Pie Pan Comparison
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Pie Pan Buying Guide
Types of Pie Plates
There are several different types of pie plates available to choose from. We’ve listed all of the different choices below with a little bit about each type.
- Glass – Pie plates made of glass will retain the heat from the oven evenly so the pies come out with browned crusts. It absorbs heat as well. They can have fluted edges or plain edges and can come in regular depth or deep dish. Glass pie plates can be used in the freezer, oven, microwave, and dishwasher.
- Ceramic/Pottery – These types of pie plates are not as common but they still have the browning capabilities and heat retaining properties as well to produce well baked pies. A ceramic or pottery pie plate is usually larger than the standard sized pie plate.
- Disposable Foil- Foil pie pans are good for temporary cooking and are meant to be thrown away after use. They are smaller than the standard sized pie plate unless you get the deep dish versions which are almost the same size as the standard pie pan.
- Cast Iron – Yes, there are cast iron pie pans. They are very heavy, sometimes as heavy as 5-6 pounds each and have natural stick-free finish that is characteristic of well seasoned cast iron. You can expect golden brown crusts and even baking. You will need to hand wash this item and make sure that it gets re-seasoned again if necessary to preserve the great finish. Cast iron pie pans cannot be put in the microwave.
- Nonstick Metal – Pie pans that are made of metal sometimes have a nonstick coating on them to make release simple and easy. These are usually made of lightweight aluminum. They are easy to clean and come in different sizes.
- Stainless Steel – stainless steel is durable, heavy duty and long lasting. It is easy to keep clean and produces pies that your friends and family will love. Make sure you hand wash stainless steel to avoid it getting damaged.
Consider these factors when you are searching for the right pie pan for your needs.
- Size – There are many different sizes of pie pans available. You can get individual sized little pie pans and full size deep dish styles. The standard size for a pie pan is 9” across. The sides are 1 ¼”.
- Deep Dish – Deep dish pie pans are not standard but many people like the deeper pies. Deep dish pie pans are usually available in foil, glass, ceramic and sometimes metal if you can find it.
- Rim – The rim of the pie pan is what gives you a specially designed crust. Some edges are fluted and others are smooth.
- How many ? – If you do a lot of baking, you will want to get more than one pie pan. They can be used for casseroles as well as pies and tarts. Most people have at least 2 pie pans so they can cook two pies and not have to stagger their time.
Maintaining your pie pans
Taking care of your pie pans is really important so you will have them a long time. In the case of glass or cast iron you could end up having pie pans for decades and pass them down to your own kids or even grandkids. Follow the tips below to keep you pie pans looking great and performing well so your pies always come out perfect.
- Glass, metal and ceramic pie pans are dishwasher safe and clean up easily. Some ceramic pie plates may not be dishwasher safe if they are handmade so be sure to check before you run it through the dishwasher.
- Cast iron pie pans are the most time intensive to maintain. They should not be immersed in water and have to be seasoned regularly. This is what keeps foods from sticking to the surfaces. Seasoning is very easy to do. Just take some oil, shortening or lard and coat the inside of the pan. Once that is done, heat the oven to 425 and stick it in the oven for an hour.
- To avoid the glass of a pie plate breaking or cracking, don’t move it from the freezer directly to a hot often. The drastic temperature changes can cause them to crack.
Choosing the right pie pan for your needs is about doing the necessary research and finding out all you can about your options. With all of the materials and styles to choose from, you may have a hard time picking, but this buyer’s guide is designed to make that choice much simpler. The right knowledge will help you sort through all of the available styles and types and know which styles will work the best for you.
Whether you choose metal, glass, ceramic or cast iron, you will want to choose a pie pan or pans that will meet your baking needs. Knowing ahead of time how often you will be using the pie pan, what you will be baking in it and what your personal preferences are will all help you make the right decision for your baking preferences and needs. If you spend a lot of time baking pies and other things, you will want to spend more money on the pie pans you get so they will stand up to the maximum baking load you expose it to.
Baking pies is a very relaxing, nostalgic activity for many people. You will be surprised at all the things you use a pie pan for. Follow the instructions on how to care for your particular pie pan once you decide on one to try. Don’t be afraid to return it if it is not what you thought it was going to be. It may be a little bit of a headache, but it will be worth it to get the right pie pan that you will love using.
- Pyrex – http://www.pyrexware.com/
- Norpro – http://wholesale.norpro.com/products.html
- USA Pan – http://www.usapans.com/