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I have one of those ceramic pie birds that vent steam from a pie while it bakes. What benefit does using this provide to the end result? Also, in what types of pies should it be used?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

From this site I found that there are two major benefits to using a pie bird

  1. Prevent the pie from boiling over in the oven by allowing the steam created when the fruit filling or other contents are cooking to escape from inside the pie

  2. Support the pastry crust in the center of the pie, so that it did not sag in the middle

Based on the site it seems that they can be put in any type of pie.

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I can add that while you could probably use it with any type of closed pie, you must use one (or a DIY steam vent) when baking a pâté in a crust. Not only will it let the steam escape, you need the big hole to fill the not-yet-set gelatine mix after it has cooled.

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