Don't destroy your pretty pie with a subpar serving tool.
Last Updated Aug. 4, 2023. Appears in Cook's Country TV Season 12: Pork and Pie
Our favorite pie server was redesigned, so we tested it and an additional model. The OXO Steel Pie Server remains our winner, despite minor changes to its handle.
Baking a pie is one thing. Serving it is another. You can use a knife, but a pie server, essentially a pointed spatula, is specifically designed to cut, remove, and transport pie slices and should produce picturesque, intact pieces.
When we last tested pie servers, we named the OXO Steel Pie Server our top pick, owing to its comfortable handle and broad serrated blade. But with new models on the market, we decided to retest, selecting a variety of options, including a redesigned version of our favorite.
We used the servers to slice single- and double-crust pies—both homemade and store-bought varieties, since these crusts can differ—as well as homemade cookie-crust pies. We also chose a variety of fillings to see how each tool handled different textures: smooth custard with an airy whipped cream topping; chunky fruit; and dense pecans. At the conclusion of testing, we had nearly 300 slices of pie and one clear winner. We found that three factors were most important: cutting ability, slice removal, and comfort.
The first job of a pie server is to cut through the filling and crust (or crusts). Here, blade material and design were key. One model with smooth, dull steel edges couldn't easily slice into thicker crusts or the firm, nutty top of a pecan pie. Another model with a nylon blade struggled with the initial crust-piercing; the blade bowed outward instead of driving straight down through the pie. The best pie servers had rigid stainless-steel blades with serrated edges. Though the steel models had different styles of serrations—from pointy teeth to larger scallops—all were able to effortlessly bite into the crust. However, one downside to the stainless-steel models was that they all left our favorite pie plate, which is nonstick, somewhat scratched. The nylon model was gentler.
But cutting slices was only half the equation. Next we had to remove them—and it wasn't always easy. Two of the servers' blades, at 5 and 7 inches, respectively, were too long to deftly navigate a standard 9-inch pie plate. They couldn't fit neatly underneath a single slice, sometimes leaving crust stranded in the bottom of the pie plate. One of these long models was also too narrow and had trouble during transport; slices felt unsteady on the slender 1⅞-inch-wide blade. Our top performers were shorter (approximately 4 to 4½ inches long) and wider (2½ to 3 inches across at the base); they were easier to maneuver under pies and held slices more securely.
An offset handle, which tilts up and away from the blade at an angle, was also crucial. The one model with a straight handle could...
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