The Ateco 612 is your best bet. Around $50 wholesale or $75 retail. It is the most commonly sought after, and many other brands imitate it.
Plus plus and definitely you want a heavy one, with solid cast iron base. Much more stable and smooth than the plastic ones.
The tilt ones, plastic, I seldom use, but could be a necessary tool if you do a lot of side piping or side lettering. It isn’t something you want to use as your primary turntable because it isn’t as sturdy. I can tilt the Ateco 612 on something, it is heavy enough that won’t tip over.
Matfer makes a similar turntable (non-tilting) but it is near $300.
Thank you so much….your recommendation carries a lot of weight with me. I have been poring over the archives and reading as much as possible in preparation for an upcoming project and got a chance to look more at your web portfolio. Wonderful, wonderful work! And I love your yellow kitchen. I am repainting my 1960s-crazy pale-yellow and green kitchen soon and might go brighter.
I’m sure the one Hector recommends is awesome and he has far more experience than someone like me…. but I just wanted to bring a little thought about ergonomics as baking and decorating is very labour intensive so sometimes we need to also consider the most important tool - our body and how the setup and tools in our kitchen (or any work area) affects it.
If you have back trouble or just want something a little more ergonomic height-wise perhaps you could consider using a glass or ceramic lazy susan as they are lower to your work surface meaning your arms are at a better height (depending on your work surface height of course!! but generally benchtops are higher than tabletops)
My old (cheap and not nearly as nice as the one Hector recommends) turntable got a little damaged in transit years ago and I rarely have used it in the last few years (not because I don’t like it but because I’ve not made too many large cakes of late ;( !!)
So when I needed it recently I actually used my heavy tempered glass lazy susan instead which is over 16 inches in diameter which is on super smooth ballbearings running underneath at about 12 inches so it’s incredibly stable. The best things is it’s under 1 inch above the work surface (I personally don’t have back problems but it does make piping a little more comfortable!) It was just a fluke of circumstance that I used it and to be honest I’m not sure I’d go back to a turntable again now !! (Sorry Hector - my apologies to the Biscuit King
Mind you, a friend’s Mum who used to be a pastry chef years ago just stands on a step when using her turntable so she is at a better height!!
Rachel - you won’t go wrong with an Ateco (also sold under other brand names as you mentioned)... I used a $10 wilton table for years, but it pales in comparison the the heavy duty cast iron models. I will occasionally use a lazy susan when I want the cake closer to the table, but for most jobs I use my Ateco turntable.
Cate, that is a definite thinking that I give you credit and it is most correct. The Ateco is only 12 inches wide, it wouldn’t be too comfortable if you do sheet cakes and have to pipe so much on the surface or do landscapes or carved cakes. But for wedding cakes or layer cakes, the Ateco is perfect. If you need to fit something larger than 12” it will hold, most people place a baking sheet under or inverted cake pan.
I find the Ateco more ergonomic because it helps to keep my back straight by rising the cake. I am 5’10” and most often work on my regular height table, sitting down.
What I LOVE more of the Ateco, is that it turns effortlessly and precisely, it doesn’t rock sideways. Sometimes, the pressure itself from piping borders will make it turn. It stops precisely too (it doesn’t keep going and going). Rose had a orthopedics surgeon student retrofit the joint, and her is even smoother!
I use the Fat Daddios turntables, both the metal and the plastic ones. They are in my opinion, the best on the market. Even the plastic one has a smooth bearing action and is light and portable. On a related note, I use their pans too. They are Fabulous! after years of using everything from Wilton to Magic Line and everything in between I can honestly say the Fat Daddios are the best.
I’m considering the Fat Daddios. They have a cast iron base and is reputed as turning very smoothly. Also, I believe they are over 5” high. What makes the Fat Daddios pans better in your opinion. I just got the Parrish Magic Line and I love them. What is the difference?
they have a very nice smooth spin to them and are very level and solid, no wobble like some other brands I have tried. If you need a shorter turntable I would reccomend the plastic one from FD. They are made from a more durable, solid, plastic and both have an extremely smooth ball bearing set up, and I like that the base of it has little non-skid feet since it is lighter than the metal one, which has a gasket. I actually have several of the plastic ones that i use for students, and most buy them at the conclusion of classes to take home,even those who already have one from another company,lol. Both of them fit on the tops of buckets to get them up to eye level for borders, which is a must of you wish to save your back. I have put both in the freezer and have not had a lick of problem with them. I have been using them for the past year. The company is very focused on the quality of it’s products, and it shows.
Sorry Flour Girl, I didn’t see that you were asking about the pans,lol. They are a heavier guage aluminum, no seams, and are anodized. With them being thicker it insulates the sides a little more so it bakes more evenly, producing flatter tops. Also with the aondizing I find that cakes release a little better. I know that amazon sells them and there are a lot of reviews from customers on there as well. I also like the wide variety of sizes, including odd number sizes, and shapes, including commas and tiangles. This helps when trying to find size combinations for brides who want a certain amount of servings and a particular look. here is there website if you want to reasearch them. I first discovered them at the ICES convention in Dallas about 4 years ago and have been a fan ever since. I am slowly replacing all of my pans in my bakery with their pans http://www.fatdaddios.com/