Pies are one of those special baked goods that meet the needs of every major event. Being so versatile, they can help to bake left over goods, be used as a gift during get togethers or even form the centerpiece of any major holiday meal. No matter how you’re feeling or what you’re up to, there’s always pie.
Sometimes, for the best crust, it’s essential to use a pie weight. Handy, easy and making a huge difference in the finished product, these simple additions to your baking arsenal should always be welcome in your kitchen. Below, we discuss everything there is to know about pastry weights and give our Top Picks in pie crust weights for your baking.
The Best Pie Weights
Made from food-safe materials, these ceramic pie weights are one of the most highly rated and baker-approved options on the market, today. Made up of individual beads totaling 5.6 ounces, you may find that you’ll need to purchase a few of these in order to make up the base of larger pans and dishes. However, their effectiveness and affordability still places them as our Top Pick – especially as they come in a secure holding box.
You can use these with any frozen or fresh pie bases, as they’ll prevent bubbling and buckling in both cases. They’re also heat resistant up to 480-degree Fahrenheit, which is higher than most required baking points, making them one of the most suitable options available. Just be sure to handwash these before and after every use.
Made with natural, food-safe ceramic
Individual beads for ideal placement
Heat resistant up to 480F
Easy to place and move
- BrandMrs. Anderson’s Baking
- Weight5.6 ounces
Perfect for larger events and get-togethers with the family, these ceramic pie weights are much larger in size while still being individually created. This allows you to cover the base of almost any dish size, while still being able to sort them to the best distribution for your needs. There’s over a pound of ceramic baking weights available with this option, which is enough to cover two, 9-inch pie tins, here.
You’ll also get a storage bag included with your purchase, which makes them much easier to store away when not in use. Just be sure to handwash these before and after every use, to ensure there’s no chalky residue left over or danger of cross contamination.
Available beads meet up to 2 pie crusts
Storage bag included
No risk of absorbing smells or flavors
Easy to place and move
- BrandR & M International
- Weight1.07 pounds
If you aren’t sold on the more traditional pastry weights, then this is the perfect solution for your needs. Made with stainless steel and food-safe silicone, this baking weight is heat-resistant up to 450-degrees Fahrenheit and can work with pie crusts up to 11 inches – ideal for those large gatherings and for making a pie-based centerpiece in the holidays.
This is a single piece that is easily placed and removed without the need for foil to avoid residues, and the material itself is also dishwasher safe. Thus, it is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to store, as you won’t have to worry about washing all the beads or placing them together in one container.
Single piece pie weight
Perforated for airflow
Works with pie crusts up to 11 inches
Heat resistant up to 450F
- BrandChicago Metallic
- Weight5.6 ounces
For those who want the added movement and flexibility of pie crust beads without the concern over storing and washing, this is a fantastic choice. Coming as a single chain and maintaining a good weight, these beads can be altered and changed to best suit the size and shape of your pie dish, without too much commotion.
Being made of stainless steel, there is no risk of these baking beads absorbing any odors or tastes from previous dishes. They’re also dishwasher-safe, which means there’s no risk of cross contamination from missing a bead or two during cleaning. Best of all, they’re easy to remove, once you’re finished, as you won’t have to carefully remove each individual bead.
Easy to wipe down
Completely inert and food-safe
- BrandJAZ Innovations
- Weight14.4 ounces
With over 500 beads totaling 1.2 pounds, these ceramic pie weights are one of the best pastry weight options online, today. Coming with a handy storage bag, these pie weights can easily work with up to two, 9-inch pans at a time, allowing you to focus on your filling while both crusts cook in the oven.
Heat-resistant up to 480-degree Fahrenheit, you’ll need to handwash these, as they aren’t suitable for dishwashers. You’ll also need to use these with foil as, like our second choice, they can leave behind a bit of residue during baking. For this reason, we recommend washing these beads before and after use.
Storage bag included
Heat resistant up to 480F
Made with food-safe ceramic
Enough for up to two 9-inch pie crusts
- Weight1.25 pounds
Best Pie Weights Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying Pie Weights
The material used in your baking weights is likely to have the biggest difference in how effective they are. This is because the pastry weights will naturally heat up in the oven, during your baking, as well as hold the hot air between them, meaning your pie crust will cook from the top down, also.
- Weight, coverage and crust size
The baking weights will need to be heavy enough to hold your pastry in place during cooking. Without this, the pie will buckle and crumble. Use the weight alongside the overall coverage to ensure you get the best finished product from your baking weights. To do this, ensure that the beads or baking weight covers the entire base of your crust.
Our Top Picks all note the average size of baking pan which the relative weights will cover – but, if in doubt, don’t be afraid to buy two sets. Being so affordable and helpful, it’s always worth having an extra couple of pie crust beads to hand – especially as you’re likely to lose some of these over time.
- Heat resistance
Naturally, you don’t want your pie weights to melt in the oven because they can’t handle the heat. To avoid this, be sure to check the heat resistance of your new baking weights before purchasing. Ideally, this should be done in line with the recipe you’re working with, which will give you the temperature required during baking.
As with anything in the kitchen, cleanliness is the key to avoiding cross contamination. Check your pastry weights before purchasing to guarantee that they’re safe to use with foods, as cheaper options are often made from cheaper material, which is more likely to break apart and cause a health risk.
Your new beads should be inert and non-porous, ensuring that no smells or flavors are trapped within your pastry beads, which can affect the taste of future baking endeavors. They should also be easy to clean. Dishwasher safe options are much easier to clean, as are whole pie weights, as you won’t need to chase down each individual bead to clean before thoroughly drying and storing.
Storage can be a major factor in your latest purchase, as placing a few hundreds beads away can be a challenge, if there is no storage bag available. Loose beads can be held in a Tupperware box or similar, although many of the options above come with storage included.
How Pie Weights Work
As delicious as pies are, if you’re looking to blind bake (bake without the filling), then they have a nasty tendency to come away from the tart pan or pie plate while they’re baking in the oven. They also like to bubble and create small pockets of air, leading to odd spots of flaky pastry which can then turn dry through uneven cooking.
Using a pie weight ensures that all of these awkward baking tendencies will stay away – leaving you with the pie crust you want and deserve. By weighing down the base and heating up in the oven, as well as keeping the edges where they’re supposed to be (up against the cookware), your pie cooks evenly, keeps it’s shape and remains delicious.
Best Pie Weights FAQ:
Q: Are pie weights necessary?
A: Pastry weights work by holding the shape of the pastry during cooking. While they aren’t absolutely essential to creating your pies, they improve the overall taste and texture of your pastry. This is why you’ll find that many recipes call for the use of baking weights, as the finished product is much tastier and gives a better mouth feel.
Q: What can be used instead of pie weights?
A: If you’re only looking to blind bake a pie as a one-off, or you aren’t sure if you’d like to continue baking pies, there’s no shame in using an alternative to pastry weights. Instead, you can use one of the following:
- Dried beans
These make great pie weights, but be sure to use enough of them to weight down the pastry! Simply use a piece of foil before weighing down your pastry with dried beans and cooking as normal – this will stop the flavor from getting to the pie itself.
Another great choice is rice. Being so small and malleable, these can easily be used and adjusted to best suit whatever size and shape of pastry dish you may be using. Again, you’ll need to use a piece of foil or baking paper to stop the rice from being baked into your crust.
- Pie tins
If you have a slightly smaller pie tin, there’s no harm in using this to squash you crust down a little and ensure there’s no buckling or bubbling in your pie crust.
Q: Can I use marbles as pie weights?
A: Marbles are slightly ambiguous when it comes to using them as pastry weights. Assuming there’s no risk in terms of their heat resistance, there’s no harm in using them to hold your pie crust in place during cooking. Just be sure to place them over foil or baking paper before use, so that there’s no risk of cross contamination and be sure to check on them regularly.
You’ll also need to be careful when removing them from the oven, as the glass will get incredibly hot – and always wash them before and after every use to avoid the risk of any germs or nasties getting into your pie crust.
Our Top Pick
We love Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Ceramic Pie Crust Weights for their affordability and effectiveness. Able to withstand the highest temperatures, these baking weights can easily hold your pies and crusts in place during baking without issue. They produce an even heat layer and ensure your baked goods cook to perfection.
Made from a food-safe ceramic and perfect for smaller pastries, you may find that you need to purchase a few boxed to fit larger pans and dishes, as some customers have noted that they can spread a little thin at times. That said, these should still comfortably sit in a 7-inch dish without concerns – perfect for smaller pies.
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