A board scraper is a hand-held kitchen tool with a straight edge designed to lift foods up off a cutting board. Board scrapers are made from a variety of food-safe materials, including stainless steel, wood, and nylon. One end of a board scraper is often rounded or widened to make it easier to hold onto and control the opposing narrow edge. There are a wide variety of board scrapers available in most cooking and restaurant supply stores. The most popular models are usually those that are both comfortable in the hand and easy to clean.
Board scrapers are multi-function tools used in a variety of culinary fields to separate and transport edible items. The broad, flat surface and easy-to-grip handle on a quality board scraper makes it easy to scoop and carry items to their destination. Chefs use board scrapers to lift cut foods from a cutting board or butcher block and move them to the cooking vessel or mixing bowl. Bakers often use the sharp edge of board scrapers to cut and portion raw dough into loaves and then move the sticky pieces from the board to the baking pan or stone. Many candy makers like to use a stainless steel board scraper coated with a thin layer of cooking oil spray to cut warm freshly made candy.
Using a board scraper properly when scraping foods from a surface can help to prevent damage to the cutting board and the scraper's straight edge. The board scraper should be held in the user's dominate hand with the straight edge resting lightly on the cutting board. Tilting the handle away from the food and down toward the board while maintaining contact with the scraper's edge lowers the angle of approach and reduces the amount of resistance when scraping. It is important for the user to move a board scraper quickly as it goes under the foods because moving slowly will often just scoot the items across the board. A dull board scraper can be carefully sharpened to increase its capability to lift even the most stubborn foods.
Due to the many uses for board scrapers, they have become an indispensable tool in many kitchens with limited resources. Scrapers can be used in the place of a press to quickly smash cloves of garlic. Batter can be scraped off the side of a large mixing bowl using board scrapers instead of handle spatulas.