Pie Boxes: The Best Boxes for Safe Pie Delivery
Nearly every time I make a pie I have to deliver it elsewhere, and I must admit, there have been times when the pies have not made it. Nobody, be they amateur bakers or professional pie-makers, should have to deal with the tragedy or misfortune of a pie damaged en route to its expectant devlourers, and thanks to the many pie box options out therefore pie delivery, nobody has to.
Below I will walk you through some of the major options you have when it comes to safely packing and transporting a pie from one place to another. Some of these pie boxes are disposable (which is great if you are delivering a pie, dropping one off, or giving it to friends) and some are reusable (which are best if you're a major pie aficionado / proponent of reusing things). I will walk you through the best of both types and hopefully neither you nor I shall experience another mishap again.
A Note on My Background
Before I go off and tell you what I think you should get when it comes to pie transport, I feel it is my duty to share my credentials as a food transport expert. Though I cannot say that I have had a great deal of experience with professional pie transport, I have had some experience with professional cupcake transport, and believe me, that process is not a piece of cake. Not only do sets of cupcakes come in lots of discrete pieces (the individual cakes), they come with carefully arranged bits of icing on top, complete with, in my case, handmade fondant decorations.
Suffice it to say that I understand everything that can go wrong in the world of delicate food transport, so I am not pulling your leg with these recommendations.
Disposable Pie Box Options
There are four main types of disposable pie containers to choose from, if you're selling pies or looking to drop a pie off as a gift for someone.
If you wish to box pies with particular flare, I recommend going with one of the many folding cardboard boxes available that have fun, often seasonal patterns. Though these are a bit more expensive than other disposable pie boxes, they offer a kind of safe, secure packaging that makes the pies inside them all the more special!
If you're selling super premium pies, going with a fancy box is definitely worth the extra mile. If you don't want to always sell pies in special boxes, you can always keep some fancy options on hand and charge a bit extra for them when people request special packaging.
If, on the other hand, the most important thing for you is that your pies have a container and some basic protection from the elements as you're moving them from point A to point B, I recommend going with the basic, classic, timeless white cardboard box. These are good for more than just pies - they're also the go-to containers for cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and all sorts of other treats, so if you want to buy a bunch of boxes and use them for a variety of purposes, the basic white cardboard box is the way to go.
If your pies are gorgeous and you want their beauty to shine through, cardboard boxes with windows are the way to go. If you sell pies, these are a good option if you prefer to sell them once they're already boxed. If you do use the boxes, though, be careful with the top parts - press on the plastic too hard and it'll pop right through.
If you plan on transporting pies in the rain or in otherwise wet weather, you might consider going with plastic hinged containers. These won't get soggy around moisture or rain like cardboard will, plus they also keep pies visible, so they're great for gorgeous pies as well.
Reusable Pie Boxes
When choosing a reusable pie box, you'll need to first decide how you'll be transporting it, and what other sorts of food you intend to transport.
A lot of reusable containers that are good for pies are good for cakes, too. Some even have two tiers with additional recessed slots for cupcakes. So if you want to invest in something that works for a variety of things, I recommend going with these.
There are some simpler, less expensive pie boxes that are more just for pies. If you're trying to choose between these, you'll need to consider how you'll be carrying these around. If you plan to cart around your pies in larger boxes, and just want to make sure that the tops are protected, you won't need something with a handle, but if you intend to carry your pies on foot, go with one of the plastic pie boxes that has a handle on top.
The nice thing about most of these pie containers is that they also keep pies fresh, so even when you're not using them to move your pies around, you can use them to keep your pies fresh! They sure as heck beat plastic wrap. Yech.
Advice on Shipping
If you plan on sending pies via mail, you'll need to be a bit more careful on boxing, and you'll need to use more than one box. When I was involved in shipping cupcakes, three different boxes were involved, actually.
You'll need the inner box to simply contain the pie, another box to keep the pie secure, and a third, outer shipping box to contain the boxed pie and any added cold packs and filler.
When you do ship pies, try to use the nicest, or most easily recyclable packaging possible, and encourage pie recipients to re-use and recycle the boxes after they have unboxed the pie. It's a drag that so much material has to be used to safely mail a pie, so one might as well make the most of it!