Rolling Pin Substitutes

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2010 • all rights reserved

No rolling pin? No problem with these substitutes -- you probably have one or more on hand!

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

  2. 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. 😉

  3. Glad to hear it from both of you! – Carolyn

  4. 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.

  5. Dan Thomas says:

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

  6. 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.

  7. I have used an empty wine bottle:)

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

  9. Melody Eback says:

    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.

  10. Wine bottle is my rolling pin of choice. ☺

  11. I use a wine bottle.

  12. Carol Curtis says:

    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!!

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