Kitchen Tips

What to Use Instead of a Rolling Pin (10 best rolling pin substitutes)

How many times have you needed to make something and you swear you put that nissing rolling pin back in its spot? Perhaps you’re visiting a friends house who isn’t fully equipped with kitchen utensils. What can you use as a replacement? Here we’re going to discuss rolling pin substitutes. You might find it surprising that you have plenty of options in your house!

What is a rolling pin?

A rolling pin is one of those kitchen tools used for flattening and shaping dough or pastry. You might use this to roll out a pie crust/pastry dough or flatten a pizza crust/ pizza dough. It typically consists of a cylindrical rod with handles on either end, allowing for easy gripping and rolling motion. Rolling pins come in various sizes, materials, and designs.

The most common type of rolling pin is a solid wooden rod, often made from beech or maple. It provides a sturdy and comfortable grip while rolling out dough. Other materials used for rolling pins include marble, stainless steel, and silicone. Some rolling pins have a non-stick surface or adjustable rings to control the thickness of the dough.

Rolling pins are versatile and used in various baking and cooking tasks. They are primarily used to flatten dough for pastries, cookies, bread, or pizza, but can also be used for tasks like crushing crackers, tenderizing meat, or rolling out fondant for cake decorating. The smooth, even pressure applied by a rolling pin helps to achieve an even thickness and consistent texture in the dough or pastry.

What is the use of a rolling pin?

While the primary use of a rolling pin is for rolling out dough, it can also serve several other purposes in the kitchen. Here are some alternative uses for a rolling pin:

Crushing Ingredients:

You can use a rolling pin to crush crackers, cookies, nuts, or spices. Place the ingredients in a plastic bag or between two pieces of parchment paper, and then roll over them with the rolling pin to achieve the desired texture.

Tenderizing Meat:

Flatten and tenderize meat by using a rolling pin to gently pound it. This technique helps to break down the fibers, making the meat more tender and easier to cook.

Smashing Garlic or Ginger:

Place a clove of garlic or a piece of ginger on a cutting board and press it with a rolling pin. The weight and pressure from the rolling pin will crush the garlic or ginger, making it easier to peel or incorporate into recipes.

Making Cracker Crumbs:

If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can use a rolling pin to crush crackers into fine crumbs. Place the crackers in a plastic bag and roll over them until you achieve the desired consistency.

Flattening Poultry:

When preparing chicken breasts or other cuts of poultry, a rolling pin can be used to flatten them to an even thickness. This helps ensure even cooking and reduces cooking time.

Pounding Dough:

In some baking recipes, such as certain types of bread or pastry, the dough may need to be pounded or beaten with a rolling pin to develop gluten or remove excess air bubbles.

Crafting and DIY Projects:

Rolling pins can also be used for various crafting or DIY projects. They can be used to roll out polymer clay, flatten fondant for cake decorating, or even as a makeshift tool for printmaking or painting techniques.

These are just a few examples of how a rolling pin can be used beyond rolling out dough. Its versatility and simple design make it a handy tool in the kitchen and beyond.

Now, if you are in the market for a new rolling pin, here’s a great list put out by Food & Wine.

How to use a rolling pin

Using a rolling pin is relatively straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use get the best results using a rolling pin:

Prepare your work surface:

Ensure that your countertop or work surface is clean and dry. You may want to lightly dust it with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

Prepare your dough:

Shape your dough into a ball and flatten it slightly with your hands. If the dough is too cold or firm, allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to make it easier to roll.

Position your rolling pin:

Hold the rolling pin by the handles with both hands. Place it at the center of the dough, parallel to the edge closest to you.

Roll away from yourself:

Apply gentle and even pressure as you roll the pin away from yourself, moving towards the edge of the dough farthest from you. Roll in one direction rather than back and forth, as this helps maintain an even thickness.

Lift and rotate:

Lift the rolling pin and rotate the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees) clockwise. This ensures that the dough is rolled evenly and prevents it from sticking to the surface.

Roll again:

Place the rolling pin back in the center of the dough and roll away from yourself in the new direction. Repeat the rolling and rotating process until the desired thickness is achieved.

Check thickness:

Occasionally lift a corner of the dough to check if it has reached the desired thickness. Adjust your rolling accordingly.

Trim or shape:

If you need to trim the edges or shape the dough for a specific recipe, use a sharp knife or cookie cutter at this stage.

Transfer or use as needed:

Once the dough is rolled to the desired thickness and shape, you can proceed with using it in your recipe. Lift it carefully using a spatula or your hands, depending on the recipe requirements.

Remember to handle the dough gently. Avoid applying too much pressure, as this can lead to tough or uneven results. Practice and experience will help you develop a feel for the right amount of pressure. Same goes for the technique as well when using a rolling pin.

Which rolling pin is the best to use?

The best rolling pin for you depends on your personal preferences, needs, and the type of baking or cooking you frequently engage in. Here are a few popular types of rolling pins with their respective advantages:

Wooden Rolling Pin:

A classic choice, traditional rolling pin is versatile, durable, and provide a comfortable grip. They come in various lengths and thicknesses, allowing you to choose one that suits your preference. Wooden rolling pins are great for general baking needs and are particularly well-suited for pie crusts and cookie dough.

Silicone Rolling Pin:

Silicone rolling pins have a non-stick surface. This makes them excellent for rolling out sticky doughs, fondant, or gum paste. They are also dishwasher-safe and easy to clean. Additionally, some silicone rolling pins come with removable rings that allow you to control the thickness of the dough.

Marble Rolling Pin:

Marble rolling pins are known for their ability to stay cool, which can help keep dough chilled and prevent sticking. The weight of the marble provides good pressure while rolling. However, they are heavier than other types of rolling pins and require more effort to maneuver.

French Rolling Pin:

The French rolling pin, also known as a tapered rolling pin, is a long, slender, and straight rod without handles. It offers greater control and maneuverability, making it suitable for delicate doughs, such as puff pastry or laminated dough. It is lightweight and easy to store.

Adjustable Rolling Pin:

Adjustable rolling pins come with removable discs or rings of different thicknesses. They allow you to roll dough to a specific thickness. This type of rolling pin is helpful if you frequently work with doughs requiring precise thickness, such as pie crusts or pastries.

Consider factors such as your comfort, the type of dough you work with, and any specific features you desire when selecting a rolling pin. It’s also helpful to read reviews and consider recommendations from experienced bakers. Ultimately, the best rolling pin for you will be one that feels comfortable in your hands and meets your specific baking needs.

If you’re on a roll baking things, check out this muffin recipe. The kids (and adults love it!)

What are some rolling pin substitutes?

If you don’t have a rolling pin on hand, there are several rolling pin alternative options you can use to roll out dough or flatten ingredients common household items:

Wine Bottle:

A clean bottle of wine with a smooth surface can work well as a makeshift rolling pin. Just make sure to thoroughly clean and dry it before using. In my personal opinion, it’s the best option to use in the world of rolling pin substitutes, especially if you’re at a friend’s house.

Glass Jar:

Similar to a wine bottle, a glass jar can be used as a rolling pin substitute. Choose one with straight sides and a smooth surface and be sure it is non-porous glass.

Wooden Dowel or Rod:

If you have a wooden dowel or rod of appropriate size, it can be a good substitute. Ensure that it’s clean and smooth before using it.

PVC Pipe:

A clean PVC pipe with a smooth surface can serve as a makeshift rolling pin. Choose a piece that is food-safe and wash it thoroughly before using.

Marble or Granite Surface:

If you have a smooth marble or granite countertop, you can roll out dough directly on it. Ensure the surface is clean and flour it to prevent sticking (you may need a lot of flour, more than you’d expect)

Baking Sheet or Pan:

A flat, sturdy baking sheet or pan can be used as an improvised rolling pin. Use the bottom surface to apply pressure and roll out the dough.

Heavy Glass or Ceramic Dish:

Select a heavy glass or ceramic dish with a flat bottom, and use it to press and roll out the dough.

Reusable water bottle/plastic bottle or soda can:

Fill the water bottle with liquid and if using soda cans, be sure it is unopened. It’s more effective this way.

Tortilla Press:

This can take the place of a rolling pin if you are out of options. This seems like such a hard-working kitchen utensil. 😉

Your hands:

If all else fails, you can always put some sweat equity into the job using your hands.

Remember to clean and sanitize any alternative you choose before using it to ensure food safety. As you can see, there are many different shapes of objects you can use to make perfect rolling pin substitutes. You just need something that remotely represents a long cylinder/ cylindrical shape with smooth sides. As you can see, you can get very creative finding rolling pin substitutes.

How can kids help with using a rolling pin?

Involving your personal mini home cook in the kitchen, you can give them freedom to help with tasks like using a rolling pin. It can be a fun and educational experience. Here are some ways kids can participate in using a rolling pin:

Rolling out dough:

Kids can assist in rolling out dough for cookies, pizza, or pie crusts. Ensure that the surface and rolling pin are appropriately floured to prevent sticking. Let them take turns rolling the pin back and forth to flatten the dough to the desired thickness. If you don’t have enough, this is a great time to go through the list of rolling pin substitutes to share the wealth.

Using cookie cutters:

After rolling out the dough, kids can use cookie cutters to create various shapes. They can press the cookie cutters into the dough and lift the cut shapes onto a baking sheet. It’s a great opportunity for them to get creative and make their own designs.

Decorating with a rolling pin:

Kids can use a textured rolling pin or patterned rolling pin to create interesting designs on dough. These rolling pins have imprints or patterns on their surfaces, which transfer onto the dough when rolled. It adds a decorative touch to cookies or pie crusts.

Helping with measurement and ingredients:

Kids can assist in measuring ingredients and adding them to the dough mixture. Depending on their age and skill level, they can scoop flour, sugar, or other ingredients into measuring cups or bowls. This helps them develop math skills and learn about different ingredients.

Cleanup and maintenance:

Teaching kids about kitchen cleanliness and maintenance is important. After using a rolling pin, they can help clean it. They can start by wiping it down with a damp cloth or washing it gently. Show them how to store the rolling pin properly after use.

Always supervise kids closely when they’re working with a rolling pin to ensure their safety. Start with simple tasks and gradually increase the level of difficulty as they gain confidence and skill. Remember, the goal is to create an enjoyable and educational experience for them in the kitchen.

To Conclude

There are a vast number of options to use for rolling pin substitutes, but use whatever you have on hand. Remember the use of it as well. Are you trying to tenderize something? Go with the tortilla press. However, if you’re looking to flatten something out, choose the wine bottle.