Confectioners' Sugar Shakers

From Cook's Country | February/March 2013

Overview:

Nothing finishes a dessert more quickly or elegantly than a dusting of powdered sugar. We usually turn to a fine-mesh strainer for this task, but sugar shakers promise convenience and portability. We tested five models. The top performers featured miniature fine-mesh strainers that dispersed a fine, consistent layer of powdered sugar. Less successful models had larger holes and left sugar in unattractive piles or messy scatterings. All were dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. We liked the models that could also store sugar so we didn’t have to clean them after each use. However, shakers rely on steadiness of hand to achieve an even appearance. For this reason we still prefer the effortless results of a fine-mesh strainer. But frequent bakers may find the recommended shakers handy, especially when taking a cake to a bake sale or party.

Nothing finishes a dessert more quickly or elegantly than a dusting of powdered sugar. We usually turn to a fine-mesh strainer for this task, but sugar shakers promise convenience and portability. We tested five models. The top performers featured miniature fine-mesh strainers that dispersed a fine, consistent layer of powdered sugar. Less successful models had larger holes and left sugar in unattractive piles or messy scatterings. All were dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. We liked the models that could also store sugar so we didn’t have to clean them after each use. However, shakers rely on steadiness of hand to achieve an even appearance. For this reason we still prefer the effortless results of a fine-mesh strainer. But frequent bakers may find the recommended shakers handy, especially when taking a cake to a bake sale or party.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended - Winner

    Ateco Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Shaker

    The narrow cylinder of this metal shaker nestled snugly in testers’ hands while its mesh head produced a fine, even dusting that could be layered as needed. It doesn’t come with a cap, so it’s not ideal for storage.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $3.88

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended

    Cuisinox ­Stainless Steel Mesh Top Dispenser

    This metal shaker produced the same neat sugar coating as our top choice, but its wider shape made it slightly less comfortable to hold. If you’re assembling a dessert at a picnic or party or wish to store confectioners’ sugar in the shaker, you’ll appreciate its plastic storage cap (which takes a little practice to remove).

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $7.50

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Progressive International Powdered Sugar Keeper

    If storage and convenience are a priority, this plastic canister-style shaker takes the cake. It holds a pound of confectioners’ sugar and sports a locking lid with hidden mesh for shaking and a straight edge for leveling off a measured amount. However, it was cumbersome to shake, and sugar fell unevenly, so forget about decorating fancy desserts.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Performance ★★

    $12.95

  • Not Recommended

    Fox Run All-Purpose Plastic Shaker

    This model’s thick plastic head regularly clogged with sugar, making us tap it against the counter to dislodge clogs after a few shakes. Sugar fell in inconsistent, spotty patterns, and it was nearly impossible to target small areas.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Performance

    $1.19

  • Not Recommended

    Winware by Winco Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Dredge with Handle

    Confectioners’ sugar plummeted through the large holes of this stainless steel shaker, landing in heavy, uneven piles. The thin metal handle had sharp, unfinished edges that rubbed against our fingers as we shook out the sugar.

    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Performance

    $5.20

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