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Equipment

The Bench Scraper Is No One-Trick Pony

If all you’re doing with your bench scraper is scraping a bench, you’re missing out.
By Published Apr. 20, 2022

One of my absolute favorite kitchen tools, the one that I never cook without, is a metal-bladed bench scraper. A bench scraper (also called a bench knife, board scraper, or dough cutter) gets a lot of use in professional bakeries and is one of those kitchen tools that you don’t realize you need in your home kitchen until you have one. I always keep mine nearby when I’m cooking or baking–it’s part of my equipment mise en place. 

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Of course, the bench scraper is most well-known for (and probably most often used for) its intended purpose—cleaning up flour on your work surface—but its versatility is what I love most of all. It can stand in for a scoop, a knife, scissors, and even a mallet. And it’s great for both baking and savory recipes.

Employing it to clean up a flour-dusted counter is life changing, for sure, but there are many other tasks a bench scraper can tackle. Once you know them, I bet a bench scraper will become one of your most beloved kitchen tools, too!

Here are my favorite ways to use a bench scraper.

  1. Collecting and cleaning up flour on a counter (the obvious)
  2. Scoring or cutting dough, such as for biscuits or scones
  3. Cutting butter, lard, shortening, and soft cheeses such as fresh mozzarella
  4. Picking up chopped fresh herbs; loose spices; and chopped onions, scallions, and garlic
  5. Opening shrink wrap on food packages, such as those used for ground beef or turkey, using its somewhat sharp edge
  6. Leveling off flour and other dry ingredients in a measuring cup
  7. Smashing garlic cloves, nuts, or peppercorns with its flat side

In the market for a bench scraper? The test kitchen’s favorite bench scraper is ​​the Dexter-Russell 6" Dough Cutter/Scraper—Sani-Safe Series.