Rolling Pin Substitutes

For most cooks, there’s no need to have a true rolling pin.  There are plenty of substitutes that you can use that you probably already have.

Most of us simply don’t use a rolling pin often enough to justify the space and weight that one takes up.  I usually make drop biscuits and cookies, so don’t need one for those.  Once or twice a year, I’ll make a pie and need to roll out the crust.  And another time or two I’ll want to crush something.  I’ve discovered there are plenty of “rolling pins” around — whether at home, on the boat or out camping!

For rolling dough:

  • No rolling pin? No problem with these substitutes -- you probably have one or more on hand!Wine bottle
  • Piece of PVC
  • Soft drink can — it’s easier if it’s full; empty ones can collapse
  • Water bottle (most have grooves in the sides, which will leave ridges that you can flatten with your fingers)
  • Piece of dowel (1″ diameter or larger)
  • Anything else that’s cylindrical with smooth sides!

Just be sure to wash the “rolling pin” off before using it.  Despite the photo here, I usually put the food to be rolled between two sheets of waxed paper, with a little flour between the dough and the waxed paper.  That way, I know the food is staying clean!

To crush things (such as making cracker crumbs):

  • Put the food in a sealed, heavy-duty plastic bag and gently tap it with a hammer.  Every boat has a hammer on board, doesn’t it?
  • If you can’t find the hammer, or the “person in charge of authorizing hammer use” objects, you can use any of the above or any canned food.

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14 Comments
  • on Facebook
    Posted at 06 December 2011 Reply

    I always have a bottle of wine on hand! Great tip!

  • Sam on Facebook
    Posted at 06 December 2011 Reply

    The Booze Balls were a hit at the William H Seward Yacht Club Christmas Party! Thanks! Will have to try it with the Grand Marnier next time. 😉

  • on Facebook
    Posted at 06 December 2011 Reply

    Glad to hear it from both of you! – Carolyn

  • Kristi
    Posted at 29 August 2012 Reply

    I found an Asian rolling pin at an Asian market. Cost about $1 and is like a 1 1/2 inch dowel rod! And 12 inches long. Perfect.

  • Dan Thomas
    Posted at 29 June 2013 Reply

    I use a plain ol drinking glass. Glass ones are better than plastic, but the plastic ones will work too.

  • Princess
    Posted at 15 November 2013 Reply

    This is great!! Thank you for the great ideas. I do have empty wine bottles atop my fridge, actually, but I want to take the time to remove the label and really clean it like you suggested. Seeing that it’s 5:57 pm, I don’t think I’ll do that right now. I need this for dinner tonight.

  • Sue Barry
    Posted at 28 March 2014 Reply

    I have used an empty wine bottle:)

  • CherylAnn Caf
    Posted at 29 March 2014 Reply

    Me two and even used a small piece of PVC pipe.

  • Melody Eback
    Posted at 27 July 2015 Reply

    If you’re cooking with kids such as smashing graham crackers or vanilla wafers for pie crusts or no bake cookies, put the crackers in a freezer zip lock bag and have the kids jump up and down on it. Toddlers and pre-schoolers especially love cooking with grandma. It also went over big when the cub scout den was making treats for Mother’s Day.

  • Sue
    Posted at 27 July 2015 Reply

    Wine bottle is my rolling pin of choice. ☺

  • Susan Lynn
    Posted at 28 July 2015 Reply

    I use a wine bottle.

  • Carol Curtis
    Posted at 25 September 2016 Reply

    In our early boating days I used a soft drink can from the fridge. Nice and cold and worked exceedingly well. I now have a rolling pin but it doesn’t work any better!!

  • Sheryl Clark Simmons
    Posted at 19 May 2017 Reply

    This may actually qualify me as a baker… LOL

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 20 May 2017 Reply

    Usually have finished the wine first.

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