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My very costly "leak-proof" springform pan leaks! Can I prevent this?

I know about wrapping the outside of the pan with foil, but that doesn't prevent the leaks. It just catches the batter so it doesn't make a mess. It still leaked into the foil!
Any great tips to seal the pan and prevent the leaking? Half my quiche was in the foil!

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  1. Wah, this is why I so dislike springforms, but continue to use them. Line the inside bottom of the pan with parchment, extending the circle out past the channel where the bottom and the ring fit together, making it a tighter seal. Then wrap the exterior with foil, up the sides. That may help quite a bit.

    Alternatively you can wrap the ring with foil, by laying it on a large round cutout and wrapping up the sides of the ring, to create a false bottom under the ring. Then place the pan bottom on the foil inside the ring and and snap the ring on. Press the foil down tightly. Wrap the exterior bottom and sides of the pan with foil as well.

    One more note: you mentioned baking a quiche in a springform pan. Springforms are really meant for thick heavy batters, like cheesecake or thick bready cake batters. A thin quiche batter is destined to leak like a sieve in a springform. Perhaps consider buying a quiche pan for that purpose. If the recipe calls for a springform, then that's fine. Otherwise, use the more appropriate bakeware.

    Quote from a friend of mine, who's a chef, "Springform pans are not leak-proof - even the really expensive ones that claim to be leak-proof still leak some. America's Test Kitchen did a test on these and confirmed that."

    Best of luck and happy holiday!

    21 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Shouldn't the bottom crust of the quiche contain the custard, regardless of the pan?

      1. re: paulj

        Yes, I have tried this pan with cheesecake batter and still leaked. I should have said this was a crustless quiche, which was why I was concerned about getting it out of the pan.
        I an surprised I did not see the ATK show on this, as I love that show.
        I will try the foil to see if the bottom still slips in the groove.

        1. re: hungryinmanhattan

          Crustless quiche - isn't that like pouring milk into the pan, and hoping it does not leak? Some such quiches do form their own crust, but that happens when the flour part of the batter settles to the bottom.

          I think a foil 'bathtub' inside the pan is the only solution.

          1. re: hungryinmanhattan

            I make crustless quiche (frittata) all the time, but either partially cook the egg mixture on the stove in a well-buttered oven-safe saute pan, then put it into a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking, or else I pour the uncooked egg mixture into a well-buttered quiche dish or deep pie dish and bake for about a half hour. As long as I use enough butter (or other natural fat) to grease the dish, if I run a butter knife around the side and use a good pie server, the pieces always lift right out of the dish.

          2. re: paulj

            No, most likely it will leak more than normal, due to the very liquid nature of the batter.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              I am asking if anyone knows how to seal the bottom insert of the springform pan better so I can stop leaking.
              Anyway, as I said, it also leaked when I make cheesecake, which is why I asked for suggestions on how to seal the pan so it does not leak.
              It is just annoying. It was expensive and supposedly "leak-proof" so I should be able to put WATER in it, and have no leaks!
              I tried wrapping the bottom with foil before clamping it, but still leaked. I will try wrapping with parchment today.
              Again, welcoming any suggestions. Did ATK have any suggestions?

              1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                My so-called leakproof springform also leaks on occasion, so I just put it inside a larger pan to bake. It takes a little longer, but is worth the extra time to avoid a messy oven.

                1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                  I find spring form pans aren't as leakproof as they claim. It will be harder with a crustless cheesecake. A few suggestions, try extra long, super strength Reynold's wrap (ones made for outside barbecue) and use at least two layers (I use more). Is this how you're wrapping your pan? (It sounds like it from the description but wanted to make sure). I do one layer like that and then a couple on the outside.


                  Honestly for what you're doing, I'd ditch the springform pan altogether and do it in a cake pan w/ tall sides. Alton Brown covers it:


                  Use a round parchment for the bottom and then one long strip for the sides and it'll come right out, no leaking.

                  1. re: chowser

                    I was also thinking you could use the heavy duty aluminum wrap on the inside of the springform pan. Use a cardboard round slightly smaller than the base, cover w/ aluminum wrap and put that inside the pan. Make the cheesecake on that. That way, it'll be easy to unmold.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I just saw your link. I had no idea you could turn a cheesecake upside-down and not ruin the top! I will absolutely try Alton's method, and thank you for posting.

                      1. re: chowser

                        alton doesnt say how to keep water from gushing into the pan from the water bath

                        1. re: sonomaholiday

                          He uses a tall cake pan so water can't leak in from the bottom.. What do you mean by "gushing into the pan"? Do you mean over the top?

                      2. re: hungryinmanhattan

                        It is difficult to make a waterproof (which is what you want) metal to metal seal. The pieces have match exactly, or you have to use high pressure. In most kitchen products it is easier to use some sort of gasket - rubber, plastic. To reduce vapor loss around lids, parchment paper or foil can placed under the lid, or strips of dough around the rim. Proteins in milk can seal cracks in earthenware. Solid fat (lard, shortening) can help seal gaps, as long as it remains cold.

                        I would suggest experimenting with water and cold pan. I just poured some water in my springform. The leakage was concentrated in to spots, on opposite sides (one near the closure).

                        Or how about this - warm the pan, pour some beaten egg in and swirl it around, try to get it to coagulate over the bottom edge. Then add your batter ? You could even brush egg wash on the pan edges before assembly. The idea is use egg as the glue or sealant.

                        The shortening might even work if it fills the gaps until the batter starts to solidify.

                  2. re: bushwickgirl

                    i do the same with parchment. cut a circle larger than the base, lay it over the base, snap the side/ring into place, with the parchment excess hanging out the bottom. wrap in layerS of foil. i tried this once, just to see if i could minimize leakage of water in (never have batter out), and was (shockingly) surprised when i had zero leakage.

                    1. re: Emme

                      yes, I ruined a cheesecake by water bath seeping in also. That was why I bought my new "leakproof" pan!
                      I will try the other ideas suggested. I tried wrapping the base with foil before inserting, but maybe my foil was not smoothed out enough. Still leaked.
                      I want to ask an alternative question:
                      I would love to never use the springform pans again. Is there any way to use a regular pan for cheesecake, and how would you get the cheesecake out?

                      1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                        I think you should return this pricey pan. I have made cheesecakes for forty years in Springforms and have never had a leak. My most recent pan, a gift, is silicone with a glass bottom, and I love it.
                        If you are using a graham cracker crust I think you need a springform.

                        1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                          Check out the link I posted above from Alton Brown. He uses a tall cake pan and turns it out--no problems. Line the bottom w/ parchment paper cut in a round (I have round reusable silicone mats) and then a strip for the sides.

                          1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                            i generally find the leaks are my foil's fault... or rather, my wrapping fault.

                            to do it in a regular pan ( a deep one albeit) drape a long piece of parchment across, so that it comes up and over both sides, then do one perpendicular. you'll be able to lift out after baking.

                            1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                              I like to use the tall Wilton cake pans for cheesecake.

                              If you cut a circle of parchment to closely fit the bottom then you only need to run a paring knife around the edge before you invert the pan to remove the cooled cheesecake.

                          2. re: bushwickgirl

                            "Line the inside bottom of the pan with parchment, extending the circle out past the channel where the bottom and the ring fit together, making it a tighter seal. Then wrap the exterior with foil, up the sides."

                            I do the same as bushwickgirl. Worked when I had a leaky pan and I still do it for anything in a springform. The inside parchment also makes it easy to transfer my cheesecakes and such to a serving plate.

                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                              bushwickgirl is right that *Springforms are really meant for thick heavy batters, like cheesecake or thick bready cake batters.*

                              Anything of a looser nature will ooze out. I learned that lesson myself the hard way. I used my springform pans without problem for cheesecakes. One day I made sticky buns and used the springform pan. It was awful when the sugar & butter melted and leaked out, then smoked & burned to the bottom of my oven.

                            2. Maybe you could cut a plastic oven bag and use a strip of plastic as a seal between the wall and bottom, like a gasket. The oven bag is oven proof at baking temps.

                              1. You could use the old French technique of sealing a pan. They typically use dough around the lid of a dutch oven to make sure it seals.

                                You could make a heavy dough like 1 cup flour and 1 cup water and seal the edges then turn it upside down and bake it to harden the dough. I think that would work.

                                They do have, supposedly leakproof springform pans with rubber gaskets. Eventually the gasket will fail, however.

                                1. I recently bought an expensive springform and was also disappointed at how much more it leaked than the cheapo pan that it replaced. As others have pointed out, some leak for very liquidy batters is probably inevitable, because there needs to be enough space for the outer portion of the collar to slide over the inner portion. If you fill the pan with water, you can see whether the leak is coming from the bottom, or along the side, where the collar joins.

                                  That said, I did manage to reduce the leaking considerably by studying the gaps when the pan was snapped closed, and observing that due to the way that the metal was formed, there were places near the bottom where the gap was rather larger than it needed to be to allow comfortable sliding. With a pliers and cloth (to protect the pan) I carefully and gently closed up the gap a little, still leaving plenty of room for the pieces to slide together. It didn't stop the leaking completely, but it did reduce it to a slow drip when the pan is filled with water. It's possible that a "shim" of parchment paper or something placed into the join as you close the pan might help with that? (I'm generally baking a thick enough batter that this doesn't matter–though my post-fixing pan did work just fine for a rather thin gingerbread batter yesterday)

                                  1. I find my springform pans perform better when I put the bottom in upside down. It also makes serving easier, as you aren't cutting through the lip.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: CanadaGirl

                                      I do the exact same thing, CanadaGirl. I find putting the bottom in upside down makes for less leaks and it is easier to cut. I also make sure any crust extends up the side of the springform pan. The thickness of the batter is really the deal breaker in my experience. The thinner the batter, the more likely you are to have leaks. Its impossible IMHO to really have a leakproof pan when the pan comes in 2 parts.

                                    2. Hi, hungryinmanhattan:

                                      I don't know how anal-retentive you want to get on this, but you can buy food-grade silicone in either solid, small-diameter "O-ring" lengths; or liquid. Both would seal your pan and still allow it to come apart to release your preparation; both would be a PITA.


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        I looked the silicone up. Might give that a try. I have had the pan too long to return, so might as well try to fix it before I chuck that bad boy!
                                        So I tried Alton's way with a regular pan and parchment that you suggested but added a parchment sling.
                                        I used a regular good thick square metal pan. I added to alton by making a long sling which covered the whole pan bottom and stuck out on each side about 4 inches like "ears". First I sprayed no stick all over the pan. Then i laid the sling in the pan. The spray made the parchment stay in place. I baked the cheesecake in a water bath with no seepage worries, for a change! I cooked and thoroughly cooled. Then the whole cheesecake just lifted right out using the parchment "ears" of the sling! Perfect! Did not have to turn cheesecake over like alton because of the sling sides to pull it out.

                                      2. for me Its alwayshe other way around...Ive made about 40 cheese cakes, foil wrapped springform pans 3 different ones. ALWAYS leaked tons of water into the pan from the water bath - putting the pan inside another pan kind of defeats the purpose of a water bath - the water heats the bottom and sides. except for m,e there is a TON of water inside the pan. I cant figure out how to keep water from getting inside

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. Back in my days in the pastry kitchen, we used cake rings for cheesecakes. Made foil bases for them similar to in this video (sorry about the camera work in the video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96Jq1j...
                                          Never had any problem with leaks in by the water or out by the batter.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Sooeygun

                                            Maybe a combination of foil on top of the bottom part before snapping into place then the next piece of foil wrapped around the whole pan . Another problem besides the bottom leaking is the side of the springform clip - that will leak water in as well - so there is that new problem

                                            1. re: sonomaholiday

                                              Have you tried Reynolds heavy duty extra wide foil? It goes up well over the side of the pan. I use triple layer. If I don't have that, I fold two sheets together well and then use three of those, alternating direction so one is lengthwise while the other widthwise. It's a lot of foil.


                                              1. re: chowser

                                                Already looking for 24 inch wide foil - would be great if indidnt have to spend 125 bucks for a roll of foil just to see if I can get a dry cheesecake

                                          2. When I can find it, I buy the extra wide heavy duty foil; it fits seamlessly around the springform, so there are no areas for water to creep in or batter to creep out. Even with it, however, I use at least 2 layers.

                                            1. Cheesecake is my signature dessert, I do not even own a spring form pan, buy a 9 by 3 or 10 by 3 cheesecake pan on amazon, when you are done mixing your cheesecake, preheat your oven to 250F (this is not a mistake!), arrange two wire racks in your oven one right in the middle and the other just one level higher. On the lower one place a large baking pan (I use a deep-dish pizza pan) filled with hot water (it should be pretty tight between two racks). Pour the cheesecake filling into your well-buttered pan (crust or not) and place on the rack right above the water (it won't touch the water, but will be pretty close to it). Depending on the size of your cheesecake, bake for 1.5-2.5 hours. My recipe uses 2.5 lb. cream cheese and a 1lb of sour cream, an it takes about 2 hours give or take. I have never had a cracked cheesecake doing it this way. Also, no hustle with wrapping the pan with foil, worrying about it leaking, etc. Good luck!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. Now I'm sure everyone will laugh at me, but why not use Saran wrap to line the inside? After all, Jacques Pepin showed how to make sausages wrapped in plastic and cooked in water. You use it in the microwave. It would be so much easier to cover the inside of the pan with plastic, and it would make a perfect seal.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: MazDee

                                                  Because it would melt in the oven.

                                                2. I use a leakproof pan and place it in a water bath - the pan has a bottom that comes out and a silicon seal. I didn't feel like coughing up 100 bucks for oversized tin foil - the own is made by that Swiss Army knife company - no leaking. Oh my secret ingredient to my cheesecakes is Parmesan cheese...

                                                  1. I know this is old but use your CRUST to seal it. Obviously, this isnt gonna work if your dish doesn't call for crust but for something like a cheesecake alls you gotta do is make your crust thick enough to seal the bottom. Problem solved.

                                                    My cheesecake recipe is for a 9' springform pan and it calls for 2 cups of cracker crumbs and 5 tbls of butter. 1/4 cup is set aside to fill any holes but the rest does the trick and it doesn't even look too thick.