Handy Kitchen Tool: The Bench Scraper

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Whenever we have bread dough to separate, icebox cookies to cut apart, or even onions to scoop into a prep bowl, we find ourselves reaching for our bench scraper. As those of us diving into the Kitchn Cure this week start to think about trimming down the number of utensils cluttering our drawers, this one is definitely a keeper.

A bench scraper is primarily intended for baking, where you'll sometimes hear it referred to as a bench cutter or pastry scraper. It's the perfect tool to portion out doughs and transfer delicate pastries onto baking sheets or serving platters. We also use it to keep our pie doughs from sticking to the counter as we roll them out by lifting up corners as they begin to stick and throwing a little flour underneath!

The dull edge isn't meant to cut through anything hard or tough, but the bench scrapper has plenty of uses on the savory side of cooking, too. The square shape of the blade makes it useful for quickly cutting dishes like our Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole and Chunky Cheesy Lasagna into equally sized portions. And as we mentioned above, the bench scrapper can make quick work of collecting all our diced veggies and clearing away scraps.

When buying a bench scraper, find one that has a thick, sturdy metal blade that won't buckle. Avoid scrapers made of plastic--these have their time and place, but we think they're less versatile than a metal one. Since our hands are often sticky or greasy when we're using bench scrapers, a good grip is a must-have. We like ones that have a rubber grip like the OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Scraper.

(Photo: Emma Christensen for The Kitchn)