#SaferChoices: Casserole Dishes
How do I choose a Lead-free casserole dish?
Published: October 14, 2017
Updated: October 31, 2022 – Monday
At the bottom of this post I have shared FIVE #SaferChoices for casserole dishes that are likely to be Lead-free, based on my [more than 13 years of] experience testing consumer goods for Lead. Outside of those five specific options, any that meet the guidelines outlined below should also be fine, from a toxicants perspective (i.e. highly likely to be either Lead-safe (below 90 ppm Lead when tested with an XRF instrument) or 100% Lead-free.
I really like the Libbey set (pictured above), but also have a lot of (contemporary) clear-glass Pyrex in my home. The great thing about these Lead-free choices is that they are generally also very reasonably-priced (most are downright inexpensive!) so it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to cook that holiday meal or Friday night dinner in a Lead-free casserole dish!
General rules of thumb – when looking for a truly non-toxic casserole dish:
- Avoid colors (colored glass, ceramic, enamel or anything else!)
- Avoid ceramic casserole dishes from Italy, Mexico, or Portugal (even ones that are marked “Lead-Free”!)
- Really, just completely avoid glazed ceramic casserole dishes, period. [Unless you know the potter who made it, and that potter can actually confirm that none of the glazes they use contain Lead or Cadmium.]
- Avoid tinted glass. (I don’t even recommend the Visionware options out there — you can read more about that here.)
- Avoid enamel-coated metal casserole dishes (including the choices from Lodge, Martha Stewart ,and Le Creuset – they often test positive for traces of Lead, Cadmium, and even Antimony on the food surfaces).
- Avoid casserole dishes with any brass decorative components (handles, knobs, etc.) Brass can test positive for between 30,000 and 40,000 ppm Lead — and 90 ppm Lead & higher is considered unsafe [it would be illegal in any “item intended for use by children”].
- Avoid.Vintage.Pyrex.Casserole.Dishes. Click here to see the vintage Pyrex casseroles I have tested.
- Avoid.Vintage.Corning.Casserole.Dishes (new undecorated examples like the one below are Lead-free, however). Click here to see the vintage Corning casseroles I have tested.
- Avoid anything from Le Creuset – period. (ceramic or enamel). Click here to see all the Le Creuset items I have tested.
- Stick with (modern) clear glass whenever possible.
- Plain, undecorated, uncoated cast iron can also be an excellent choice – depending on what you are cooking!
Have the food be the decoration on your table, not the pots and pans!
To see more casserole dishes I have tested, click here [there are currently more than 20 posts and articles with XRF test results for casserole dishes here on the LeadSafeMama.com / TamaraRubin.com website!]
The links to the items pictured below are my Amazon Affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase one of these items via one of my links, Amazon will send me a small percentage of the value of your purchase at no extra cost to you!
Thank you for reading and sharing about this work (to help protect your family, friends, and greater community from exposure to Lead and other toxicants in their home and environment!) As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I will do my best to answer them personally as soon as I have a moment.
Owner – Lead Safe Mama, LLC
1) Libbey – 6-piece set
December 2022 price: $58.50
2) Corning (new unpainted options are Lead-free) – 10-piece set
December 2022 price: $91.46
3) Anchor Hocking – 2-piece set
December 2022 price: $24.10
4) Pyrex – 2-piece set
December 2022 price: $15.80
5) Duralex – set of 4, 8 oz Ramekins
December 2022 price: $25.00
For those new to this website
Tamara Rubin is a Federal-award-winning independent advocate for consumer goods safety and a documentary filmmaker. She is also a mother of Lead-poisoned children. Tamara’s sons were acutely Lead-poisoned in August of 2005. She began testing consumer goods for toxicants in 2009 and was the parent-advocate responsible for finding Lead in the popular fidget spinner toys in 2017. Her work was also responsible for two CPSC product recalls in the summer of 2022, the Jumping Jumperoo recall (June 2022) and the Lead painted NUK baby bottle recall (July 2022) and was featured in an NPR story about Lead in consumer goods in August of 2022. Tamara uses XRF testing (a scientific method used by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) to test consumer goods for toxicants (specifically heavy metals), including Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic. All test results reported on this website are science-based, accurate, and replicable. Items are tested multiple times, to confirm the test results for each component tested and reported on. Please click through to this link to learn more about the testing methodology used for the test results discussed and reported on this website.
Are the plain white Corningware casseroles safe? I might need to upgrade to these glass ones. Thanks!
The modern / newer white ones (from Corning) with no decoration are generally lead-free.
I received Corningware for a wedding gift in 1998. Are those safe?
Are they plain white? or is there a pattern? Do you know the name of the pattern? Or could you describe it for me?
The plain white ones are usually negative for heavy metals (or very low, below 100 ppm Lead). Pretty much all of the patterns are positive for Lead (especially from that period.)
Thank you for commenting.
I have corningware casserole dishes from around 2012 maybe a little earlier, they are all white with glass lids. But the year is concerning me. Should I toss them?
Sorry auto-correct got me! Tamara!
How much do we need to worry about a design on the outside poisoning us if inside doesn’t have lead. I have so many of these. Darn! I also have a set of the iris pattern of dishes but am not seeing that pattern. It’s packed away but was thinking of using again. Thank you! This has been very interesting reading. It’s sad how we are getting poisoned every which way we turn!
Hello! I can’t figure out how to ask a question on here lol… but what do you think about GreenPan? I am looking have doing A LOT of research but I am on a budget and haven’t heard much about that brand and some of their sets are in my price range at the moment.
Thanks for commenting. I do not recommend GreenPan. The coating is Lead-free but wears off. As I understand it it is made of Titanium “nano-particles” (or some other nonsense) that the company has deemed to be non-toxic. However, in my opinion – ANY coating that wears that is made of ANY metal that can be ingested as a result of the food preparation process means that that product is not a good choice. This is a similar product – with my thoughts on that type of product: https://tamararubin.com/2019/01/greenlife-saucepan-lead-free-but/
Robin N. says
Have you tested Rubbermaid DuraLite Bakeware?
Dawn C says
Do you know if Le Creuset cast iron w/ ceramic coating is safe? Thanks for all the info, I think I need to replace some things…
I don’t recommend Le Creuset, many of their products (even recent ones) have cadmium, and then going back as recently as 10 and 20 years they have many products that are high lead. Here are a bunch of test results for Le Creuset Items: https://tamararubin.com/category/le-creuset/
Chandler Zadalis says
What about lodge Dutch ovens
Hi! I just stumbled upon your posts today and am very interested. I have a Corning Ware baking dish with Pyrex lid that I picked up at a goodwill. It’s from the CorningWare Blue Cornflower set. Have you tested the inside of the dish are know of any concerns of chemicals leaching from the inside? Thank you
Based on the testing I have done, the inside of those blue Cornflower pieces are generally negative for toxicants (lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury), Ailene.
Here are some posts to check out: https://tamararubin.com/category/cornflower/
Have you tested any of the amazon basics cookware? I received an enameled cast iron dutch oven as a gift. I am hesitant to keep it after reading all of this information.
I have not, I’m sorry!
Tamara, thanks for your wonderful, educational work. I have so much more to learn about surprising sources of hidden lead.
We received a new set of 28 Pyrex Simply Store. I called the company to confirm they are lead free and was told they meet California Prop 65 standards. Does this mean they are lead free? Would you allow your family to use them? [Also, I can’t find lead-free soup mugs (prefer a handle if possible) anywhere. Do you have suggestions?] Thanks so much!
Are the Pyrex Simply Store products clear glass? If so (if they are modern clear glass) they are likely lead-free. I’ll look around for a soup mug suggestion and get back to you!
Tamara, thanks so much for your very prompt response! Yes, they are clear glass. The 1 cup and 2 cup dishes are completely clear including the top rim, but the 4 cup and 7 cup have a greenish tint only around the top rim. (I have some older rectangular casseroles of various sizes that also are clear glass except for a color rim). Does the rim matter?
Also, I’ve been trying hard to follow your recommendations but the Correlle white large set on your Amazon list is out of stock. Is all Corelle white color generally ok? I’d like 12 place settings to include plates and bowls. Thanks again!
Yes any and all plain white Corelle (embossed or not) is going to be lead-free. There is also a comparable line at Ikea that is significantly less expensive AND I heard the Corelle sets are on sale this week at Target for a really good price. The green tint in the rims of the clear glass can SOMETIMES mean there is lead (especially if the item is green because it is made of recycled glass), but with new clear Pyrex brand items that is generally not a concern.
Do you know if Pyrex is made with recycled glass? Also how new is considered new? I have some Pyrex containers that are 10-15 years old and are clear are those still considered new and safe? Thanks!
Carleen Sing says
Hello Tamara, I live in Australia and am wondering if you’ve tested the white Maxwell Williams crockery. Thanks.
Have you tested any of the temptations cookware line?
I am not familiar with this line. Can you share a link with an image? Thank you. [I just know the band! They serenaded me once back stage in 1996 ;-)]
Lisa Weiland says
What about Pampered Chef? Have you ever tested anything they offer?
I have purchased set of Libbey bakers basic
Casserole baking dishes. They say Mexico
In the glass small letters. Clear glass but bottoms are more opaque.
Lead free and safe or no ?
Thank you SO much for what are doing! I hope that life gets better for you and your boys!
One question: what do you use to just boil an egg (I read that you are a vegetarian, not sure if you guys eat eggs) or plain noodles?
This is what I generally use to boil an egg: https://amzn.to/2WWpMIg (affiliate link)
Leanna Reece says
I’m just now exploring lead in cookware and am very displeased at what I am finding!
I actually got rid of my newer clear Pyrex as it can literally explode in the oven. A dear friend had that happen to her and she is a stickler for properly warming up her baking dishes. A quick Google and you’ll find this is actually a common occurrence. So that might be something to look into as well. Some people have had the dishes shatter into a million pieces just sitting in storage, others have had it happen in their dishwasher.
Thank you for what you are doing- it is so helpful!
Hi Leanna! Thank you for commenting!
I just bought some clear Pyrex and am having second thoughts because of the exposing issue
Have you found anything else that is better
I use clear Pyrex in my home every day and have for decades. I don’t have any concerns. They may break from time to time – but shards of ceramic can be an equally concerning problem.
Leanna Reece says
Cindy, I’m still figuring it out due to the lead issue, but I’m strongly considering cast iron as lead etc. is rarely an issue with cast iron. Exploding dishes have no place in my home and some people have had to go to the ER- it happens while washing dishes or even just sitting on the shelf where thermal shock can’t come into play. If my friend had opened her oven at the wrong time she, her dog, and her 3 year old would have been covered in thousands of tiny glass shards!
As we know, manufacturers are rarely held liable for damage due to the product and it’s basically up to consumer to prove a product is unsafe, though the duty to prove safety should lie on the manufacturer.
Leanna Reece says
By the way, as of 2018, the federal government had received 475 reports of shattering or exploding Pyrex (the newer type) since 2011. Considering the assumption in science that less than 1% of adverse events are reported to authorities, that’s a minimum of 47,025 incidents in 7 years.
That’s quite significant.
I am not saying it doesn’t happen. I have lost a dish or two that way. I am just saying that for me personally it hasn’t been a problem in terms of clean up and mess (outside what one might expect from other dishes breaking as well.)
Leanna Reece says
I’m not referring to dropping a dish and it breaking. That happens to me more than it does to most as I have Cipro damage to my arms and Raynaud’s. I average breaking a dish of some sort every two weeks. I’m used to sweeping up shards. Lol.
I’m talking about shards being thrown outwards from a dish- exploding. That’s very concerning to me. I’m hazard enough to myself. 😉
Have you tested the new white Corningware that you can use on the stove top
Does it have anything toxic or is it safe to use
I have not tested the new white Corningware for stovetop use, sorry.
Madalene Tumes says
So have the above casserole dishes been tested? The Libbey 3 piece in particular? Is it likely to be lead free, or is it actually? Thanks
Regarding baking with modern Pyex, there are numerous complaints of Pyrex bakeware exploding. Pyrex and Corningware have been made in China for a while now. The company that makes them World Kitchen denies any problems despite numerous reports from several countries. See the Consumer Affairs website (consumer affairs.com) for stories on both bakeware companies (Pyrex & Corningware).
I had just purchased some Anchor Hocking bakeware today. Yet, while reviewing
the Consumer Affairs website to write this, I also found complaints about their line as well. Is it safe to bake/roast in glass at all?
Thank you for commenting. I am nearly 50 years old – and am a mom with 4 kids. I have used clear glass pyrex for as long as I remember and it is pretty much the only glass bakeware I have in my home now. In all my years of using it I have only had one pan shatter and I would really blame myself for that (because – if I recall correctly – I put it on a cold surface when it was hot and the bottom cracked off and that ruined the dinner.)
I know this is a problem – and I don’t discount that it has happened to others, but I think with proper care and use (and avoiding extreme temperature swings – like avoiding putting a hot pan on a cold surface) you can use them very safely.
My solution is that now I always place my hot glass baking dishes on a wooden cutting board when I bring them out of the oven. I have never had one shatter in the oven.
The fact of the matter is – all dishes and cookware have issues – everything breaks or shatters eventually – and in my lifetime I have found the clear glass products from Pyrex to be very durable and very reliable. As an option though you can look at the Duralex products which are also clear glass (and they have baking options – like bread pans) – Duralex is an excellent brand too (and I think their products are still made in France, plus they are also lead-free.) I do have a few of their pans as well – here’s an affiliate link to one option (so you can see what they look like): https://amzn.to/2zR8rGk
What do you recommend for frying pan and saucepan?
There are no clear glass cooking options for stove top cooking.
Thank you for commenting. I personally use stainless steel and cast iron products. I don’t have any specific brand I recommend – but I do recommend staying away from any that are adorned in any way (with Leaded brass or colorful enamels for example).
Here is the “Pots and Pans” category on my site, with several examples to look at and consider: https://tamararubin.com/category/pots-and-pans/
Teresa De Bois says
HAVE YOU TESTED BALL (QUILTED) CANNING JARS. I HAVE NOTICED ON WALMART WEBSITE, TRYING TO PURCHASE THE QUILTED 12 OZ JARS , THAT THERE IS A WARNING P65 ON SOME THAT THEY OFFER. NOT ALL THAT THEY OFFER HAS THE WARNING AND THE SAME JARS ON AMAZON DON’T SHOW ANY WARNING. i WAS WONDERING IF THE WARNING WAS PUT ON JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE CALLED QUILTED CRYSTAL. SO MY QUESTION IS DOES BALL QUILTED CRYSTAL JARS HAVE LEAD IN THEM?
I have a set of Mikasa Classic Flair fine China K1991 & would like to know if you have tested any of these plates, bowls, or cups. They are all white.
I don’t believe I have tested those. Can you find me a link with a photo?
Here’s how to send a dish in for testing: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-to-test-for-lead/
When you say to avoid vintage pyrex and corning products, does that also include clear glass products?`
Hi Mary! Thank you for commenting. The clear glass is generally Lead-free from vintage Pyrex and Corning – but not always (depends on the age and the piece). Here’s a good example: https://tamararubin.com/2019/01/made-in-usa-vintage-pyrex-clear-glass-double-boiler-cooking-pot-216-ppm-lead/
Barbara Smith says
How do you feel about Revere Ware stainless steel pots and pans. I have an original set from my grandmother still in good shape. I am 66 years old. Thanks!
wondering if the blue/glass anchor baking dishes such as loaf pan and 8 x 8 pan are lead safe
Thank you for commenting.
New blue glass items (like these – affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2TlJcqw) should either be Lead-safe or Lead-free as long as they are not made from recycled glass. Vintage ones may have trace lead (up to possibly 300 ppm, but usually not higher. This is also likely to be Lead-free (https://amzn.to/2QS2XnT – affiliate link) but I have not tested it. I have not been able to find any examples of modern blue glass bakeware for sale by Anchor Hocking.
For more examples of blue glass that I have tested, here’s the “blue glass” category of posts on my blog: https://tamararubin.com/category/blue-glass/
Is the corning ware with the 2 blue chickens and orange flowers around them safe? I did not see them listed.
Is the corning ware with blue chickens and orange flowers safe?
Laureen rama says
Thanks for all this great info! I have some older Pyrex glass baking dishes we use a lot. They are new enough to say microwave safe. One though just says oven proof.
Would these be safe to use?
I also have a circa mid 70s Noritakd progression China pearl white baking bowl and the same type of dishes, cups etc. Are these safe?
Laureen rama says
Hi- I made a typo. That should be NORITAKE China.
I have 2 Pyrex light green tint glass baking dishes but not sure how old they are…I’m thinking the 80’s and was also wondering about Corelle white dishes. I read that one of the safest was the Corelle Winter White Frost . Do you agree?
I recently replaced my glasses with Ikea brand and my mugs with Sweese brand as both say they are cadmium and lead free.
Thank you for all your hard work!
I have two Calphalon ceramic covered casserole dishes that I bought over 7 years ago, but never gave them as the gifts that I intended, since I am concerned about lead. They are a glossy cream color, made in China. They are still in the original packing. Can you tell me if they are safe?
From what I can see, your comments generally center around new clear pyrex and not old PYREX (which I believe is borosilicate glass) (mine is 233-N 9×13 originals clear casserole dish). Do you have a link to where I might find this information on older PYREX, as opposed to pyrex (the newer)? Many thanks for all your valuable informaion
One relevant post: https://tamararubin.com/2020/06/vintage-clear-glass-small-pyrex-casserole-866-61-ppm-arsenic/
Rosie Walker says
Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing. You are truly appreciated.
I recently purchased about 6 Pyrex bowls & casseroles pieces in the , Snowflake pattern in turquois snowflakes.. Have you tested them?. It was sold to me as vintage. Can I use them?
Have you tested Franscian Atomic Starburst. I have spent mucho bucks collecting these. only to learn, maybe that I cannot use them.
Lastly, I’ve been using Leonox Temperware Franciscan Quakertown since 1970, and have probably 20 place settings. I’m just sick. I recently redecorated in both my house and my new old vintage motorhome, which I got after another one burnt to the ground, in midcentury modern. I am out a lot of dollars.
I also have many clear pyrex casserole dishes, and as I understand I can use them.
First thank you for all your work some people don’t believe it would be allowed if there was any harm that could come from using products remarkably. I’d rather not take such gambles especially as Alzheimer’s is in family (aluminium).
For the CorningWare Glass-Ceramic Pyroceram Round Classic Casserole.
Like this: https://www.amazon.com/CorningWare-Glass-Ceramic-Pyroceram-Classic-Casserole/dp/B08WHYK1P2
I understand you have tested but get confused you say glass ones are generally lead free, ceramic vary. But what about pyroceram like I link. We’re the lids also tested.
I can’t go with stainless steel pot as I hear the aluminium etc when heated still enters the food.
More on this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/mwMMT1pizc0.
So I’m hoping these are lead free as there my personal fav.
Nohemi West-Phelps says
I’m looking for safe stovetop cookware. I have some stainless steel but I’ve been considering glass for a nonstick option and came across the CorningWare Pyroceram Classic Casserole Dish which is stovetop safe…do you know if these are nontoxic?
Just wondering if you reckon le cruset stainless steel pots and pans? I get the enamel is toxic but I have the stainless, the kettle too.
Natalia Rudenko says
Are the plain white Pyrex casseroles safe? I have been using a Pyrex plain white ceramic pot for years. Now after reading your articles I am confused and concerned.
I am talking about this one: have you tested it?
Tina M. says
Do you have plans to test bakeware from Blue Harbor? It’s what I have and I know it’s not very common, but it’s only a few years old.
Thank you for the important work you do!
Tamara, I, too, have noticed the P65 warning listed for some Ball canning jars and not for others… just wondering about this. Is it in the glass, the rings, the sealant on the lids…. Why some sets and not others?
Thank you for any enlightenment.
Thanks for all the testing and warnings. I am wondering, when you are testing vintage pyrex casserole dishes, are you testing the decorative outside or the clear glazed inside? I have a few of those that were wedding gifts from years ago.
Having studied ceramics in college, I know it is common practice to decorate the outside of bowls, cups, or casserole dishes in various ways that may not be safe for food, but on the inside, which holds food or liquid, the glaze should glossy and free from dangerous metals. Thanks.