The Best Pie Dishes
For a perfect pie, use one of these pans
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One of the secrets to a great pie is the pie dish! The right one 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 nine 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 $37.29) 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
- Wilton Recipe Right 9” Pie Pan
- Farberware Baker's Advantage Ceramic Deep Pie Dish
- Nordic Ware High Dome Covered Pie Dish
- Pyrex Basics 9” Pie Plate
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 your favorite pie is bursting with fruit or contains a smooth creamy custard, 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.
How We Tested
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 a 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.
We tested nine pie dishes. In each, we 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 the pie plates handle graham cracker crusts, 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 recent roundup of The Best Food Processors of 2018.)
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.
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, 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 trendy matte sugar (aka millennial) pink.
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 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.
If you’ve been designated to bring the pie to Thanksgiving dinner, the Wilton Recipe Right Pie Pan is a great choice. It’s lightweight, has handles that make it easy to carry, and is so inexpensive that you can gift it along with your pie. Best of all: Our apple pie with a homemade crust came out with the flakiest of crusts. It has a very slick nonstick coating which easily releases slices of pie—just be sure not to cut into the surface with a metal knife. To preserve the finish, the manufacturer suggests hand washing which is a breeze thanks to the finish. The size of the pan, 9-by-1¼ inches, is clearly marked on the rim. Note, that this is smaller than suggested for the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe.
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 fill 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 no 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.
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