Bench scrapers, at first glance, can seem like a tool that only belongs in the kitchen drawers of serious bakers. But Kitchn editors have long evangelized the usefulness of this humble product. Designed for cutting dough, it can do much more than that — so much more, in fact, that we think even the non-baker can benefit from having one in his or her arsenal. Don't have one yet? Our editors' pick, the OXO Good Grips Scraper, is only $10 on Amazon.
A bench scraper (sometimes called a pastry scraper) is a long, dull blade great for making wide, even cuts through dough. This OXO version also has a large rubber grip that makes it comfortable and easy to use, giving you more precise control. But even if you aren't making your own bread, here are some of our favorite everyday uses for scrapers.
1. Food prep
When slicing and dicing food during prep, we are all often tempted to use a chef's knife to scrape ingredients into bowls or pans. This is less than ideal for a few reasons: Besides the fact that it dulls your blade, knives can either be too short or too rounded (or both!) for the job. We've written before about how a bench scraper's already-dull, wide blade is perfect for just this task. Afterwards, you can run it along the counter to get scraps meant for the trash — a few broad swipes should get most of the counter. Now imagine doing that with your chef's knife.
2. Drag-free slicing
Like another one of our favorite secret multi-purpose tools, the fish spatula, a bench scraper is also great at clean cutting. You're not going to be able to get through cuts of meat, but things like lasagna, brownies, and casseroles are best sliced by a bench scraper. The dull blade is also great for dividing up ground beef in freezer bags for easier access.
While it's a good idea to keep a ruler at hand in the kitchen, we know that it often migrates to other parts of the house where measurements are needed, too. This OXO bench scraper is also a six-inch ruler, divided down to the quarter inch. No more eyeballing things!
Do you have a bench scraper? Do you love it as much as we do?