Grandma's hand-me-down ceramic, stoneware, or heat-resistant glass pie plates may yield perfectly flaky crusts and nostalgic baking experiences, but it seems like more and more modern bakers are opting for the convenience of single-use aluminum pie plates. And those who get their pies at the store wind up with a pile of leftover tins that just get tossed in the garbage. These disposable pie plates can be recycled through curbside programs or recycling centers fairly easily, and both methods effectively reduce energy consumption, but there are ways they can be re-used around the house before going in the recycling bin.
HOW TO UPCYCLE YOUR ALUMINUM PIE PAN
Make a Colander: Create an instant colander by poking holes in an aluminum pie pan with a small nail. The pan, once bent slightly, will fit comfortably over a deep bowl so you can strain your pasta.
Deflect Cooking Splatter: Prevent grease splatter when frying bacon by poking a few holes in an aluminum pie pan and flipping it upside down over the cooking food. If you wear a cooking glove and use tongs or a fork to remove the pie pan, you'll prevent burns and a greasy mess.
Build a Centerpiece: Create an attractive centerpiece by securing a few votive candles into a pie pan with melted wax and by then filling the surrounding areas with water, flowers, sand, or seashells.
Contain Children's Craft Supplies: Keep your kids' craft space mess-free by using several pie pans to hold beads, marbles, glitter, dried pasta, glue or paste, feathers, and paint.
Keep Bugs out of Pet Dishes: Set your pet food dishes in empty pie pans, and then fill the pie pans with about a half-inch of water to prevent ants or cockroaches from getting in the food.
Make a Mini-Dustpan: If you need a dustpan for quick clean-ups, while on-the-go, or while camping, simply cut an aluminum pie pan in half, and then just sweep up the mess.
Protect Fingers During Cookouts: Punch two small holes along the edge of a pie pan, then slide the pan on a stick that's used for roasting marshmallows or hotdogs. Anything you want to warm over an open fire or on a campfire rack while camping outdoors will be thoroughly heated and delicious.
Use as a Drip Catcher: Place an aluminum pie plate underneath your paint can to catch any drips and to prevent any permanent messes.