Restaurant cooks love these handy bottles. We put the squeeze on them to find the best.
Published Apr. 15, 2020.
Once seen mostly in restaurant kitchens and at hot dog stands, squeeze bottles have become increasingly common in home kitchens as well. They’re handy for storing and dispensing oil, vinegar, and other condiments and sauces. We like them in particular because they offer a precise, controlled pour. By squeezing the flexible plastic sides of the bottle, you can easily modulate the volume of food that comes out through the narrow spout—a welcome development for anyone who’s ever tried to measure an exact tablespoon of olive oil from the bottle and ended up with a whole counter doused in it. We wanted to know which squeeze bottle was best for home cooks, so we bought five widely available models priced from about $1.00 to about $6.00 per bottle. While these bottles come in many sizes, we decided to focus on bottles with a capacity of 16 ounces, the most common and practical size available, using each to store and pour different volumes of water, simple syrup, oil, and ketchup and to make, store, and pour Make-Ahead Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette.
All the bottles did a good job of holding and dispensing their contents; none of these bottles will ruin your day unless you neglect to screw the top on tightly before use. But a few features made certain models a little easier to use than others. When it came to filling them, we much preferred bottles with wider mouths (the bigger openings below the lid you use to fill the bottles) that measured about 2 inches in diameter. Bottles with narrower mouths required us to aim more carefully as we poured freehand into the bottle from a larger vessel; when we used a funnel, it sat slightly less securely in these narrower mouths, tipping to one side more readily than in the wider ones. Bottles with wide mouths were also easier to clean, providing plenty of clearance for us to insert our favorite bottle brush so that we could scrub out any sticky ketchup or pieces of shallot and herb from the vinaigrette.
In general, bottles with narrow mouths had narrow bodies as well, with most measuring about 8 inches around. These narrower bottles were slightly easier for testers with smaller hands to grip securely, but even larger bottles with circumferences of about 9 inches were manageable for most hands.
The flexibility and type of plastic used to make the bottles were more important than their circumference. Stiffer bottles were harder to squeeze, requiring a little more muscle to dispense their contents. The stiffest model was made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is typica...
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Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.