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Food-safe bead chain for use as pastry weight
January 5, 2013
Q. I'd like to buy some ball chain (aka bead chain) to use as a pastry weight for when I bake pies. Here are my choices: nickel-plated steel, nickel-plated brass, or aluminum. Which one would be the best choice? The highest temp I would cook would be 450 degrees F. I'd like to just place the chain directly on the pastry and not have to use parchment paper. Will this be safe for my health?Mar Wagner
hobbyist - Chicago, Illinois, USA
A. Hi Mar. Be sure to wash the bead chain well before using it because it is not intended for food service and is hollow and could have entrapper who knows what. Shake it in a covered jar full of dish detergent and warm water, rinse and repeat.
I'd probably go with the nickel plated brass, but bake it by itself first to make sure the nickel plating doesn't flake off.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
A. As a professional plater and amateur chef, I just have to ask why not just use dried beans? You avoid all the problems with the plating of ball bearings, beans are certainly food-safe, and are used by pastry chefs all over (I assume your application is blind baking pie crust).
- Tallahassee, Florida