HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Pie Weights - Ceramic or Metal

Which one is better and why?

Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I just use beans (actually - split peas) which works okay, but I read somewhere that a metal link-chain or dog leash is the perfect pie weight as the metal conducts heat evenly and because the chain is all of a piece, you don't run the risk of spilling the weights all over the kitchen floor.

    4 Replies
    1. re: limoen

      The problem with that metal chain is that you would need a whole bunch of them to cover the crust adequately. I've never used the ceramic weights, but I have used the metal ones and they can be difficult to remove. And I've used beans, but they didn't have the weight I wanted and the crust would sometimes just bubble up around them. I switched to pennies years ago. Because they lie flat, they cover more area and are easier to remove. You can also push them up against the sides of the crust to help fight against the downward creep that so often occurs with an all-butter crust.

      1. re: JoanN

        Never liked the chains.

        Jeez, wish I had read this before I got rid of $30 worth of pennies recently.

        I normally use pea beans, filled to the top of the frozen shell, and wrap them up in the parchment lining for reuse. Now I have a reason to start picking up those errant pennies I see on the sidewalk...

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Pennies make some expensive pie weights, but seem like a good call if you have them floating around! Beats coinstar taking their 10%!

          1. re: LaureltQ

            Pennies are seemingly worth nothing these days, or less than a bag of beans; I see them on the sidewalks of Brooklyn all the time.

      1. I use some old navy beans. Just did it today.

        1. I have a large Baggie of beans that I use over and over. As others have noted, you need to have your weights -- be they beans ceramic or chain -- fill up the pie crist so that the sides don't creep down as the crust pre-bakes. After I fit the crust into the pan, I freeze it for about 15 minutes of so. I then take an-over large piece of aluminum foil and press it into the pie crust leaving two large overhanging sides. I fill that with the beans, and then lift up the foil when the crust is sufficiently pre-baked. Then I can let the crust continue baking until it is nicely browned. As soon as the foil hits the air, it cools down so that you can lift it out, and with it the beans, quite easily. Two bags of beans is just about the right amount, and then, when they cool, just pour them into a Baggie to use the next time.

          1. We use rice on parchment in the big commercial kitchen. At home, I have some of those ceramic weights, but occasionally if I am doing more than one pie at a time, I will just run out to the garage and grab a tub of screws or nuts (clean ones). Can't tell the difference.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KitchenGeek

              I also use rice on parchment. It's several years old now and has developed a light golden color. I keep wondering if it would taste nutty or just old if I cooked it? I think I'll just keep using it for another decade or two....

            2. For those of you using beans or rice or other comestibles—I've always wondered: do you still eat the beans later? I guess they're dried, so baking shouldn't really change them too much, but it still seems strange.

              4 Replies
              1. re: eethan

                No, because I reuse them as pie weights. I go through my dried beans every now and then and find a dab of this or that, that I had forgotten about, old beans. These are usually the store brand, cheapest dried bean on the shelf. I feel they are giving their life for a noble cause a a kitchen utensil....

                1. re: wyogal

                  Ditto, I have a box filled with split peas which are my baking beans which I reuse. They have been reused over about two years. Occasionally some get spilled but they are a cheap option.

                2. re: eethan

                  Me too. They go back in a container marked "pie weights" and get used over and over again.

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    Agreed. I use old bean, peas and lentils.

                3. Last time I had to weight a graham cracker crust I just used another Pyrex pie pan set inside the one with the crust.

                  1. I have a tupperware container filled with black beans that are my pie weights. Some months ago, I splurged and bought ceramic pie weights. In all honesty, it was a waste of money because there is no difference between using the weights and the beans. Save your money and purchase a bag of beans.

                    1. I like large clear glass beads so I can visually assess the color of the crust inside the plate.

                      1. I have a coffee can filled with beans that I have been using as pie weights since I got married more than 30 years ago. Best 50 cents I ever spent!