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While baking a pie, there are several things that may go wrong. The crust may be too thick or thin, the filling may be undercooked or overdone, and the pie may be soggy or dry. One of the most frequent errors individuals make while making pies is failing to use the proper oven rack.

For baking a pie, the lowest oven rack is the best option. It guarantees that the bottom of the crust is beautiful and crispy, while the top is golden brown. Once the pie shell has crisped up sufficiently, place it on the center oven rack to bake evenly until done.

There is still a lot to learn about the oven racks while baking a pie. Depending on the pie you’re attempting to bake, the bottom rack isn’t the only one you may utilize. Continue reading to discover how to properly utilize all three oven racks while preparing a flawless pie.

Which Oven Rack Is Best For Baking A Perfect Pie?

For baking a pie, the lowest oven rack is the best option. While making a pie, the last thing you want is an overcooked, soggy, and doughy bottom crust. The bottom oven rack guarantees that the bottom crust is crispy and the top crust is golden brown.

Here’s a table outlining how I plan to bake my pies:

Type of Pie Oven Rack To Use
All Pie Crusts Bottom Rack at 475°F
Most Pie Fillings Middle Rack at between 350°F and 450°F

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!

The lower rack also enables moist ingredients in pies to cook thoroughly without being overdone or burned on top.

I’ve also discovered that baking your pie crust on the bottom rack keeps the edges from becoming too black.

Heres a little video I found breaking down the placements of each oven rack for optimum results:

If your pie crusts have ever been overdone or burned on the bottom, it is most likely due to using the incorrect oven rack.

But, bear in mind that there are other reasons why you may wish to bake a pie on the other racks in the oven.

*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!

What Happens When a Pie Is Baked On The Top Rack?

Baking a pie on the top rack is not recommended since it will result in an underbaked bottom crust and an overdone or charred top crust. The top rack is just too near to the top heat source, causing the pie to bake too rapidly on top while remaining doughy on the bottom.

In general, unless you want the top of your pie to be extremely crispy, avoid baking pies on the top rack.

If you bake your pie on the top rack, it will have a crusty and overdone top and a doughy and undercooked bottom. Since heat rises, the top rack will be hotter than the bottom rack.

Keep in mind that some recipes may instruct you to bake the pie on the top rack, so you will need to experiment to find out what works best for your specific recipe.

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!

What Happens When a Pie Is Baked On The Middle Rack?

You’re more likely to have an evenly cooked pie if you bake it on the center rack of the oven. Nevertheless, the center rack may not be hot enough to adequately bake the bottom crust, resulting in a doughy bottom that may cause your pie to come apart upon serving.

When it comes to baking pies, the middle rack is a beginner baker’s best chance. Since it is not as near to the heat source as the top rack, the top of your pie will not get overly crusty or burned.

There is uniform heat and steady air circulation, so your pie should cook evenly all the way through.

But, you must keep an eye on the bottom of your pie to ensure that it does not get doughy. If the bottom of your pies are not cooking through while utilizing the center rack, you may need to experiment with alternative baking periods.

*If you’re attempting to bake many pies equally at the same time. It is preferable to utilize the center rack!*

If you lay the pies properly, this will bake the pies equally on all sides. Following is an essay I published on the proper technique to bake many pies at once!

*Side Note: You may also be interested in learning How To Make Several Pies In The Oven At Simultaneously. I just posted an article on The Correct Way To Bake Several Pies Evenly At Once!

What Happens When a Pie Is Baked On The Bottom Rack?

When you bake a pie on the bottom rack, the bottom crust becomes crispy, while the top crust becomes golden brown. This stops the bottom crust from becoming mushy and doughy. Since you don’t want an undercooked bottom crust, use the lowest oven rack.

The lowest rack is the finest option for baking a pie crust. That will make the bottom crust lovely and crispy and golden brown. After the pie crust is crisp, place it on the center rack for even baking for the remainder of the baking time.

It is vital to notice that the bottom rack will be closer to the heat source, so keep a watch on your pie to avoid it being overdone or burned.

Use the bottom rack if you want precisely cooked pies with crispy bottom crusts and golden brown tops.

*By the way, 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!

Reasons to Change the Rack You Use for Pies

There are a number of reasons why you may wish to switch the oven rack you use while making pies. Here are a few examples:

What Kind of Oven Do You Have?

Ovens are classified into two types: convection and conventional. Convection ovens include a fan that circulates hot air, allowing food to be cooked evenly.

Conventional ovens, on the other hand, lack a fan and depend on natural convection to circulate hot air.

Most people have traditional ovens with two heating elements, one on top and one on the bottom. Since it is closer to the heating source at the bottom, it is better to utilize the bottom rack of a standard oven.

You may use either the bottom or center rack of a convection oven. Nonetheless, many people believe that baking pies on the bottom rack results in a more uniformly baked crust.

After delving more into the ideal convection oven for pie making. I found an Oster French Countertop Convection Oven. Over the holiday season, this convection oven is ideal for making pies. This Convection Oven is available on Amazon!

Preference for Texture

Since I want my pie to have a good, crispy, golden brown bottom crust, I bake it on the bottom rack of my oven.

Other folks, however, like a softer crust or an extremely crispy top crust. As a result, they will choose the top or center rack.

According to the New York Times:

While serving pie, temperature is crucial for texture. The filling of a pie will be more fluid right out of the oven (molecules move more swiftly past each other at higher temperatures), so allow it to cool completely before eating.


Each rack will brown your pie crust at a different pace, changing its texture depending on the temperature surrounding it. You will need to experiment with various oven racks to find which one produces the desired results.

The Kind Of Pie

The sort of pie you’re baking may also influence the rack you use. To avoid a soggy crust, bake pies with moist contents, such as pumpkin pies, on the bottom rack.

Crisp-covered pies, such as apple pies, should be cooked on the center rack.

Pies with a highly liquidy filling should be cooked on the bottom rack to crisp up the crust. But, if I need to bake the crust on top of the pie for a few minutes, I generally shift the pie to the top rack.

After the crust on both the top and bottom of the pie is thoroughly cooked, I transfer it to the center rack to bake evenly for the remainder of the time!


Should you bake the pie crust first?

As a general guideline, before adding any ingredients, bake the bottom of the pie dough first. This will make the crust crispy enough to keep the moisture of the ingredients in once they are added. Bake the pie crust on the bottom rack to get it nice and crispy.

What temperature should a handmade pie be baked at?

Most pies are cooked at temperatures ranging from 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230C). But, if you are baking your pie crust first, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246C).

Is it important where the oven rack is located?

In general, the oven rack position you select is determined by whether you desire your food to be heated from the top, bottom, or equally distributed. Since a traditional oven has two heat sources flowing from the top and bottom, your food will get hotter as it approaches the top and bottom of the oven.