Rate this post

Blind baking a crust using pie weights ensures that the dough does not shrink or puff up in the oven. What if you don’t have any pie weights?

There are several replacements available at your disposal. They include, among other things, the following:

  • Use A Smaller Pie Pan
  • Use Glass Marbles/Vase Fillers
  • Use Dried Beans
  • Use Uncooked Rice
  • Use Brown Sugar
  • Use Popcorn Kernels

I’ll go through each of these alternatives in greater depth below, along with instructions on how to utilize them. Any of these alternatives will work just as well as standard pie weights.

Is it necessary to use pie weights during baking?

In general, pie weights are not required while baking a pie. Blind baking without pie weights is also possible, although your crust may not be as uniformly cooked. The weights maintain the dough in place and prevent it from shrinking or puffing up.

I’ve used Ceramic Pie Weights for as long as I can remember, and they’ve rescued my pie crusts on several times. As a general guideline, for every 9-inch pie, use around 2.2 pounds of pie weights. I use these Ceramic Pie Weights, which you can get on Amazon!

If you’re making a dish that doesn’t need a perfectly uniform crust, you can usually skip the weights.

The following are some of the advantages of employing pie weights:

Stops shrinkage

While baking, pie crust is prone to shrinking. This is because there is nothing within the dough to sustain it.

By utilizing pie weights, you are effectively constructing a barrier that will aid in the prevention of shrinkage.

Stops puffing

Puffing happens when hot air escapes from the crust and rises. This might happen if the dough has holes in it or if it is excessively thin.

By forming a seal around the crust, pie weights serve to avoid puffing. This permits hot air to escape via the vents while preventing the crust from rising.

Evening Baking

One of the primary advantages of utilizing pie weights is that they aid in the creation of an even bake. This is due to the weights assisting in keeping the dough in place and preventing it from shrinking or blowing up.

They aid in the creation of a perfectly even crust.

Using pie weights has helped me obtain a flawlessly uniform crust. This is due to the dough not shrinking or inflating up, which may produce unevenness.

While preparing pies, I always seek for Ceramic Pie Pans. I just discovered a Set of Two Ceramic Pie Pans for Baking that work great for making pies in the oven. On Amazon, you can get this Set of Ceramic Pie Pans!

Six of the Most Effective Pie Weight Substitutes

These pie weight replacements served me well for many years until I was able to purchase a large quantity of ceramic pie weights. If you use enough of them, they work just as well.

These are some of the best pie weight alternatives you may use:

Make Use Of A Smaller Pie Pan

You may use a smaller pie pan as a pie weight if you have one. Place the smaller pan on top of the larger pan and bake as normal. This will assist the dough maintain its form throughout the baking process and prevent it from shrinking.

But, make sure that the smaller pan is the same or slightly bigger in size than the dough. It will not be as effective otherwise.

I frequently combine this substitution approach with the others on my list since it keeps the smaller pie pan heavier and prevents it from shifting as the dough bakes.

Employ glass marbles as vase fillers.

Since they are tiny and uniformly distributed, glass marbles or vase fills make excellent pie weights. Pour the glass marbles equally over the pie crust after carefully cleaning them, so that the crust bakes evenly on all sides.

Since marbles or vase fillers are the same size as most pie weights, they are just as simple to use. Just arrange them on top of the dough like pie weights and bake as normal.

Make use of dried beans.

Dried beans are tiny and uniform in size, making them perfect for use as pie weights. They are also cheap and simple to find in every kitchen. Pour the glass marbles equally over the pie crust after carefully cleaning them, so that the crust bakes evenly on all sides.

You’ll want to use around the same quantity of dry beans as pie weights. Just sprinkle them over the dough and bake as normal.

Make use of uncooked rice.

Uncooked rice, in general, is tiny and uniformly distributed, making it an excellent alternative for pie weights. Pour the glass marbles equally over the pie crust after carefully cleaning them, so that the crust bakes evenly on all sides.

You will, however, require a lot more uncooked rice than pie weights.

I would suggest using around twice as much. When laying the rice on top, take care not to spill it into the dough. You may wrap the rice in parchment paper first, then set it on top of the dough.

Make use of brown sugar.

Brown sugar is tiny and heavy, thus it works well as a pie weight alternative. Place a layer of parchment paper on top of the pie crust and equally sprinkle with brown sugar. It has shown to be effective in reducing shrinkage and puffing.

But I must warn you. When sugar is heated, it melts. Thus, before putting it in the pie shell, cover it with parchment paper.

Make sure the parchment paper has high edges so that the melted brown sugar does not drip onto the pie dough while baking.

I used to have an old-fashioned parchment paper roll in my kitchen, but I just discovered aBox of Heavy Duty Flat Parchment Paper Sheets that work wonderfully instead of attempting to tear the ideal sheet, which never seems to work out. These sheets are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate your pans! These parchment sheets are available on Amazon!

Make use of Popcorn Kernels

Popcorn kernels are another excellent pie weight option. To remove the popcorn kernels from the dough, place a layer of parchment paper on the pie shell. These are ideal for me since they are little and equally scattered. And you don’t need a lot of them to get the job done.

Just top the dough with a layer of kernels and bake as normal. You should check on them midway through to ensure they are not on fire.

By the way, I just published an article titled The Best Ways to Keep Pie Crusts from Shrinking. This article explains why your pie crusts can be shrinking and how to prevent it! This article may be found here!

Is it possible to blind bake without pie weights?

You can blind-bake without pie weights in most cases, but your crust may not come out as well. To avoid shrinking and puffing, use pie weights while blind baking. The weights keep the dough stable during baking and prevent it from altering form.

If you don’t have any pie weights, you may use any of the alternatives mentioned above. But keep in mind that your crust may not be as flawless as it would be with pie weights.

Be careful to use enough of these alternatives to make it as effective as pie weights.

*Also, I just published an essay titled Is Handmade Pie Crust Better Than Store-Bought Pie Crust. This article explains why it is preferable to utilize one over the other. This article may be found here!

What Is the Most Effective Method to Utilize Pie Weights?

The ideal approach to utilize pie weights is as follows:

  • Prepare your pie crust following the recipe instructions. 
  • Press the pie crust into your pie dish and trim the excess dough. 
  • Line the pie crust with parchment paper allowing enough overhang. 
  • Fill the parchment paper with pie weights. Make sure the shell is completely filled.
  • Bake according to the recipe instructions. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

*By the way, I recently blogged on How To Use Pie Weights Correctly. In this post, I discuss how to properly utilize pie weights to get the right formed pie every time. This article may be found here!

Can Spoons Be Used as Pie Weights?

Spoons may be used as pie weights in general, although they are not as effective as other alternatives. Cover the pie crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lay the spoons on top, rounded sides facing the pie shell.

Place the spoons so that they are equally spaced and contact the dough. This will aid in the prevention of shrinkage and puffing.

For example, alternate the direction of the spoons with the orientation of the bowls.

This ensures that the dough is uniformly pushed down. If you realize at the last minute that you don’t have pie weights, I suggest utilizing one of the six ways listed above.

*By the way, I just published an article titled Which Oven Rack Should You Use To Make The Perfect Pie. This article explains what occurs when you bake a pie on each oven rack and why one is better than the others. This article may be found here!

Last Thoughts

Blind-bake your pie crusts using whatever you have on hand. In a pinch, you may use any of these substitutions with a little effort. But keep in mind that some alternatives are more successful than others. Good luck with your baking!