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Different types of pie pans include clear glass, ceramic, and metal. The metal varieties are usually either aluminum or stainless steel. Disposable pie pans, typically made of very thin aluminum, are also commonly used. Almost all pie pans, regardless of material, have the same overall design: round in shape with low, slightly slanted edges. There is also typically a flat, thin lip along the top of the edge.
There are a few different types of glass pie pans. They may be made of everyday, run-of-the-mill glass, or thicker glass that is oven-proof and durable. One possible advantage to using any type of glass pan for baking pies is that it's very easy to see if the bottom of the crust is adequately browned. Glass pie pans also hold up well to knives and other utensils used for slicing pies. A possible disadvantage to using glass pans is that they are normally heavy, which increases the likelihood that they may be dropped and broken.
Ceramic pans for pie-baking are often decorative, and may be painted a variety of colors. Ceramic pie pans come in a variety of designs and might have fluted or perforated edges. These little additions can result in a pie with a showier appearance. Ceramic is also considered a good choice for its superior heat retention. Ceramic is not a see-through material, so it may not be a good choice for a beginning baker who has trouble determining if something is cooked through.
Metal pie pans are a popular choice for many bakers. Non-stick aluminum and stainless steel are two of the most popular types used. One advantage metal has over glass is that it will not break, although it can bend and dent. People who bake on a daily basis may benefit from having metal pans because it's often easier to store them. They generally produce satisfactory pie-baking results, with most types having good heat retention.
People who do not bake often and don't feel the need to keep baking supplies on hand might prefer using disposable pie pans. These pans are normally inexpensive and widely available. They are made of very flexible, thin aluminum that can be either recycled or disposed of once the pie is gone. Some of these pans may also come with a ready-made crust, which could make the process of baking that much easier for the person who considers it a chore.