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What are the Different Types of Pie Pans?

Anna T.
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to DelightedCooking. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By Sara007 — On Jan 11, 2012

@letshearit - I once made a pot pie in a square cake pan because I was in a jam and couldn't find my pie pan. I already had all the ingredients ready and didn't want to wait until the next day to go buy a new pie pan. The whole project turned out pretty well all things considered.

I think if you don't care for aesthetics and are aware of the depth of your pan you should be OK. Also make sure you check your pie frequently. I found that my pie cooked differently in a cake pan. It seemed to go by faster than in my usual pie pan. If you keep an eye on things it should be just fine.

By letshearit — On Jan 10, 2012

If you are stuck and don't have a pie pan handy can you just make your pie in one of those cake baking pans?

From what I can tell it looks like the cake pans are made out of the same material as the dark metal pie pan my mother has. I don't really care if the shape is perfect as the pie is to satisfy my own late night craving. I have a bunch of apples and figure I can whip up a decent snack if I can just prevent my pie from burning. I used to have a nice glass pie pan but it unfortunately went missing during my recent move.

By SarahSon — On Jan 10, 2012

For those of you who struggle making your own pie crust, I would encourage you to keep at it.

I think most people give up too soon. It does take some practice, but if you keep at it, you will soon know how to make a delicious crust.

I don't think the kind of pan the pie is served in matters that much, but think that the crust makes the pie. I can instantly tell if a crust is homemade or not.

Food presentation is also very important. If you have a homemade pie and crust in a beautiful pie pan, that will always disappear faster than a store bought pie in a disposable pie pan.

By Mykol — On Jan 09, 2012

I have baked a lot of pies in my life, and prefer to use anything except the cheap foil pie pans. I have found these to be too flimsy, flexible and I don't like the results I get with these disposable pans.

One thing I do to ensure a great pie crust every time is blind bake the crust with some dried beans. I keep dried beans on hand for this purpose only, and it helps my crust stay firm and not get soggy.

Most of my pie pans are aluminum because they are light weight and easy to work with. I have a couple glass pans and one ceramic pan, but always reach for my aluminum ones first.

By John57 — On Jan 08, 2012

A good piece of pie is one of my weaknesses. There is a restaurant near my house that has wonderful homemade pies.

They used to have a promotion if you came back in with 10 of their pie pans, you would get a free pie. This was a great way for people to recycle the pie pans instead of just throwing them away when the pie was gone.

I had no problem saving these aluminum pie pans until I had enough for a free pie. These were not deep dish pie pans, but for a regular sized pie.

They stacked up neatly inside each other so didn't take up much room in my cupboard. This restaurant no longer has this promotion, so now I have a stack of pie pans just waiting for something delicious to be baked in them.

By bagley79 — On Jan 08, 2012

@shell4life - You are not alone in having a hard time making a great pie crust. I have tried everything, even making sure when I add my water it is ice cold.

I don't know if it my pie crust recipe or that I am not very good at rolling and fluting the pie crust, but I never make my own anymore.

I have found that the refrigerated pie crusts taste just as well as the homemade ones. For me, it is more about the filling that is in the crust that makes the pie.

One thing I always do when baking a pie is to put a metal shield around the outside of the crust. This keeps the outer layer of the pie crust from burning while the filling is getting completely cooked.

By seag47 — On Jan 08, 2012

My mother always uses a thick glass pie pan when making her cherry pie. It is super sturdy and very heat resistant, so it can go in the oven with no problem.

When she first got her new oven, she relied heavily on this glass pan when making pies. Oven temperatures and behaviors differ, so she had to monitor the crust carefully. She knew she needed to get used to her new range, so she checked food often for signs of burning.

With other pans, she always worried that knives would scratch them. She doesn't have to be concerned with this when using the glass pan. I think that is one more reason why she loves it.

By kylee07drg — On Jan 07, 2012

I did not know that ceramic pie pans even existed, much less that they can be fluted. I would like to try one of these, because making food beautiful as well as delicious is important to me.

I have a ceramic bundt cake pan that is fluted, and I love it. I use it to make my pumpkin-shaped cake every October.

I think that a fluted pie pan would make my pies so much more appealing. They taste great, but there is just something about being drawn to the beauty of a pie before you eat it that makes it taste that much better.

By Perdido — On Jan 06, 2012

@shell4life – You are not alone. The pie crust I tried to make kept tearing when I tried to spread it across the ceramic pie pan. I gave up and threw the dough away.

Most pies that I make require a graham cracker crust, and this is easy to find in a disposable pan. I make a blueberry cheesecake pie that doesn't even need to be baked, so I just pour the ingredients into the ready-made crust and refrigerate it until it is set.

When you are looking for crusts in pie pans at a store, it is important to note if they have been pre-cooked or not. If you will be making a pie that has to be baked, then you need a crust that also needs baking. These are in the freezer section, while the pre-cooked crusts are just out on the shelves.

By shell4life — On Jan 06, 2012

I tried to make a pie crust from scratch one time and failed miserably. Now, I only use the kind that come ready-made in a disposable aluminum pie pan.

I have heard that pie crusts are one of the hardest things to make. Has anyone else had trouble with this?

I don't have a problem admitting that I don't make my own crusts. It is so much easier and quicker to just use the store-bought kind, because all I have to tend to is the filling.

It's also nice not to have to wash the pan. I simply toss it in the trash when the pie is gone.

By summing — On Jan 05, 2012

My grandmother collects pie pans. You might expect to see a shelf with one tin pie plate and another ceramic white one, but her collection is actually really extensive and beautiful to look at.

Pie pans are kind of like commemorative plates. There are tons of them that have been made to honor an occasion or a place or a time. Some of them have unusual designs at the bottom, others have poems or recipes, others have actual photographs. The variety is really unlimited.

I'm not sure exactly how she got started collecting them. I think she just ended up with a lot of them and decided to track down a lot more. I think its a pretty cool idea for a collection.

By gravois — On Jan 04, 2012

I like to make a great deep dish apple pie but a lot of the pans you find in stores are not deep enough.

The one I use I bought online and it is great. It is made especially for deep dish pies and it doesn't beat around the bush. This pie pan is almost 6 inches deep.

It can be a challenge to bake a pie that thick. You have to try and cook your fillings through while also trying not to burn the crust. But if you pull it off the results can be amazing. Imagine all the decadence of a deep dish pizza transferred to a pie.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to DelightedCooking. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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