The pie plate itself is made from borosilicate glass that’s resistant to thermal shock and lets you monitor the crust’s browning as it bakes. This beautiful, fluted pie plate is part of cookbook author Rose Levy Geranium's line of baking gear.
The flutes also let you lift the pan easily from below, so you won’t mess up the crust as you retrieve the pie from the oven. This pretty deep-dish pie plate has a cheery blue exterior with creamy white on the inside of the pan and on top of the rim.
Hand washing is recommended, but the ceramic glaze releases food easily for simple cleanup. Made from stainless steel with a mirror finish, this won’t rust, crack, bend, shatter, or wear out.
The mirror finish looks attractive for serving, and it helps the crust release easily from the pan for perfect slices every time. Just a push up from the bottom pops the tart out of the pan's ring, so you can slide it onto a plate to be admired from all angles.
This pick is made from steel with a nonstick coating so your pastries slide out easily, and it’s dishwasher-safe so you don't have to think about cleanup when there's tart to be eaten. Glazed in six different cool tones and finished with attractive fluted edges, the pie plates retain heat for even baking.
If you bake a lot, these pans can also be used for freezing stacks of unbaked pie crusts so you’ll have them on hand when you need them. The ceramic pan provides great heat retention for a perfectly browned pie crust that’s evenly baked from center to edge.
It's a practically indestructible pan that won’t rust, crack, bend, shatter, or wear out. A seasoned recipe writer and gadget tester, she also wrote the cookbook Make Ahead Bread.
This article was updated by Jenny Kellerhals, a professional pastry chef in New York City and a freelance food writer. But even if you're a casual or novice baker, you'll want to have an array of essential baking pans at the ready for all the holidays, celebrations, and recipe experiments that will invariably come along.
Here's a list of the essential pans any baker needs, and some of the best -loved, best -reviewed options on the market in their respective categories. Here are 10 essential baking pans you'll want to have on hand, how to use them, and the best all-around pick that's reasonably priced, durable, and high quality.
It has sides that come up to about an inch high, so unlike a baking sheet, it can handle runny batters from cakes or breads. These pans do not typically nest for storage given their straight sides and uniform sizing.
Fat Radio's nine-inch diameter version comes in varying depths (two, three, or four inches) and is much beloved as a kitchen staple, earning thousands of five-star reviews. A square baking dish, typically eight or nine inches to a side, is essential for whipping up brownies, bar cookies, cornbread, and the like.
Clifton's nonstick eight-inch version has interlocking layers to release even sticky baked goods cleanly. Its steel core heats evenly and creates crisp, straight edges.
Spring form pans have removable sidewalls that separate from the base, which is ringed with a groove where the walls connect. This construction method makes it possible to remove cakes such as tortes and cheesecakes, without damaging fragile details.
Thousands of reviewers appreciate the tight seal to prevent leaks and spills from this pan, which doesn't stain or bend. Trays most typically bake a dozen cupcakes or muffins, with room for about 3.5 ounces in each cup, but smaller and larger versions are also available.
(Bonus: A portion of the sales goes to Yum-o!, Ray's nonprofit that helps families develop healthy relationships with food.) It typically comes in a nine-by-13-inch configuration, a standard size that matches up with most recipes and baking mixes, so it's a multitasking essential.
Ox's three-quart version is made of glass, with handles that provide a secure grip. Note that a tube pan is similar, sometimes with detachable sides, to help you invert such delicate cakes as angel food.
Nordic Ware's 60th anniversary pan is a close cousin to its first cast aluminum version. This beloved tool made of durable cast aluminum has a narrow base, straight sides, and extra-large center tube.
Williams Sonoma's professional-weight, aluminum-coated steel version is loved for its even baking and consistent results. Gold touch nonstick coating releases and cleans up easily (and makes a decorative presentation to boot).
Nothing can ruin your day like putting tons of effort into a pie baking project, only to find out that the bottom of your slice is pale and soft instead of golden brown and delicious when you go to serve it. I know it sounds a little crazy if you’ve never tried it before, but if your pie is baked perfectly the bottom crust should be evenly browned enough for you to achieve this feat, and the right pan can help you get there.
Metal pans conduct heat exceptionally well and are generally thinner than glass and ceramic making them champs in the browning department. Ceramic dishes are beautiful and well insulated, making them a top choice for custard pies with delicate fillings, and they excel in the presentation department.
The pies baked evenly to a perfect golden brown color and the slices were easy to remove when cool. This dish especially excelled in the berry pie test, and produced the most evenly baked and crisp crust of the bunch.
Pies still baked up golden and tasty, and the slices were easy to remove from the pan without leaving any residue behind. Being able to see through the bottom to check the browning on the crust is also a huge bonus for novice and experienced bakers alike.
The dish was slightly harder to clean than my number one pick and had some stick age issues with the graham cracker crust, but it was nothing a little scrub couldn't take care of. Whether you fill your pie with crisp apples, sour cherries, pumpkin custard, or chocolate cream, a great pie plate can help it look good and taste great, preventing slumping crusts and soggy bottoms.
Its rim is also wider than those of most other plates we tested, which helps crusts stay up and leaves plenty of room to shape a crimped edge. And unlike the tempered-glass Pyrex plate we tested, this Ox dish is made of thick borosilicate glass, which allows it to go from freezer to oven with a much lower risk of breaking from the shock of such rapid temperature changes.
Finally, its simple design won’t distract from your gorgeous pies or clash with other serving ware. If you care a lot about presentation and you want a pretty plate that comes in multiple color options, the Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish is one of our longtime favorites.
The Emile Henry can go safely from freezer to oven, and unlike a glass plate, it can also withstand baking under the broiler, which you may want to do to quickly toast a meringue pie. If you don’t mind the steeper price and can judge your pie’s oneness without seeing the bottom browning, the Emile Henry is a great choice.
And although a disposable tin can bake evenly, it’s flimsy and small, and it doesn’t look so nice on the table. But if you can’t seem to achieve golden crusts or evenly cooked filling, you may want to upgrade to a better plate.
Marguerite Preston, who worked on a previous version of this guide, is a former professional baker with almost two decades of pie making under her belt. This guide also builds on work by Wire cutter deputy editor Christine Car Classes.
Photo: Sarah Hobos“With proper technique, any style of pie plate can achieve ideal results; you just have to know what to look for,” Erin McDowell told us, echoing comments that all of our experts made. We found that dishes measuring 9 inches in diameter from the inner edges are just the right size for most crust recipes, but manufacturers aren’t always clear about whether the advertised dimensions include the width of the rim, which is why we also looked at some larger plates.
Choosing between a deeper plate and a shallower one is a matter of personal preference; we like and recommend both types for different reasons. Even among plates of similar dimensions, we found a lot of variation in shape, from the slope of the sides to the width and design of the rim.
We favored classic-looking plates with gently sloped sides that would help prevent a crust from slumping, as well as a wide rim, flat or slightly wavy. And having a relatively flat rim makes it easier to shape a pretty fluted or otherwise decorative crust.
You’ll almost always want to cut your pie in the pan, and that would inevitably scratch a nonstick coating, causing it to lose effectiveness or flake off over time. We also dismissed cast-iron pie plates because they’re heavy, they can’t go in the dishwasher, and they require extra care to maintain their seasoning.
But we don’t think they’re practical for most people since they stain easily and usually require hand washing without soap (which the porous material can absorb). We looked for plates that could bake a juicy peach pie without producing a soggy bottom crust.
Photo: Sarah Loose’ve tested 19 different pie plates since 2013, including nine new ones (against our previous two picks) for our 2019 update. Since mass-produced crusts are more consistent than any homemade dough, this test allowed us to quickly judge how evenly each plate distributed heat.
We chilled the crusts in the pan before baking, pierced them with a fork, and weighed them down with dried beans to prevent the sides from slumping or the bottom from puffing. To determine how each plate handled a custard filling, which requires a gentle distribution of heat to prevent the delicate custard from curdling or cracking, we prepared a pumpkin pie using homemade crust and the classic Libby’s recipe from the can.
We noted whether the pies baked within the time the recipe specified, we checked the bottom of each for undercooked spots, and we tasted the results. Making peach pies also helped us test each plate’s ability to handle extreme temperature fluctuations, since we chilled the bottom crust in the freezer for an hour before filling it, adding a top crust, putting it on a baking sheet, and immediately placing it in an oven set to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Between tests, we washed each pie plate by hand to see if any were particularly hard to scrub, and we noted any discoloration, scratches, dents, cracks, or warping. We also measured each pan’s width, height, interior depth, and thickness, and we then filled it with water to determine its capacity.
The Ox Good Grips Glass 9 Pie Plate With Lid conducts heat very well, and in our tests it baked some of the most evenly browned crusts. The rim is wider than most, which makes shaping a pretty crust easy, while the clear glass lets you see when your pie is done.
Among the 19 pie plates we’ve tested over the years, the Ox dish (along with the Emile Henry) produced some of the most evenly browned crusts. The pumpkin pie we baked in the Ox plate set into a smooth custard with a few small crinkles around the edges, while the peach pie emerged jammy and juicy with a neatly crimped edge and a crisp, golden-brown crust on top and bottom.
It gives you plenty of room to crimp or to add some other decorative edge to your pies, and we found that it helped crusts stay in place as they baked. The rim also makes it easier to grasp the hot pie plate with oven mitts.
Ox’s dish is made from borosilicate, a thermal-shock-resistant glass that won’t shatter from the rapid expansion or contraction of the glass that happens when it goes abruptly from cold temperatures to hot or vice versa (a Pyrex dishes that publications such as Consumer Reports have reported on). There’s nothing fancy about the Ox pie plate, but its simple design won’t clash with other serving ware.
If you primarily use pre-made crusts, you’ll find that the Pyrex 9 Glass Pie Plate is a much better fit. It has ranked among our top picks since we first wrote this guide in 2013, and in all our tests it has consistently browned crusts and cooked fillings more evenly than other ceramic plates.
The peach pie we baked in the Emile Henry was beautifully browned, with no sign of sogginess in the center. Photo: Sarah Robocall the pies we baked in the Emile Henry dish came out beautifully.
Although pies took a few minutes longer to bake in the Emile Henry dish than in the Ox and Pyrex plates, they were still done within the guidelines of the recipe. That means it’s big enough to hold just about any pie you want to make but not so deep that the crust falls in on itself.
In the past we’ve occasionally had crusts stick to the Emile Henry, possibly due to leaked fruit juices, but that hasn’t been a consistent problem. And fortunately, even when fruit juices bake onto it, we’ve found the Emile Henry pie dish to be particularly easy to clean by hand.
Like the Ox pie plate, the Emile Henry dish is designed to go safely from freezer to oven, without cracking from the stress of such a rapid temperature change. And it’s the only plate we recommend that’s safe to put under the broiler, which you may want to do occasionally in order to brown the meringue topping on a pie.
The Emile Henry comes with a 10-year warranty, so if it does break under normal use, you’re covered for a good long time. We like the simple design of the Emile Henry, and we think it will fit into most table settings, especially since you can get the plate in multiple colors, including white.
Similar to the Ox plate, this clear, simple dish makes it easy to see when your pie is cooked on the bottom, and it blends into any table setting. It’s made from durable tempered glass, but unlike our other picks, it can’t handle extreme temperature changes, so it may shatter if you move it directly from freezer to oven.
“Sometimes, pies baked in a standard 9-inch Pyrex are hard to get out of the oven with a puffy oven mitt, and I have to be extra careful to not crush my perfectly crimped edges or drop the pie entirely,” noted cookbook author Terrell Guy. But to avoid that issue, you can always place the dish on a baking sheet in the oven, which is the best option for catching drips and spills anyway.
Years ago, Consumer Reports published an article about a small percentage of Pyrex dishes shattering unexpectedly in the oven. If you do want to put a cold plate in a hot oven, it’s best to place it on a room-temperature rimmed baking sheet (we like the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet) first, to avoid direct contact between the cold plate and the hot rack.
We advise doing this even with plates that are supposed to be freezer-to-oven safe, such as the Ox and Emile Henry, since it will help minimize the stress you put on the dish in the long term. We also found that crusts stuck to this pan, and using a butter knife to cut a slice left a deep scratch in it.
And even if we had sized up to the 10-inch pan, the sharply angled sides and very narrow rim would have made it difficult to shape a crust and keep it from slumping. The slope of the sides also made our butter crust slump into the pan, even though we had filled it with pie weights.
The USA Pan Pie Stone consists of an unusual combination of thick stoneware coated with a thin layer of nonstick silicone. And even after that extra time, the fruit pie we baked in this dish had a soggy bottom.
Le Crest’s Heritage Pie Dish, the priciest model on our list, was also a disappointing dud. The Good Cook 9-Inch Ceramic Pie Plate is highly rated by Amazon customers.
In our 2014 testing, it left a soggy, uncooked circle of dough at the center of the bottom of the blueberry pie we made. We also dislike the rim, which is slightly thicker than that of the Emile Henry or the Ox and makes attempts to form nice fluting harder in comparison.
Homer Loughlin’s Fiesta 10¼-Inch Deep Dish Pie Baker is a beautiful plate that comes in the full rainbow of Fiesta ware colors and has a five-year warranty. This is a great plate if you like cute, petite pies, but be prepared to adjust many recipes accordingly.
Marguerite Preston is a senior editor covering kitchen gear and appliances at Wire cutter, and has written guides to baking equipment, meal kit delivery services, and more. Please take our 3-minute survey, and give us feedback about your visit today.