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Corning Visions Amber Cookware Review

Ahoy, Maties.

This is a product review of Corning Visions Amber Glass Cookware. Healthy for you. Versatile. Pots and pans that are safe for your dishwasher, freezer, microwave, preheated-oven, broiler and stove top!

My Story

My Doctor prescribed that I use these in 2009. I was way overweight, my aluminum saturation was 90%, my propensity to cancer was 70%.

This is one of my favorite Visions Pots. It is the 5 qt-4.5 l Dutch Oven. It is perfect for gumbos and jambalayas, soups and stews, pot roast and ragu, and chili and chili-mac. Stove top or oven.

Each morning I was boiling water for my tea in an anodised-aluminum pot. I was cooking with highly-rated, non-stick cookware. Because I was using a high-heat method, many of the skillets were scorched and losing their coating… and going into my food. Even though I was using many organic ingredients, my cookware was poisoning me.

I walked a bunch, drank lots of water, took a huge vitamin-mineral regimen, and bought many pieces of Corning Visions Amber Cookware. I got them used, online.

And from just June to November, my weight dropped by 40 pounds, my propensity to cancer dropped to 10%, and my aluminum concentrate dropped to well within healthy range. I had to dig out some old clothes; I looked much better, and felt much better.

I have been using Visions cookware every day since then.

Origin and Qualities of Corning Visions Amber Cookware

Visions cookware was developed by Corning Glass of France, patented in 1958. It is made of a transparent, beta-quartz, semi-crystalline ceramic material called Calexium. It belongs to the Pyroceram family of glass-ceramics used in the white Corning CookWare, which has been sold since 1915. Visions is completely different from Corning’s clear PYREX kitchenware. Visions is unquestionably better than these other product lines in the areas of heat transmittance, stain resistance, and especially chemical durability.

Calexium has an extremely high thermal shock resistance, so food can be stored in the freezer and immediately set

The 5 qt-4.5 l Oval Roaster. One of the unsung heros of my collection. Not used much… but it does help me create great roast chicken, beef roasts, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas duck, and oven baked, dry rubbed, BBQ spare ribs.

on a hot stove top or in a preheated oven. It can withstand heat up to 850 degrees F, so it can even be used in the broiler. And to store food after cooking, it is even safe to put the pot in the refrigerator or freezer while it is still hot, if you wanted to.

Calexium is inert, meaning that nothing from the cookware will seep into your food. Also, acid foods like tomatoes will not react with it, so you will not experience stains. And because the material is completely non-porous it will never harbor food odors, nor will there be any bacteria growing on it.

Additional benefits are that it is lightweight, long-lasting, durable, and easy to clean. It presents well when you set an amber glass pot of soup on the table. And it retains heat well, so your pot of stew will remain hot all through dinner.

Types of Cookware

Many items have been manufactured over the years. Visions is still being made, but the selection is now pots, pans, and lids…. no waffle-bottom skillets.

These are the ones I own and use often. All of these have the matching lids.

You can see that there are myriad types of cookware. I have all of these and use them all the time.

There is always a large selection online. I buy the cleanest items with no chips or scratches even though they might be a little more expensive. I like to buy sets of pots or pans with lids. And…. no non-stick Silverstone surfaces. And so far, I have not had to purchase the cranberry color Visions.

Uses and Techniques

There are several tricks to successfully using Visions Amber Glass Cookware. Foods do stick, especially fried foods and when you reconstitute dried beans. I use my cast-iron skillet for frying bacon and eggs, pork chops, steak, burgers, pancakes, etc. And for fish, I use a clad-steel skillet. So it is necessary to use different techniques with Visions on a restricted range of foods.

This is a curious and versatile ensemble. It’s a 1.5 L pot, with lid, with a double boiler insert, which I have used for melting chocolate for a Fudge Truffle Cheesecake… that is such at the edge of chaos. The insert can be used alone… I use it for boiling eggs, reconstituting dried beans, and steaming vegetables.

They are best for water-based cooking. They are great for steaming vegetables and making noodles, rice, beans, sauces, soups, stews, gravies, glazes, casseroles, and baking.

It is best to use Low to Medium heat. It is easy to enjoy more controlled cooking… it is slower and more deliberate. It is also easier to monitor because it is see-through glass, so boil-overs are minimized.

At lower temperatures and covered with the lids, vegetables steam rather than saute. This technique retains flavor in the moisture, allows flavors to marry at a deeper connection, and retains healthy nutrients. There is an increased intensity of flavor by using heirloom tomatoes, organic onions and garlic, peppers, celery, etc., that is so enjoyable. Stirring is required more often to enjoy the non-stick aspect.

The ‘chicken fryer’ skillet is great for making a ragu for lasagna or spaghetti sauce. The 2.5 L casserole dish is perfect for meatloaf and taglines. The roaster is great for roasting whole chicken or duck, ham or racks of BBQ ribs. The 7″ waffle bottom skillet and the 1/2 L sauce pan are excellent for heating individual portions of left-overs – just bring foods up to room temperature and then heat until the food is heated through… go slowly on low or simmer for lasagna.

Cleaning is easy. Just let the pan cool in the sink with cold tap water in it. Then swish it out with a plastic scrub pad and a sponge. I find this necessary as the automatic dishwasher, even with the best detergent and at the ‘heavy soil’ setting, does not clean them entirely. Food particles will often stay stuck to them.

The extra time and care required in cooking and cleaning this cookware is worth it. I find that cooking slower improves my sense of what cooking is. More zen. I’m closer to the food every step of the way… deliberately creating different effects for taste and texture. When used to their strengths, Visions Amber Cookware provide a peace of mind from knowing that there are so many health benefits.

Notes

Downsides: Slower cooking times, extra care, will explode if you leave it on a hot burner, believe me, I know from experience. Will break on impact. Never has one broken from dropping it on the floor, which I have also done numerous times. In 2013, Canadian man was awarded $1.15 million in a lawsuit after crippling his right hand from an exploding pot.

Get ’em online. There is a wider selection at better price points from buying them used than new. They are for sale used various places online and at outlet stores run by Corelle LLC.

If you decide to buy some, feel free to stop back by and ask me any questions about how to buy them, or for food preparation and care. There are so many health benefits that it is worth using these Visions Amber Cookware whenever possible.

Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Pirate Mike – Foodie Pirate

Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.

Pirate Mike

I'm a Foodie. I like Pirates. Cooking for Pirates is a passion. I've been cooking for decades and recently discovered that I cook like Pirates ate. Ha! A Foodie Pirate. Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.

12 Comments

  1. Definitely some good quality products and even judging from the pictures, they look better than those with the coating on them; I know how you feel when it comes to those other types of skillets and pots. I’ve never tried the Visions Cookware per se, but I have seen products that are like them and have yielded me good results, so I wouldn’t mind trying out this brand of cookware. 

    • Ahoy, Todd,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Glass cookware is not for everyone. It is just enough different that I think a lot of people don’t have the patience to cook with it.

      It does require slow cooking at lower heat levels. It benefits the taste of the food, but requires more time, being more careful, and you can be more deliberate. Which means to me that a cook can craft the tastes and textures better. Higher heat can make mush out of everything.

      To get one, you might explore the pieces in person at a local Corelle store, or just go ahead and buy one piece online… one that you can use a lot. My most used piece is the small 7″ Waffle Bottom Skillet – mainly for warming up leftovers for lunch. But you might get a pan for boiling water that you would make a sauce from time to time.

      I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment.

      Enjoy your days.

      Mike – Pirate Foodie

  2. Hi Pirate Mike!

    I had really no idea that there was glass cookware until I heard about Corning Visions Amber a few days ago.

    They seem very convenient and I like the fact that you can see through them.

    I have one question though…

    Don’t they run the risk of breaking? I know that glass tends to break under extreme heat right?

    • Normal glass and even tempered glass like PYREX, even though you can bake with it, can and will break under high heat. Visions is a different coumpoud and can be heated up to 850 degrees F. So, you can put a cast iron or other metal pan in Visions and the metal pans will melt in the glass pan.

      I’ve had some lids break by forgetting them on a hot burner… they are not made of the pan glass, they’re more like amber colored PYREX. I’ve had some pans crack by other pans falling on them. But you can take the pan off the burner after boiling water and set it in the sink and run water on it and it won’t break. 

      Seeing through them is kinda cool. It can help in temperature modulation so the water doesn’t boil over.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a note.

      Not too may people have opinions about Visions cookware. I happen to be really good using them. It did take a learning curve. I just cooked slow and learned with a minimum of errors.

      Mike

  3. We need one of this ones, why? Our cooking are is broken and we need decent ones for a good price. Looking to this, it sounds perfectly what we had in mind. So thanks for sharing this, oh one question: how long do you think these can last? Our broken ones lasted for quite a few years. 

    • I agree. These things break. I opened my cabinet one time and a smaller pot had fallen into my large 5 qt Dutch Oven and broke into several large pieces. Much of the cookware that I bought 10 years ago is still in great shape and I use some of them on a daily basis. Some of the cookware that I bought is probably from the 1980s… so, that is almost 40 years ago. With proper care these should provide a lifetime of use.

      Hopefully you can find some online. Try Amazon. I know that these were sold in the Phillipines for a long time, so if you’re somewhere in Asia, there might be some that you can get locally.

      Let me know about that, OK? Thank you.

      I appreciate your taking time to leave a comment. Thank you.

      Mike – Pirate Foodie

  4. Thank you for this post.  Although I do have white Corning ware for food storage, I use All-Clad stainless steel pots and pans exclusively.  I bought them nearly 20 years ago, adding specialty ones along the way.

    I have not been tested for aluminum concentrate but, since I’m using stainless steel, is that even a consideration for me?

    I do like how I can store food in the Corning Visions cookware and going from cold to hot, or the other way around, is ok without worry of cracking or worse.

    Like I’ve said, I cook everything in my All-Clad gear but I’m saddened to hear that the Corning Visions cookware isn’t suited to everything (i.e. sticking foods).

    Thanks again for this.  You’ve got me thinking.

    Scott

    • Good day to you, Scott,

      I too have one stainless steel skillet in addition to 2 cast iron skillets. I hardly use my stainless steel, and I do use my cast iron almost every day. I do have some glass bakeware (lasagna pans, brownie pans, bread pans, casserole dishes) that are not Visions. For all other cooking, especially stove top, I use the Visions glass cookware.

      Visions is not good for fried foods, especially because the all the skillets have a waffle bottom. The food gets stuck in the indentations and then it browns, then it get stuck at wash time. So, I use my cast iron skillets for frying. 

      I can brown sausage and bacon in my Visions flat bottom cookware and as long as I keep stirring, they won’t stick. Also, and cook all veg at a low to med-low temperature. The veg moisture stays on the bottom of the pan and that keeps things moist and non-sticking.. This method retains the nutrients and you have a richer taste in the base of the food.

      Maybe you should buy one pot, like the 4.5 l/5 qt Dutch Oven and use it for soups and stews. Then if you like it, maybe get more.

      I appreciate your connecting by leaving a thoughtful comment.

      Thank you.

      Enjoy your day.

      Mike – Pirate Foodie

  5. This post has inspired me to try some of this cookware. I stay away from coated pots and pans also for health reasons. My go to pots are stainless steel, and my skillets are iron. 

    Would be curious to know if you think that the glass cookware is more beneficial than stainless steel or iron when it comes to health?

    • Cindy,

      I too have one stainless steel skillet and 2 cast iron skillets. I hardly use my stainless steel, and I do use my cast iron almost every day. I do have some glass bakeware (lasagna pans, brownie pans, bread pans) that are not Visions. For all other cooking, especially stove top, I use the Visions glass cookware.

      It is my understanding that that this glass-ceramic cookware is healthier. They are practically inert so acids don’t affect them. Bacteria can’t grow on them. Pan particles can’t get transferred into the food. The one thing I have run across is that there are trace amounts of lead in the glass. The same source said that because the material is inert, the lead may just be stuck in it, and would not affect us at all.

      I just had a mineral check from my Doctor, and I do not have an elevated level of lead in my system.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Mike – Pirate Foodie

  6. I have been trying to look around for the right glass pots and pans for stove top. I have Pyrex but it seems like it can’t be used for stove top as it can explode. I’m keen on this and wanted to know if it is safe to cook on stove top using gas. Look forward to your advice. Thank you!

    • You are correct, PYREX is good for kitchen ware and bakeware, but not stove-top. 

      Visions cookware is made from a different glass-ceramic compound than PYREX, and yes, they can be used on the stove top. 

      When you’re finished you can safely put it right in the sink and run cool water on them to cool them down and they won’t break. Gas or electric is fine. 

      I appreciate your taking the time to drop me line.

      Enjoy your day.

      Mike – Pirate Foodie

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