Corningware Stovetop Cookware in Pyroceram is Back!
Were you even aware that stove-top-safe Corningware had gone off the market for a few years?
For the past dozen years or so, any home cook wanting to purchase Corningware cookware – that could be used on the stove top – had to settle for “vintage” pieces they could find on eBay or at garage sales. That’s because the company that bought the Corningware name in the late 1990s decided that the Pyroceram technology was too expensive to produce anymore.
It just wasn’t cost-effective… when the original cookware didn’t seem to ever wear out and was handed down from grandmothers to mothers to daughters (and sons, too).
The substitute products apparently worked okay, but you couldn’t take them from the freezer and place them directly into a hot oven, like you could with the Pyroceram pieces. And they had a stamp on the bottom saying they were not for stove-top cooking.
Well… shoot! My trusty old Blue Cornflower casserole dish is kind of the Superman of cookware.
And it came with a detachable pot handle for stove-top cooking.
Pyroceram was even used on the nose cones of anti-aircraft missiles in the late 1950s because of its ability to withstand extreme temperature changes.
Just like the Corning pots in my kitchen.
Here’s why the original Pyroceram Corningware is sought after
With my “vintage” Corningware pans, I can:
- Reheat frozen leftovers in the oven (or microwave) without thawing first.
- Saute onions, mushrooms or whatever on the stove top on medium-high – or high – heat.
- Bake macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes and more in the oven.
- Create killer cheese sauces when a “heavy” pan is called for.
- Safely heat foods in the microwave.
- Soak my casseroles in water with dish liquid and clean off any stuck-on food easily. Repeat, easily.
- Store food in the freezer… because all my dishes have tight-fitting glass lids.
In short, we “vintage” Corningware owners got used to depending on cookware that was versatile, sturdy, and safe. And that didn’t crack or shatter under extreme temperature changes.
Corningware is hi-tech? Yes!
Corningware Pyroceram was invented in 1953 by Dr. S. Donald Stookey of Corning’s Research and Development Division. He was researching heat-resistant materials that would withstand thermal shock on the nose cones of ballistic missiles… and then adapted this technology for cookware.
That’s why the “original” Pyroceram Corningware dishes can go directly from freezer to stove top or oven without breaking. They were designed to withstand sudden temperature changes.
You can buy stove-top Corningware again!
After a long period of not being able to buy new Corningware sets to replace those we had accidentally dropped or given away, we can breathe a little easier now, because the manufacturer has (finally) re-introduced some Pyroceram-based dishes. They don’t offer many, so far… but at least they started with Cornflower Blue.
And just in the nick of time, as baby boomers like me start to downsize and hand down our cookery items to kids and grandkids. In fact, I inherited two of my mom’s Corningware casseroles and was very happy to add them to my previously small collection… especially after learning that the company that took over Corning’s cookware division wasn’t making their new products with the same glass-ceramic material (Pyroceram) that was used to make my own indestructible dishes.
If you want the “original” technology, look for the pans with the 10-year limited warranty. The Pyrex glass lids carry a 2-year limited warranty.
Corningware isn’t terribly sexy, as far as cookware goes… but you can’t beat the versatility of the Pyroceram casserole dishes. I use mine many times a week as saute pans, pots and casseroles… not to mention as storage containers and serving dishes.
I can’t imagine what I’d even replace them with, so I’m delighted to see the “original” high-tech dishes are available again.
Info about “modern” Corningware stovetop cookware
I checked the manufacturer’s website (WorldKitchen.com) and they don’t offer that many stove top cookware items yet.
Plus… the stove top designs were easier to find on Amazon.
When you search for “vintage” Corningware, make sure you use the keywords “Pyroceram” or “stove top” so you don’t inadvertently crash and burn with the newer, less-heat-resistant models.
By the way, Amazon has all kinds of vintage Corningware for sale – used, of course – but it’ll save you schlepping around to garage sales. Here’s the link for Amazon’s vintage pieces, if you’ve been looking to add to your collection.
Of course eBay has lots of vintage Corningware:
Find your vintage Corningware on eBay