If you are making a pie and wondering, Do You Need To Grease A Pie Pan Before Putting The Crust In, I have the answer for you. The last thing you want is for the pie not to come out perfectly after all the work you have put into baking it.
Let me first share my very favorite pie dough recipe. Out of all the pie crust recipes I have tried, this is the best of the best. It is the perfect pie crust. It is also a butter crust, which I love for flavor. I have made this recipe hundreds if not thousands of times! It is one of my favorites and my go-to for the perfect flaky crust.
This nectarine and blackberry pie is one of my favorite summer pies! My chocolate pecan pie always makes it to our family Thanksgiving and Christmas table. If you are looking for a pumpkin pie variation, let me suggest this praline pumpkin pie! If you need a pie that will feed a crowd, this cherry slab pie is the one you need.
Do I Need To Grease My Pie Pan?
The simple answer is, typically, no. My homemade recipe noted above has more than enough fat in it to keep it from sticking. If you are using a storebought pie crust, I would recommend giving your pan a light spritz of cooking spray or brush with a little softened butter- don't do it on either. It does not take much to grease it.
I have read in several places a recommendation to brush the pan with vegetable oil, this is NOT something I recommend. Vegetable oil is rarely a good choice for greasing a pan for baking. If I don't use butter, it is always a pan release.
To grease pie pans really is a personal choice though. If you feel more comfortable greasing them, you should. Just make sure it is with pan release or softened butter.
Types of Pie Pans
I thought it would be good also to discuss the importance of the type of pan you choose when baking a pie. While I generally do not grease my pie pans, there are exceptions and I will note those below. The pan will determine the way the pie bakes and the texture of the crust. Let me pass the information on to you and you decide which will give you the best results.
- Glass pie pans- A glass pan is a good option for baking a pie. These pans allow for even baking, they heat up quickly, and the glass allows you to see the bottom of the pan. I like to know if the bottom is baked before removing it from the oven. I love golden crusts on my pies. I don't use pans with handles on them, but this is a handled option if you prefer it. I do not have issues with crust sticking in these pans.
- Aluminum or stainless steel pie pans- Metal pans, there are shiny metal pans, and dull metal pie plates are both really great conductors of heat. They not only conduct the heat well but also heat up quickly. These are my personal favorites. I personally prefer the dull pans. These are pans I will typically grease if I am unsure.
- Foil pie pans- Aluminum foil is a really good option when you don't want to have to worry about getting the pan back. I use these when I am taking a dessert to a friend. They are good for baking, and not a bad option! These are also nice on holidays when you don't want to have to do more dishes than needed. These pans will also get a quick spritz of pan release if I am worried the pie crust will stick.
- Tart pans with removable bottoms- people don't always think of these when putting together a pie, but they are actually a good option. They are metal pans that brown the crust really well. The pie shell will be a different shape than what you are used to, but it is still really good. The sides of the pan are straight up as opposed to the angle on traditional pans.
- Ceramic pans- ceramic pie dishes are beautiful for serving, but not my favorite for baking. They take quite a bit of time to heat, sometimes this can lead to the butter softening too much in the pan before it is baked. I have also had issues with the bottom crust of the pie being a little soft and soggy. The exception is this Emilie Henry pan. Most bakers love and rave about this pan. It is however a really expensive pie pan.
- Cast iron- you make a pie just like your grandmother/great-grandmother baked her pies. Cast iron retains heat really well. It also browns the crust nice and spreads and this type of pie pan conducts heat really well. A plus, if your pan is well seasoned, there is no need to grease it. I love to use this one for my classic pies- like this apple blueberry pie.
Links for Recommended Products
Glass pans- These are the pans I use the most. They are great pans for baking and are so inexpensive!
Ceramic pie pans- here is the link for the Emilie Henry pan. It is a great one and the only one I can recommend for ceramic.
Pie weights- You can always use dried beans as well. This is a very inexpensive option. Pie weights are also good to have on hand for blind baking.
Parchment paper- I use this for lining my pies to blind-bake my crusts. You can also use tin foil, but I think parchment paper is so much better and easier to use.
Pie shield- You can use tin foil of course, but pie shields are so convenient to use.
Pastry brush- I use this for brushing off the pie crust for excess flour. It is also used for brushing the tops with egg wash, heavy cream, etc. Pastry brushes are a must!
Baking sheet- Plenty of the pies I bake are fruit pies and they have a messy filling when they bake. I will place this under the pan right before it starts to overflow. Nordicware is a great American company that I love to support.
Food processor- I always make my pie dough in this Cuisinart food processor. It is a workhorse and I use it all the time!