How we tested
Traveling with a delicate pie can feel like tempting fate, but a good pie carrier can make the task easier and more secure. The most basic models are simply pie-shaped plastic storage containers, but we also found a handful that come with straps or handles for easier carrying, and even one that expands for transporting multiple pies. We tested three of these advanced models along with two simple containers (all priced from $11.88 to $25.99) by loading the carriers with 8-, 9-, and 10-inch pies, including shallow double-crust pies and taller cream-topped pies. We then evaluated each for fit, sturdiness, and durability by walking around the block and driving down 3 miles of bumpy roads.
Both of the simple container-style carriers were immediate flops because they were too shallow to fit anything taller than a 2-inch-high apple pie without crushing the top crust. Such pies slid around recklessly on the carriers’ wide, slippery bases, damaging the crusts’ delicate edges.
Handles made carriers more secure and easily transportable with one hand. Of these three models, one was too short for taller pies, and its cloth exterior was hard to clean. The two handled plastic carriers sported molded or grippy bases that kept pies perfectly stable and large domes that easily accommodated most cream-topped pies. To determine a winner, we loaded each one with the loftiest pie we could think of: our Cook's Illustrated Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie, which stands almost 6 inches tall. Only our winner, a smaller version of our favorite cake carrier, was able to accommodate its high peaks. Plus, it expands and includes an insert that creates a second level for transporting two shallow pies, or flips to hold 28 deviled eggs.