Classic pie plate

Classic pie plate *Est. $10 Compare Prices
The trick to baking a great pie is getting the filling to cook thoroughly while not overbaking (or underbaking) the crust. Between glass, stoneware and metal, more experts say glass works best; in particular, the tried-and-true Pyrex 9" Pie Plate is a top performer. Glass conducts heat more slowly than metal does, which means you won't overbrown the crust while you allow the filling to cook. This pie pan's glass construction also lets you monitor the bottom and sides of the pie as it bakes. Reviewers say this pan produces a nicely browned and flaky crust, adding that its shallow, angled sides help keep the crust from sinking or cracking while baking. The Pyrex pie pan is microwave-, dishwasher- and freezer-safe.

Oven-to-table pie dish

Oven-to-table pie dish *Est. $45 Compare Prices
Stoneware pie pans are popular in user reviews largely because they make for a nice presentation. Since many bakers enjoy the "oooh" factor from family and guests, a good-looking pie dish can set off a well-made pie. In addition, stoneware pie plates can double as small casserole dishes or even be used for layered dips and other recipes. The Emile Henry Pie Dish is highly rated in user reviews, plus it's microwave- and broiler-safe, and resistant to scratches and chips. It can also go directly from the freezer to a preheated oven (something that's not recommended for glass pie pans). Users say that besides being beautifully designed, this pan produces perfectly baked pies and is easy to clean. The Emile Henry Pie Dish is dishwasher-safe and available in a choice of 11 colors.

Covered pie pan

Covered pie pan *Est. $20 Compare Prices
Baking a pie is one thing, but transporting or storing it adds a level of complexity, especially if you want to protect a meringue or whipped-cream topping. If you're looking for a covered pie plate, reviewers give high marks to the NordicWare High Dome Covered Pie Pan. The pan itself is made of heavy aluminum, and the plastic cover has a high dome so even whipped cream or other toppings won't get squished. Reviewers say the pie dish produces golden-brown crusts, and the large rim makes it easy to grasp and carry. The pan should be hand-washed to avoid discoloring.

What type of pie pan works best?

It's hard enough to bake pie: Getting the crust golden-brown without ending up with mushy filling is a challenge. But an underbaked crust is also the bane of a good dessert. So what types of pie pans get closest to the all-American ideal?

Many pie pans researched for this report tout features designed for better baking results (such as perforated or mesh bottoms), but the classic Pyrex Bakeware 9\" Pie Plate (*Est. $10) still earns the lion's share of recommendations in reviews. This tempered-glass plate produces nicely browned crusts and evenly cooked fillings, according to professional reviewers. Users posting to retail websites also note that the pie pan is sturdy, easy to clean and well priced -- and because it's see-through, you can keep a better eye on the crust.

What To Look For
  • Look for sides that slope.
  • Consider buying a pie plate as part of a bakeware set.
  • Check the size.
Read More

A possible drawback to the Pyrex pie pan is that it doesn't make the most attractive serving dish. If you want something that can go from oven to table, stoneware and ceramic pie pans are often recommended in reviews. Plus, deep-dish stoneware pie plates can double as bakeware for quiches, small batches of lasagna or noodle casseroles, even layered dips.

In this category, we found strong support for the Emile Henry Pie Dish (*Est. $45). This ceramic pie plate made from French clay features a scalloped edge and is available in a choice of 11 colors. The dish is nonstick, scratch-resistant, and dishwasher-, microwave- and broiler-safe. Users say the pie pan produces perfect pies, and looks nice at potlucks and outdoor dinners. Some add that despite the scalloped edges, pie slices are easy to remove and serve.

Other well-reviewed ceramic plates include the Rose's Perfect Pie Plate (*Est. $27) and the Chantal 9-Inch Classic Pie Plate (*Est. $16). Both come in a variety of colors, are dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-safe, and garner praise for their appealing scalloped-edge designs. In one review, however, testers found that the Rose's pie pan browned crusts too quickly; another review said the bottom of a pie baked in the Chantal pie dish did not crisp up nicely.

If you plan to transport a pie, or you want to refrigerate a pie and don't want to risk ruining a perfect meringue with plastic wrap, reviewers cite the NordicWare High Dome Covered Pie Pan (*Est. $20) as a good option. The pie tin is made of heavyweight aluminum, and comes with a domed plastic cover that can protect even tall meringue toppings from being crushed. Reviewers say the pie pan produces nicely browned crusts and is easy to carry, and many users call this covered pie dish a good value. Some users complain, however, that the pie pan's metal finish dulls if the pan goes through the dishwasher.

Other metal pans with novel features get mixed reviews. The Chicago Metallic Commercial Perforated Pie Pan (*Est. $9 for a set of two) has a perforated bottom designed to allow moisture to escape. While one professional reviewer says the pan produced a tender crust, others complain this design left the bottom of the pie soggy and undercooked. Similarly, the Doughmakers Pie Pan with Crust Protector (*Est. $20), which comes with metal rings that can cover the crust's edge to prevent overbrowning, draws concern: Some reviewers say their fillings didn't cook well and the protector can crush the crust.

Expert & User Review Sources

The best source of pie-pan reviews is CooksIllustrated.com, which tests several brands of pie tins and critiques each. Good Housekeeping also tests and recommends pie pans. In addition, we found user reviews for pie plates and tins at Cooking.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and other retail sites. Finally, we found a bakeware buying guide on About.com, but this yielded very little specific information about pie plates.

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Pyrex Glass Pie Plate
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from Amazon.com
New: $4.49   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish, Cerise Red
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from Amazon.com
New: $45.00 $33.89   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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HIC Ceramic Rose's Perfect Pie Plate, Bayberry
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from Amazon.com
New: $34.00 $19.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Chantal Classic 9 Inch Pie Dish, Glossy Lime Green
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from Amazon.com
New: $19.95
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Hi-Dome Covered Pie Pan
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from Amazon.com
New: $25.00 $12.90   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Chicago Metallic Commercial Perforated Pie Pans, Set 2
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from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  
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Doughmakers 9 Pie Pan with Crust Protector
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from Amazon.com
New: $18.00 $15.92   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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