Straight to the Point
Our favorite bowl scraper is the Indigo True bowl scraper. It’s flexible enough to scrape down the sides of bowls and stiff enough to cut through sticky dough. We also liked the KitchenAid Gourmet Bowl Scraper, which comes as a set of two scrapers (one larger silicone scraper and one smaller nylon scraper).
We’ve talked about how much we love the bowl scraper, an unassuming kitchen tool. Though a bowl scraper's not the most aesthetic piece of gear in the kitchen, it's incredibly versatile: helping to grab all the little clinging bits of dough from the side of your mixing bowl, as well as gather up chopped ingredients from your cutting board and clean up kitchen scraps from around your countertop.
But bowl scrapers come in a vast array of different shapes, materials and sizes. They’re often made of plastic, nylon, or silicone. The typical scraper is D-shaped, with a flat edge on one side and a curved edge on the other (allowing you to scrape the sides and bottom of a bowl). But they also come in some oddly shaped configurations as well. We tested 10 popular models to find a bowl scraper that performed well and was versatile and easy to clean.
The Winners, at a Glance
The Best Bowl Scraper: The Indigo True Bowl Scraper
Also available at Indigo True.
This is a large, D-shaped plastic scraper with a thick ridge on its flat side. Since it’s bigger than other standard D-shaped scrapers, it worked quickly and efficiently. It’s flexible enough to allow you to scrape down nearly any shaped bowl, from narrow and tall to wide and shallow. But it’s also firm and thin enough to allow you to cut through dough and pick up fragile gnocchi. The sleek surface makes clean up easy and the thicker ridge on the tool is easy to grip, even if your hands are slippery from oil or washing dishes.
The Best Bowl Scraper Set: KitchenAid Gourmet Bowl Scraper Set
The KitchenAid Gourmet Bowl Scraper set is designed especially for tall bowls, like the one attached to your stand mixer. The set contains a long and narrow silicone tool that is thicker than other scrapers, but works surprisingly well on all bowl shapes due to the small, rounded bottom and the flat top side. Thicker than other scrapers, the silicone surface was softer and more comfortable to grip as well. The set also included a small heat-proof nylon pot scraper that is handy for scraping down the bottom of pots or saucepans, as well as cutting dough and picking up delicate gnocchi.
- Dough Test: We made batches of high hydration, no-knead focaccia bread dough (an extremely sticky substance) in both metal and glass bowls to test how well the dough scraper cleaned the edges and bottom of the bowl, as well to see how it fared gathering the dough together into a ball. We then cleaned each bowl scraper by hand to see how easy it was to get sticky dough off of the tool.
- Pumpkin Puree Test: We used the bowl scrapers to push 1-cup of pumpkin puree through a fine mesh sieve, to see how easy it was to use the scraper and if the pumpkin puree stained the scraper.
- Gnocchi Test: We made batches of potato gnocchi to see how well the bowl scrapers cut and folded in the flour to the riced potatoes. After rolling out the dough, we also used the bowl scrapers to slice and pick up the delicate dough, moving the gnocchi to a pot of boiling water.
- Usability and Cleanup Tests: Throughout testing, we evaluated how easy the scrapers were to hold onto and use. After each test, we cleaned every scraper by hand.
What We Learned
Most of the Scrapers Were D-Shaped for a Reason
We tested a few oddly shaped bowl scrapers, including the GIR scraper, which had an elongated pointed edge; the Cuisipro bowl scraper, with a double rounded end that looked like a lopsided heart; and the kidney-shaped Fox Run bowl scraper. However, the majority of bowl scrapers had a curved side and a flat straight side, just like a capital D. Turns out, this classic shape was what we preferred.
Why? The flat side of the scraper was comfortable to hold, while the curved side arced around bowl walls easily. This curved side also made it easier to push pumpkin puree through a fine mesh sieve. The irregular-shaped scrapers did okay in our tests, but D-shaped just flat-out performed better and felt more natural in our hands than the non-D-shaped scrapers.
Larger Scrapers Were Better Scrapers
Though there were smaller bowl scrapers that worked well, both of our favorite bowl scrapers were on the larger side. The Indigo True was a little over six inches long, while the bigger KitchenAid bowl scraper was seven inches long. The larger scrapers not only scraped down more of the surface in one easy sweep, but also felt more comfortable in the hand. Smaller scrapers required more work and elbow grease.
Flexibility Was the Name of the Game
One of the big differences between a bowl scraper and a bench scraper is stiffness. Bowl scrapers are designed to flex and bend, allowing you to scrape down the sides of a curved bowl. Bench scrapers are rigid, allowing you to cut, clean, and scrape down flat surfaces. So, it makes sense that one of the most important features of the bowl scraper would be the flexibility.
Turns out that there’s a sweet spot: too flexible, and the scraper smushes and bends against the side of the bowl, like the Cuisipro scraper did. This made it harder to scrape down the sides properly. But too stiff, like the Ateco bowl scraper, and you can really only scrape down a bowl that fits the profile of the bowl scraper's curve. Find the right sweet spot of flexibility, like that of the Indigo True, and it can bend to scrape any bowl you want.
We Had Gripes About Some of the Grips
Because bowl scrapers are made of slippery plastic, nylon, or silicone, grip was an issue. Plastic and nylon scrapers were easy to clean, but got real slippery, especially when oil or fat was involved. And the more tightly you have to hold the scraper, the more your hand starts to ache.
Our favorite scraper, the Indigo True, helped alleviate hand fatigue by adding a thicker ridge on the flat end, which made it easier to hold and pick up. The KitchenAid bowl scraper was made of a soft touch silicone and was thicker then other models, adding to its grip.
Silicone vs. Nylon vs. Plastic
Many of the silicone bowl scrapers we tested had too-soft edges, smushing up against the side of the bowl and onto the flat surface under the gnocchi dough, marring it. Of the silicone scrapers, only the KitchenAid and GIR scraper edges were firm enough to properly scrape the bowl and cut the dough.
On the other hand, the nylon and plastic materials were firmer, but sometimes too firm. This made them less versatile than the more flexible scrapers and uncomfortable to hold. No matter the material, all of the scrapers stained slightly with the pumpkin puree. Bottom line: the material didn't matter as much as the shape, flexibility, and added usability features of the scraper.
The Criteria: What to Look for in a Bowl Scraper
The bowl scraper’s main job is to be able to scrape down the contents of a bowl, whether it’s swiping up every drop of thin brownie batter, gathering up thicker cookie dough, or pulling off sticky bread dough from the sides. But it’s also a versatile tool that can be used to cut dough into portions, pick up ingredients or kitchen scraps, as well as push puree through a sieve.
To maximize and get the most out of your scraper, look for one that's larger in size, and that feels comfortable in your hand. In our tests, thicker scrapers, or ones that have textured edges or a ridge to hold onto, were more comfortable. Thin and slick scrapers were harder to hold and created hand fatigue. Flexibility was also important, but we still wanted a bit of stiffness to cut dough.
The Best Bowl Scraper: The Indigo True Bowl Scraper
Also available at Indigo True.
What we liked: This scraper hit the sweet spot of being both pliable and sturdy; it was flexible enough to scrape down a variety of bowls, and firm and stiff enough to scoop up and cut through a soft dough, like gnocchi.
The Indigo True is slightly larger than other scrapers, which means you can scoop more dough off the sides of the bowl without having to go back and do another swipe. It’s made of thinner material, which can make working with stiffer, thicker dough more challenging, but the pliability of the plastic allows you to easily bend the scraper, which in turn gives it more structure and stiffness to compensate.
Though this bowl scraper is thinner than other scrapers, and made of slick plastic, the flat straight side of the scraper has a thicker ridge edge on it, which helps minimize hand fatigue. Grabbing the scraper feels easy and more secure, especially if your hands are slippery from working with oiled focaccia dough or damp from working with warm, just riced baked potatoes. The thin material is also great for picking up delicate pieces of gnocchi or other fragile doughs, as the scraper slides underneath without marring or smashing them.
Finally, the scraper was easy to clean. Sticky dough washed off easily. And the plastic itself had minimal staining when used to push pumpkin puree through a mesh sieve.
What we didn't like: The thin material makes working with stiff and thick doughs challenging, requiring you to bend the scraper to give it more structure and sturdiness. It's also not dishwasher-safe.
Price at time of publish: $9.
- Weight: 1 1/8-ounce
- Dimensions: 6 1/8 inches x 4 1/8 inches
- Material: Plastic
- Care instructions: Hand wash-only
The Best Bowl Scraper Set: KitchenAid Gourmet Bowl Scraper Set
What we liked: The KitchenAid Gourmet Bowl Scraper set comes with two different scrapers. The softer, silicone-coated scraper is suitable for scraping bowls, especially tall narrow ones like the KitchenAid stand mixer bowl. The stiffer scraper was suitable for scraping, portioning dough, and lifting up delicate items from a work surface.
The taller silicone-coated scraper is thicker than most scrapers, which made it easier to hold and prevented hand fatigue. The tall, narrow shape of this scraper, with its rounded bottom and short flat top, is like an elongated D-shape. The various curves, as well as the short flat top, allowed it to accommodate most bowls, including flat bottomed ones. Unlike other silicone scrapers, the edge of the scraper doesn’t collapse or smush down when pressure is applied, making it exceptional for swiping down bowls or manipulating dough.
The longer, larger scraper gives you more contact with the sides of the bowl, making cleaning and scraping easy. The tapered edge made pushing puree through a fine mesh sieve a cinch.
What we didn't like: Slight staining did occur, but it faded after a few days and washes. Because the silicone scraper is thicker, it didn't excel at picking up delicate gnocchi dough.
Price at time of publish: $8.
- Weight: Silicone is 2 3/4 ounces; nylon is 1-ounce
- Dimensions: Silicone is 7 inches x 3 1/8 inches; nylon 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches
- Material: Silicone and nylon
- Care instructions: Dishwasher-safe
- JB Prince Bowl Scraper: This worked well—we just wish it was larger.
- Ateco Scraper: Though very reasonably priced, this bowl scraper was not very flexible, making it hard to scrape down the sides of some bowls.
- Messermeister Silicone Bowl Scraper: The asymmetrical D-shaped of this scraper made it versatile for a wide range of bowl shapes, but the edges of the scraper were a little soft, making it more difficult to use when cutting gnocchi. It also stained the worst when used to push pumpkin puree through a fine-mesh sieve.
- Matfer Bourgeat Nylon Dough Scraper: This was an excellent, albeit smaller and thinner bowl scraper, that had a nice mix of stiffness and flexibility. The small size and the thin plastic material did make it slightly less comfortable to use over a long period, keeping it from being one of our favorites.
- GIR Scraper: This was an oddly shaped bowl scraper, designed to help clean and scrape hard to reach places. But it functioned no better than traditional shaped bowl scrapers, and the imprinted numbers and logo on the scraper made it hard to clean.
- Fox Run Dough/Bowl Scraper: This was a great scraper for a variety of bowls due to its unique kidney-like shape, but it was too stiff and didn’t flex at all.
- Martha Stewart Collection Bowl Scraper: This small scraper was very stiff and rigid, making it difficult to bend and uncomfortable to use.
- Cuisipro Flexible Bowl Scraper: This lopsided, heart-shaped silicone bowl scraper had a thin metal interior, but was too flexible and thin. The soft edges smushed and smashed against the bowl sides and didn’t cleanly cut gnocchi dough, while the thin profile of the scraper made it uncomfortable to hold for extended periods.
What is a bowl scraper used for?
A bowl scraper’s main purpose is to scrape down the sides of a bowl, removing batter and dough that might be clinging to the surface. Unlike a silicone spatula that has a handle, the bowl scraper is a larger and wider tool without a handle, allowing you to reach into the bowl and leverage the scraper to easily clean and scrape down the surface.
Beyond the main purpose of scraping bowls, the flexible bowl scraper is a useful tool for picking up chopped ingredients and moving them to a pot or pan, sweeping up stray kitchen scraps like carrot peelings, and even pushing puree through a fine-mesh sieve. The flat side of the bowl scraper can also be used to smooth out frosting on the sides of a cake.
Do I need a bowl scraper?
Though you can certainly live without a bowl scraper in the kitchen, the very versatile, inexpensive kitchen tool is incredibly useful in the kitchen. Baking is easier, as the dough scraper becomes an extension of your hand, pulling out sticky dough and scraping up clinging batter from a bowl into a baking pan. Cooking is simplified when you have a bowl scraper that can gather ingredients from the chopping board and move them to the pan or skillet easily. And clean up is a snap with a bowl scraper that can sweep up kitchen scraps with a single movement. Best of all, it stores easily in any drawer or kitchen cabinet.
What material is best for a bowl scraper?
Bowl scrapers are often made of plastic, nylon, or silicone and they all have their pros and cons. There’s no best material for bowl scrapers, though. In the end, pick the bowl scraper that is comfortable in your hand and that's flexible enough to be used for a variety of bowl shapes.