You may have heard Alton Brown and many others complaining about “unitaskers,” or kitchen tools that have only one purpose, and for good reason: they take up more space than they deserve and you probably won’t use them often enough to justify the expense. The Wilton Perfect Fill Batter Dispenser fits squarely into the category of unitaskers, so I was hesitant to add it to my collection. This review is for those of you who are similarly on the fence.
During the first use (and the several that followed), my hesitation proved baseless. I am honestly a little amazed at how much I like this product. It is small, simple, and effective. It works just like a decorating tip, and can be used with gallon-sized plastic bags if you don’t have any regular decorating bags. Gone are the days of batter dripped all over counters and muffin tins, ready to blacken your bakeware and hide itself where you never thought batter could go. I consider this tool $5 very well spent. Read on for a more in-depth analysis (aka “Ode to the Wilton Perfect Fill Batter Dispenser”).
Price and Packaging
At the time of writing this post, one tip costs $5.49 at Michael’s, or $2.97 at Amazon as an Add-on Item. For about $10, you can get a set of two tips with three 16″ decorating bags (I was able to find this at Amazon and Sur la Table in stores). I bought the single tip, and once I used it, I found myself thinking that I really should have gotten the two-piece set. They are useful and easy to store, and it would be nice to be able to work with two different batters at the same time without having to either clean the dispenser tip or resort to the spoon method.
I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the packaging. Try as I might, I couldn’t get into it without destroying it entirely (see below). This is a slight problem, as the instructions are printed on the back of the packaging. Fortunately, this tip works almost exactly like a pastry tip coupler, so it wasn’t the end of the world. If you want to save the instructions, I’d suggest cutting that part of the cardboard off before tearing into the rest of the packaging.
As mentioned above, this dispenser tip works just like a decorating tip. To set it up, you simply insert the screw-shaped piece into a decorating bag (or a gallon-sized plastic bag), snip the corner of the bag at the end of the thread, push the inner piece through the hole, and screw the outer piece onto it. Fill the bag as you would fill any pastry bag, and you’re all set!
Now, all you have to do is squeeze the batter into your receptacle of choice. The batter comes out looking a bit ropy, but it settles with time.
I tried this tip with a few different consistencies of batter, and it did great with all of them. I was most worried about the thinner batter because I thought it might leak out through the star-shaped, silicone opening. As you can see from the picture of the brown batter below, that wasn’t a problem. If anything, the tip is almost too restrictive. You have to exert some strength to squeeze the batter out, and for thick batters like muffin batter, your hands will probably get a bit tired by the time you’re done. I’d rather have to squeeze harder than have my batter leak everywhere, but that is really a matter of personal preference.
As I mentioned at the beginning, you can use this tip with 16″ decorating bags or gallon-sized, resealable plastic bags. If you do use the resealable bags, the sturdier, the better (i.e., freezer bags rather than the really thin ones you use with twist ties). I was able to fit all the batter for a 2-layer, 9″ cake in one bag without needing to refill, and it squeezed out easily enough. Decorating bags will be a bit sturdier and easier to manipulate, but if you want to make more than 6 cupcakes at a time, you will need to refill the bag (this is also where having a second tip can come in handy).
Cleaning and Durability
I tried cleaning this both by hand and in the dishwasher, and both were easy and effective. Both pieces of the tip can sit on the uprights of the top rack of your dishwasher (you’ll just need to shove the outer piece down if you don’t want it to fall off). If you’re hand washing, a sponge fits easily enough inside both pieces as well.
Both components are made of sturdy, hard plastic. The opening of the tip is made of flexible silicone with slits in it, which holds the batter in until you squeeze the bag firmly. Over time, I could see the silicone opening wearing out from repeated use and cleaning, particularly if you clean it in the dishwasher as I suggested. This will lessen its ability to contain the batter, and the only recourse will be to buy a new tip. That said, I’ve used this tip several times already and haven’t seen any loss of shape yet, and I think it should hold up for some time yet.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
That is the question, isn’t it? For the Wilton Perfect Fill Batter Dispenser, I’d say the answer is a definite buy. It’s not particularly expensive, it doesn’t take up much space, and it doesn’t much matter if you make cake everyday or only once in awhile (it’ll be useful either way). I know it’s hard to get yourself to buy something silly like this when it’s not necessary to get the job done, but trust me, it will make your life easier. If you’re like me and have a hard time justifying the purchase, put it on your wishlist or consider giving it as a gift. The gift recipient’s feedback will probably push you over the edge to get one for yourself!
Please note that I paid for this product with my own money and did not receive any compensation from Wilton for this review, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I simply wanted to try this attachment to satisfy my own curiosity and to share my results with other curious bakers.