8 Phenomenal Pie Weight Substitutes

If you regularly cookie pies, it’s recommended that you invest in pie weights. These small tools can drastically improve your baking experience. 

If you want to cook a pie but don’t have pie weights, you might panic. But the good news is that there are plenty of substitutes that you can use instead of pie weights.

Many of these pie weights are commonly found in the average pantry, meaning that you won’t have to spend a fortune on these tools. 

8 Phenomenal Pie Weight Substitutes

Pie Weights: What Are They?

Pie weights are useful tools in baking. Pie weights are weighted balls that are typically made of metal or ceramic.

They are primarily used in blind baking. Blind baking is the process of preventing puff pastry from rising and puffing up by weighing it down. 

To prebake with pie weights, raw pastry crust will be placed in a dish. The pastry crust will then be topped with parchment paper to prevent the weights from sticking to the pastry.

Next, the pie weights will be added. Then, the pie dish will be pre-baked in the oven. 

Once the crust has finished cooking, the parchment paper and weights can be removed. Then, the filling, whether it be sweet or savory, will be added to the pie crust. Pie weights are an essential tool if you have a passion for baking pies. 

8 Phenomenal Pie Weight Substitutes

1. Rice

Rice is perhaps the most popular alternative to pie weights. After all, most people will have a packet of dried rice in their pantry.

Moreover, rice is incredibly cheap. An additional benefit of using rice as a weight substitute is that it is easy to spread across the pie crust.

If you want to use this method, you must use uncooked rice. If you use cooked rice, it will become fluffy. Dried rice won’t have any moisture, so its texture won’t change much when cooked in the oven. 

Simply spread a layer of rice across the baking parchment that has been placed on top of the pie crust. If you don’t use baking parchment, the rice could become stuck to the crust.

It is recommended that you use approximately 1 cup of rice as a pie weight. Once you have cooked the pie crust, be sure to retain the rice so that you can use it as a pie weight another time. It is not a good idea to eat rice after using it for blind baking.

2. Popcorn Kernels

Do you love popcorn? If so, you can use your popcorn kernels as a substitute for pie weights. Just bear in mind that popcorn kernels shouldn’t be used for popping afterward.

Due to their small size, you will have to use a considerable number of kernels to weigh down the crust. Fortunately, these kernels are cheap, so you can use a large number of popcorn kernels without wasting loads of money.

3. Dried Beans

Alongside rice, dried beans are also one of the most popular substitutes for pie weights. One of the reasons why dried beans are successful as pie weights is that you can use the majority of different types of dried beans. 

For instance, you can use pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas, or black beans. These beans are often found in pantries, making them a convenient option. 

Dried beans are quite hefty without digging holes into the pastry. As with rice, the beans will be too dry to consume after they have been put in the oven. Instead, you can reuse these dried beans as pie weights.

4. Sugar

The majority of bakers will have sugar in their kitchens. As a result, this is perhaps the most convenient substitute for traditional pie weights.

Because sugar has a fine texture, it’s easy to spread it evenly across the top of the parchment-covered crust.

Lots of different types of sugar can be used as pie weights. However, granulated sugar will work exceptionally well, as it has a finer texture than other varieties.

You can even use this sugar for baking after it has been cooked in the oven, as it will have a strong caramel-like flavor.

The main downside of using sugar is that it can get quite messy. 

5. Steel Balls

Next, steel balls are incredibly similar to pie weights, making them an ideal alternative. Likewise, these steel balls can be used numerous times. 

You can use steel balls in the same way that you would use pie weights. When using a metal item as a pie weight, the heat will be spread more evenly. This can result in a perfectly cooked pie crust. Small steel balls are best for achieving this evenly cooked crust.

Remember to double-check that these steel balls are oven-safe before using them.

6. Metal Chains

Metal chains are perhaps the perfect replacement for pie weights. Like traditional pie weights, you can use these metal chains repeatedly.

This contrasts with many of the other substitutes on this list, which will start to burn over time. 

The main benefit of using metal chains is that they are heavy enough to aptly hold down the pastry, thus preventing air pockets from emerging.

7. Another Pie Dish

Another popular suggestion is to use a different pie dish, which will be placed on top of the crust.

Once your pie crust has been added to the dish and fully lined with foil or parchment paper, place the base of a second pie dish on top of the pastry. 

Of course, this technique will require using two different pie dishes, which not everyone will have access to. Specifically, you will require two pie dishes that are roughly the same size but one is slightly smaller than the other.

8. Coins

Last but not least, coins may also be utilized as a replacement for pie weights. Coins are heavy and so can easily hold down the pastry. Coins have flat sides and so can be used to blind-bake pastry without digging into it. 

Copper coins work particularly well. Just make sure that you don’t put the pie crust in the oven for too long or at extremely high temperatures. 

Place the copper coins evenly across the surface of the pie crust with a protective layer in between. If there are gaps, you can use some of the aforementioned options to weigh down the crust in these spots.

This is an ideal option if you have lots of spare copper coins in your home. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Will Happen If You Don’t Use Pie Weights?

Without using a pie weight, your pie crust will slump and will begin to puff in the form of air pockets. If you don’t blind-bake a pie crust, it will not be as crispy as it should be. 

How Many Pie Weights Will You Need?

For a 9-inch pie crust, you will need roughly 2 pounds of pie weights or a suitable replacement. For larger pies, you will need to invest in more pie weights. 

Final Thoughts

If you are baking a pie crust and don’t have any pie weights, you should never panic. As this list demonstrates, there are several substitutes that you can use instead of a pie weight.

Many of these items will likely already be in your kitchen, making it super simple to bake a flat pie crust without using traditional pie weights.

8 Phenomenal Pie Weight Substitutes

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Sides


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Cooking time






  • Rice

  • Popcorn Kernels

  • Dried Beans

  • Sugar

  • Steel Balls

  • Metal Chains

  • Another Pie Dish

  • Coins


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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