Pie Perfection Guaranteed with this Gear

It’s much easier to bake pies at home if you have test kitchen-approved tools, so we’ve gathered all of our favorites here.

This week we’re excited to share our recently published cookbook, The Perfect Pie. It contains 182 foolproof recipes, lots of beautiful photos, and smart test kitchen know-how to guarantee pie baking success. And because every recipe has been tested dozens of times, you can be sure they’ll work for you every time. With our comprehensive guide to everything pie-related and our recommended gear below, both novice bakers and experts will be baking impressive and delicious pies in no time!

—Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor, ATK Reviews

One package of these weights contains 1 cup of ceramic balls. To completely fill an aluminum foil–lined pie shell, we found that we had to use four packages, or 4 cups, which weighed about 2 pounds. When we completely filled a pie shell with these weights, they were heavy enough to keep the bottom from bubbling or puffing and the fragile sides from slumping.   More on this test

Although the grid pattern on this rack is slightly larger than on the other two models, it’s reinforced with an extra support bar that runs perpendicular to the three main bars. It had a touch more wiggle room in the baking sheets, but it kept pace with the other racks during recipe and durability testing.

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A smaller version of our favorite cake carrier, this collapsible plastic tote expanded to accommodate even our tallest Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie. Its large, nonskid base held 8-, 9-, and 10-inch pies perfectly in place, even on bumpy car rides. A bonus: It comes with two molded inserts for deviled eggs, one of which can be flipped upside down and used as a second tier for transporting two shorter pies at once. Its one slight fault: The latches took a little finessing to secure properly.

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Our winning spoons had a simple design that allowed for a continuous, bump-free sweep, with a ball-chain connector (similar to what military dog tags hang on) that was easy to open and close. This set's metal construction felt remarkably sturdy, and ingredients didn't cling to the stainless steel. And while the 1-tablespoon measure did not fit into all spice jars, it was a minor inconvenience for an otherwise easy-to-use set.

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This classic model was accurate and had bold, easy-to-read measurement lines that clearly corresponded to specific numbers. The handle, though small, was smooth and wide enough to be comfortable. We also liked that the glass resisted staining and was durable. Our one criticism: Using the cup properly requires crouching down and looking at the lines at eye level, which was uncomfortable for some. 

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Coming in a variety of useful sizes that nest for compact storage, our winning set performed ably on almost every test. Its wide, shallow bowls were easy to hold, fill, empty, and clean. They can be used in the microwave and the oven. While the bowls in this set were the only ones to break when dropped, the heaviness of the glass with which they’re made makes it unlikely that they’ll easily fly off the counter.

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With an ergonomic Santoprene rubber handle and a balanced, lightweight feel, this whisk was like an extension of a hand. It whipped cream and egg whites quickly, thanks to 10 wires that were thin enough to move through the liquid quickly but thick enough to push through heavy mixtures and blend pan sauces to smoothness.

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While it looks scary, this roller was actually easy and intuitive to use and has a heft that made it comfortable to handle. Five small pizza wheels are attached to an expandable rack; you can adjust the width of your dough strips from 1/3 inch up to 5 inches. But you still have to weave the strips on the pie by hand. In a bakery that churns out a high volume of lattice-top pies, this device could be a timesaver; for us, the price tag is a deal breaker.

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These oven mitts kept our hands comfortably cool and in control when holding hot equipment or reaching into a hot oven. When compressed, they were the thickest of the models with a silicone exterior. The silicone is heavily textured for better grip, and because it flexed with our hands, we could easily pinch thin cookie sheets and small handles or knobs. The fabric lining moved around inside the mitts at times during use, but it stayed put better than the linings of other models. The mitts can be machine-washed, but they have to be laid flat to dry. The silicone became permanently stained.

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