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Jan 30, 2013 01:55 PM

Pie weights--beans or rice?

I've been making pies for 40 years, and have never had a set of pie weights or used beans or rice for blind baking, I've always just docked the crusts to prevent bubbles. I have another use for them now, and want to know your opinions as to which I should get, a sack of beans or rice. And, if beans, which kind? I'm thinking the answer is "the cheapest" but I also am wondering if red beans will color the food I'm trying to bake? (If you're curious, my DH just bought "me" a set of those tortilla molds for taco salads, etc. and I've read that using pie weights will help keep corn tortillas from bouncing back when baking.)

So, which should I use? Rice or beans?

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  1. Ha ha...aren't "you" lucky.

    I use black beans as pie weights. I've never had a problem with discoloration but then again I cover the unbaked crust with foil and spread out the beans on top of the foil. I use this method because it preserves the texture and light color of the crust and is easy to lift the beans out at the end. Once they're cool I put them in a ziploc bag for reuse.

    1 Reply
    1. re: APK_101

      I use pinto beans (because they are cheapest), and line my crust with foil, too.

    2. I don't like the smell of the beans as they heat up (no problem with discoloration, though). I tend to use rice and keep it separate (i.e., re-use the pie-rice) from the for-a-meal-rice.

      1. My husband loves pies and quiches, so when we got married 35 years ago, I bought a bag of cannellini beans and have used them as pie weights ever since. Best 69 cents I ever spent. I store them in a coffee can. Do they still make coffee cans? Anyhow, I used to put a piece of aluminum foil atop the dough, buttered on the side that touched the dough. Then I'd put the beans on top of that. With the invention of nonstick foil, I use that instead. I any case, the foil makes it simple to pour the beans back into their coffee can when I'm done.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bitchincook

          Cannellini beans sounds like the ticket--no color to worry about, but having never used pie weights I have a couple of questions, all y'all. Do you use a liner of foil? Do you butter it on the "pie" side? Bitchincook uses a foil liner. I've seen methods from no liner to using plastic wrap (weird IMHO). One photo looked like rice with either a parchment or cheesecloth liner--must be parchment, don't you think?

          I have been interested in using rice because it seems to me that it will fill all the little nooks and crannies better. But 35 years of pies gives me a powerful incentive to try your method (we'll have to compare pastry recipes, ha ha). Thanks. Going to the store tomorrow!

          Yes, they still make coffee cans--DH loves Chock Full O'Nuts and we order cases of it since it's expensive in Las Vegas. Me, I'm an old Berkeley gal and rabid Peets fan, I buy small sacks. He likes an electric coffee maker, I use a Melitta drip, one cup at a time. But the coffee cans are quite useful for all sorts of stuff! I'm full up and now recycle them.

          Somebody on another thread suggested storing the cooled beans in a ziploc bag inside the pie pans, not a bad idea and saves me pantry room.

          1. re: blaireso

            I have never heard of just pouring beans or rice directly onto the pastry. After all, lots of people use pennies for pie weights.

            I use parchment or foil unbuttered when I blind bake a pie shell. I use black beans (I'm sure that was because it was what I had on hand back in the day). They live on now years later in a ziplock bag.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              Mom used to pour beans directly on the pie crust. However, I have a template of the inside circumference of my pie plate and cut heavy duty foil to fit, then pour the rice on that. Never saw the need to buy pie weights.

        2. I don't think it really matters as you would usually want to cover the crust with parchment or foil before filling with the weights.

          And yes bitchincook - there are still a couple brands of coffee that actually still have a can and not plastic either.

          1. I "save" my elderly beans to use as pie weights, with a foil or parchment paper between pastry and beans.