So I figured I'd give the OXO Batter Dispenser ($11.99) a test drive. It's a simple concept. Squeeze, and the batter comes out. Stop squeezing and the valve keeps batter from dripping. It's not totally revolutionary - some ketchup and mustard bottles use a similar system, but with a smaller opening.
For filling (and between squeezing) the dispenser fits on a base. The top comes off for easy filling and it holds about three cups of batter. It comes apart for easy cleaning and it's dishwasher safe. That's all good.
This held enough for a batch of pancakes I made, but a large batch of cupcakes would take a couple re-fillings. So that's something to consider. And because of the size of the dispensing opening, you're limited to non-chunky batters. Small bits are fine, but larger chunks of nuts or whole blueberries wouldn't work.
Is this an essential gadget? Well, no. I've been using other methods for a darned long time and no one's complained. But I do like that this is a little neater, particularly when I'm cooking for company or when I want super-neat presentation for photos. It should also be great for funnel cakes or spaetzle, although I haven't tested it for those applications.
The product was supplied for the purpose of a review on Serious Eats; this was previously published on Serious Eats.