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PVC piping in baking?

ekates's picture

Hi.  I am new to this site and I am hoping to find some help.

Has anyone ever used cut pvc piping for a mold?  I am hoping to find an alternative to a round metal ring in which to bake a chocolate wafer crust.  I have heard that you can use cut pvc but am not sure max baking temp, etc.

If you have any experience or have seen a recipe using it, please pass along the advice.  Thanks in advance.

UncleDunc's picture

(post #53857, reply #1 of 16)

PVC starts to soften below the boiling point of water. I remember seeing 180 degrees somewhere, but that may have been a regulatory threshold rather than a physical fact. There is a related plastic called CPVC that is approved for domestic hot water piping, but I would expect it to also start getting soft before 350 degrees. The only plastic I know of that will withstand oven temperatures is Teflon. You can buy Teflon pipe, but it would be way more expensive than the metal pan you're trying to substitute.

PeterDurand's picture

(post #53857, reply #2 of 16)

I would be REALLY concerned about non food grade plactics and food.

UncleDunc's picture

(post #53857, reply #5 of 16)

If PVC pipe is not food grade, I'm sure the millions of Americans who have plumbed their kitchens with it would like to know. If you're thinking of drain, waste and vent pipe then I agree, but supply pipe should be fine. It's been too long to be really sure, but I'm fairly sure I remember seeing the NSF stamp on PVC pipe at the store.

PeterDurand's picture

(post #53857, reply #7 of 16)

Ya gonna cook with it?



Edited 9/2/2002 11:04:50 PM ET by PeterDurand

UncleDunc's picture

(post #53857, reply #9 of 16)

I already said I think baking with PVC would be a bad idea. I already said I agree with you that some kinds of PVC pipe may not be certified food grade. I shared my opinion that some kinds of PVC pipe are food grade. That's what the NSF stamp was about.

What do you want from me? No, I'm not going to cook with PVC, but that has nothing to do with whether or not you think it's food grade. I would not hesitate to use PVC supply pipe in food preparation in unheated situations. I notice that the other posters who described using it for pastries seem to feel the same way.

KarenP's picture

(post #53857, reply #10 of 16)

odd that this comes up now, I watched some of Bocuse d'or last night. One of the contestants was using an obvious piece of PVC for molding purposes.

PeterDurand's picture

(post #53857, reply #14 of 16)

Sorry.....didn't mean to dump on you.


kai230's picture

(post #53857, reply #3 of 16)

I second and third Peter's and UD's advice, and strongly. (Welcome BTW!)

What/who suggested cooking w/pvc? Day after day it seems I hear of yet another prob w/any number of plastics that are/have become less than safe re food contact. Why risk it? (Please report back!)

FWIW, I've cut pvc and it leaves a rough edge, ripe for bacteria or what have you.

Biscuits's picture

(post #53857, reply #4 of 16)

I have, and do, use PVC sections for pastry work, but not anything that has to be baked - they will warp at too high a temperature.  Cold prep only, ie mousses, charlottes, ice creams, chocolate work, etc.  If it has to be baked, you need metal rings.  You can try taking empty tuna cans, cutting both the top and bottom out, cleaning VERY well, and using those, but I found the shallow sides didn't work all that well for me unless I was baking something I wanted that wide. 


Ancora Imparo -

Adele's picture

(post #53857, reply #6 of 16)

What CLS said.

I've used PVC in a cooking class for mousses and we did a layered thingy too. Didn't put it in the oven though, used the 'fridge.

But, but, its SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

kai230's picture

(post #53857, reply #8 of 16)

Well, this is exactly why I love this place--something new every day :-)

Now, how did this get started? Does stuff unmold more easily? I swear I would have thought of cooking on a car engine (a long shot at best) before this--possibly because my pvc exp also involved nasty smelling adhesive. On the good side, it was a lovely purple :-)


Biscuits's picture

(post #53857, reply #12 of 16)

It's not so much that it unmolds easier than metal, it's just that it's an inexpensive solution to a problem.  Those metal rings aren't all that cheap, and if you need a lot of them (say, you're making 400 triple-chocolate-mousse desserts), you'd spend a fortune on the rings.  Far cheaper to go the PVC way and save your money for something that really matters.  PVC cuts easily with an electric saw, and even better, you can slice it to any size ring you want with regard to depth.  I've even gotten 1/2" SS pipe at a hardware store and had it sliced into 4" lengths and ta-da!  Instant cannoli molds.  Copper wire for use in making the form for sugar baskets - the list goes on.  Hardware stores are a little treasure trove of molds and tools and materials for making pastry items.  You just have to make sure that whatever you get is going to be save to have in contact with food. 


Ancora Imparo -

kai230's picture

(post #53857, reply #13 of 16)

Aha! Thanks Biscuit :-)

nytrader's picture

(post #53857, reply #11 of 16)

PVC, when heated, emits noxious, dangerous fumes.  It also, as others have mentioned, softens at temperatures well below usual baking temps.  If the gasses given off during the heating of PVC are dangerous, I can't imagine that food that's come in contact with these fumes would be any good, if not downright poisonous.  Just my 2 cents.

heldth's picture

PVC (post #53857, reply #15 of 16)

I have worked in Casinos where PVC is used for baking individual serving cheesecakes and cakes. As long as the PVC is sterilized it works just fine. Now I realize that I am not THE EXPERT, but these kitchens were run by chefs that are.

GretchenTHEFIRST's picture

This is YEARS old, but I (post #53857, reply #16 of 16)

This is YEARS old, but I would not trust this one iota. You cannot bake in PVC. It IS entirely possible that what this poster thinks was a baked cheesecake was a molded and jelled product, not heated. Or that they were plastic molds that are oven and food safe.