Microwave Glassware
September 19, 2016 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a brand of small glass dishes with lids for heating sauces in the microwave.

I often find myself in the situation of wanting to heat my preprepared dipping and pouring sauces just before a meal, often several in slightly different variations to suit the fussy tastebuds of my family. I normally do this with a microwave for convenience sake and to save precious stovetop space, but I'm having problems finding decent dishes that are up to the task.

I have inherited two genuine French borosilicate bowls from my mother, small 250ml containers with matching loose fitting lids and Pyrex branding, that are just right for heating up individual portions. I'd love to buy some more, but they don't seem to make them any more. Normal microwave containers aren't an option, as tend to be plastic and can be damaged by hot sauces with strong flavours and colours.

So, my question is, have you seen these or similar borosilicate glass bowls for sale in or near the UK? Otherwise, what's a better way of doing this?
posted by Eleven to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You could get regular tempered glass containers and put a microwave cover over them.
posted by FallowKing at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2016

Best answer: I have several of these (US) Pyrex bowls, some of which look like they are sold individually on Amazon UK. I do not use the lids, they are flimsy, I tend to cover with paper towel or a microwave cover. (I'm also eyeing these silicone covers.)

I also have a set of Glasslock storage containers, which I see are also sold in the UK. My complaint - which may also be yours - is that the sets of nesting containers means you don't get multiples of the good sizes. So going the route of buying several individual Pyrex containers in the same size - like .5L or 1L might suit you better.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:27 AM on September 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Weck jars have glass lids, which is what you want for microwaving; they don't hold odor. We use these all the time, have done so for years, and they've been awesome. We don't generally use the little clips or rubber seals just for sauces (or leftover rice/beans, pasta, etc.).

A jar with just a glass lid goes straight from the refrigerator to the microwave, then from the microwave to the table, and eventually into the dishwasher. It's awesome and saves a lot of time, dishwashing, even water (for the dishwashing). They're stackable, too.

I have also frozen them with soup inside, but wouldn't casually recommend it since I suspect it's a little dangerous.

Here is a slightly different kind.

I think they're both attractive, too.
posted by amtho at 8:34 AM on September 19, 2016 [5 favorites]

Here are some little ones. I find myself wanting little ones more and more.
posted by amtho at 8:36 AM on September 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have several of the Ikea Fortrolig containers and so far have been very happy with them. They've brought saucy things back and forth in my bookbag for daily lunches without leaking and microwave all sorts of things that would damage or stain plastic containers (tomato sauce, curries, things with turmeric) with no ill effects, even to the (plastic) lids. I've also dropped them a couple times and it's been fine.

I believe even the smallest one is still larger than what you're specifically looking for, but if you're close to an Ikea, they're pretty inexpensive and it might be worth trying out.
posted by phunniemee at 8:36 AM on September 19, 2016

I have and use the Pyrex bowls that Lyn Never refers to (the first set), and I've got to say my advice is: anything but that. Once the bowl gets hot, there's nothing to pick it up by, you have to wrap a dish towel or hot mitts around it and hope you're finding some way to hold it tight enough not to drop despite the lack of friction with the cloth. Don't do it. Buy something with handles, or at the very least a noticeably flared shape rather than near-vertical cylindrical sides.
posted by aimedwander at 9:18 AM on September 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I got rid of all my plastic Rubbermaid food storage containers years ago and replaced them with the Pyrex kind Lyn Never mentions to avoid microwaving in plastic. I really like them and have no trouble picking them up when hot with my silicone hot pads. Personally, I just wish they had something larger than the largest 11 cup container.
posted by cecic at 9:32 AM on September 19, 2016

We bought a set of these at CostCo.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:38 AM on September 19, 2016

Pyrex Primary Refrigerator Set. My sister gave them to us for our wedding and they're easily the most-used dishware in our kitchen! Sadly, only available used from Etsy or similar.
posted by The Toad at 10:43 AM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Buy something with handles

This is a good point and I agree philosophically though this is hard to find. My most recent microwave throws me into constant rages - I've never had a microwave this incredibly bad at heating food while making all containers brutally hot - and frankly I mostly now use plastic or my Pyrex measuring cups with handles for heating food and then transferring to a bowl I've run hot water through or microwaved for a few seconds with a little water in.

I am not above, when I am alone, just eating straight out of the measuring cup. I wrap it in a dish towel.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:49 AM on September 19, 2016

I have several of these (US) Pyrex bowls, some of which look like they are sold individually on Amazon UK. I do not use the lids, they are flimsy ...

Just to address the flimsiness of the lids with the Pyrex stuff: There seems to be a real difference based on the color of the lids (I'm not joking). The dark blue lids are heavy-duty and have always worked well for me. These seem to be harder to find on the UK Amazon site; it's mostly the red-lidded ones that I see. However, I found some blue-lidded ones deep in the search results.
posted by Betelgeuse at 12:25 PM on September 19, 2016

I have glass bowls - a few are pyrex. For microwaving or fridge storage, I just put a small glass or or enamel ware plate on top. Low tech, but works.
posted by theora55 at 12:41 PM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

The blue-lidded Pyrex are not good! I have a LOT of these and at least half now have a little tear in the lip of the blue lid. In some cases it's not a big deal but in others it does reduce the seal. Pyrex sells replacements lids but at a ridiculous cost (at least here in Canada), to the point where it would make more sense to buy a new set entirely rather than just replace the lids. Look around online and you'll find many complaints about this.
posted by paperback version at 1:03 PM on September 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Vision Glass Cookware?
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 1:13 PM on September 19, 2016

I have blue-lidded Pyrex and the lids have lasted a long time, but a) we did throw some out that started to smell strongly of cat food (we used them for pet food dishes -- worked great -- and water dishes -- better), and b) we never heat plastic lids, so this happened without abusing them at all.
posted by amtho at 3:19 PM on September 19, 2016

Pyrex make 1 cup measuring jugs. No lid, but the handle makes them very easy to use, and they stack.
posted by kjs4 at 9:08 PM on September 19, 2016

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