Rolling Pin Comparison
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Rolling Pin Buying Guide
What is a Rolling Pin?
A rolling pin is a dowel shaped item made from a multitude of different materials that is used by cooks and professional chefs and bakers to roll dough out for various foods such as cookies, pizza, pies, turnovers and more. They have been around for a very long time and although it may seem that their popularity has waned, they are still very crucial pieces of kitchen equipment to have, especially if you make any of those foods.
History of the Rollin Pin
It may surprise to find out that rolling pins have been around since probably somewhere around 700 BC. The first rolling pins were simply wooden cylinders made in the home. It is believed to have been created by the Etruscans in ancient Italy. Later the Romans and Greeks probably went on to use them as well.
Rolling pins did not begin to be commercially produced until the mid-19th century. The material that was commonly used for rolling pins, pine, was scarce so the manufacturer’s that were making rolling pins started looking at hardwood like maple and cherry. In the late 1800s J.W. Reed invented a rolling pin that had a central rod and patented it. This particular, central rod design is still around today.
Things to Consider Before Purchase
There are a few things to ask yourself and to consider when it comes to purchasing a rolling pin. The answers to these questions will help narrow down your choices and make it much easier to know exactly what you are looking for.
- How often will the rolling pin be used? – If you use a rolling pin on a regular basis, you will want to pay more attention to the style, material and quality of the one your purchase. If you rarely will be using it, a clad rolling pin will work.
- What will you be rolling out? – What you’re rolling out will determine what kind of rolling pin will be the best for your needs. If you will be making a lot of pastries and pies, purchasing a rolling pin that can be chilled will save you a lot of headache.
- Durability and Longevity – You don’t want to have to purchase a new rolling pin every couple of months so finding one that is made to last is important so you are not wasting money. There are many models to choose from that offer a large amount of security that the product you’re buying is a good one.
- Is Price a Consideration? – Do you have a budget that you want to stick to? Sometimes when consumers are looking for a product, they have a price in mind that they want to stay close to. If you have a budget for your rolling pin, make sure that you use that budget to eliminate the rolling pins that fall outside of that range.
Rolling Pin Features to Look For
Rolling pins have a multitude of features that make one better than another. We’ve outlined these features below so you factor them in when you are searching for the one you want to purchase.
- Nonstick Surfaces – Purchasing a nonstick rolling pin is important because it eliminates one of the biggest hassles of dough and that is sticking to everything. There are many rolling pins on the market that offer nonstick surfaces. If nonstick is important to you make sure that you factor that in when you start searching.
- Do you want to chill the rolling pin? – Chilling the rolling pin before use helps prevent the dough from sticking. Not all rolling pins can be chilled so if this is a cooking practice that you use often, make sure that you are looking at rolling pins that can be chilled such as stainless steel and marble.
- The Right Shape – If you’ve always been used to the old fashioned style of rolling pin with a wood center part and handles on both ends and a shaft down the center that made it roll easily, you may not know about the varied shapes that rolling pins are available in. Other common shapes are the hardwood cylinder that is one solid piece that is tapered on each end and thicker in the middle. These are also considered French style pins. One of the drawbacks to buying a tapered rolling pin is that they tend not to roll the dough out evenly. If you like the look of the tapered pins, you will want to buy one that has a long untapered section in the middle to keep the dough even.
- Length – If you only intend to have one rolling pin you will want to be certain that it is a long one of 16” to 20” long. This size can handle large rounds of dough and smaller ones too. If you plan on owning more than one rolling pin, make your second one shorter for small dough.
- Weight – Heavyweight rolling pins get the dough rolling job done much faster than a lightweight pin will do and it takes a lot less elbow grease as well. There is a limit between a heavy rolling pin that will make work moiré efficient and a rolling pin that is too heavy and is just difficult to handle.
- Easy to clean – Wooden rolling pins are not the easiest to clean and if submerged in water it may crack or warp. Wooden rolling pins can be wiped off with a damp rag and that will be sufficient to clean it. You may find the French style, all-one-piece models are a bit easier to clean since there are no crevices and spaces for dough to get into. Marble, silicone and stainless steel rolling pins are the easiest to clean because they can be hand washed with warm, soapy water.
Different Types of Materials Used for Rolling Pins
Rolling pins are made from a multitude of different materials today, giving bakers and cooks a large variety to choose from. Wooden rolling pins are still available and still seem to be very popular among users. In addition, users can get marble, stainless steel, glass and decorative styles that have carvings in the roller part to put decorative marks on the dough.
Marble Rolling Pins – marble rolling pins are more durable and long lasting than wooden ones. They do extremely well for pastry and fondant icing due to being cool. They can be chilled before use as well. They might be designed in just a marble cylinder or some have handles and come in a variety of colors.
Glass Rolling Pins – Glass rolling pins are probably more of a decorative, collector’s item and are designed either in retro style or vintage. There are a variety of glass style rolling pins that are available. These include Pyrex glass, Bristol Blue Glass, and Milk glass.
Silicone Rolling Pins – Silicone rolling pins are available in a large variety of colors. It also has a non stick surface so dough does not stick to the roller. They can’t be chilled like marble and steel but they are still becoming fast favorites of bakers due to their ease of cleaning and non-stick surfaces.
Plastic Rolling Pins – Plastic rolling pins come in small, medium, and large sizes and tend to be good choices for cake decorating. You can purchase rolling pin sets that contain 3 or 4 plastic rolling pins in a variety of lengths. Large plastic rolling pins can be as long as 23”.
Caring for Rolling Pins
Before you choose a rolling pin, take into consideration how difficult or easy it will be to clean. With any kind of kitchen equipment or utensil you may use, hygiene is one of the most important factors. You want to be able to ensure that no food contamination occurs due to not being able to be cleaned properly.
There are specific things you can do to ensure that your rolling pins will stay in good condition and not be affected by bacteria or other problems. Any wooden rolling pins need to be hand washed in warm soapy water, rinsed with cool water and then immediately dried thoroughly. Do not wash wooden rolling pins in the dishwasher because the wood of the rolling pin can get dried out and cause cracking.
If you choose a marble rolling pin, remember to keep them away from acidic substances like vinegar, citrus fruit, wine, coffee, tea, tomatoes and mustard. Do not immerse marble rolling pins in water or put them in the dishwasher. They can be wiped off with a clean, damp cloth. If you have stains to get rid of on the rolling pin, use a ph neutral, non-abrasive cleanser. If you’re looking for a dishwasher that can be wiped off and stuck in the dishwasher, look for silicone and plastic rolling pins. Some stainless steel rolling pins can be put in the dishwasher as well but not all of them can.
If you want to add an important kitchen utensil to your kitchen tools and equipment, a good quality rolling pin is a great one to add. You have an abundance of choices available from marble to plastic and everything in between.
With the information we have given you in this buyer’s guide you have the tools you need to sort through all those choices and match your needs with the rolling pins that will fill the things you are looking for.
You’ll be able to make an informed choice as to the rolling pin that will have the features you’re looking for and the look you want as well.