A piece of pie is the perfect after-meal dessert or snack with a cup of coffee or tea. If you prefer the taste of homemade pie, you know it takes a certain level of skill to turn out a perfectly baked product. For novices, a frozen pie shell is a good alternative. Regardless of the type of crust, one thing remains the same; when the baking time of the crust and the filling differs, it’s necessary to pre-bake the crust. And the easiest way to create a perfectly level and baked crust is to use pie weights.
These handy, reusable baking helpers are available in different styles and are made from various materials to suit most tastes and needs. All are designed to cover the surface of the pie crust to hold it down throughout the pre-bake for a smooth, perfect result. The design you choose will depend on your baking style and how many pies you make.
To help you decide, we feature five pie weights you can buy online. Read on to find the one that suits you best.
Top Pick Best One-Piece: Chicago Metallic Pie Weight
If you want to start baking pies that require you to blind bake the crust, you’re going to have to consider using a pie weight. For anyone starting out or who wants to occasionally make a pie, we recommend beginning with a pie weight that is easy to use and easy to clean.
We like this pie weight from Chicago Metallic for its no fuss, single-piece design. The one piece is easy to place in the center of a pie plate and it’s easy to remove once the baking is done. No need to mess around collecting, cleaning and storing separate pieces.
Measuring 8.5 inches x 8.5 inches x 0.38 of an inch, the pie weight is round, with a stainless steel center and red silicone outer pieces and fits neatly on a nine-inch by 11-inch pie plate.
Top-rated by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, this pie weight will keep a crust flat during blind and par-baking. The tiny perforations in the steel center allow air to circulate, preventing a soggy crust and allowing for even baking.
Oven safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the pie weight is top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
- Single piece pie weight convenient to place and remove
- Made from steel and silicone
- Perforations allow airflow
- Top rack dishwasher safe
- Oven safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- May not be large enough for some pans
- Becomes very hot, must be removed carefully
Top Pick Top Ceramic Beans: SAROSORA 2 LBS Baking Ceramic Pie Crust Weights
Sometimes you need to make a standard-sized pie and other times, it’s party time and you’re making a number of larger pies and some small individual fruit and custard tarts. When this is the case, it’s not practical to use a single-piece pie weight, since they are usually available in one non-expandable, specific size. When you need pie weights that are flexible to use for a variety of sized pies, individual beads are an ideal solution.
We recommend this two-pound canister of natural ceramic pie weight beads that are safe to use and reuse, and are heat resistant. The individual beads are easy to place and arrange as needed to cover the surface of any size pie crust, effectively weighing down the pie dough to keep bubbles from forming and to ensure even heat transfer.
Ideal for large, small and individually sized pie crusts, just cover a pierced, unbaked pie dough with parchment paper and fill with the pie weights before baking. When done, remove the weights, wash and dry them well and keep them in the attractive stainless steel can for easy storage. The two-pound quantity is enough to fill two, nine-inch pie plates.
- Made of natural ceramic
- Heat resistant
- Two-pound capacity good to cover two nine-inch pie crusts
- Beads are easy to arrange in any sized pie crust
- Comes with a 304 Stainless steel canister for storage
- Beads come covered in dust and must be washed and dried well before use
Top Pick Best Overall: Elizabeth Karmel’s 5- by 5.5-inch Red Silicone Sweetheart Pie Weight
Sitting between a single-piece pie weight and ceramic beans is this cute heart-shaped model that combines the best of both worlds. The bright red pie weight is made from heat resistant silicone and is filled with ceramic beans.
We recommend this pie weight for anyone who doesn’t want the fuss of beans and enjoys the high heat-resistance of silicone. Safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, this pie weight measures five inches by five inches by one inch and fits pie pans up to nine inches in diameter.
Easy to use, just cover the uncooked crust with a piece of parchment paper, place the heart-shaped pie weight in the center of the crust, bake and there you go – a perfect crust every time. The shape of this pie weight reaches the sides of a pie plate better than a simple circle, and since the ceramic beans are contained within the heart, there is no dust or loose beans to deal with. And when it comes to cleaning up, just pop the pie weight on the top rack of the dishwasher.
- Single-piece pie weight made from silicone
- Contains ceramic beans
- Keeps everything contained
- Top-rack, dishwasher safe
- Heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Not good for different-sized pie pans
Pie weights are essential baking tools for anyone who loves to bake – and eat – pies. Using them is the easiest way to ensure the successful pre-baking of a pie crust that won’t end up shrinking or bubbling. But that is only part of the perfect pie equation. Due to variable baking times for each element of some pies, it’s possible for the edges of the crust to become over-cooked or burnt. A good pie crust shield is the best remedy to that situation.
We recommend this non-stick pie crust shield and ceramic pie weight baking set if you want a two-in-one solution to pie perfection, or if you’re thinking of a great gift for the baker in your life.
The non-stick, silicone crust shield fits a nine or 10-inch pie and will keep the edges of the pie crust from burning before the center is done. The shield works on homemade and on store-bought frozen pie dough. The unglazed ceramic pie weights are placed in the center of the pie plate during pre-baking for a flawless finish and the one-pound capacity can be used for two nine-inch pie plates.
- Set includes one pound of ceramic pie weight beads and a non-stick silicone crust protector
- Crust shield fits a nine or 10-inch pie
- One pound of pie weights is good for two nine-inch pie plates
- Makes an ideal gift
- Does not come with a container to keep the pie weights
- Fits only one-size pie plate
Top Pick Most Versatile: Hannah’s Baking Baking Pie Crust Weights Chain
You love to cook and bake but like to keep your kitchen as clean as possible during the process so there’s less mess to deal with later. Baking pies includes a lot of ingredients from flour and eggs to watery fruit fillings and more solid options like pumpkin, and it all results in a certain amount of spillage on the countertop. While you’d like the flexibility of ceramic bean pie weights, you’re not keen on the mess they make and the fuss of collecting so many little pieces. For a versatile set of pie weights that won’t make a mess, we recommend these stainless steel ball weights on a chain.
These pie weights from Hannah are strong and durable and are made from 101-stainless steel and are reusable. The flexible design connects the beads in a 10-foot long chain, so they are easy to place and easy to remove while staying hooked together.
Heat resistant to 475-degrees Fahrenheit, these pie weights hold down pie dough to keep bubbles from forming while evenly transferring heat. So versatile, they are ideal to use to blind-bake eight, 9.5 and 10-inch frozen and homemade pie crusts for banana cream and chocolate cream pie, lemon meringue, strawberry rhubarb pie and more.
- Stainless steel beads are connected on a 10-foot long chain
- Can be used for different sized frozen or homemade pie crusts
- Heat resistant to 475 degrees Fahrenheit
- Budget priced
- May need two of them to cover a 10-inch pie
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a pie weight so you will choose one that best suits your needs:
Types of pie weights:
There are three types of pie weights, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. The type you choose will be dependent on your own specific baking style and needs. If you are an avid baker, or plan to be, it even makes sense to have one or two different types to handle the various kinds of pies you’re going to make.
Small ceramic balls, or beans:
This kind of pie weight is very versatile and convenient because the beans can fit into any sized pie pan, and can be manipulated manually to cover every inch of the pie crust. They are durable and reusable and are able to withstand the oven temperature needed to bake pies. On the downside, when they arrive, they are often covered in dust, which is mostly the result of the ceramic beans knocking together in the package during transport. However, the dust can continue with use so the beans must be washed and dried well before first use, and then sometimes before each use, depending upon how they are stored. As well, since they are loose on the pie dough, it can be a pain to gather them up after the baking is done. Try to purchase ceramic bean pie weights that come in a container or fabric bag, so they will be easier to store.
Ball and chain pie weight:
These pie weights are also versatile to use in different sized pans but because the metal beads are connected on a chain, it is easier to remove them from the pie when the baking is done. The downside is that unlike loose beans, you can’t really maneuver the beans to cover the whole surface of the pie, and since it may not cover the entire crust, you may need to use two.
Single-piece pie weight:
A single piece pie weight, which is usually round, is simple to use and covers the entire crust. They are often disc shaped and have a perforated round steel center, which fits on the bottom of the pie dough. Attached to the steel disk is a collar of heat resistant silicone that can fit over the rim of the crust to prevent it from burning. The downside to a single piece round pie weight is that it is designed for a specific-sized pan, so if you plan on making large and small pies, you will have to have a different sized pie weight for each different sized pan.
How to use pie weights
If you bake pies with thicker fillings that cook at the same time as the crust, like pecan and pumpkin, you don’t need to use pie weights. However, for a pie with a no-bake or watery filling (like fruit or custard), then you’ll need a weight for the crust.
The first step when blind baking a pie crust is to line the raw dough with parchment paper. The pie weights go on top of the parchment paper. If you are using ceramic beads, made sure they are spread around and evenly distributed from the edge of the dough to the center, and not piled in the middle. Then pop the whole thing into the oven to bake.
In terms of how many pie weights you will need, if you’re using beans or even beans on a chain, a single set should cover a standard pie or tart crust but it’s always best to have extra on hand to make sure your coverage isn’t uneven.