Disposable Pans Are The Secret To Smoother Cheesecake Crust

There are a lot of mistakes everyone makes with cheesecake, but this simple tip is about to at least make part of the process go smoothly. Literally — we're talking about how to get a smoother cheesecake crust. One of the reasons why it can be so hard to get an Instagram-worthy cheesecake crust is that they're usually made out of graham cracker crumbs, which are, by their very nature ... crumbly. It's not rocket science. But using your fingers to pat those damp crumbs onto the side of your pie plate without them slipping off, crumbling apart, or just looking patchy and covered in fingerprints, is something of a feat. Until now.

There's an easier way to get smoother cheesecake crust, and it's all thanks to disposable pie pans (via The Kitchn). All you need is a disposable pie pan that stacks neatly inside the pie pan you'll be using to make your cheesecake. Press in your graham cracker crust as best you can with your fingers, then place the disposable pie plate on top and press down. It creates a smooth, uniform crust, and the pressure helps even out any areas that are too thick or too patchy. It works when you're not using a pie plate, too — you just need a second pan that fits neatly inside the first. You can even make your cheesecake in a springform pan, using a cake pan to press the crust up the sides.

More cheesecake crust hacks

If this hack still isn't giving you the picture-perfect cheesecake crust of your dreams, there might be another issue. Your graham cracker crumb mixture might not be the right consistency. If it's too dry, it will crumble apart. If it's too wet, it might end up sticking to the disposable pan you're using to attempt a smoother crust. You're looking for a texture that's slightly loose and that has the texture of clumping sand. Scoop up the mixture and try to press it into a ball. It should clump together. If it's soggy and squishes and loses its shape, it's too wet; if it won't hold together at all, it's too dry. Add more graham cracker crumbs to fix a too-wet mixture, and more melted butter to fix one that's too dry.

Another thing to remember is that the crust will be a little crumblier before baking. That's because the sugar in the crust mix hasn't been activated by the heat of the oven yet. As the sugar melts in the oven, it helps bind together the graham cracker crumbs, and when it cools after baking it hardens, helping the crust stay crispy and keep its shape. As long as your graham cracker mixture is the right texture before you press it into your pan, and you use the disposable pie plate hack, you should be able to say you've mastered the art of smoother cheesecake crust.