I’m in love with my pie pan. There, I said it. Sure, I love my family and my friends and my dogs and any number of favorite recipes (here’s looking at you, Lemon Chess Pie), but when it comes to pie pans my heart is constant: I only have eyes for the best pie pan ever, my USA Pan/King Arthur 9” pie pan.
Can’t you grab any old pan out of your grandma’s kitchen cupboard and bake a great pie? Or make a perfectly acceptable pie in one of those disposable tinfoil pie pans from the supermarket?
Maybe; but you’ll probably have to make adjustments. And if there’s one thing I avoid at all costs, it’s fussing in the kitchen. I don't want to end up with an extra cup of filling because the pan that bills itself as 9” is actually only 8 1/2”. Or wonder if I can chill my pie in its glass pan before putting it into a 425°F oven: cold pan, hot oven, thermal shock, shattered pan?
See what I mean about fussing? If I have to stop and think, “Is this pan going to do what I need it to?” — I’ve chosen the wrong pie pan. Which is never the case with my USA/KAF pan.
I bought this pie pan because of the rave reviews it has received. It lives up to its reputation. It is by far the best pie pan I have ever used: bakes pies to perfection, easy to clean. — Dee C., Maine
If reviews are a good indication, our customers are in love with this pan. But let me tell you why I think this is the best (and last) pie pan you'll ever own.
1. The best pie pan is the right size
By “right,” I mean 9” wide across the top. Yes, some pie recipes call for a 10” pan, others for an 8”, but the vast majority of pie recipes direct you to a 9”-diameter pan. And this pan is a full 9” wide (inside dimensions).
In addition, the pan is the perfect depth. Not 1”, like the aforementioned disposable aluminum pans; not 1 1/4”, like many run-of-the-mill pans, but a generous 1 1/2” deep. It easily holds a full 8 cups of berries (as pictured above, in our Mixed Berry Pie recipe). Or all of your pumpkin pie filling with room to spare: no sloshing, no spilling.
I consider myself to be an above average baker. Over the years, however, I couldn't seem to master pie making… I think the one glitch in my process over the years has been using hand-me-down pie pans of all sorts: glass, ceramic, aluminum, and whatever else you can think of. This pie pan makes all the difference in the world! The crust, though the same recipe I've used for a few years, is crisp and flaky in this pan. For the first time, my pie did not overflow or seep! The high sides and slightly textured bottom of this pan are the secrets to perfect pie! — vegicuisine
2. Its ingenious bottom surface creates the perfect crust
Unlike any other pie pan I’ve seen, this pan has a ridged bottom — think corrugated cardboard. Those tiny ridges allow air to circulate underneath your bottom crust, helping the pie bake evenly and its bottom become crispy and brown. If you’ve ever struggled with a pale, soggy bottom crust, this pan is your solution.
The bottom crust really did brown! We aren't going to put up with wet soggy bottom crusts any more! — Char C., Traverse City, MI
3. The best pie pan is the ideal combination of strength and bakeability
Recycled steel for strength, aluminum for conductivity: that’s what this pan is made of. Unlike stainless steel, a less effective heat conductor, you won’t have to extend your bake time. Nor will you have to lower your oven temperature, as you might with either stoneware or glass. (Remember, I dislike fussing.)
In addition, the pan’s entirely sealed in a special clear, non-stick, non-toxic, environmentally friendly coating. It won’t rust, nor will it react with any leaking filling to create that funky metallic flavor you sometimes get when aluminum and acidic ingredients (think fruit) get together.
Bonus: The pan rinses clean easily, no scrubbing required.
I have the best results with this pan. The bottom crust was nicely browned, something I can't consistently achieve with glass or stoneware. Crust doesn't stick to the surface and the pan cleans easily. Nice weight also. — Virginia L., Montpelier, VT
4. Medium gray is the best color for a well-balanced bake
Very dark or black pie pans absorb heat readily but can burn your pie's bottom crust well before the filling is done. Light or shiny pans deflect oven heat, and it takes longer to attain a good dark bottom crust — potentially overbaking the filling.
Our medium gray pan is ideal: it absorbs heat at a moderate, steady rate, allowing the filling to reach its optimum doneness (bubbling for 5 to 10 minutes) at the same time the crust is perfectly browned.
5. The price is right
You probably can't afford the best car on the market. Or a meal at the world's most famous restaurant.
But the best pie pan ever, one that will bake pie after perfectly browned pie, year after year after year? This is something you can definitely spring for.
Am I trying to sell you this pie pan? You bet. When you discover something you love, you want to share it. And I want every devoted pie baker out there to own this $14.95 pan — because you and your pies are so worth it.
I've been baking pies for more than 50 years. I have owned and used countless types of pie pans, glass, high end glazed pottery, aluminum, tin, you name it. I bought this pan just a couple of months ago. WOW! It performs amazingly well, deep enough, conducts heat evenly, bottom crust is perfect, and the slices release easily… Perfect! — Valleri, NC
Do yourself a favor; shelve those problematic pie pans and grab a USA/KAF pie pan today.
One final note: If you have a glass or stoneware pie pan you love, stick with it! I understand the sentimental value of certain pans in your pantheon. But if you're looking for a browner bottom crust when using a glass or stoneware pan our blog post, How to get pie crust to brown on the bottom, offers some valuable tips.