One of the secrets to a great pie is the pie dish, and you'll want to make sure you've got the right tools for the job. A proper pie dish will help bake the pie in the precise recipe time, allowing your pie to emerge from the oven with an evenly browned crispy crust and a perfectly cooked filling; when you cut it, the slices will come out in perfect wedges that you can lift right out of the pan.
So, to help you find the right pie plate to make a perfect pie, we chose ten highly-rated pie dishes and baked four kinds of pies in each. Our ceramic winner is the Emile Henry Pie Dish(available at Amazon for $53.84) which bakes up beautiful pies of all types and can double as a casserole dish. However, if you’re looking for a lighter weight, traditional metal pan for a more reasonable price, the USA Pan Pie Pan (available at Amazon) will also do your pies proud.
Here are the best pie plates we tested ranked, in order:
Emile Henry Pie Dish
USA Aluminized Steel 9" Pie Pan
Le Creuset Heritage Pie Dish
Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Pie Dish
Pyrex Easy Grab 9.5" Pie Plate
Farberware Baker's Advantage Ceramic Deep Pie Dish
Nordic Ware High Dome Covered Pie Dish
Pyrex Basics 9” Pie Plate
Great Jones Sweetie Pie
Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Dish
You can’t beat the Emile Henry Pie Dish for looks or turning out a pie with a crispy, flaky crust. It’s made in France of ceramic and comes in lots of pretty colors. While this 9-by-2 inch dish is deep enough to hold almost two quarts of filling, we didn’t find our pies came out skimpy looking. Its large capacity and attractive appearance make it a good choice for baking and serving other items like scalloped potatoes or candied sweets. As it can withstand high temperatures, you can run the Emile under the broiler if you want to brown off a lemon meringue pie or a mac and cheese casserole. Plus, it’s microwave and dishwasher safe. While its ruffled top adds to its appeal, it won’t help you create a fluted edge. Keep in mind that ceramicware is heavy, so this might not be the right choice for carrying a pie to a potluck. And there’s not much of a rim, so you need to grasp it firmly by the sides.
Regardless of whether you tend to opt for fruit-filled or custard pies, the humble metal USA Pan Pie Pan will deliver a well-browned, flaky crust and a perfectly cooked filling. It’s made in the U.S.A. of aluminized steel, has a nice weight to it, and is corrugated on the bottom which the manufacturer claims is the reason why it bakes so evenly. On the surface, it has a silicone nonstick finish that makes it easy to lift out a wedge and also to hand wash the pan. To protect the finish, you will want to avoid the dishwasher, nonstick cooking sprays, and oven temperatures above 450°F. This pan is exactly 9-by-1 ½-inch deep and holds 5 cups, big enough for a standard pumpkin or apple pie recipe.
Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been reviewing kitchen equipment for more than three decades. Before that, I cooked and baked professionally in New York City restaurants for seven years. I think one of the hardest baking tasks is making pie! Even if you opt for store-bought refrigerated pie crusts and a canned filling, it’s not easy to turn out a pie with dough that’s tender, crispy, flaky, and perfectly browned in the same time that the filling is properly cooked. That’s why I was thrilled to have the chance to see if the pie plate can make the difference.
Hi, I’m Madison Trapkin, the Kitchen & Cooking Editor at Reviewed. I picked up where Sharon left off in order to test a new pie dish on the market by a direct-to-consumer brand we’ve tested in the past. Plus, I really love pie (pumpkin is my favorite).
In each pie dish we tested, we blind baked a pie crust made from homemade dough to create a fully baked shell as you might if you were making a no-bake chocolate pudding pie. Next, we made pumpkin pies using the recipe on the can of Libby’s pumpkin and a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. To see how a graham cracker crust baked in the pie plates, we made cheesecake pie. Finally, in each plate, we made a traditional all-American apple pie with top and bottom crusts made from scratch pie dough. (Testing note: We used a food processor to make the dough. If you need a good one, check out our roundup of The Best Food Processors.)
As we worked, we noted if we could get a good grip on the pie plates, how easy they would be to transport, whether or not they were dishwasher safe, and how easy they were to clean by hand. We also noted if the plates could withstand a high enough temperature if you wanted to brown off a lemon meringue pie.
What You Should Know About Pie Dishes
Here’s How To Measure A Pie Dish
If you've got a hand-me-down pie dish in your cabinet and aren't sure of its exact dimensions, you'll want to measure it before baking anything. Likewise if you’re buying a new pie dish with specific dimensions in mind.
Use a ruler to measure your pie pan from the inside, rim-to-rim for circumference, and then rim-to-bottom to test depth (which should be between 1.25¼ and 1.5½ inches). You can also test depth by counting how many cups of water fit—between four and five is standard. If you have anything deeper, you'll want to leave more time for baking.
Here’s How Long To Bake a Pie Crust In a Metal Pan
Deciding on a material for pie baking requires some internal pondering. Since metal is such a strong heat conductor compared to glass, it takes less time to heat up when baking (and cool off afterwards). But glass has its own heating advantages: Since its material is clear, radiant energy passes through much more quickly, and as a result, browns the crust faster—plus, you can actually see when the pie is done to your liking.
When it comes to timing how long to bake a pie crust in a metal pan, you can just follow a recipe's traditional instructions—if you're baking with glass, though, you'll want to tack on a few extra minutes to be sure the crust is baked evenly.
Do You Need To Grease a Pie Dish Before Baking?
Short answer: It depends. Since pie crusts are traditionally already heavy on butter, they don't usually need additional greasing to keep from sticking in a pie dish—and you don't want to run the risk of changing the crust's flavor and flaky texture.
That said, sometimes pies do get stuck—especially if its sticky filling seeps out. To stop your pastry from sticking to the pie dish, feel free to lightly spray the pan with a cooking oil spray from afar, to prevent sticking without drastically changing the result or taste of your crust.
Pastry Chefs Aren’t The Only Ones Who Know How To Make Pie Without a Pie Dish
Short on materials and need to make pie in a hurry? (Or making several pies at once?) There are alternatives you can use that'll still allow you to make pie—without a pie dish—in no time.
Using something like a sturdy tart or cake pan is an easy swap—just make sure you measure them beforehand to be sure you're providing appropriate baking time. You'll also want to be mindful of the material of the tool; if it can't withstand the same heat as your pie pan, for example, you'll need to account for that. Alternatively, you can opt for mini pies by making them in a muffin pan!
Other Pie Dishes We Tested
Le Creuset Heritage Pie Dish
The ceramic Le Creuset Heritage Pie Dish is both beautiful and functional. Even if you start with ready-made dough and filling, it’ll 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. There’s 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, it’s 2-inches deep so it can accommodate five cups (or the recipe on the back of Libby’s canned pumpkin). Like all ceramicware, it’s heavy but microwave and dishwasher safe. Choose from a full array of the brand’s colors from the classic flame to a deep teal.
The Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick Pie Dish is a U.S.-made update of the basic metal pie pan. It’s formed of aluminized steel which means it’s not flimsy and has a gold-colored ceramic nonstick finish that makes it easy to serve up a slice. While the coating will scratch if you cut your pie with a metal utensil, it can withstand dishwasher cleaning and oven temperatures up to 450°F. You can get a good grip on the dish under the rim. This 9-by-1 ½-inch pie plate can hold 5 cups or a traditional pie recipe.
To fans of glass, we recommend the Pyrex Easy Grab Pie Plate. Like other glass pie plates, it’s inexpensive, see-through for checking on the browning of the bottom crust, and dishwasher and microwave safe. In addition, the Easy Grab offers a pretty scalloped rim that’s wide enough to give you a good grip on the plate and a large 6-cup capacity. We did find that you have to add some time to get a well-browned bottom crust which means shielding the rim to prevent it from overbaking while the bottom cooks. Because this pan is 9 ½-inches wide, you have to roll out your pastry dough a little thinner than usual if you want enough dough to create a fluted crust. To avoid any accidents, Pyrex recommends making sure you preheat your oven, don’t put the plate in the oven straight from the freezer, or run it under the broiler.
Farberware Baker’s Advantage Ceramic Deep Pie Dish
Although much more reasonably priced than the Emile Henry and Le Creuset ceramic offerings, the Farberware Baker's Advantage Ceramic Deep Pie Dish gives almost as good baking performance. And like those brands, it can go in the microwave and dishwasher and under the broiler. It is however only available in red and, in limited distribution, blue. At 9½-by-2 inches, it is plenty deep for just about every type of pie filling. There’s just a little room under the rim to grip, so for a secure grasp, you’ll want to hold it on the sides. Our biggest complaint about this dish is that the sides are straight rather than sloped (as they are on most pie plates), which makes it harder to cut into and neatly lift out a wedge.
Anyone whose top priority is a huge pie dish should consider the 10-by-1 ¾ inch, 2-quart Nordicware High Dome Covered Pie Dish. However, while this dish didn’t brown bottom crusts as well as most of the pie plates we reviewed, its fillings were slightly more well done, as the surface of the pies were so wide that the heat penetrated more quickly. Not only does the rim of the Nordicware offer a really secure grip, there’s a 3-inch high plastic cover that snaps on securely. This makes it really easy to carry a pie—even one dubbed mile high—to a potluck. When it comes to the dough, you should either make a little extra or roll it out thinner if you want to be able to have enough to make a fluted or decorative rim. Made in the U.S. of uncoated aluminum, this pan can go under the broiler to toast the meringue peaks on a Key lime pie.
If price is your number one consideration, the Pyrex Basics Pie Plate will fit the bill although you may compromise a bit on the browning of your bottom crust. It’s also small at 9-by-1 ¼ inches and only has a one-quart capacity which definitely won’t accommodate the Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe. The rim is small and the sides shallow, so it’s not easy to get a good grip on this plate. On a positive note, you can use it in the microwave and clean it in the dishwasher. Do not place it in the oven directly from the freezer, in a cold oven, or under the broiler.
Fan-favorite Great Jones drew inspiration from vintage Pyrex when designing this pie dish, which can be seen in the bold graphic pattern around its base. The Sweetie Pie is ceramic, measures 10 inches in diameter, and can handle high temps up to 450℉. If you’re using a pre-molded store-bought crust, it won’t be a perfect fit since most of those are 9 inches.
It’s microwave-safe and dishwasher-friendly, plus it’s PFOA-free (a harsh chemical used to create non-stick coatings).
One major caveat when using this perfectly kitschy pie dish is that you’ll need to lightly grease the pie dish before every use if you don’t want your crust to fall apart. If you’re blind baking your crust, there’s a chance you can skip this step—when we tested, the blind baked crust was easily removed from the pie dish.
Madison covered all things cooking as the kitchen editor for Reviewed in 2021. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Culture Magazine, Madison is the founder of GRLSQUASH, a women's food, art, and culture journal. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Cherrybombe, Gather Journal, and more. She is passionate about pizza, aesthetic countertop appliances, and regularly watering her houseplants.
She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and a Master's of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy from Boston University.
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