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Your Guide to Piping Like a Pro

No need to fear piping—here are our tips and tricks to help you fill, use, and wash your pastry bag with ease.
By Published Feb. 2, 2021

A pastry bag fitted with the appropriate-size tip is the most efficient tool for piping uniformly sized mounds of dough for recipes like our Choux au Craquelin and filling the baked puffs with cream. If you’re new to working with a pastry bag, these tips can help you pipe like a pro—as well as reduce waste.

1. Prevent Leaks

Place pastry tip in bag. Twist bag near tip and gently press twisted portion into tip to create temporary barrier. (When ready to pipe, pull on tip to release barrier.)

2. Fill Efficiently 

Place pastry bag in tall container and fold down sides. Fill halfway (multiple smaller loads, versus a single big load, are easier to manage, especially if you have small hands).

3. Do the Twist

Twist upper half of bag closed to push contents down toward tip; twisted upper half will allow you to continue exerting pressure on filling to pipe. 

4. Remove Air Bubbles

Before piping in earnest, press out small amount of filling on parchment paper or other surface; this eliminates air bubbles that can cause filling to spurt unevenly.

5. Get Every Last Bit

When bag is almost empty, lay bag on side and use plastic bowl scraper or credit card (avoid metal tool, since it can tear bag) on outside of bag to press contents toward tip.

6. Clean and Reuse

As long as it isn’t punctured, even a disposable pastry bag can be reused. To clean, turn bag inside out and scrub gently with warm, soapy water; stand up to air-dry.

Consider the Bismarck

If you make filled pastries frequently, you might want to consider purchasing a Bismarck piping tip. Because the nozzle of a Bismarck tip is long and thin, it can get deep into pastries for maximum filling. Fit it into your pastry bag as usual and load the bag with your filling (smooth fillings only, please); then, insert the nozzle deep into the center of your pastry and squeeze. As the pastry begins to fill, slowly pull the nozzle out of the pastry, continuing to squeeze as you go. Bismarck tips can be found at baking supply stores and craft shops and online.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.