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Glass Baking Dishes

Published November 2016

How we tested

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.


We tested five 3-quart glass baking dishes, using them to make sheet cake and lasagna. We measured each dish’s true dimensions and capacity and evaluated each on ease of handling, ease of serving, ease of cleanup, and durability. Temperature ranges are per manufacturers. All models were purchased online and are listed in order of preference.

Handles: We gave more points to models that had longer, broader, easier-to-grip handles.

Weight: We awarded more points to lighter models.

The Results


Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.


Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block

This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.


Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block

This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.

Recommended with Reservations

Swissmar Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block

This small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. But inch-long gaps between its small magnets made coverage uneven and forced us to find the magnetic hot spots in order to secure the knives. Its acrylic guard made it safer to use but harder to insert knives and to clean.

Not Recommended

Messermeister Walnut Magnet Block

This handsome block was done in by its shape—a tippy, top-heavy quarter-circle that wasn’t tall or broad enough to keep the blades of three knives from poking out. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use.


Epicurean Standing Knife Rack 12"

This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. But it was hard to insert each knife without hitting the block’s decorative slats on way down, and because the block was light and narrow, it wobbled when bumped. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog.


Kapoosh Rondelle Knife Block

This model stabilized knives with a mass of stiff, spaghetti-like bristles that shed and nicked easily after extensive use, covering our knives with plastic debris. While all our knives fit securely, several of the blades stuck out, making this unit feel less safe overall. Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand.


Kuhn Rikon Vision Knife Block, Clear

This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. The lightest model in our lineup, this block was dangerously top-heavy when loaded with knives.