My Favorite Holiday Bakeware

This week I’ve gathered the pieces I use in my home kitchen for baking all the best holiday treats.

Pie is my absolute favorite dessert, so it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving Day at our house is very heavy on pie. Apple, pecan, pumpkin, chocolate cream, ricotta—there are so many to choose from! Whether you also adore pie or prefer another sweet treat, now is the time to make sure that you have the bakeware you need. Each piece was tested and approved by my colleagues on the ATK Reviews team. They’ve helped me bake delicious desserts countless times before, and I know they’ll continue to impress me this year and for years of pie-baking to come.

—Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor, ATK Reviews

This golden-hued metal plate baked crusts beautifully without overbrowning; even bottom crusts emerged crisp and flaky. Additionally, we liked this plate’s nonfluted lip, which allowed for maximum crust-crimping flexibility. One minor drawback: The metal surface is susceptible to cuts and nicks, but we found that this didn’t affect its performance.

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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

Marketed as the consumer version of the Fibrox with an identical blade (and a higher price tag), this sibling made equally sharp, agile cuts. The downside was the handle, which exchanges the textured grip for a “hard,” “slippery” one with a “bigger belly” curve and an indented ridge. Testers complained that their hands were “pulled open wider” and that they were forced to grip “too far back,” resulting in less comfort and control.

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This model, our previous favorite, was not as heavy as the Batali wheel, so we had to use slightly more force, and roll back and forth a few extra times to cut through chewier crusts, but it did the job. It won points for its well-designed wheel, which was easy to clean, its thumb guard, and the large, soft handle that absorbed extra pressure.

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Our winning pie server felt “remarkably comfortable” and “balanced” in our hands, and testers liked its rubbery grip. This server's sharp serrated blade was able to slice through all types of pie (even tough pecan pie) with ease, and it slid neatly under wedges, making removal quick and tidy and producing picture-perfect slices.

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This folded metal pan produced tall, picture-perfect pound cake and sandwich bread with crisp corners. Like all folded pans, it lacked handles and had crevices in the corners that trapped food. We had to clean it very carefully. The corrugated pattern on the metal didn't affect the appearance of the baked goods. It still scratched slightly.

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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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The redesigned version of the OXO scale is accurate and had all the features that made the old model our favorite: sturdy construction, responsive buttons, and a removable platform for easy cleaning. The screen can still be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items. Instead of a backlight setting, the screen now has brightly lit digits on a dark background, which we found even easier to read than the old model’s screen. OXO also added two display options for weight. Users can choose to view ounces only (24 oz), pounds and ounces (1 lb 8 oz), grams only (2500 g), or kilograms and grams (2 kg 500 g), which comes in handy when doubling a recipe. The scale now uses decimals rather than fractions, so it’s more precise and easier to read.

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The silicone center ring on this oval pan kept the pie plate anchored in place, allowing us to transfer the ring and pie plate into and out of the oven without fear of the pie sliding off. A wide rim on opposite sides made it easiest of all to grasp through oven mitts. As with the other models in our lineup, its nonstick surface cleaned up easily.

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