The Best Pie Plate

After spending nearly 50 hours baking dozens of pies over the past three years, as well as talking with some of the best pie makers in the country, we’re confident that the inexpensive Baker’s Advantage Ceramic Pie Dish (about $20) is the best pie plate for most people. In our testing, it made some of the most evenly browned crusts, which never stuck to the bottom of the plate. Because it’s a deep dish, it will hold a wider variety of recipes than shallower plates, and in our tests its gently ruffled lip was one of the easiest to use for forming beautiful fluting. It’s similar in shape and performance to our former favorite dish but close to half the price. And although it comes in only a few color options, its performance makes it the best buy for baking pies of all kinds.

Last Updated: October 8, 2015
After testing an additional five plates this year, we found the $20 Baker’s Advantage Ceramic Pie Dish bakes as well as dishes twice the price. We still like the Pyrex Bakeware 9-Inch Pie Plate as a low-cost alternative, and we suggest checking out the Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish if you want more color options.  
Expand Most Recent Updates
February 18, 2015: Below we've added our long-term test notes from using the Emile Henry for the last six months. In short, it's still a great pie plate that still browns crusts perfectly, and shows no signs of wear and tear.
August 8, 2014: Our new pick for best pie plate is the Emile Henry 9-inch Deep Dish. Since we first reviewed pie pans in 2013, our previous pick—the Haeger NaturalStone Deep Pie Dish—has become harder to find. We still really like this pan, but because it’s not as widely available as it once was, we decided it was time to revisit this guide and choose a plate that’s easier to find.
May 5, 2014: Our pick is currently out of stock on Amazon, but you can still order it from Target's website or from Sears.
Baker's Advantage Ceramic Pie Dish
The Baker’s Advantage performs as well as plates twice the price. It bakes crust to an even brown, it’s deep enough to hold any recipe you want to make, and it looks good on the table.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $22.

Also Great
Pyrex Bakeware 9-Inch Pie Plate
The great advantage of this affordable plate is that it’s clear (so you can see when the crust is done). If it were a little deeper and less prone to shattering, this would be our favorite.

If you’re looking for a shallower, less expensive plate, we recommend the Pyrex Bakeware 9-Inch Pie Plate (about $8). Initially, we thought this plate would be our first choice, because glass plates are a favorite of many bakers since you can see the crust as it browns. However, Pyrex changed its glass formula from virtually shatterproof borosilicate to less thermal-shock-resistant tempered soda lime sometime in the past few decades. As Consumer Reports found, a small percentage of this bakeware has been exploding in people’s ovens (and even on countertops), raising concerns about baking in glass. We didn’t encounter any problems in our own testing, yet because of the minor (but real) safety issues, we can’t recommend this dish for everyone.1

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $34.

Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish
The deep and sturdy Emile Henry plate bakes pies evenly, but it’s twice the price of the Baker’s Advantage. It’s worth the investment only if you have your heart set on one of its elegant colors, or if you want to put your pie under the broiler.

If you care a lot about presentation and you want a plate in colors beyond the basic blue or red of the Baker’s Advantage, you might prefer to pay an extra $20 or so for an Emile Henry. This is also the only plate out of our top picks that can withstand baking under the broiler, which you may want to do to quickly toast a meringue pie. It’s the favorite of many pro and amateur bakers, and it was our favorite up until this year. But although we again found that the Emile Henry made great pies, it didn’t bake any better than the Baker’s Advantage, which is half the price.

Table of contents

Why you should trust us

Marguerite Preston learned just about everything she knows about pie baking by working at Pies ’n’ Thighs, the popular Brooklyn restaurant best known for its two namesake dishes (“Thighs” refers to fried chicken). There she honed her crust-making skills and baked dozens of pies (fruit, cream, and custard) each shift. Now as a purely recreational baker, she still says pies are one of her favorite things to bake, because as she’s found, once you’ve nailed the crust, the filling is easy and the possibilities are endless. Christine Cyr Clisset, who wrote our original guide, has reviewed cookie sheets, casserole dishes, and other kitchen equipment for The Sweethome, and she has helped edit several baking-related cookbooks, including Martha Stewart’s Cookies and Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.

For our original review and this update, we spoke with several pro pie bakers, including Kate McDermott, a Seattle-based pie-making teacher who works with hundreds of students annually; Sarah Carey, the editor of Everyday Food and former deputy food editor at Martha Stewart Living; Ken Haedrich, who runs the website The Pie Academy; Emily Elsen, co-author of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book and co-owner (along with her sister Melissa Elsen) of Four & Twenty Blackbirds, one of New York City’s most popular pie shops; and Allison Kave, author of First Prize Pies and co-owner (with Keavy Blueher) of Butter & Scotch, a cocktail and dessert bar in Brooklyn.

We also looked to reviews in Cook’s Country and Good Housekeeping, as well as user reviews on Amazon and other retailer sites. Additionally, we asked the American Pie Council to query its Facebook members about what they like to use; Kate McDermott posted the same question to her pie-loving Facebook group, Pie Nation.

Who should get this

Even if you bake only once a year, having a good pie plate on hand is worthwhile. You always have ways to get around using one—making a slab pie in a sheet pan, for instance—but for versatility and pure ease, a good pie plate makes baking better. Plus, even if most dishes sit in a cupboard until Thanksgiving, they can come in handy year-round, for more than just sweets. If the dish is deep enough, you can make things like frittatas and pot pies. You can also make recipes associated with specialty tart or springform pans, such as quiche and cheesecake.

Of course, you can always use flimsy, disposable supermarket tins for occasional baking, but they’re incapable of cooking your pies as evenly, a hassle to work with, and not as pretty if you plan to present your pie on the table.

If you already have a metal, ceramic, or stoneware dish but can’t seem to achieve golden crusts or evenly cooked filling, you may want to upgrade to a better stoneware plate. A high-quality pie plate can survive many years of use, so whether you’re an experienced baker or an occasional one, a good plate is worth the investment (though you shouldn’t have to invest too much).

How we picked and tested

The ideal pie plate evenly browns the entire crust while fully cooking a variety of fillings.

The ideal pie plate evenly browns the entire crust while fully cooking a variety of fillings. Glass and ceramic/stoneware plates tend to do this best; as poor heat conductors, they bake slowly and evenly. Metal, on the other hand, conducts heat efficiently. This type of plate works fine for fruit pies and blind-baked shells (or for finishing under the broiler), but it isn’t great for custard-based pies such as quiche. And although metal plates won’t break, they can have other durability issues. Emily Elsen, who used to bake with metal plates at Four & Twenty Blackbirds, told us that “over time, metal warps,” and she has the dented, wobbly plates to prove it.

Many pro bakers like using Pyrex or other glass dishes because they can see the pie crust browning through the plate. “Most people underbake their pie,” Allison Kave explained to us, “because they can’t see what’s happening.” Of the experts we spoke to, Sarah Carey called herself a “tried and true glass pie plate believer,” and Elsen, who also likes the simplicity of Pyrex, said that at home she wouldn’t use anything else. Kave said she uses ceramic as well, but more often than not turns to glass. This material may not be the best choice for everyone, however. In 2011, Consumer Reports published an extensive story on glass dishes exploding in even moderately heated ovens. The issue stems from Pyrex’s switch from more heat-resistant borosilicate glass to tempered soda lime. Although tempered soda lime is still heat resistant, it’s less so than borosilicate. Kave and Elsen both told us that they’ve never experienced or heard of an explosion—but if the possibility worries you, consider looking into other options.

Pie plates range in diameter from 8 inches to about 10½ inches, but a 9-inch dish is the standard in most cookbook recipes. (Be sure to take that plate measurement between the inside edges.) A small lip around the edge of the pie plate makes fluting the edge of the pie simpler, and a rippled edge can make forming a beautiful fluted crust easier.

pie plate group

The style of a plate’s rim, or lip, affects how easily you can make fluted shapes. We prefer a gentle ripple, like that on the Emile Henry (bottom), over the exaggerated wave on the Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate (left). A flat rim, as on the Pyrex (right), also provides versatility. Photo: Christine Cyr Clisset

For a single, all-purpose plate, the logical choice for most people is a deeper plate, because it still works well for icebox pies and won’t leave you with extra filling when you make a deep-dish recipe.

If you’re a fan of icebox pies (such as lemon meringue), you might want a shallower plate (about 1 inch deep) that allows for a thin layer of filling and heaps of pillowy meringue on top. Most custard pie recipes are made for shallower plates, too, and Allison Kave told us she prefers them because you get a “closer ratio of crust to fruit.” If you’re not a crust fanatic, a deeper dish (around 2 inches deep) will allow you to cut tall, thin slices packed with fruit and sandwiched with minimal crust. For a single, all-purpose plate, the logical choice for most people is a deeper plate, because it still works well for icebox pies and won’t leave you with extra filling when you make a deep-dish recipe.

pie plate group

The 10 plates we’ve tested over the course of the past two years. Photo: Christine Cyr Clisset

For our original 2013 guide and our 2014 update, we tested five plates. For this update, we tested an additional five against our prior winners, the Emile Henry 9-inch Pie Plate and the Pyrex Bakeware 9-Inch Pie Plate: the Baker’s Advantage 9½-inch Ceramic Pie Dish, the Arcuisine 8.65-inch Borosilicate Glass Pie Dish, the Chantal 9½-inch Deep Dish Pie Dish, the Fiesta 10¼-inch Deep Dish Pie Baker, and the Pyrex Easy Grab 9½-inch Pie Plate.

For our original guide, we tested the plates by baking quiches, double-crust fruit pies, blind-baked crusts, and graham cracker crusts. We employed a similar testing methodology this year, but instead of quiches we made pumpkin pies with homemade all-butter crusts (using a recipe from Smitten Kitchen). Homemade crusts are the more likely choice of the serious home baker, as they’re easier to work with than most flimsy store-bought crusts. We switched to store-bought crusts for the blind-baking round just to ensure that such crusts were also compatible with our top plates.

We tried fluting the crust on every pie. After testing the oven for hot spots, we baked each pie individually on the same rack to make sure they were all exposed to similar heat. We noted baking time, scrutinized the underside of each pie for even browning, and noted whether the crust stuck to the plate (we didn’t grease the plates, because the crust already had enough butter to do the job).

For the pumpkin pies, we used the classic Libby’s recipe (the one on the back of the can). Before baking, we chilled the dough in the dishes in the freezer for 15 minutes, which goes against most plate manufacturers’ instructions, but it’s a crucial step in reducing shrinkage and producing a flaky crust (we baked the pies on a room-temperature sheet pan to reduce the risk of the plates’ cracking or shattering). The resting time gives the springy gluten a chance to relax after getting rolled out, and the cold bits of butter dispersed between layers of dough won’t immediately melt, which would leave the crust soggy and greasy before those layers had a chance to crisp. We noted whether the plates baked the pumpkin pie evenly, without leaving the bottom crust soggy or overcooking the edges before the center was done.

Apple was our fruit pie of choice because apples generally take longer than any other fruit to bake; this longer cook time could give us the best sense of whether any plate would overcook the crust. We used the Classic Apple Pie recipe from America’s Test Kitchen (available with a subscription on the ATK website, or slightly adapted on Smitten Kitchen). We looked for the plate to hold all the apples easily as well as to cook the fruit until it was soft and bubbling, while browning the crust evenly.

Our pick

Baker's Advantage Ceramic Pie Dish
The Baker’s Advantage performs as well as plates twice the price. It bakes crust to an even brown, it’s deep enough to hold any recipe you want to make, and it looks good on the table.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $22.

The Baker’s Advantage Ceramic Pie Dish looks and bakes a lot like our former favorite, the Emile Henry, but for half the price.

We like the Baker’s Advantage Ceramic Pie Dish because it consistently baked the crust more evenly than most of the other ceramic dishes and always released the crust cleanly. The dish is deep enough to bake a wider range of pies than shallower plates, and the gently ruffled lip makes this one of the easiest dishes to use for forming a fluted crust. The Baker’s Advantage Ceramic Pie Dish looks and bakes a lot like our former favorite, the Emile Henry, but for half the price.

Of all the plates we tested, none completely failed to make a good pie, but some baked less evenly than others. All pies, and custard pies in particular, will bake a little less in the center than around the edges, but the crust should still be cooked and golden all the way through. Next to the Pyrex, which baked a little quicker and very evenly from edge to center, the Baker’s Advantage and the Emile Henry performed best at producing a nicely browned bottom crust on both the pumpkin and apple pies. In comparison, the Chantal, another ceramic plate, left the center of the pumpkin pie pale; the Fiesta plate left the middle of both pies doughy.

In all of our tests, the crust never stuck to the Baker’s Advantage dish, and slices came out cleanly every time. On the other hand, the Emile Henry was more unpredictable: Patches of crust tended to get left behind. Removing the whole pumpkin pie in one piece from the Emile Henry proved impossible, whereas the same kind of pie slipped out effortlessly from the Baker’s Advantage, and, for that matter, all the other dishes.

pie plate slice of pie

The Baker’s Advantage (left) browned the crust evenly from edge to center, while the Fiesta (right) left the crust pale and doughy in the center. Photo: Marguerite Preston

At a true 2 inches deep, the Baker’s Advantage was one of the deepest dishes we tested (both the Emile Henry and the Chantal were also 2 inches deep). While no dish proved too small to hold the apple pie recipe, the shallower, 1½-inch-deep Pyrex, Arcuisine, and Fiesta required us to mound the apples higher, which made fluting the crust more difficult and left a hollow space between the domed crust and the fruit filling when the apples baked down—not ideal for cutting clean slices packed with fruit. In the smallest dish, the Arcuisine, the crust even drooped over the edges of the dish until it nearly touched the baking sheet in some places, which made for a sloppy-looking pie. The deeper dishes easily held all the apples and made for beautiful, slightly domed pies packed with fruit.

pie plate bakers advantage

A deep-dish apple pie recipe fit easily into the Baker’s Advantage dish. Photo: Marguerite Preston

The pumpkin pie recipe didn’t quite fill the deep-dish pans to the top, as it did the Fiesta and the Pyrex, and we see this as a flaw in the pans, not the recipe, which has been the standard for many a home cook since the 1950s. Extra depth, however, proved a real problem only with the Chantal, which was so wide that the crust drooped back into the plate. We don’t consider a little extra exposed pumpkin pie crust in the Baker’s Advantage a dealbreaker, because the resulting pie still looked good.

pie plate bakers advantage

The pumpkin pie recipe didn’t quite fill the Baker’s Advantage dish, but the end result still looked good. Photo: Marguerite Preston

Like the Emile Henry, the Baker’s Advantage dish has a gently ruffled rim, which made shaping a fluted crust easier. We like this design better than the L-shaped lip of the Fiesta and the Chantal, which in our tests proved too restricting when we tried to crimp the crust on an apple pie; the mound of fruit tended to fill the lip on those dishes, leaving nowhere for the crust to go. We also like that the simple ruffling of the Baker’s Advantage is easy to ignore if you want to experiment with crust shapes, which wasn’t an option with the more dramatically fluted rim of the Rose Levy Beranbaum Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate we tested last year.

pie plate group

We preferred the gently waved rim of the Baker’s Advantage (bottom) to the wider ruffle of the Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate (left) and the L-shaped lip of the Fiesta (right). Photo: Christine Cyr Clisset

Although the sides are a little steeper, the Baker’s Advantage looks almost identical to the Emile Henry. Made of thick ceramic like the Emile Henry, the Baker’s Advantage is heavier than any of the other plates we looked at. The Baker’s Advantage is all the more impressive given that it costs about $20 (versus about $40 or so for the Emile Henry). At 9½ inches, the Baker’s Advantage is also a little bigger than the 9-inch Emile Henry, though both plates are almost identical in volume; the Emile Henry holds about 1½ quarts, while the Baker’s Advantage holds about a cup more at a little under 1¾ quarts. We found that the plates’ relative capacity isn’t enough to make an enormous difference, but it is enough to mean you’re getting even more bang for your (cheaper) buck.

The Baker’s Advantage comes with a lifetime limited warranty, which beats out the three- to 10-year warranty that comes with the Emile Henry (depending on where you get it). That suggests the manufacturer is confident in its quality. When we called anonymously with a fabricated complaint, saying our plate had cracked, a customer service representative was friendly and responsive, and immediately put in an order for a replacement plate to be mailed to us.

The Baker’s Advantage is new to the market, so it doesn’t come with any recommendations from our experts, or even with many Amazon reviews. However, the few Amazon reviews it does have, as of this writing, all give it a solid five stars. We’ll continue using this pie plate in the coming months and report back with our long-term testing notes.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Baker’s Advantage says this plate is not safe for use under the broiler. (The Emile Henry, in contrast, is.) This is a disadvantage if you bake a lot of meringue pies and like to brown them quickly under the broiler. However, you can also brown a meringue simply by baking it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes longer, no broiler necessary.

The Baker’s Advantage is made of thick, heavy ceramic, so baking pies with this dish takes slightly longer than with glass or even some of the thinner ceramic plates we tried. In our tests, the pumpkin pie took about 15 minutes longer than the recipe suggested; the apple pie took about 10 minutes longer. In contrast, the Pyrex pies finished right on time. We got this result most likely because the recipes were developed with a glass plate or even a metal one rather than a heftier ceramic dish. Finishing pies in the Baker’s Advantage may take longer, but as long as you stay aware and adjust accordingly, a slower bake time in no way hurts the final product.

Also, while the Baker’s Advantage is a good-looking plate, it comes in only two colors—red or blue with a white interior—whereas the Emile Henry and Fiesta both come in 10 or more color options. So if you’re seeking more variety, or if you’re not a fan of blue or red, you’ll need to look elsewhere.


Also Great
Pyrex Bakeware 9-Inch Pie Plate
The great advantage of this affordable plate is that it’s clear (so you can see when the crust is done). If it were a little deeper and less prone to shattering, this would be our favorite.

If it weren’t for the safety issues involved with baking in soda-lime glass, we would have chosen the Pyrex Bakeware 9-Inch Pie Plate (about $8) as our top pick. Not only is it a bargain, but in many ways it’s also the perfect plate. It bakes very evenly, and because this plate allows you to see the crust browning, it takes all the nerve-wracking guesswork out of making the perfect pie. This dish doesn’t have a wavy edge, but that can be a point in its favor for more advanced cooks. Although a novice might have more difficulty making a great fluted rim on this plate, more-skilled bakers can do any crust they like with the straight edge.

With a depth of 1½ inches, the Pyrex holds 4 cups (or 1 quart) of liquid—about 3 cups less than the 2-inch-deep Baker’s Advantage plate. The more-squat profile works well for custard pies and for classic diner-style or icebox pies, in which you want a thin layer of filling topped with peaks of pillowy cream. Just keep in mind that you’re not supposed to use Pyrex under a broiler, so this isn’t the best dish for something like lemon meringue pie.

pie plate pyrex bakeware

The deep dish apple pie recipe made for a tall, domed pie in the Pyrex Bakeware dish. Although this pie is attractive in its own way, the crust droops over the edges and creates a wide gap between the top crust and the cooked apples. Photo: Marguerite Preston

The limited volume also means you could end up with extra filling or a very tall pie if using a recipe developed for a deeper dish (common with fruit pies and some pumpkin pies), but we still like this version better than the 9½-inch Pyrex Easy Grab. That dish was so wide that the crust on the pumpkin pie slumped back into the pan (just as with the Chantal). We also disliked the Easy Grab’s wide rim: It was ruffled, but not enough to make fluting any easier.

pie plate pyrex bakeware

The pumpkin pie recipe perfectly filled the classic Pyrex Bakeware dish. Photo: Marguerite Preston

As mentioned before, the actual percentage of Pyrex dishes exploding in the oven is pretty minimal, particularly if you use your dish according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Except for one instance, the experts we spoke with haven’t had any issues with baking in Pyrex. Kate McDermott told us she put a plate from the freezer directly into an oven set at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, which goes against the manufacturer’s instructions. “I always use glass plates and have never had a problem,” said Sarah Carey. She bakes her pies at 375 degrees.

We did find the Pyrex dish a little tougher to clean than any of the ceramic plates. After it made just three tours through the oven, we had difficulty scrubbing off the brown spots that formed on the bottom.

Because the Baker’s Advantage bakes just as evenly as the Pyrex without the risk of shattering in the oven, we think it’s a better choice for most people. But if you don’t mind the minimal safety issues, the Pyrex makes beautiful pies at a bargain price.

Also great if you want more color choices

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $34.

Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish
The deep and sturdy Emile Henry plate bakes pies evenly, but it’s twice the price of the Baker’s Advantage. It’s worth the investment only if you have your heart set on one of its elegant colors, or if you want to put your pie under the broiler.

For the price, we think the Baker’s Advantage is the best pie plate out there. But if looks are a priority for you, spending extra on the Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish in the color of your choice might be a worthwhile investment. The Emile Henry is also the only one of our picks that’s broiler safe, which is an advantage (but not a necessity) when you want to brown the top of a meringue pie.

The Emile Henry was our prior top pick, and this time around it was still a top performer among all the plates we tested. But this year we discovered one glaring flaw: The crust often stuck to the plate, so removing slices cleanly was difficult. Even so, it consistently browned crusts evenly, and at 2 inches deep it’s big enough to hold any pie you want to make (without being so deep that the crust falls in on itself). We also love the wavy rim, which is the same shape as the rim on the Baker’s Advantage; it helps you easily create a pretty fluted crust but doesn’t get in the way if you have other designs in mind.

pie plate emile henry

In the Emile Henry plate, our pie crust browned evenly but stuck and fell apart more around the sides. Photo: Marguerite Preston

This dish is one of the most highly regarded plates out there, with great reviews from Good HousekeepingThe Kitchn, and Chow. It also has dozens of positive mentions on Chowhound and Food52 threads, as well as from members of the American Pie Council. The Emile Henry was and still is a favorite of one of our original experts, Kate McDermott. Plus, we know for a fact that this plate will last you a long time: It has a three- to 10-year warranty, depending on where you buy it. McDermott—who bakes four pies a week (though not exclusively in Emile Henry plates)—has had no complaints in the 12 years she has owned her multiple Emile Henry dishes. If you want to get a reliable 10 or 20 years of use from your pie plate, the Emile Henry is worth the price tag, especially since for that amount of time, $40 or so doesn’t seem all that spendy.

Care and maintenance

By now, we hope you’re not totally freaked about exploding pie plates and shattered glass. As long as you follow the fine-print instructions that come with Pyrex and stoneware dishes and use common sense, you’ll probably be fine.

“If you take a really cold pie plate, one that you’ve let chill up in the freezer, don’t put it directly into a hot oven,” Kate McDermott  told us. Instead, place the cold dish on a room-temperature rimmed sheet pan (we like the Nordic Ware Natural Baker’s Half Sheet, which we reviewed in this guide) before placing it in a hot oven. The sheet pan will make taking the plate in and out of the oven easy, plus it’ll prevent any drips from messing up the bottom of your oven (cleanup will be even easier if you line the sheet pan with parchment paper). So even if you’re not worried about temperature shock, using a sheet pan is always a great idea.

Baker’s Advantage and Pyrex both say you should avoid putting their plates under the broiler; Emile Henry, on the other hand, says all of its products are broiler-safe. You shouldn’t place any hot stoneware or glass on a wet surface, or cold water into a hot dish.

Pie-baking tips

No matter which pie-crust recipe you use, the two most important rules are: (1) keep all your ingredients cold and (2) use as little water as possible. If the kitchen you’re working in is particularly hot and you have a food processor, start with cubed, frozen butter (cutting it before you freeze it is easier), and once it’s blended in, chill the whole mixture in the fridge for at least an hour before mixing in the water. Be sure not to make your dough too wet or to overwork it, because that will lead to a tough crust (water hydrates the gluten in flour into a sticky network of protein molecules, and kneading develops its strength—great if you’re making bread, but not if you want a tender crust). Add just enough liquid for the dough to form clumps, and then use your hands to press them firmly into discs.

When making custard pies such as pumpkin pie (or a quiche), the best way to avoid a soggy bottom is to partially blind-bake your crust before adding the filling. To do so, line the crust with parchment paper or foil and fill it to the top with dried beans or rice, which will keep it from bubbling or slumping. (Though you can find plenty of pie-weight options out there—from ceramic weights to ball bearings—they cost more and won’t do the job significantly better than rice or beans.) After baking for 15 minutes, remove the parchment with the weights and bake for another five minutes until it begins to turn golden.

You can cook the rice and eat it afterward, but you can’t do the same with beans. You can save either one, however, for use as weights over and over again. Both Allison Kave and Emily Elsen include this step in all their custard pie recipes. Just make sure to cook the crust only until it’s set and still pale; bake it too long, and the edges will burn before the filled pie sets. Kave also has a trick for deep-dish fruit pies, which she finds can get too soggy in a heavy ceramic plate: In the last 10 minutes of baking, she places the dish directly on the floor of the oven. She’s found that “those ceramic plates can handle it,” and in a short time the crust really crisps up.

To avoid an unevenly cooked pie, McDermott, who teaches pie-making classes in people’s homes, told us about a nifty trick for testing for cold spots and hot spots in your oven. She places slices of white bread on the oven racks and notes which ones brown and which ones stay pale—these are your hot and cold pockets. We did this for our own testing and found it to be a very effective method.

The competition

Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate ($30) has a recommendation from Cook’s Country and receives good user reviews on Amazon (four out of five stars currently). In our tests we found that it tended to brown the crust a little unevenly. The center of the crust’s bottom remained lightly toasted while the edges acquired a deep, dark color. Cook’s Country also found that the fluted edges—flatter and deeper than those on the Emile Henry and the Haeger—browned more quickly than the rest of the crust.

The Good Cook 9-Inch Ceramic Pie Plate ($18) is highly rated by Amazon users (4.3 stars out of five across 102 reviews as of this writing). 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 disliked the rim, which is slightly thicker than that of the Emile Henry or the Baker’s Advantage and makes attempts to form nice fluting harder in comparison.

We found the Chantal 9½-Inch Deep Pie Dish ($30) too big for many pies. The sides flare outward, so the top rim is even wider in diameter than the 9½-inch bottom, and this design caused the crust on our pumpkin pie to slump. We also don’t like the L-shaped rim, which can make fluting difficult.

pie plate chantal

The Chantal, the widest plate we tried in our tests, caused our pumpkin pie crust to droop. Photo: Marguerite Preston

Homer Laughlin’s Fiesta 10¼-inch Deep Dish Pie Baker ($30) is a beautiful plate, and it gets tons of praise on Amazon (4½ stars out of five across 174 reviews as of this writing). It comes in the full, gorgeous rainbow of Fiestaware colors and has a five-year warranty. Unfortunately, in our tests it consistently left the bottom of our pies pale and doughy in the center. And as many Amazon users point out, it isn’t as large as its label claims, as the manufacturer appears to have measured its proportions from the outer edges, rather than the inside. The plate is only about 1½ inches deep and 9 inches in diameter at the base, and its capacity is much closer to that of the 9-inch Pyrex Bakeware dish.

The Arcuisine Borosilicate Glass Pie Dish ($16) has the potential to be a great, safer alternative to the Pyrex dish, given its higher resistance to shattering. This particular model is more readily available than it was during our original test, and we were excited to try it out, but the size was a dealbreaker. It measures only 8.65 inches across, and though the dish still held our entire pumpkin pie recipe (to our shock), trying to fill it with our entire apple pie recipe caused the crust to droop over the sides while in the oven. This is a great plate if you like cute, petite pies, but be prepared to adjust many recipes accordingly.

The glass Arcuisine plate was too small for most of the recipes we tried, while the blue Chantal was too big. Photo: Christine Cyr Clisset

The glass Arcuisine plate was too small for most of the recipes we tried, while the blue Chantal was too big. Photo: Christine Cyr Clisset

The proportions of the Pyrex Easy Grab 9½-Inch Pie Plate ($10) were unappealing. The pumpkin pie crust slumped back from the wide sides, and the rippled rim wasn’t pronounced enough to help with fluting. We don’t think it’s worth the $2 upgrade from the 9-inch Pyrex Bakeware dish.

pie plate pyrex easy grab

The pumpkin pie crust shrank in the wide Pyrex Easy Grab. Photo: Marguerite Preston

We still really like the Haeger NaturalStone Deep Pie Dish (about $25), our original top pick, because, like the Baker’s Advantage, this heavy stoneware plate bakes on a par with the Emile Henry at a fraction of the price. However, it has become harder to find since we wrote that review, so we can no longer recommend it without reservation.

Other plates we looked at:

Le Creuset Stoneware Pie Dish: Although this plate merited some consideration due to decent Amazon reviews and a recommendation from Kate McDermott, its ratings didn’t surpass those of the other ceramic dishes we chose to test, and we also read bad reviews about other Le Creuset bakeware.

Hess Pottery Pie Plate: Ken Haedrich of The Pie Academy said this plate is the “Lexus of pie pans.” Made of natural red clay without glaze, it has a good review from The Kitchn and a mention in this New York Times article. It looks beautiful, yet at $40 for the plate plus $25 for shipping, it was too expensive for us to consider.

Anchor Hocking Glass Pie Dish: This dish looks identical to the Pyrex dish we tested, and it’s also made of soda-lime glass—so it’s subject to the same baking risks. This model had fewer user reviews than the Pyrex dish and no editorial reviews at the time we conducted our research, so we opted to test only the Pyrex one.

World Kitchen CorningWare French White Pie Plate: We didn’t find reliable reviews of this plate, and it’s not as good as the standard Pyrex dish.

Pfaltzgraff Deep Dish Pie Plate: Good Housekeeping disliked this dish, finding that it “didn’t deliver as crispy a bottom crust as most and was very difficult to clean up.”

Corelle Livingware 9-Inch Deep Dish Pie Plate: This dish consists of a lighter glass than that of any Pyrex plate, but it isn’t clear, meaning it lacks Pyrex’s best quality. Since it’s still prone to shattering, it isn’t worth the risk.

Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Wide Rimmed Pie Plate: This plate is new to the market and similar to our favorite dishes, but it has no reviews on Amazon or elsewhere.

Williams-Sonoma Essential Pie Dish: The sides look steeper than you’d want in a pie dish (steep sides make it hard to blind-bake without the crust slumping), and the lack of a rim makes fluting difficult.

Staub Pie Dish: Kate McDermott told us she likes how evenly this dish bakes, but we didn’t appreciate the fluted interior, and we worried that its narrow rim would make fluting difficult. It also doesn’t have many reviews elsewhere.

Superstone 11-Inch Deep Dish Pizza and Pie Baker: Though this dish claims to double as a pie plate, it’s far too wide for most recipes you’ll want to bake, and it also lacks a rim for fluting.

Rada Cutlery Stone Bakeware 9-Inch Round Pie Baker Plate: This unglazed stoneware plate is similar to the Haeger, our original favorite. But at $35 it isn’t much cheaper than an Emile Henry, as it’s on the far high end of what you should pay for a good plate.

Camp Chef True Seasoned Cast Iron Pie Pan: A cast iron pan is certainly more durable than any glass or ceramic plate, and it should still cook a pie evenly, but it’s more difficult to care for. You have to maintain the seasoning, and you certainly can’t throw it in the dishwasher. Plus, at 10 inches across, this pie pan is a little too wide.

We also looked at a range of metal plates but discounted them as they are not as versatile as ceramic, stoneware, or glass ones are for baking a variety of pies. If you still want one, we read good things about the OvenStuff Non-Stick 9 Inch Pie Pan Two Piece Set ($15), which is an Amazon best seller and gets good user reviews (4.9 out of five stars as of this writing). And Ken Haedrich likes the nonstick Goldtouch ($19) sold by Williams-Sonoma.


1. Regular glass shatters when exposed to extreme heat differences. If you’ve ever poured boiling water into an untempered cold or even room-temperature glass, you may be familiar with this reaction. The hot water rapidly heats the interior of the glass, causing it to expand and put pressure on the cold exterior of the glass; the pressure usually causes the glass to crack. Obviously, this kind of glass is completely inappropriate for bakeware.

Back in the early 1900s, Corning developed a heat-resistant glass—borosilicate, which the company called Nonex—to make shatterproof lantern globes. Borosilicate is what results from adding boron to silica (what regular glass is made of); the boron changes the glass’s atomic structure, so it stays about the same size regardless of heat. Corning’s borosilicate lantern globes were so effective that the company lost out on sales for replacements and needed to find another market for this new glass.

In 1913, one of Corning’s physicists realized the glass’s potential for bakeware when his wife complained about her ceramic baking dish cracking in the oven. Corning started selling pie plates made from this new heat-resistant glass that it called “Pyrex.”

At some point in the past several decades, Pyrex changed its glass formula. When this was, exactly, is hard to pinpoint, but many articles point to the period after Corning sold the Pyrex brand to World Kitchen in 1998. (World Kitchen, however, says the formula changed before that.)

So, sometime before or after World Kitchen bought Corning’s Pyrex business in the US, the borosilicate glass was replaced with pre-stressed (aka “tempered”) soda-lime glass. This glass is actually extremely hard to break if you drop it or hit it against a counter—both Consumer Reports and World Kitchen acknowledge this. However, when tempered soda-lime glass is heated, it expands just as regular glass does. It won’t shatter immediately like regular glass, because the pressure first releases some of the built-in stress. But it can potentially explode. According to Consumer Reports, a pamphlet that Corning put out in 1984 stated that soda-lime glass’s “resistance to high temperatures and sudden changes of temperature are not good,” and that borosilicate is a much better choice for using in bakeware.

Incidentally, the glass beakers you may have used in chemistry class and what Walter White swizzles in Breaking Bad are made of borosilicate. Popular Science’s Theodore Gray stumbled upon an interesting tidbit when he found that crack addicts used to love borosilicate Pyrex measuring cups to cook crack cocaine. When Pyrex changed the formula, the crack addicts had to start buying real lab equipment. You can see Gray shattering a newer Pyrex measuring cup in this Popular Science video.

In our research, we found that boron is actually quite toxic and expensive to dispose of, so this may factor into why Pyrex changed the original formula. However, that doesn’t help the customer much.

So, what are people to do?

The percentage of newer Pyrex plates actually exploding is very small—less than 1 percent of hundreds of millions of pieces, according to World Kitchen. The company says that there’s far more danger of a Pyrex pan breaking from impact than exploding from temperature changes. On the other end of the spectrum, the Consumers Union—Consumer Reports’s lobby—has made this topic a  prominent issue. In July 2013, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission held a public meeting for consumer groups to address the concerns regarding exploding bakeware.

Arc International—owner of the European branch of Pyrex—still makes some glass bakeware out of borosilicate. However, these pieces are hard to come by in the United States (although Bed Bath & Beyond does carry some of the casserole pans but not the pie plates). In the Consumer Reports testing, though, even some of these European glass dishes exploded.

Another option: You might be able to score vintage Pyrex made of borosilicate glass. A vintage Pyrex was the only glass pan that didn’t crack or shatter in the Consumer Reports testing.

Except for one instance, the three experts we spoke with said they haven’t had an issue with regular US Pyrex, and the percentage of these dishes exploding is small. Many of the casualties of exploding Pyrex also seem to be people who use the dishes improperly (putting a dish under the broiler, for instance, or adding water to a hot pan). Yet if you’re risk averse, the benefits of glass bakeware may not outweigh the risk associated with these plates—even if it is minuscule. Jump back.

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  1. Sarah Carey, Editor of Everyday Food, Interview
  2. Pie Plates, Cook's Country, April/May 2009
  3. Sharon Franke, Best-Tested Pie-Making Tools, Good Housekeeping

Originally published: October 12, 2015

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