I feel comfortable using them; the lids are of a newer design with contact dots, so thermal shock, while definitely a concern given they are probably soda-lime, at least is minimized by the fact that there's not much direct contact.

If your ebay set packaging has copyright fine-print or something that might help indicate its age, in case anything's changed since I bought mine...?

Posted on Aug 31, 2014 3:15:17 PM PDT
Can anyone help me figure out whether my amber Visions pots and pans are real, borosilicate glass-ceramic formula? I bought a set unused, still in its original, unopened box off ebay. I also bought a double boiler and at least part of it is from France. I've been following this discussion and I feel more confident but I'm still a little afraid to use them. I've not had any luck finding any way to ensure that they are the original formula.
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