Earlier this week we talked about making pancake shapes, for which there is no tool quite as wondrous as the simple squeeze bottle.
I first got the idea to use a squeeze bottle for pancake batter from a couple of experienced pancake-making moms. One of them recommended simply washing out an empty ketchup bottle (you could really use any condiment that comes in a similarly shaped bottle with a narrow opening or spout). Another had picked up a couple from a restaurant supply and dedicated them especially to making pancakes. I did a little bit of both.
As you may know, I am a big fan of reusing and repurposing old containers. But I found that the ketchup bottle we’d tried for making pancake shapes had too big of an opening, so it was difficult to draw fine lines and details, as it all came gushing out a little too fast. I imagine a yellow mustard bottle would serve the purpose much more elegantly.
I later spotted a squeeze bottle on sale at the grocery store for a couple of bucks. It has become my go-to for making pancake shapes, but still isn’t quite perfect. Its lid pops on and off pretty easily, which can mean a huge mess and lots of frustration when you’re trying to create a masterpiece.
The best type of squeeze bottle is this one, the kind you see most often at burger joints and restaurants. You can find them pretty easily at kitchen and restaurant supply stores; they’re usually a couple of bucks apiece. Their lids screw on tight and you can keep the tips very narrow or snip them down a bit with a sharp scissor to create a wider opening.
Aside from making creative pancakes, squeeze bottles can come in handy for a lot of the same things pastry bags do—use them to decorate cakes or cookies or fill pastries or cake balls. You can also use them to squeeze on a basting liquid or marinade while you’re cooking meats.