10 Best Pie Weights Substitutes

Want to make the best pie with a crispy crust so you could enjoy eating it with your loved ones? The recipe calls for blind baking the crust and using pie weights. But you don’t have them?

Well, you have at least beans, rice, lentils, corn, sugar, or another smaller pie form in your kitchen. But if you have never heard of blind baking and pie weights, in this article you will learn everything you need to know about them.

Pie weights are used to prevent the pie crust from bubbling or shrinking. However, if you don’t have pie weights, you can use beans, rice, lentils, sugar, glass marbles, or some of the next products. Let’s learn more about these substitutes.

Pie Weight Substitutes

Pie weights can be found in three forms including ceramic ball weight, disc weight, and ball and chain weight.

Ceramic ball weights can fit all pans. They can be placed evenly in the pan, and don’t absorb flavors or smell. You will have to let them cool before removed from the pan.

Disc weights are steel discs that hold the crust flat to bake. They are made in different sizes for different pan sizes, so you will need few pairs of them.

Ball and chain weights are all connected. They cover the crust to bake evenly. And since they are made of stainless steel, they have to cool down before removing them from the pan.

Also check: Can You Freeze Key Lime Pie?

If you don’t have any of these pie weights at home, but you want to bake a pie you can use some of these substitutes.

Have in mind that you will not be able to use them for eating afterward. If you don’t have any of these ingredients in the kitchen you can dock the pie crust with a fork all over.

If you have a very liquid filling, don’t do this. Otherwise, the liquid will make the crust soggy. Put your cold pie crust in the pie pan cover it with parchment paper and bake it.

1. Beans

Red beans

Any beans you have will be fine as pie weight when you are baking the pie crust. Line the crust with parchment paper and put the beans evenly on the paper.

After the crust is baked you can store the beans in the jar and use them next time you are making a pie. Beans can’t be used for eating.

2. Rice

Rice can be used as pie weight too. Line parchment paper and pour the rice on it. Keep in mind that the rice won’t be usable for future recipes as well.

3. Popcorn kernels

Popcorn kernels

Same as beans, rice popcorn kernels can also be used as a pie weight. Line parchment paper and cover with popcorn kernels. You will get the same even better results as using pie weights.

4. Sugar


Sugar is maybe the best substitute for pie weight. It conducts the heat evenly, so the pie crust will be perfectly baked. Line parchment paper and pour the sugar. The heat will caramelize the sugar. The best part? You can use it again if you want.

Also check: How Long Does it Take for a Cake to Cool?

5. Glass marbles

Glass marbles are used for decoration. But you can also use them as pie weight. First, wash the marbles, wipe them, and after you line the parchment paper put them on top. Have in mind that glass marbles can crack.

6. Steel balls or other metal objects

Before you use steel balls or other metal objects make sure they are clean and oven safe. If you are not sure avoid them. They are heated evenly, so they can ensure an evenly baked crust.

7. Another pie form

You can put another pie form over the top of the pie crust as a substitute for pie weights. First-line parchment paper on the crust and put the second pie form. For the evenly baked crust, you can put beans or rice in the second pan.

8. Pennies

Pennies are good heat conductors. But you have to wash them before use. Line the parchment paper and put the pennies on top.

9. Polished river rocks

If you have them as a decoration now they can be useful. Before you use them as pie weight wash them. Then, place parchment paper on the crust. Put the rocks on the paper and bake the crust.

10. Metal chain

If you have a metal chain at home you can use it as a pie weights substitute. Just put parchment paper and place the chain on the top. Make sure to put it on the sides too. It will help the crust to bake evenly.

Extra Tips You Need to Know

If you want to have a pie with crispy crust without bubbling, shrinking, or breaking you should use the blind baking method.

Always use cold pie crust before blind baking. Also, use some pie weights over the top of the crust. And double bake for fully baked pie crust.

Blind baking is a method of baking a pie crust without filling. It’s usually used in pies filled with unbaked filling like cream pie, apple pie, lemon meringue, fresh fruit tarts, or chocolate pudding.

Pie or tart crust can be fully or partially baked depending on the recipe. Then the filling is added and baked again if needed.

Blind baking is also used when you are using a filling that bakes for a short time, or when the filling is baked at a lower temperature than the crust.

Cold pie crust is better for baking especially if it’s made with butter. Thus, if you want to avoid shrinking, breaking, or melting always use cold from the freezer pie crust.

Double baking is when you are baking the pie with the weights so the edges are baked first. Then you take off the pie weight, dock the bottom of the pie with a fork (to stop bubbling) and let it fully bake for 20-30 minutes(depends on the recipe). Let it cool and add the filling.

Also check: Cake Flour Vs Self-Rising Flour: 6 Key Differences

Baking tips

  • Always use cold pie crust before blind baking, to avoid sticking to your parchment paper.
  • Use parchment paper as a barrier between the crust and the pie weights. The parchment paper keeps them from sticking to the crust, it prevents any tastes transferred to the crust, and you can remove them easily.
  • You can dock the pie crust with a fork to prevent bubbling but it’s not recommended to do it if you have a very liquid filling. It will make the pie crust wet.
  • Put your pie weights evenly over the pie crust, and to the edges too. You can place the pie weights in an oven-safe bag to keep them together and so you could remove them easily.
  • Be careful how many pie weights you are using. Commercial pie weights are heavier than the ones you use as substitutes (1 layer of steel balls-2 layers of beans or rice).
  • If your recipe calls for the golden, crispy crust you should remove the pie weights (or their substitute). Next, remove the parchment paper when the sides of the pie crust are baked, and allow the rest of the crust to fully bake and develop color.
  • Cover the sides of the pie crust with foil to prevent them from baking faster or burning.


Can I blind bake a pie crust without weights?

If you don’t have any pie weights you can dock the crust with a fork. Docking allows the steam to go out from the crust. Otherwise, the crust will be baked unevenly and it will bubble.

Can I use pennies as pie weights?

You can use pennies as pie weights, but you will have to wash them first.

Can I use glass marbles as pie weights?

You can use glass marbles as pie weights. But be careful because they can crack.

Let’s Bake a Pie

If you are a pie lover and you are baking pies often you should buy pie weights. They don’t cost a lot, and they are very useful for baking pies.

Ceramic ball pie weights fit all pan sizes so they are a good choice. However, if you don’t have them you can always use some of these substitutes.

Just follow these simple rules for baking a pie with pie weights substitutes and you will always have perfect crispy pie on your table.

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