5 Reasons You Need Kitchen Squeeze Bottles (Hacks and Recipes!) | Yummly
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5 Reasons You Need Kitchen Squeeze Bottles (Hacks and Recipes!)

Plastic squeeze bottles are inexpensive, easy to use, and versatile. Here’s how to make the most of this humble kitchen superstar.

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Photograph by Olga Ivanova

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I’m not big on single-purpose kitchen gadgets. That’s one reason I love to pick up condiment squeeze bottles at my local restaurant supply store or on Amazon — keeping a few on hand is more efficient than clogging the drawer with three or four kitchen tools. Plus, the following squeeze bottle hacks make this home cook feel like a restaurant chef.

Jump ahead to:

Tips to make the most of your squeeze bottles >>

1. Make no-splatter batters >>

2. Use the right amount of oil >>

3. De-sticky your syrups >>

4. Shake a big-batch salad dressing >>

5. Skip the pastry bags >>

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Tips to make the most of your squeeze bottles

With a supply of these inexpensive bottles on hand, you’ll be amazed at how many different ways you find to use them — I sure was. Before you start squeezing, here are some tips for getting ingredients in — and out — of the bottles.

  • Buy oils, vinegars, soy sauce, ketchup, bbq sauce, and other condiments in bulk, then transfer some of each to its own kitchen squeeze bottle, labeled with masking tape or stickers. You won’t need the bulk containers for a while, but when your squeeze bottles are empty, all you need to do is refill. You’ll be surprised how much money you save.

  • Use a funnel to neatly transfer condiments to their new, squeezy homes. Wide-mouth squeeze bottles are easiest to work with.

  • For thicker batters or salad dressings with small chunks, snip off the tip of the narrow squeeze bottle spout until it’s wide enough for the task at hand.

  • The dishwasher cleans squeeze bottles perfectly, but I don’t have one. Instead I add a drop of dish soap and some hot water, close up the squeeze bottle, and give it a shake. Squirt out the soapy water to clean the spout, rinse, and let air dry.

1. Make no-splatter batters

A picture of squeezing pancake batter from a squeeze bottle into a frying pan to make a pancake butterfly
Photograph by Brittany Conerly

I used to grab an ice cream scoop to portion cupcake batter into my muffin tins, but I’d always wind up with drips everywhere. Then I realized I could use squeeze bottles to fill the tin without wasting a drop (or making a mess). Almost any batter that’s a pourable consistency will be easier to work with when it’s squeezable. Try squirting pancake batter onto a hot griddle, too — my son loves to make fun designs that way. Maybe you’ll get good enough to turn squeeze bottle pancake art into a second career.

Bacon Pancake Dippers

These are much easier to make than pancake portraits of TV stars, but no less crowd-pleasing. Just cook bacon until crisp, then cover each strip with pancake batter. A squeeze bottle is the ideal tool for this task.

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

It’s not hard to make cupcakes. But if you want to make sure you portion them evenly and have minimal cleanup afterwards, you can’t beat a squeeze bottle with a wide opening. These classic, fine-crumbed vanilla cupcakes may seem basic, but the results are spectacular. 

2. Use the right amount of oil

A picture of using a kitchen squeeze bottle filled with oil to cook eggs in a frying pan
Photograph by Olga Ivanova

A pretty oil cruet looks nice, but in my experience it’s virtually impossible to a) pour out exactly what I need, and b) avoid dripping on the stove or counter. The narrow tip of a squeeze bottle solves both those problems — and it’s especially handy when I’m doing a quick saute, or when a recipe calls for an artistic drizzle of oil just before serving. Pro tip: While the oil won’t drip as much as it does from a larger container, you may find that a little slides down the outside of the bottle. Fold a piece of paper towel, wrap it around the middle, and secure it with a rubber band. That’ll catch any drips and make it easier to handle. 

Green Gazpacho

Yummly Original

All summer long, I keep a big container of gazpacho in the fridge. This version swaps tomatoes and garlic for cucumber, green grapes, and celery. That drizzle of oil at the end is absolutely crucial — it adds richness, but too much would be overwhelming.

Pizza Margherita

In Italy, pizza often gets finished with a flavorful extra-virgin olive oil before serving. This Neapolitan-style recipe follows that tradition. The oil brings out the flavors of the simple toppings, nothing but San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. 

3. De-sticky your syrups

A picture of a kitchen squeeze bottle filled with simple syrup for making mojitos
Photograph by Brittany Conerly

I buy real maple syrup in quart jugs. I can’t tell you how many times my kid drenched his pancakes — so much so that even he was unhappy about it. I transferred the syrup to a squeeze bottle and never looked back. That same idea makes squeeze bottles great for simple syrup and other mixers, to make sure you’re not overpowering your cocktails. 

Raspberry Shrub

A shrub is what’s known as a drinking vinegar — a combination of fruit, sugar (or simple syrup), and vinegar. This one uses raspberries, but you can swap in almost any fruit that appeals to you. It’s deliciously refreshing with a little seltzer and lime juice. Add a splash of vodka, and you’ve got a memorable cocktail.


A mojito is one of my go-to warm weather cocktails, a refreshing combination of fresh mint, lime juice, rum, and club soda. Use a squeeze bottle to add just the right amount of simple syrup (nothing more than equal parts water and sugar, heated together until the sugar is completely dissolved).

4. Shake a big-batch salad dressing

A picture of a kitchen squeeze bottle filled with salad dressing being used to add dressing to a green salad
Photograph by Brittany Conerly

Not only are squeeze bottles handy for dressing a salad without drowning it, they’re also great for making the dressing and storing it in the fridge. Just add all your ingredients, cover the tip with your finger, shake well, and you’re done. If it separates in the fridge, simply shake it back together. I keep a couple different options in my fridge — they’re as convenient as store-bought. Try this with homemade versions of your favorite condiments, like ketchup, mayo, and mustard, too.

Citrus Vinaigrette

Champagne vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, and olive oil combine in a bright dressing that will liven up even the simplest greens. This recipe yields enough for three big salads. Be sure to mince the shallot fine enough to go through the opening of the squeeze bottle — or cut the hole a little bigger.

Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette

Sweet, smokey, and tangy, this is a copycat version of the one you’ll find at Chipotle restaurants. You’ll want at least a 16-ounce squeeze bottle (or a couple of smaller ones) for this, since it makes quite a bit.

5. Skip the pastry bags

A picture of a kitchen squeeze bottle filled with jelly, adding jelly to a doughnut
Photograph by Brittany Conerly

I own a bazillion pastry bags and tips, but unless I’m doing precise decorations, they’re too fussy for me. When all I want to do is fill something, I reach for a squeeze bottle. The tip is similar to what you’d get with a pastry bag, but the bottle is easier to handle and refill. 

Homemade Five Cheese Ravioli with Garlic Brown Butter Sauce

From-scratch ravioli takes just a little over an hour — and you can shave off even more time by using a squeeze bottle to portion out the filling. Cut the tip to widen it, or leave it off completely. Picture yourself breezing across a sheet of fresh pasta dough, no fiddling with spoons or measuring.

Jelly Doughnuts

I used to think homemade jelly doughnuts were too much trouble, and then I found this recipe that uses prepared pizza dough. But the last step has you futz with skewers and zip-top plastic bags to fill the doughnuts. It’s so much easier with a squeeze bottle.

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