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The best pie plate

The number of pies sold annually in grocery stores in the US could circle the globe twice. Avoid the lines, and bake your own pie at home.
The number of pies sold annually in grocery stores in the US could circle the globe twice. Avoid the lines, and bake your own pie at home. (BestReviews)

The best pie plate

Happiness is a pie (or two) cooling on the counter. From sweet to savory, these flaky-crusted baked delights rely on good recipes, high-quality ingredients and a great pie plate for baking perfection. While the first two factors are focused on the baker, all the last one requires is good kitchen equipment.

Many professional and amateur bakers agree that the Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Dish is the tool they need for creating perfect pies every time.

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What to know before you buy a pie plate

Pie pans come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of styles and materials. Choosing the best pie plate for you means considering all of these factors.

Size

Traditional pie plates are available in 8-inch and 9-inch sizes most commonly, but you can find pie plates as large as 12 inches. It's important to buy the correct size for the recipe you are using. If you try to shove ingredients for a 10-inch pie in an 8-inch crust, you will experience massive overflow in baking. Similarly, ingredients for an 8-inch pie in a 12-inch crust will result in more crust than filling. Some bakers also like to use mini pie plates for individual dessert portions.

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Just keep in mind that you will need to adapt whatever recipe you use to accommodate the size of the pie plate you have.

Material

Pie plates are available in a variety of materials. Again, the most common material is a simple tempered-glass pie plate. These are durable and classic and work for a variety of sweet and savory pies, producing an evenly browned crust.

Ceramic pie plates look as beautiful on the table as they do in the oven. Because they do not conduct heat as evenly, you'll want to look for a thinner ceramic pie plate to ensure that the bottom of the crust isn't soggy.

Metal pie plates — including aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron — produce quick browning that is a blessing and a curse. For more delicate pies that require longer, slower bakes, this quick browning might result in a rock-hard crust and a barely warm filling.

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Design

The design of your pie plate can be as simple or complex as you like. Some ceramic plates are available in fun colors, with fluted edges or funky designs.

It's important to balance form with function, though. A plain pie plate that bakes well is always better than a fancy one that produces uneven results.

Pie plate features 

Wide lip

The wide lip of a pie plate allows you to create braided designs or fluted edges for your finished pie. Watch these carefully as your pie bakes, as they can brown more quickly than the rest of the pie.

Safe in the broiler

Broiler-safe pie plates are great for savory pies that require a final trip under high heat. This might include dishes like shepherd's pie with its browned mashed-potato topping.

Lid for traveling

If you are often bringing desserts to a party, consider a pie plate that comes with a lid for traveling, which can protect the pie from getting damaged.

Pie plate cost 

A simple pie plate can cost as little as $5, but the price can jump to well over $40. If you are a regular pie baker, a happy middle ground is right around $25.

Pie plate FAQ

How do you prevent the dreaded “soggy bottom” on a pie?

A. Blind baking your pie crust ensures that you will not have a soggy bottom at the end of your bake. It's an easy step that many home cooks miss.

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line your uncooked pie shell with parchment paper.
  • Add pie weights or dry rice to the pie shell.
  • Bake your crust until the edges begin to brown slightly, about 15 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the crust from the oven and remove the pie weights or dry rice from the pie shell.
  • Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork in several places, and return it to the oven to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes (or until the bottom of the crust is dry and lightly browned).
  • If you are making a no-bake pie, allow the crust to cool completely before filling. Otherwise, fill and bake as normal.

How can you tell when a pie is done?

A. It's hard to know when a pie has finished baking, especially if it has a top crust. If your pie does not have a top crust, look for bubbling juices and a brown rim on the pie shell.

For pies with a top crust, a glass pie plate comes in handy. You can lift the pie up and check the bottom. If the bottom of the crust is well-browned, chances are good your pie is done.

Which pie plate should I get?

Best of the best pie plate

Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Dish: available at Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Sur la Table

Our take: This classic pie plate doubles as a beautiful serving dish.

What we like: This ceramic pie plate is durable and scratch resistant. It easily creates a deep-dish pie with substantial sides and a nice weighty base. Fluted edges add style, and it's available in five colors.

What we dislike: This is an expensive pie plate. It also breaks more easily than some glass options.

Best bang for your buck pie plate 

Oxo Good Grips Glass Pie Plate with Lid: available at Amazon and Bed, Bath & Beyond

Our take: This sturdy traveler protects your pie while on the go.

What we like: The tempered-glass pie plate is covered with a vented, BPA-free plastic lid. Holds a 9-inch pie, and both pieces (lid and pie plate) are dishwasher safe.

What we dislike: The vented lid is not impervious to insects. Watch for picnic pests.

Honorable mention pie plate

Pyrex Easy Grab Glass 9.5 Inch Pie Plate: two-pack available at Amazon; single pie plate available at Bed, Bath & Beyond

Our take: The wide lip on this Pyrex pan makes it easier to transfer in and out of the oven.

What we like: The fluted edge allows you to create a delicate fluted crust. The pie plate is sturdy and at 9.5 inches is slightly larger than a regular-size pie plate. This is freezer- and microwave-safe and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

What we dislike: Most pie recipes call for a 9-inch pie plate. The larger size of this pie plate means that there might not be enough filling.

Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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