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6 Best And Effective Substitutes For Pie Weights That You Must Try

If you have ever used pastry before to make a pie or tart, you will likely be aware that you need to blind bake the pastry first. Often, recipes call for the use of pie weights.

These ceramic pie weights allow you to bake a pie crust without the filling. These weights hold down the crust as it cooks, preventing the formation of air pockets.

Instead, the pie crust will perfectly hold its shape. Pie weights are particularly useful if you are making a pie with a filling that doesn’t require cooking.

Pie Weights 6 Easy Yet Effective Substitutes

Unless you are a frequent baker, you likely don’t have pie weights in your house. After all, they are quite a specialist piece of cooking equipment. The good news is that you can use several substitutes for pie weights.

The Best Substitutes For Pie Weights

We have 6 sensational solutions for you! This means that you can find the substitute that works best. You can decide which one works best depending on what resources are available. 

Sugar

Most people have sugar in their homes. Whether you use it for baking or simply add it to your morning cup of coffee, sugar is considered an essential kitchen ingredient.

As a result, if you don’t have pie weights, you are almost guaranteed to be able to use sugar.

Another benefit of using sugar is that it is quite cheap. The only thing to remember is that you will require a fairly large quantity of it.

How To Substitute

Lay a sheet of parchment paper or foil on top of the pastry making it flat to stop the sugar from sticking to the pastry. Ensure that you spread the sugar evenly. Otherwise, air bubbles will form on uncovered parts of the pie crust. Once the crust has cooked for a sufficient amount of time, remove the sheet and the sugar.

Dried Rice Or Beans

Like sugar, dried rice and beans are found in many people’s cupboards. Practically any dried foods can be used, though rice and beans are most effective. Interestingly, pie weights are also known as baking beans.

The partially cooked rice and beans should not be consumed after blind baking. While the beans might turn out okay, rice rarely has the same taste and texture after it has been used in blind baking.

This is because the heat will dry them out, giving the rice an incredibly dried texture.

If you think this is wasteful, we have the perfect solution for you! Simply keep reusing the rice and beans whenever you need pie weights. That way, they become reusable.

How To Substitute

The method of using dried rice or beans is similar to the previous method. Cover the crust in a layer of non-stick parchment paper. Spread a large serving of dried rice or beans across the surface of the paper and place for cooking in oven. Instead of discarding the rice or beans, you can keep them aside and reuse them as pie weights.

Metal Items

Metal is a great material to put in the oven because the majority of metals can withstand high temperatures. There are likely a variety of different metal objects in your kitchen that you can use as makeshift pie weights.

For instance, metal chains or steel balls are perfect substitutes. Just make sure that whatever objects you are using is oven-proof. Even if the objects are made from metal, they may contain other materials, such as plastic, that will melt in the oven.

How To Substitute

Put a layer of parchment paper on the pastry and then put the metal item atop this paper. This will stop the metal from sticking to the pie’s pastry. When you use metal objects, they will still be hot when you take the pie crust out of the oven. Use oven gloves to take the metal out of the dish. Alternatively, you can wait for the metal to cool down before removing it.

Another Pie Dish

To us, this is an ingenious alternative to pie weights. You can simply put a different pie dish on top of the crust. Ideally, it should be a dish that is slightly smaller than the one that you are using.

The downside of this method is that it requires you to have a second pie dish. Not everyone will have this, particularly if you are not a regular baker. Yet, if you happen to have a second pie dish lying around, then you can use this creative method.

Pie Weights 6 Easy Yet Effective Substitutes (1)

How To Substitute

Put a protective barrier of parchment paper atop the pie crust. Then place a second pie dish on top. The weight of the dish will ensure that the pastry doesn’t rise. Transfer the dishes to the oven. After the crust has cooked, remove the second pie dish from the pastry.

Dock The Pastry

Docking refers to the process of piercing the pastry with a fork. The idea is that this will release steam from the pastry. This is a really simple and budget-friendly solution.

The downside of this technique is that it can be quite unreliable. The sides of the pastry can still be prone to rising. Plus, if you dock the pastry too much, then the filling will seep through the holes when it has been added.

Therefore, it is important to get the right balance.

Because of the risk of leaking, we do not advise docking the pastry if you are using a very moist filling. Aside from this, docking can be a convenient substitute.

Even if you are using other substitutes, you can lightly dock the pastry as a backup solution.

How To Substitute

When you have laid the pastry in the pie dish, grab a fork and start pricking the pastry. This means piercing it with the point of the fork. Ensure that this docking is even. Otherwise, the steam will alter the dough. Cook the dough in the oven as you normally would.

RELATED: 12 Rolling Pin Substitutes

Popcorn Kernels

Our final suggestion is to use popcorn kernels instead of pie weights. If you also have an affection for popcorn, you will likely already have kernels in your home.

As with some of the other examples, you will be unable to eat these popcorn kernels after cooking them. This means missing out on delicious popcorn! Again, this is because the kernels will have become dried. Thus, the popcorn you make will be dry.

Fortunately, these popcorn kernels can be reused, resulting in you having a permanent replacement for pie weights.

How To Substitute

Carefully cover your pastry with a barrier. Once the barrier is flat and covering the entirety of the crust, pour a decent amount of popcorn kernels on the barrier. Ideally, the barrier should be covered so that you don’t miss a spot of the crust. Cook the pastry for the specified time and enjoy finishing your delicious pie!

Why Is Blind Baking Important?

Loads of pie and tart recipes will call for blind baking, allowing you to cook the crust before adding the filling.

There are several reasons why you should blind bake a crust, including:

  • You will not need to cook the filling. Some fillings simply do not need to be heated, while the crust needs to be cooked. For example, cream pies will not require baking.
  • It stops sogginess. When using certain fillings, such as fruit, you must cook the crust beforehand to stop it from becoming soggy.
  • The use of pie weights or the aforementioned substitutes stops the crust from rising due to steam being caught in the gluten. Consequently, you can have air bubbles and an inconsistent crust.
  • Blind baking with weights also ensures that the crust does not shrink too much. When placed in the oven, pastry tends to shrink. By adding weights, the pastry’s shrinkage should be minimal due to the heaviness of the pie weights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Bake A Pie Without Pie Weights?

Pie weights, also known as pie crust weights, are necessary to keep the pie crust in its original shape while baking. The crust can be too soft and wet without these weights, often losing its shape. The weights also help prevent the crust from shrinking as it bakes. These products are typically made of metal but can also be made of plastic.

Can I Use Any Coins As Pie Weights?

Of course, we use coins as pie weight; however, you must figure out which cion will work best for you.

It is difficult to say what coins will be accepted as pie weights. However, the easiest coins to use are with a diameter of 1.5 centimeters. It will help ensure that the coin is manageable to be effective.

Can You Use Pasta As Pie Weights?

Yes, Pasta is perfect for pie weight to keep your dessert in shape. It’s fun to try this method. You can keep your Pasta as pie weight after covering the crust properly with a rim and aluminum foil.

Pie Weights: 6 Easy Yet Effective Substitutes

5 from 6 votes
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

17

minutes
Total time

27

minutes

Pie weights are essential for cooking pie crusts. Yet, they can be tough to acquire. If you need an alternative to pie weights, here are 6 simple substitutes.

Ingredients

  • Sugar

  • Dried Rice Or Beans

  • Metal Items

  • Another Pie Dish

  • Dock The Pastry

  • Popcorn Kernels

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith