There’s always been a rubber scraper in my kitchen. Mom always had one, too. I’ve kind of taken them for granted. But they’re something of a novelty for my husband. Seeing his amazement has brought me a new appreciation of how much I rely on them to get the most out of my food. These are my three best rubber scrapers:
These humble implements are regularly used to reach inside containers and push out large quantities of food, such as a batch of cake batter or bread dough from a mixing bowl. But their real value is in going back into the container to scrape out as much food as you possibly can. Take a look at this ’empty’ yogurt pot:
With my favourite rubber scraper, which is quite firm but flexible and somewhat bowl shaped, I can get a considerable amount more out:
Now, the yogurt pot really is empty:
Similarly, you can get enough cookie dough out of a mixing bowl for an extra cookie or two, depending on the size of your cookies, enough cake batter for a small cupcake (if you don’t add it to the main cake), and certainly enough peanut butter or jam for another sandwich. No wonder we always liked to ‘lick the bowl’ when we were kids!
But not all rubber scrapers are created equal. With the development of heat resistant rubber scrapers, you can now also get more mashed potatoes out of a hot pan than ever before, or every last savoury bit of goodness of a sauce or soup. Look for colour coding on the rubber part, and heat resistance limits on the handles, at least with some brands. Others may just think colour is for decoration!
There are different sizes and shapes of rubber scrapers too, some better than others. In my quest for a spare ‘best’ rubber scraper, I’ve purchased a few that don’t quite make the grade:
The clearish one above has almost the same shape as my absolute favourite, but it’s so firm it is inflexible. I thought the yellow spade shaped one would be good for getting into tight corners in jam jars, but the lack of curves means it doesn’t actually pick up and scrape out the food. I haven’t found a good use for it yet.
So, have a look through your utensil pot(s) or drawer(s), and see if you have a rubber scraper that can pull its weight. Let me know what you find!