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