Pros: inexpensive, very sturdy, extremely convenient
Cons: must follow directions exactly
I'm not a particularly accomplished cook nor do I derive much enjoyment from the process of preparing a meal. When I take the time to make things like lasagna, meatloaf, or baked ziti, I always make multiple dishes so I can freeze some of them for easy meals during the week. The problem is that we only have a couple of baking dishes and I found that none of them were available for use because they always seemed to be filled with food and downstairs in the basement freezer. I went to the store with the intention to buy those cheap, disposable pans. Instead, I found Glad Ovenware. What a great find!
From company site: This all-in-one pan can be used in all stages of baking. It features a heat-resistant durable pan that's oven-safe and freezer-ready, and a microwavable lid that snaps on for easy storage. Prepare, bake, serve, store and reheat your favorite entrees in reusable GLAD OvenWare.
And it's so affordable that you don't need to worry about leaving it behind at potluck dinners, family get-togethers or parties. GLAD OvenWare is your one-stop cooking companion.
Glad Ovenware comes in two sizes: 8 x 8 and 9 x 12. According to the company web site, in a package you will get either three of the 8 x 8 pans or two of the 9 x 12 ones. I believe that the regular pans and lids are made of clear plastic.
When I discovered this product at Target, there was only one available "bundle"--the Seasonal Collection. It contained two green 9 x 12 pans and one red 8 x 8 pan. All three of the pans had clear plastic lids.
What Can You Do With Ovenware?
These pans can be used in a freezer, in the oven, in the microwave, in the refrigerator, and in the dishwasher. I usually fill them up with an uncooked meal and freeze them for a couple of weeks. I'll pull one out and defrost it in the fridge for a day or two. I bake the meal in the oven and we eat our dinner. After the food has cooled, I simply snap the lid onto the pan and store the leftovers in the refrigerator. Glad Ovenware is super-convenient and it also helps to cut down on the number of dishes that I have to wash which is something that I always appreciate.
How To Cook With Ovenware
I am infamous for using products without actually reading the directions. The first time I used one of these pans, I simply filled it with lasagna, turned the oven on, and put the pan on an oven rack just like I would have done with a regular glass or ceramic baking dish. Big mistake. The food cooked just fine but the pan became completely warped and I had to recycle it after just one use. The next time I used Glad Ovenware I decided to read the usage instructions. Big difference.
The first thing you need to do before cooking with these pans is to preheat the oven for twenty minutes. You are warned in dark bold lettering to never exceed 400 degrees F or 205 degrees C. You are also instructed to distribute food evenly in the pan and to make sure that the entire bottom is completely covered with food. When you are ready to bake, you have to place your Glad Ovenware pan on the center of a cookie sheet and then put them into the oven. When you are finished cooking your meal, you need to remove both items together and allow the pan to remain on the cookie sheet for at least two minutes.
There is a whole paragraph of important warnings on the packaging of Glad Ovenware. Because there are probably others out there who fail to read the instructions prior to using an item, I think it's important to include the caution listing here:
Caution! Failure to follow usage instructions can lead to melting of pan or, in extreme cases, fire in oven. When heating or baking in a conventional oven, the oven must be fully preheated before inserting pan. Pans should never be placed directly on oven racks or touch oven walls. Ensure that the pan does not overhand cookie sheet. Do not use Ovenware for boiling, in a toaster oven, under a broiler, in an open-flame oven, with microwave browning units, or on a barbecue grill or stove top. Do not put lid in conventional ovens. Handle all hot containers with care.
Cost and Availability
I paid about $4 for three pieces of Glad Ovenware and the accompanying lids. I love that the price is low enough so I wouldn't feel guilty about disposing of a pan or sending leftovers home with someone else.
Glad storage products are sold in grocery stores, drug stores, discount retailers like Target and Walmart. They are very easy to find.
These pans are very easy to use. You can fill them up with food, snap on the lid, and throw them in the freezer. Once I read the directions (and placed the dish on a cookie sheet), I discovered that they are very sturdy in the oven. Lasagna and baked ziti cooked in these pans was just as good as they were when I baked them in Pyrex and Corningware dishes. Storing your leftovers is a snap with Glad Ovenware because all you have to do is just pop on the lid and place it into the refrigerator. When you have emptied the dish out, it can be washed either by hand or in the dishwasher. I've cleaned mine in the dishwasher and they come out clean and just as strong as they were before washing. I have reused the pans 4 or 5 times now and they still are in very good shape which means that I'll probably get another 10+ uses out of them.
These pans are wonderful, in my opinion, and a great solution to my freezer storage issues. The price is very nice and makes it very easy to send food home with someone else without cringing at the loss of the container. This product is a winner.