A Note About Types Of Pie Dishes
There are three main categories of pie dishes on the market today: glass, ceramic, and metal. In this test, I set out to find the best all-purpose dish for all of your pie needs. All three materials have benefits, but versatility was the name of the game here.
Glasss main draw is that you can easily monitor the bottom and sides of the pie as it is baking. Metal pans conduct heat exceptionally well and are generally thinner than glass and ceramic making them champs in the browning department. Metal pans can also be safely be transferred from the fridge or freezer to the oven with no risk of shattering like some glass and ceramic models, although thin metal dishes can warp. Ceramic dishes are beautiful and well insulated, making them a top choice for custard pies with delicate fillings, and they excel in the presentation department. They also tend to be a bit deeper than standard glass and metal dishes which can be helpful for some recipes, but not so much with others.
To find the best, I gathered eight, 9-inch pie dishes: two metal, three glass, and three ceramic and put them through their paces by baking a blueberry pie and a Key lime pie. Rest assured, there will be no soggy bottoms on my watch.
How To Choose Between A Glass Ceramic Or Metal Plate
After testing pie plates made from glass, glazed ceramic, aluminum, and steel, we dont think one material is definitively better than the others. Each one comes with different pros and cons:
Clear glass pie plates conduct heat gently and evenly, and they offer the unique advantage of allowing you to see whether the bottom of your pie is fully cooked and browned. Theyre usually inexpensive, and while theyre not the most beautiful option you can get, theyre not bad looking, either. The big downside of glass is that it breaks.
Glazed ceramic pie plates look a bit nicer than plain glass dishes and distribute heat gently and evenly. But ceramic plates vary more in thickness and density than glass plates, and in our tests some ceramic dishes took longer to fully bake a pie in most cases the difference was only a few minutes, but one ½-inch-thick stoneware plate took a full 20 minutes longer than any glass plate to bake. We recommend avoiding anything that thick and heavy.
Like glass plates, ceramic dishes can break if you drop them, and they may crack when subjected to extreme temperature changes. But unlike glass dishes, some ceramic plates we tested were safe to go under the broiler, useful for browning meringue on top of a pie.
Oxo Good Grips Glass 9
The Best Pie Plate, According to WirecutterThe folks at Wirecutter have tested 19 pie plates since 2013 and ultimately picked this glass option. They went with glass because its inexpensive and conducts heat gently and evenly. They also like that it allows you to check the doneness of the bottom of your pie. More specifically, they liked this OXO glass plate because its made of thick borosilicate glass , which means the dish can go from freezer to oven with a lower risk of breaking. Also: This plate is two inches deep and held more than most of the other glass ones they tested. Note: The OXO plate that Wirecutter picked actually does not come with a lid, but the lid-less option is currently sold out. And a lid is nice to have, anyway!
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Other Pie Dishes We Tested
The ceramic Le Creuset Heritage Pie Dish is both beautiful and functional. Even if you start with ready-made dough and filling, itll deliver a pie with a crisp crust that you can proudly bring to the table. As the Le Creuset can withstand temps up to 500°F, you can use it to brown off a streusel-topped fruit pie. Theres a bit of room to hold it under the rim but for a really good grip, grab it along the sides. While this dish is only 8 ¼-inches wide, its 2-inches deep so it can accommodate five cups or the recipe on the back of Libbys canned pumpkin. Like all ceramicware, its heavy but microwave and dishwasher safe. Choose from a full array of the brands colors from the classic flame to trendy matte sugar pink.
Other Pie Plates I Tested
The USA Pan Aluminized Steel Pie Pan was also a favorite. Pies baked beautifully in this metal plate. It has a ridged bottom meant to facilitate air circulation and add warp resistance and it did a wonderful job browning the bottom crust of the berry pie. The BPA-free silicone coating helped slices slide right out, but scratched after using metal utensils. USA recommends hand washing the pan which could be a turn off for folks whod prefer to use a dishwasher.
OXO makes a solid borosilicate glass pie dish which is thermal shock resistant, meaning that it can go from the freezer to the oven safely, but its 2-inch depth made the crust of the berry pie shrink down into to the pan and I imagine most recipes not specifically written for a deep-dish pie pan would suffer the same fate. The rim was also a bit trickier to hold onto than the Pyrex, which is why this was my second favorite glass dish. However, if you like to take your pies to go, this dish comes with a very handy cover.
The Anchor Hocking 9.5 Deep Dish Pie Plate also proved to be a bit too large to handle the recipes I tested it with, and the crust on the blueberry pie slumped down into the dish which made the slices tricky to remove. However, the two little handles on this glass dish made it easy to move in and out of the oven without disturbing the crust and made me wish the Pyrex had that little feature as well.
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Emile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie Dish
Kitchns Pick for the Best Pie Plate
This is actually a hard one! Because we see the merits of glass, ceramic, and aluminum. Theyre all so different! And it does kind of depend on the pie youre making and what youre planning to do with it. For example, we love the Williams Sonoma option for a simple graham cracker or cookie crust. The OXO glass one is nice for fruit or custard-based pies. But if we had to pick just one, were actually going to diverge from everyone on this list and pick this ceramic Emile Henry dish .
First of all, its gorgeous, so its sure to elevate anything you make. We also like that its so fluted, taking the pressure of novice bakers who might be intimidated with crust work. It can also go straight from the freezer to the oven, which is handy if you tend to freeze your fruit pies before baking them. And it can go under broiler, which glass cant do.
Do you have a pie dish you love? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Pie Dish
The Best Pie Plate, According to Cooks Illustrated and EpicuriousThe testers at Cooks Illustrated didnt like glass as much as Wirecutter because it struggled with release issues when it came time to serve. Instead, they picked this metal dish, which is extremely thin so it heats quickly and evenly. They said it baked crusts perfectly without ever over-browning. They also liked its super simple lip, which meant they could do their own crust-crimping. And did note that the metal surface can cut or scratch when youre slicing up the pie, but that this was not a huge issue.
Testers at Epicurious came to the same conclusion as Cooks Illustrated. Their tests involved making a blueberry pie and a Key lime pie in each pan. This pan did the best in both tests, but did especially well with the berry pie, producing the most even results and crisp crust of all. They noted that the slices came out incredibly easily. They also noted the scratching issue but said the scratches didnt seem to have any negative effect on the utility of the dish. Note: Williams Sonoma recommends using wooden or silicone tools when serving.
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The Best Budget Pie Plate: Pyrex 9
The Pyrex 9-inch Pie Dish has been around for a long time for good reason. It’s just the right size for most recipes, its sturdy, inexpensive, and it bakes quite evenly. Being able to see through the bottom to check the browning on the crust is also a huge bonus for novice and experienced bakers alike. The dish was slightly harder to clean than my number one pick and had some stickage issues with the graham cracker crust, but it was nothing a little scrub couldn’t take care of.
There have been incidents of Pyrex bakeware shattering in recent years which is why this dish ended up in second place. I didnt have any issues while I was baking and anecdotally havent heard of this happening to any of the bakers I know, but make sure to follow manufacturers instructions when using these dishes to reduce the small chance of your dish shattering.
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- Withstands extreme temperature changes without breaking or shattering
- Can go directly from the refrigerator or freezer into the oven
- Made of 100% soda lime glass to provide extra clarity
- Glass heats at a steady, even pace perfect for virtually any pie
- Offers product visibility while baking
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Also Great: Emile Henry 9
Though its pricier than other models, the Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish is a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants a deep, attractive dish for serving pies. It has ranked among our top picks since we first wrote this guide in 2013, and in all our tests it has consistently browned crusts and cooked fillings more evenly than other ceramic plates. The Emile Henry is safe to transfer from freezer to oven, and its also the only one of our picks thats broiler safe, which is an advantage when you want to brown the top of a meringue pie. Plus, its prettier than a glass plate and available in several colors.
All the pies we baked in the Emile Henry dish came out beautifully. Its blind-baked crusts were well browned on the bottom, whereas other, thicker, heavier ceramic plates turned out paler crusts. Our pumpkin pie set perfectly, and our peach pie emerged golden and crisp from top to bottom. Although pies took a few minutes longer to bake in the Emile Henry dish than in the OXO and Pyrex plates, they were still done within the guidelines of the recipe. Thicker ceramic plates, such as the USA Pan Pie Stone, took as much as 20 minutes longer to bake and still left our pies with a soggy bottom.
Why You Should Trust Us
Through high school, college, and culinary school, Daniela Galarza worked in bakeries and restaurant pastry kitchens, where she baked thousands of pies. She has made every type of pie dough and filling, and has used pie dishes of all sizes, shapes, and styles. Marguerite Preston, who worked on a previous version of this guide, is a former professional baker with almost two decades of pie making under her belt. Shes now a senior editor overseeing Wirecutters kitchen and appliance coverage. This guide also builds on work by Wirecutter deputy editor Christine Cyr Clisset.
To ensure we werent limited to our own experiences, for our 2019 update we reached out to some of the best in the pie-making business, including third-generation pie baker Petra Paredez of Petees Pie Company in New York City Melissa Clark, longtime food columnist for The New York Times, who has written a guide to pie crust pastry chef and recipe developer Erin McDowell, author of The Fearless Baker and The Book of Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake the Perfect Pies Jerrelle Guy, photographer, recipe developer, and author of Black Girl Baking and Nicole Rucker, a pastry chef and pie baker in Los Angeles whose new book, Dappled, includes a section on pie. In the past weve also spoken to a number of other cookbook authors and pie experts.
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The Best Pie Plate Overall: Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Pie Dish
This sturdy metal dish performed exceptionally well in both tests. The pies baked evenly to a perfect golden brown color and the slices were easy to remove when cool. This dish especially excelled in the berry pie test, and produced the most evenly baked and crisp crust of the bunch. Williams Sonomas site claims that the Goldtouch ceramic based coating is more durable than other non-stick surfaces. However, they do recommend using wooden or silicone tools with the dish. When I used metal tools they scratched the surface of the plate, but in the short-term the scratches didnt seem to have any negative effect on the utility of the dish. Pies still baked up golden and tasty, and the slices were easy to remove from the pan without leaving any residue behind.
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Why Trust Simply Recipes
Karen Resta is a New York-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who started out as a pastry chef, she now travels the globe writing about and photographing the best authentic food and pastries. She admittedly likes cake better than pie, but believes pie is more challenging to make perfectly. Karen is passionate about finding quality kitchen tools within your given budget, and that knowing how to use them makes all the difference. She curated this list with that in mind.
Making Sense Of Pie Pan Sizes
Can you identify the most common pie pan called for in recipes in the picture?
I had a chat recently with Kate McDermott, author of the highly celebrated and best-selling cookbook, Art of the Pie, about the bewildering variation in pie pans or pie plates. Kate said Why dont you write a blog about it? So I did. And here it is.
What you see in the photo is all the 9 pie plates I own, accumulated over decades of baking. They range in size from 8 inches to 10 inches in diameterthats the measurement across the opening at the top of the pie plate. By far, the most commonly called for pie plate is the 9-inch size, preferably made of ovenproof glass .
In the bottom left sits a 9 1/2 inch deep-dish rimless pie plate and to its right is an actual 10-inch pie plate with a 10-inch opening. Resting on top of the rimless deep-dish pie plate is its sister, a 9 1/2 inch rimmed deep-dish plate. So which would you use if a recipe called for a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan? Its a roll of the dice, and it shouldnt be. Youll have to base your choice on the quantity of the pie filling and if the recipe said to make a fluted edge. No rim to the pan, then no fluted edge. A high fluted edge can often compensate for an undersized pie plate.
Why do I have a glass 10-inch pie plate? I bought it many years ago to bake a crème brûlée recipe that said to use an 11-inch pie plate! Go figure.
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