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Jan 21, 2012 04:22 PM

Pie Weights - Ceramic or Metal

Which one is better and why?


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  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....