The Best Pie Weights | Kitchn

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Whenever I make a pie, I’ve this tiny voice in my head — and it sounds rather a lot like someone on The Great British Bake Off (ahem, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and almost each contestant) whispering, “No soggy bottoms.” Because to spend hours making a pie after which in the end find yourself with a soft-bottomed crust is simply upsetting. 

But how do you guarantee this doesn’t occur? You par-bake or blind-bake the crust, which entails baking the crust previous to filling it. This ensures your backside is crisp and can cook dinner by means of, even after you’ve added your moist filling. However, par-baking or blind-baking are only one a part of the no-soggy-bottoms equation. For flakier doughs, you must use pie weights. 

Pie weights do as their identify suggests: They overwhelm the underside and sides of the crust to stop the crust from slumping and effervescent. Not solely does a slumped pie crust lose some aesthetic attraction, nevertheless it additionally means there’s much less room for the filling. So, sure, pie weights! Get them! What sort, although? That’s what this publish is for. Because there are a couple of totally different choices on the market — and simply as many DIY choices. I carried out some exams to search out out which of them do the very best job, are best to deal with, and are essentially the most cost-effective.

To see which pie weights labored the very best, I attempted 4 totally different varieties — ceramic, metallic, a pie chain, and a single pie piece — and in contrast them to sugar, Kitchn’s favourite technique (versus beans or rice; learn extra about that here). I used every instrument to blind-bake one all-butter pie crust, following these instructions and utilizing a 9-inch pie plate.

Some pies slumped, significantly, whereas others stayed completely in place. Here’s what I discovered, from worst to greatest technique.

The rankings: Each choice acquired a score. The worst pie weights acquired a one, and the very best acquired a 5. Like the remainder of our showdowns, this one thought-about the ultimate pie crust outcomes, ease, and worth. Keep studying — together with the score, you’ll discover extra detailed notes.

Pie Weight Option 1: A Pie Chain

A pie chain actually lacks the “weight” a part of pie weights, which is the place it fails. The pie chain I used was a single chain of tiny weights, measuring a — stunning! — 10 ft lengthy and weighing lower than half a pound. To use it, you coil the chain inside the bottom of the pie crust (sans foil or parchment paper, which is usually used to carry pie weights) and put it within the oven. The pie chain lacked the burden or the majority to stop the perimeters of the pie crust from slumping. Pie dough bubbled up between the gaps of the pie chain’s coils and the chain left little ball-shaped impressions within the crust (though this kinda regarded fairly?).

Pie Weight Option 2: Single Pie Piece

I purchased this single pie piece and had high-ish hopes for it (it has respectable rankings on Amazon). And it did fare higher than the pie chain. This product weighs about 0.3 kilos and has a perforated metallic disk encircled by silicone flaps. To use it, I positioned it on the bottom of the pie crust, with its flaps flaring up towards the perimeters of the crust. Again, although, this pie piece lacked the burden wanted to correctly blind-bake the crust. So, the pie crust slumped a bit. Cook’s Illustrated notes this pie weight works okay with doughs comprised of a mixture of butter and shortening. However, in my thoughts, if it doesn’t work with all forms of crusts, it’s not a terrific pie weight. This pie weight additionally made impressions within the base of the pie crust. And as a result of some elements of the burden had been comprised of metallic and others from silicone, the burden itself heated inconsistently, inflicting the crust to bake inconsistently, too.

Pie Weight Option 3: Sugar 

Instead opting to match the pie weights towards beans or rice (two generally used pie weight options), I selected granulated sugar. Kitchn has written at size about why sugar makes for a greater pie weight, however top-of-the-line elements is that you just get toasted sugar out of the deal (which can be utilized in different deserts!). To use the sugar as a pie weight, I lined my pie crust with parchment and added a few pound of sugar, which was sufficient to fill the crust proper beneath the rim, ensuring to press the sugar into the corners of the pie. The sugar efficiently weighed down the bottoms and sides of the crust, making certain no slumping occurred — nevertheless, I did discover there was extra effervescent on the base of the pie than my two favourite pie weight choices (beneath). I additionally discovered the sugar more durable to take away than stable pie weights, and a little bit of it did breach the rim of the foil and fall into the pie crust. However, it’s the most cost-effective choice of the bunch.

Pie Weight Option 4: Metal Pie Weights

These pie weights are comprised of aluminum and are available one (two-pound) bundle. To use them, I lined the pie crust with parchment and pressed the weights into a fair layer to verify they had been flat towards the crust. The pie crust turned out properly blind-baked, with no slumping or main effervescent. I additionally favored that the container the weights got here in was spacious, making it simple to pour the cooled weights again into post-baking. The largest downside of those weights was their worth: At about $45 they had been the most costly of all of the weights I attempted.

Pie Weight Option 5: Ceramic Pie Weights

These ceramic pie weights carried out simply in addition to the metallic pie weights, however at about half the worth. Each bundle of those pie weights contained 1 cup of weights, or a few half a pound. To fill a whole pie shell with sufficient weights to correctly blind-bake the pie, I wanted 2 kilos or 4 packages of those pie weights, which is vital to notice once you go to purchase them. To use these, I lined a pie crust with parchment and crammed it with the weights. And, hip hip hooray! The crust didn’t bubble or puff and the perimeters didn’t hunch. The one irritating factor about these pie weights is that you need to purchase them in 4 separate containers, versus one bigger container, and I discovered it more durable to pour the cooled pie weights again into their particular person, smaller vessels. However, sooner or later, I believe I’ll simply choose to retailer them in a big reusable container or resealable bag.

What are your go-to pie weights? Let us know within the feedback?

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Lifestyle Editor, Tools

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the Tools Editor at The Kitchn. An expert kitchen tools tester, she’s labored for America’s Test Kitchen, ConsumingWell, and Food52. Her aim: to search out the very best gear to your kitchen so you do not waste time or cash on the rest. She lives in Boston, MA along with her two canine.

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