Pie weights are small heavy weights – usually ceramic balls, rice or beans – that are used to weigh down a pie crust during blind baking. The weights help to prevent the crust from shrinking and hold it flat against the pan so that you get a nice, even pie crust to fill with the filling of your choice. The problem with pie weights is that they can be messy (when you’re using something like rice or beans, which can easily spill) and they can even stick to the pie dough, tearing your crust if you’re not careful. But pie weights are a must for blind baking, so pie-bakers just get used to using them.
The Chicago Metallic Ventilated Pie Weight presents an alternative to traditional pie weights that is much easier to use. The metal and silicone disc looks like a giant flower, with petals of silicone coming off the center metal disc. The metal portion of the pan is heavy, with enough weight to hold down the bottom of a pie crust, and has many perforations to encourage browning to prevent a soggy bottom crust. All of the flexible petals fold back when the weight is in place, pressing gently against the sides of the crust to hold them in place, as well. The flexible petals mean that this will fit a variety of pan sizes, from 9-11-inches, and it is also dishwasher safe.Â It is definitely easier to use than traditional pie weights, and that is a bonus for anyone who bakes a lot of pies.
Stephanie P.August 19, 2013
Have you actually used this? I’m concerned with a fluted edge those petals wouldn’t push down enough, though I think the concept is excellent.
I use Cook’s Illustrated’s Foolproof (Vodka) crust and while it’s incredibly easy to roll out, I have an issue with it getting too puffy while blind baking, I always have to make sure to use plenty of beans so the sides stay flat.
As an aside, I also find most blind baking recipes don’t call for long enough baking time, I blind bake about 30 minutes with foil, 15-20 without for a fully baked crust, 10-13 minutes partially baked.
Dana MartinNovember 11, 2013
I recently purchased this item and have tried it out and it works great. The petals, along with the metal keep the crust down so you can add your pie filling after blind baking. My pumpkin pie turned out perfectly, without the hassle of beans, which I have been using as weights prior to this. When you need to clean the weight, the silicone part easily comes off. I have noticed that Williams Sonoma now has a new item similar to this one, and that one looks good, too. It has a handle. Though this model does not have a handle, it is still excellent. I did not miss the handle at all. If you do a lot of blind baking, I recommend a weight like this because it is so much easier than beans/ball weights, and the results are excellent.
SueJanuary 27, 2015
I bought this at Bed Bath & Beyond yesterday for $5 on the clearance rack. The manufacturer says dishwasher safe and the whole thing silicone and all washed up beautifully in the dishwasher. Now I can’t wait to blind bake a crust for a pie! I’m sure it will work beautifully and not nearly the hassle of my metal bead pie weights.