Pastry Bags

Published March 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

Plain canvas may be traditional, but it doesn't make the best pastry bag.

Overview:

Pastry chefs can make decorative work like piping perfect meringues or buttercream rosettes look easy. But as we piped out meringues with five different sacks, we found that the bag itself can make a difference. We preferred larger models of about 18 inches, which give you enough length to grip and twist the top. While canvas is traditional, we liked materials such as plastic and coated canvas that are easier to clean. Finding the apertures of our bags sometimes too large or too small to work with tips bought separately, we learned that pastry bags have larger openings for handling jobs such as meringues or mashed potatoes, while decorating bags’ smaller openings fit the tiny piping tips for fine scrollwork and writing. If your pastry-tip set didn’t come with a coupler to help adapt tips to your bag, you can buy one at any kitchen store.

Once fitted with the right size tip, each bag piped both heavy frosting and ethereal meringue equally well. Cut-to-fit disposable plastic bags made for mess-free cleanup, but we ultimately… read more

Pastry chefs can make decorative work like piping perfect meringues or buttercream rosettes look easy. But as we piped out meringues with five different sacks, we found that the bag itself can make a difference. We preferred larger models of about 18 inches, which give you enough length to grip and twist the top. While canvas is traditional, we liked materials such as plastic and coated canvas that are easier to clean. Finding the apertures of our bags sometimes too large or too small to work with tips bought separately, we learned that pastry bags have larger openings for handling jobs such as meringues or mashed potatoes, while decorating bags’ smaller openings fit the tiny piping tips for fine scrollwork and writing. If your pastry-tip set didn’t come with a coupler to help adapt tips to your bag, you can buy one at any kitchen store.

Once fitted with the right size tip, each bag piped both heavy frosting and ethereal meringue equally well. Cut-to-fit disposable plastic bags made for mess-free cleanup, but we ultimately preferred a more durable, reusable plastic coated pastry bag.

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  • Product Tested

  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    Ateco 18-Inch Plastic-Coated Pastry Bag

    The diameter of this bag’s opening—just over 1/2 inch—accommodates a wide range of tip sizes. Plus the plastic- coated canvas combines the best of a durable material with a slick, easy-cleaning interior.

    $4.45

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Wilton 18-Inch Featherweight Decorating Bag

    Recommended with Reservations

    Wilton 18-Inch Featherweight Decorating Bag

    This sturdy, lightweight, and easy-to-clean polyester bag would have been great were it not for its prohibitively small opening (less than 1/2 inch in diameter) that failed to fit a wide-mouthed tip.

    $8.99

  • Ateco 18-Inch Wunderbag

    Recommended with Reservations

    Ateco 18-Inch Wunderbag

    Virtually the same as the Wilton bag, save for sturdier material (polyurethane-coated cotton felt), a loop for hanging, and a few extra dollars in cost. Its less than 1/2-inch aperture was also too small.

    $11.99

  • Not Recommended

    Ateco 18-Inch Canvas Pastry Bag

    Here we found the opposite problem: The tip hole ran a full inch wide and failed to hold the smallest metal point. Moreover, plain canvas felt stiff, and it retained odors and stayed damp after an overnight dry.

    $4.75

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