This $12 Bench Scraper Is Our Food Editor’s Desert Island Kitchen Tool

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bench scraper
Sur la Table

As a home cook with a small kitchen, I shy away from single-use gadgets and appliances unless they’ll truly add value to my daily cooking. (Aside from counterspace, it’s the reason I’ve held out on buying an air fryer.) On the flip side, if a cooking tool can prove itself useful to me in myriad ways, it’s a keeper—hence my love for stainless steel over nonstick and the reason I’ll justify owning a KitchenAid mixer.

So what’s the gadget I turn to most frequently in the kitchen? It’s nothing glamorous, flashy or newfangled. It’s a $12 metal bench scraper.

You’re either thinking this tool only applies to *serious* bakers, or your eyes have glazed over completely. But I promise you, everyone who cooks (or bakes) anything would be better off with a bench scraper in their drawer. Welcome to my TED Talk; take a seat and allow me to elaborate.

A Bench Scraper Is Cheap

Unlike large countertop appliances, which may be multi-use but can cost an arm and a leg in both money and square footage, a bench scraper is affordable and easy to store. The one I like costs $12—it’s made of stainless steel and has measurements written on it—but you can buy flexible plastic bowl scrapers that are even cheaper. Hell, you can buy a pack of ten and beat them up knowing there’s another one waiting for you. And this bench scraper is a little guy! You can throw it in a drawer and it won’t take up much space.

A Bench Scraper Is Versatile

Some single-use tools are necessary, like a can opener or a salad spinner. If you’re lucky, you can come up with innovative ways to put them to work. A bench scraper doesn’t even have to try and it’s versatile. Despite its name, it’s not just for “scraping the bench,” aka removing flour from a worksurface when baking bread. You can certainly use it for that task…but you can also use it to cube butter for baking, move chopped vegetables from your cutting board to a hot skillet, clean up pesky bits of chopped parsley and scrape all the crap from your board straight into the trash. It’s great for dividing dough, leveling a cup of flour, or serving as a makeshift spatula. You know how annoying it is to remove a barcode sticker from a new purchase? It makes quick work of that too.

A Bench Scraper Will Make You a Better Cook

Am I being dramatic? Maybe. But I really do believe that adding a bench scraper to your toolkit will improve your cooking and make your time spent in the kitchen more pleasant. It makes tedious takes easier and cleanup a breeze, so you can work more efficiently and focus your energy on the important stuff (namely, eating). Is it going to sous vide a steak for you? No…but it could probably lift the steak out of the pan if you tried.

13 Essential Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...