Metal Pans: The Best
Though they may appear plain, metal pie pans are the top choice of professional bakers.
“Metal pie pans are magical,” Clark-Bojin said. “They are the perfect conductors of heat. They handle temperature shocks like a champ. You can freeze them, you can throw them on a fire pit or BBQ grill, they won’t explode if you set them from the fridge to a hot pizza stone in the oven. They won’t crack or chip if they get knocked in transit.”
McDowell pointed out that metal pie pans also tend to be the most nonstick, and can often be found at a lower price point. Both she and Haedrich are fans of the aluminized steel pie pan from USA Pan.
“It’s my favorite and the one I always recommend in my live pie classes,” Haedrich said. “A heavier metal pan like this one is responsive to heat. It will get hot quickly when it goes in the oven, so it does a nice job of browning the crust. And it cools down quickly when it comes out of the oven, so the crust doesn’t continue to bake and get overdone. That’s a real asset.”
McDermott prefers darker metal pans because they conduct heat better than new shiny metal. So if you have an old metal pie plate from your grandma, or can get your hands on a vintage one, it’s likely a good choice
While they are less common, cast-iron pie plates exist, and McDowell said they are “pretty wonderful” as far as being nonstick and ensuring a crisp, evenly browned bottom crust. “You can even bake pies in a cast-iron skillet instead of searching for a cast-iron pie pan,” she noted.