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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Pie Weight

Baking a pie is an art, and every artist needs the right tools.

Sometimes, we find ourselves missing a key piece—like pie weights.

No need to dash to the store; we’ve got you covered with some clever swaps.

Ever used dry beans or rice as a pie weight? They’re perfect for giving that crust its signature flat, crisp base.

Aluminum foil and sugar also come in handy, and you might just sweeten your crust a bit too.

These hacks not only save the day but might also introduce you to new baking tricks.

Who knew that pantry staples could double as baking geniuses?

With these substitutes, our pies keep coming out perfect, and yours will too.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pie Weight

Pie weights are essential tools used in baking to prevent the crust from puffing up or shrinking during the baking process.

However, if you don’t have pie weights on hand or want alternatives, there are several substitutes available.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for pie weights, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you achieve a perfectly baked pie crust.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Dried BeansCommonly used as a substitute for pie weights; easily moldable and heat-resistantFill the pie crust with dried beans, covering the entire surface evenly
RiceProvides even weight distribution; readily available in most kitchensFill the pie crust with uncooked rice, covering the entire surface evenly
CoinsHeavy and compact; can be sanitized before usePlace a layer of coins over parchment paper on the pie crust, ensuring they cover the surface
Metal ChainOffers even weight distribution; adjustable for various pie sizesCoil a length of metal chain on parchment paper on the pie crust, making sure it covers the surface
Steel BallsDense and heavy; provides consistent pressure on the crustPlace steel balls evenly on parchment paper on the pie crust, ensuring they cover the surface

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Dried Beans

dried beans

Various types of dried beans are perfect substitutes for pie weights.

This is because they have a bulky side, meaning that the dough will be weighted down but won’t cause any holes.

This can be done by adding black-eyed peas or regular garden peas to your dough.

Then use the back of something heavy to push them down.

When using dried beans, you’ll want to ensure that your dough is rolled out to the right thickness.

Then just use dried beans or coins of any sort for weight.

You can even use something heavy like a cooking pot.

  • Key Characteristics: Dried beans are a commonly used substitute for pie weights. They are easily moldable and heat-resistant, offering an effective way to weigh down the crust during baking.
  • Proper Ratio: Fill the pie crust with dried beans, covering the entire surface evenly. Make sure to use enough beans to provide adequate weight.

2 – Rice

rice

Rice can be an excellent alternative when pie weights are not around.

It will keep your dough from puffing up while also adding flavor to your pies.

To use rice as pie weights, follow the same instructions you would with regular beans; simply add the rice into the center of your dough and then place something heavy on top to hold it down.

The main advantage of using rice over regular beans is that it will also add some extra flavor to your pies.

  • Key Characteristics: Rice is another readily available substitute for pie weights. It provides even weight distribution, helping to prevent the crust from puffing up or shrinking.
  • Proper Ratio: Fill the pie crust with uncooked rice, covering the entire surface evenly. Ensure that the rice covers the entire crust to provide sufficient weight.

3 – Coins

coins

When pie weights are not readily available, using coins in their place is the perfect alternative.

This is because they have a flat side, meaning that they won’t pierce your crust or weigh it down too much.

While you can use any type of coin for this, you generally recommend that you use quarters.

To use coins as pie weights, ensure that your dough is the right thickness, and then simply place two or three quarters inside the filling.

You can also add some dried beans or rice on top for extra weight.

  • Key Characteristics: Coins are heavy and compact, making them suitable substitutes for pie weights. Before using coins, ensure they are sanitized and free of any residues.
  • Proper Ratio: Place a layer of coins over parchment paper on the pie crust, ensuring they cover the surface evenly. Adjust the quantity of coins based on the size of the pie crust.

4 – Metal Chain

metal chain

Metal chains are an excellent alternative to pie weights, making them the perfect solution if they aren’t available.

They’re great for keeping your dough from puffing up without weighing it down too much.

To use metal chains as pie weights, simply place them right on top of your dough and then put it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to bake.

The main advantage of using metal chains as pie weights is that they can be reused repeatedly – saving you money.

  • Key Characteristics: Metal chain offers even weight distribution and is adjustable for various pie sizes. It can be coiled on the crust to provide consistent pressure during baking.
  • Proper Ratio: Coil a length of metal chain on parchment paper on the pie crust, making sure it covers the surface evenly. Adjust the amount of chain based on the size of the crust.

5 – Steel Balls

steel balls

Steel balls are perfect substitutes for pie weights because they can be used repeatedly.

They won’t weigh down your dough too much while still keeping it from puffing up like crazy.

When using steel balls as pie weights, simply place them on top of your dough and then put them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

If you’re looking to use steel balls as substitutes for baking, you can also keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them for your pies.

If steel balls aren’t available to you, using any type of steel ball bearings is perfect – they’re readily available in most hardware stores, so you can use them as pie weights.

  • Key Characteristics: Steel balls are dense and heavy, offering consistent pressure on the crust to prevent puffing or shrinking. They provide a reliable substitute for pie weights.
  • Proper Ratio: Place steel balls evenly on parchment paper on the pie crust, ensuring they cover the surface. Adjust the quantity of steel balls based on the size of the crust.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pie Weight

Searching for the ideal substitutes for pie weights? Your quest ends here! We've compiled a list of the 5 best alternatives to pie weights, ensuring your pie crusts turn out perfect every time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Dried Beans
  • Rice
  • Coins
  • Metal Chain
  • Steel Balls

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for pie weight
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