Your bench scraper has news for you: You're not using it enough. A bench scraper is one of those inexpensive kitchen essentials that lasts a lifetime and has a million uses, but is somehow one of the most underrated tools. I keep mine wedged between a plastic drawer divider tray and the side of the drawer, so it's easy to grab.
Whether you have one that's hiding in a drawer somewhere, or you've yet to figure out how versatile the tool is, you might want to catch up on all the reasons why a bench scraper is so handy.
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Photo by Rocky Luten
It’s a scraper, of course. True to its name, you can use it to scrape congealed bread dough (sounds delicious, no?), hardened chocolate, or any other kind of wet, dry, or sticky stuff from your counter or pastry board. It makes your surfaced so much easier to wipe down with soap and water afterward. In a pinch, a bench scraper can even scrape paint or remove ice from car windows—just be sure to clean it well afterward.
It’s a straight edge. Use it to level a cup of flour, tighten a log of cookie dough in parchment paper, fold over pastry dough, or if you're short an offset spatula, level batter in a cake or sheet pan.
Photo by Rocky Luten
It’s a knife. Use it to trim the edges of rolled-out dough, cut square or oblong cookies, or portion out bread dough for rolls.
It’s an extra-wide spatula. Use it to loosen pastries, transfer cookies or biscuits, lift a fragile cake layer, or divide and scoop sifted flour from wax paper into a mixing bowl. You can even turn a fragile fish fillet on the grill.
It’s a ruler. If you grab one that has measurements along the edge, use it to check the thickness of pie or biscuit dough, a piece of meat, length of a lady finger—the list is endless.
This post was updated March 2022 with more reasons why you need a bench scraper.
Do you use a bench scraper? Let us all the ways you use it below!
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My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).