4 Best Rolling Pins, Tested by Food Network Kitchen

From smoothing out sticky cookie batter to stretchy pizza dough, these powerful pins are really on a roll.

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November 15, 2019
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Photo by: Sarah Zorn

Sarah Zorn

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Our Top Rolling Pins

While you can sometimes get away with using a wine bottle in a pinch, a rolling pin is really an indispensable kitchen tool; not all are made for every baking scenario. When purchasing the perfect rolling pin, first, you need to decide between a roller (a classic pin with handles) or a rod, which is made from a single, unbroken piece of material. Handled pins tend to offer a bit more heft and leverage, which is good for taking on a sturdy dough, but tapered French-style or cylindrical dowels provide precision rolling on even the most delicate of pastries. They're also generally lighter and easier to manipulate.

You'll also want to think about material: Wood is traditional and quite attractive, but dough generally sticks to it (especially handled types, which have crevices where it can hide) and it can never be placed in the dishwasher. Marble and steel are ideal for butter-filled doughs that are meant to stay cold, such as puff pastry, as they can be placed in the freezer or fridge prior to use. Marble makes a real design statement in the kitchen, but it is very heavy and generally expensive. And steel is lighter and easy to clean, but it has a much more industrial aesthetic than rustic wood or marble pins. Then there’s plastic, which is the easiest to clean by far (often even dishwasher safe!), but it suffers a bit in the looks department, and it may not be built to last.

We tested wood, metal, marble and plastic pins, and the four below are our favorites.

Like many professional bakers, we generally favor slim, tapered French pins for a majority of cooking tasks. They offer excellent control when rolling, all while remaining easy on our hands and wrists. The Whetstone pin is made of maple and available in multiple lengths; dough didn’t stick to it the way it did with cheaper competitors. This pin was agile enough to produce smooth and even sheets of cookie dough (we imagine it’s excellent for dumpling skins!), yet substantial enough to whack pizza dough into submission.

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Drawn to the "American" style handled pin you likely grew up with? We found the Farberware was the best of the bunch. While rickety bearings and runaway dowels led to a loss of control with a majority of handled contenders, our grip on the Farberware felt firm and consistent throughout. And while you can’t stick it in the dishwasher, the moisture-resistant hardwood makes it easy to hand wipe and dry.

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Since super conductive materials like metal are great at getting cold, this pin is perfect for rolling out pie crust or other doughs that rely on solid deposits of chilled butter to produce delicate flakes. The other upside of the HelferX is that it’s lightweight, as opposed to the marble pins we tried, which were hard to maneuver and smashed or cracked our dough. This pin has a nonstick surface and it’s marked with helpful measurements for ensuring even thickness. Also, it’s actually dishwasher safe, which is a rarity in the rolling pin world.

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When you need a pin that does most of the work for you, the hefty OXO is equipped at tackling the toughest, stiffest doughs. Contoured, comfortable grip handles help with leverage, and instead of being attached with bearings, they’re forged from the same material, keeping your hands in a raised, fixed position that results in more evenly rolled dough. And like the HelferX, OXO’s PFOA-free plastic pin can be placed in the dishwasher, although the nonstick surface should keep it from ever getting overly sticky.

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How We Tested

To start, we noted each rolling pin’s measurement and weight, to see if they felt balanced and easy to manipulate and handle. We checked to see what materials they were made of, if they were dishwasher safe, and if the manufacturers made any special claims. Then, we evaluated their performance on food. Using each roller on springy pizza dough and sticky gingerbread cookie dough, we checked to see if they stuck to the dough (both dry or dusted with flour), how evenly they rolled out the dough, and how comfortable they were to use.

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