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Your take on pastry bags

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm in pastry school at the moment. The start-up kit that I purchased through my school came with a huge variety of tools: a complete knife kit (however, they're Mercer knives. I was expecting something a bit higher quality. That's not the point, though), pastry cutter, a microplane zester, 12-inch tongs, offset, and straight spatulas, a nice sized pastry tip kit, and tons of other stuff. Unfortunately, they only gave us these crap cheap disposable Wilton pastry bags, and, seeing as how we're on week eight of the term, I'm nearly out. Naturally, I'm looking for new bags -- reusable, this time.


My question:


What materials make the best pastry bags? I've seen nylon and plastic-coated canvas used, but I'm sure there are others out there. What brands do you all prefer? What size should I get? I want to find something that will really last me through daily use, and I'm just not sure what to buy, now that I'm faced with so many options. So, what do you prefer?

post #2 of 3

I am a currently a baking and pastry student, but I have been baking and making cakes and cupcakes for a long time. I use the same Wilton bags you got in your kit  or made smaller ones out of parchment paper.  You can reuse the wiltons ones quite a few times as long as your careful to clean them or run them through the dishwasher to make sure you sterilize them in between uses if your piping raw / uncooked  eggs of some kind or real butter cream made from butter .


I walk by a Sur La Table store on the way to school (they have a online store as well). Students & Pro cooks get a 15% discount or something like that. Last week I got a  17.5 Inch Silicone Pastry Bag by Fat Daddio's. (Manufactured from FDA good grade silicone). Haven't had a chance to use it yet though. It was like $8.00  with the discount.  I love the "Fat Daddio's" baking line of products so i would guess this will last me a long time.


I don't have a clue what size bag you need because I am not sure what your piping. We got 14" ones in our kit , but in the class room they have a bit bigger ones.  

post #3 of 3

It all depends on what you want ot use the bags for.


For whipped cream,mousses, etc,the dispoable ones are perfect, and if you're cheap (like me) you can wash and reuse severl times.


For stiffer mixes like pate au choux, duchess,etc. the plastic ones will burst or develop weak spots.


Old school materials were canvas. These are a bitc* to clean properly ( wash and then sanitize by boiling in a pot of water.) They also absorb stains and odors fast.  Health inspectors love to hate these things.  You do however get an excellent grip on them.


More modern is nylon, and they are easy to keep clean. don't stain or pick up odours either.  Problem is, they are slippery buggers, and when your hands are wet, or it's a stiff filling, it isn't fun to use.


Best compromise? Thermohauser makes a rubberized thingee,some kind of cotton heavily imprenated with rubber. They are very stiff when new,but last a while,and fairly easy to keep clean.  They do self destruct after a while, rubberized coating flakes off.  They still are a bitc* to clean, and I like to slide a disposable liner in them, so I only have to toss the cloth bag in  the d/washer to clean.


Always get a size larger than you need.  Twist the bag shut, and wrap the excess material around your thumb, squeeze the bag with the palm of your dormant hand and guide with your non-dormant one.  This is the way to pipe out stiff mixtures with no trouble.


You can and should learn how to make cornets from silicone paper. These are good for small jobs like icings,or chocolate. You can not exert much pressure on them or they will explode, and you can't pipe any large quantitites of "wet" items (whipped cream, etc.)without it sogging up, but they are very handy to use for small jobs.


The silicone bags sound interesting. When I see one, I'll pick one up. .


Hope this helps

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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