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Do you remember the first pie you ever made? The type of pan you used or maybe even the recipe? I don’t remember any of that, but there's one thing I do think of every time I make pie dough. It’s a line from an old cookbook on making pastry: “Be swift and deft.”
It’s excellent advice to keep in mind when baking pies, but what most cookbooks don’t tell you is that your pie pan (aka pie dish or pie plate) can make or break your pie. It doesn’t matter whether it’s made from glass, metal, or ceramic—that’s mainly a personal preference that bakers will learn from experience. What does matter is that the pie pan must be well-made because the devil is in the details.
To work out how these pie pans stacked up against each other, product tester Lizzy Briskin stepped up to the pie-baking test challenge. Each of these picks parbaked a crust or two before going back in the oven with a custard or cream-based pie. This was chosen over testing multiple fruit pies since creamier pies will easily display when they're overbaked or not baked enough.
Based on our testing, the Pyrex 9-Inch Glass Pie Plate is the clear winner.
Do you still have the recipe for the first pie you ever made? Try it in one of these fantastic pans. Or, if you’re looking for new recipes, check out these easy pie recipes or this pie crust recipe. Here are the best pie pans for every type of pie.
Best Overall: Pyrex 9-Inch Glass Pie Plate
What We Love: Classic and traditional style, adaptable to many uses
What We Don’t Love: Has a small capacity
Pyrex is a classic brand for baking dishes of all kinds, and its glass pie plate does not disappoint. Glass is a multifunctional material that won’t absorb odors, cling to food, or scratch easily. This dish is safe for use in a preheated oven, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher, though you should allow enough time for the glass to adjust to the temperature change to avoid any shattering.
This heated evenly, but not too quickly, so test crusts baked in this dish came out nicely golden and cooked through, not burnt or overly browned. This pie plate took slightly longer to cook a pumpkin pie in our tests, but this is most likely due to the pan's material since glass conducts heat slower than metal. The plate does retain heat well, so your pie will stay nice and warm after it’s out of the oven.
The Pyrex plate has 1.2-inch sides, which is slightly less than many of our other favorite pie dishes. This means you’ll have more crust overhang on the edges for dramatic crimping or folding into pretty decorative patterns. It does also mean it holds slightly less filling than deeper dishes.
"This is a great pie plate. If you're only going to have one, this is a good option. It's heat-safe, freezer-safe, and so easy to clean. The size is ideal for most pie recipes and nothing sticks!" — Lizzy Briskin, Product Tester
Diameter: 9 inches | Capacity: 4 cups | Material: Tempered glass | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Budget: Lindy's Stainless Steel 9-Inch Pie Pan
What We Love: Stainless steel surface works well, excellent price, durable
What We Don’t Love: Surface can be scratched fairly easily
This stainless steel pie plate from Lindy’s is proof that you don’t have to shell out the big bucks for a hard-working, durable pie dish. This budget-friendly option is made from gleaming stainless steel and bakes crusts and whole pies like a champ. The plate is super light and easy to store, but it offers the same capacity (4 cups) as some other more expensive options. That smaller capacity, though, will mean some recipes might overfill the pan, as our pumpkin pie did during testing.
Stainless steel also has excellent nonstick properties with no extra coating necessary, so you can divvy up your freshly baked pie without a single bite sticking, give the pan a good rinse, and pop it into the dishwasher. What’s more, the shallow shape of this plate means that it fits right into a plate slot on the bottom rack of your dishwasher.
Since this pan has a thinner construction than others, it did heat up faster than others in our tests, so it’s important to check your pie early and often when it’s in the oven. If your crust is browning quicker than you’d like, you can always cover it with aluminum foil.
Diameter: 9.8 inches | Capacity: 4 cups | Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Metal: USA Pan Bakeware Aluminized Steel Pie Pan
What We Love: Professional-level quality, consistent performance, nonstick interior
What We Don’t Love: Only one size
This aluminized steel pie plate is durable and easy to use. It has a 5.5-cup capacity, which is larger than most of the pie plates we tested, making this a great option for feeding bigger crowds. The pan has a corrugated bottom, which allows for airflow between the pie crust and the dish and yields crisper, flakier crusts. The ridges in the bottom of the dish also prevent sticking and make serving your pie as easy as, well, pie.
In addition, the aluminized finish on this metal pan prevents food from sticking. The pan is also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup and can go safely into the freezer. The pan has a light color that doesn’t absorb heat too quickly, so your crust comes out golden brown and crisp, not too dark. It also has a nice half-inch rim that offers a perfect platform for a nicely crimped crust.
That rim though is one of its few cons. A small rim can mean "oven-mitt-in-pie" accidents if you're not careful. It also translates to needing two mitted hands to retrieve the pie from the oven. Otherwise, this is one of the best pie plates we tested.
Diameter: 9 inches | Capacity: 5.5 cups | Material: Alloy steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Baking Tools
Best Deep Dish: Emile Henry Traditional Pie Dish
What We Love: Artisan-made, does well in freezer-to-oven baking
What We Don’t Love: Pricey
If you’re after a mile-high apple pie, this timeless pie dish is your best bet. It has deep, steep 2-inch sides and an impressive 6-cup capacity to hold more filling than any other pie plate on this list. The dish comes in several color options to suit any style.
The thick, heavy-duty ceramic dish is durable and won’t chip easily, but it’s also light enough to easily transport your pie. The dish is coated in a shiny, smooth glaze that food doesn’t stick to and is fully dishwasher safe. In fact, this dish is so hardy, it can do straight from the freezer to the oven without risking a crack, making it a great option for planners and meal preppers.
While testing, we were reminded that ceramic always takes a little bit longer to bake crusts, but will retain that heat well. Since this has more depth than most pie plates, remember to roll out enough of your dough to fully fill this beauty. You'll also definitely need enough filling, another thing we didn't remember prior to testing. What did bake up was thoroughly cooked, with a golden crust, and absolutely delicious (we're not in the business of wasting pie).
The signature frilly scalloped edge around this French-style pie plate adds to its charm and frames your crust beautifully. Whether you’re baking a double-crusted blueberry pie or a crumble-topped Dutch apple pie, this is the perfect pie plate to feed a hungry crowd.
Diameter: 9 inches | Capacity: 6 cups | Material: Ceramic | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Mixing Bowls
Best Ceramic: Food52 Speckled Ceramic Milk Pie Dish
What We Love: Elegant design, lightweight, very stylish
What We Don't Love: Smaller capacity than other dishes
This white-specked pie dish from Food52 is both stunning and practical. It’s made from textured ceramic that’s surprisingly thin and lightweight, which means it heats quickly and is easy to transport and store. The interior and rim of the plate are glazed with a smooth, creamy white finish that makes the pan nonstick and very easy to clean. The dish’s underside has an organic, unglazed finish that gives the plate a homey, cozy aesthetic. And the delicate scalloping around the rim of the plate adds an adorable touch to mimic a crimped pie crust.
During our tests, prebaking crusts took an extra minute or two, but they stayed golden. The pies baked up evenly and without any cracks, so the finished products were picture-perfect. One unexpected bonus was that the textured outer sides and bottom provided a great grip when retrieving pie from the hot oven.
The dish has a slightly smaller interior diameter than other options, but it still has a 4-cup capacity that’s perfect for most pie recipes. The smaller diameter means you may have more crust than usual around the edges for decorating. All in all, this pretty pie plate makes a great gift for the baker in your life.
"This is a very attractive pie dish. It's ceramic, so it's more likely to break than metal or heavy-duty glass options, but it's super lightweight and easy to store. I'd worry that the edges might get chipped easily, as they're pretty thin, but it bakes great and looks great!" — Lizzy Briskin, Product Tester
Diameter: 9.5 inches | Capacity: 4 cups | Material: Ceramic stoneware | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Most Stylish: Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Nonstick Pie Dish
What We Love: Performs well, uniform heat distribution, gold is a nice touch for serving
What We Don’t Love: Nonstick surface requires care to avoid scratches
This lightweight 9-inch pie plate offers the ease of a nonstick finish and the long-lasting construction of unbreakable metal. And the gold finish on the inside of this pie plate doesn’t just look great, it’s also functional. The gold coating is nonstick, which makes for easy pie removal and breezy cleanup.
In our tests, this pie plate produced evenly browned and well-set prebaked crusts. This is also the best size to easily use a store-bought crust if that's your preferred method. It was a bit slippery handling from the hot oven with cloth mitts, though it was easier with silicone mitts. It’s made from commercial-grade steel did offer uniform heat distribution that cooked custard-based test pies evenly and without cracks on the surface.
The plate is dishwasher safe and we had no issues with food or baked-on pie filling sticking to the surface. However, it is important not to use sharp utensils with this pie plate, as the fine gold coating may chip or scratch, as it did in our tests. Instead, use a dull butter knife to slice your pie and a silicone-coated spatula to serve slices. This will keep your pie plate in tip-top condition for years.
Diameter: 9 inches | Capacity: 3.25 cups | Material: Aluminized steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but hand washing recommended
The classic Pyrex 9-Inch Glass Pie Plate (view at Amazon) has a lot to offer, whether you’re an experienced pie baker or new to the experience. If you’re looking for a pan that's easy to handle and looks amazing on your dining table, the Food52 Speckled Ceramic Milk Pie Dish (view at Food52) is an excellent choice.
What to Look for in a Pie Pan
Pie pans can be made of metal, glass, or ceramic—and within those categories, there are differences in materials and construction. There are also disposable pie pans made of aluminum foil, as well as a newer product to the market with a focus on sustainability: the paper pie pan.
Metal pie pans heat and cool quickly, making them ideal for pre-baked pie shells.
Glass pie pans heat and cool at a moderate level, and they have the advantage of the cook being able to check how the bottom crust is browning to allow for adjustment while baking. Ceramic pie pans heat and cool similarly to glass pie pans but hold heat longer.
You can find pie pans from 4 inches to 16 inches in diameter, with depths of between 0.75 inches and 2.5 inches; 9 inches is the standard size for pie pans. These measurements are taken from the outside of the top of the pan. The most common depth for a regular pie pan is approximately 1.5 inches, and for deep-dish pie pans, the most common depth is 2.25 inches.
Should I grease my pie pan?
There are two schools of thought on the subject. The first is to not grease the pie pan. The second is to spray lightly with a vegetable oil spray. As with so many things in baking, you’ll find what works for you with experience.
How do I use a fluted pie pan?
Prepare the pastry as you would with a regular pie pan, but be sure you’ve allowed an inch extra larger than the diameter of the pie pan when you cut the round. Fold the extra dough over all around, and then pinch the dough along the edges between your fingertips to follow the pattern of the fluted surface. If the dough becomes difficult to work with, refrigerate the pie until the dough is well-chilled.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is a New York-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who started out as a pastry chef, she now travels the globe writing about and photographing the best authentic food and pastries. She admittedly likes cake better than pie but believes pie is more challenging to make. Karen is passionate about finding quality kitchen tools within your given budget and that knowing how to use them makes all the difference. She curated this list with that in mind.
This article was tested and updated by Lizzy Briskin, a chef, food writer, and recipe developer who loves trying her favorite recipes in different pie pans for comparison.
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