The process of
blind baking, or baking your pie crust separately from its filling, is made a lot easier when you have the right tools. The best pie weights keep the air bubbles out of your crust so it's firm, flat, and perfectly crumbly every time. But, before you buy a weight, there are a few things to know.
For starters, when do you need a pie weight? If you bake pies with thicker fillings, like pecan and pumpkin, you can skip the
pie weight altogether (those fillings are baked simultaneously with the crust, thus, weighing it down). But if you're cooking a pie with a no-bake or watery filling (think fruit or custard fillings), you'll want a weight for your crust.
There are three types of pie weights, each with its own perks and pitfalls: ceramic balls, a ball and chain, or a disc weight. Small ceramic balls can fit any pan size and can be shifted to cover every inch of crust but are a pain to scoop up when you're done. The ball and chain makes it easier to collect since all the stainless steel balls are connected, but this type of pie weight can't always cover the entire crust. And while a
disc pie weight is simple and covers the entire crust, each one is designed for a certain-sized pan, so you'll need a different disc for different-sized pies. In a hurry? These are the best pie weights for all your baking needs. 1. The Best Ceramic Ball Pie Weights: R&M International Ceramic Pie Weights 2. The Best Ball & Chain Pie Weight: BallchainAge Baking Crust Pie Weight 3. The Best Disc Pie Weight: Chicago Metallic Pie Weight
To help you out, here's a roundup some of of the
best pie weights to make your favorite dessert simple as pie (pun very much intended).
The Best Ceramic Ball Pie Weights
small ceramic balls add weight to any size pie crust and are nonporous, so they won't absorb any odors or flavors while they evenly distribute weight across the bottom of the crust. The 1-pound bag includes enough balls to cover two standard pie crusts so you can bake multiple pies at the same time. Plus, they even come with a mesh storage bag to keep them all together in between baking sessions. Reviewers love how simple and easy these weights are to use. According to one reviewer: "These pie weights have worked well for me when I want to bake a pie shell empty and then fill it. I put parchment paper over the unbaked crust and add the weights. I bake for 10 minutes and then remove the parchment and weights. I turn the oven off and put the pie crust in while it cools. It is just hot enough to finish baking the unfilled shell. Then I finish the pie, using edged guards if it requires any additional baking of the filling."
The Best Ball & Chain Pie Weight
beaded chain weight makes a gorgeous, flat pie crust with zero effort. Just place your crust in the pan, then gently unravel this stainless steel chain. Coil it from the center outwards until you reach the edge of your pie and that's it — a perfect base for any pie. It's also extremely simple to remove after baking, and it's even dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Novice and advanced bakers alike can't say enough good things about this chain weight. One note? Since this chain is made of stainless steel, be careful as it can get hot when just out of the oven. According to one reviewer: "I've only used it once, but I'm so happy with it. I've put it in the dishwasher twice and it is spotless. It is so much easier than using rice or beans or even pie weights since it's all one long item to put out. It seems sturdy. Just be careful because it's really hot when it comes out of the oven!"
The Best Disc Pie Weight
single-piece disc weight literally lays on the crust to keep it flat as it bakes. The steel center features small perforations for maximum airflow. Plus, the silicone edges gently push against the pie pan to keep the crust from sliding down the sides. This weighted disc is safe in ovens up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and can be easily washed by hand or in a dishwasher. According to one reviewer: "I don't like the idea of using beans or rice because I don't want to throw it away afterward. Plus beans can be dusty. And loose pie weights just seem like a pain. I don't want to empty those, or clean them or store them or keep them away from my kids. This is easy to put in, easy to take out, and easy to clean. One piece and you're done."