11 Pastry Blender Substitutes

I was making a new pie crust recipe the other day and the directions told me to use a pastry blender.

Now, I have a lot of kitchen tools but one thing I do not have is a pastry blender. So How was I going to make this recipe work without one of the key pieces of equipment? Easy!

There are lots of things that you can use instead of a pastry blender. If you have a recipe that tells you to use a pastry cutter, don’t fret!

You can keep cooking without ever needing this small kitchen tool. 

The best pastry blender substitute is two simple butter knives. Butter knives cut through cold fat easily, blending it into dry ingredients well. Most of us also have butter knives handy!

Try using a food processor in place of a pastry cutter to quickly chop your cold fats. Cookie cutters are a good pastry blender substitute if you are looking to score pastry dough. 

Hand Held Pastry Blender Substitutes

So, what can you use if you don’t have a pastry blender? Luckily, there are quite a few tools you already have in your kitchen that will work perfectly!

hand held pastry blender

These pastry blender substitutes require no batteries and no power. They are all reliable and work great to mix your dough.

The best part is we know you have at least one of these pastry blender substitutes “on hand”…

1.Knife

My favorite pastry blender substitute is definitely the butter knife. We all have butter knives on hand which makes this a very easy pastry blender substitute. 

Use two butter knives to blend the butter into your dry ingredients. Hold one knife in each hand and press the blades together in an X.

Pull the blades apart, cutting the butter into the dough as you pull. 

Continue to cut the dough with the two knives until the fat is in very small pieces. Your dough will be just as beautifully mixed as if you had a pastry blender!

2.Fork

The tines on a fork are very similar to the metal strips of a pastry blender. They are just smaller! 

A fork can easily do the job of a pastry blender. 

Use the sharp tines of a fork to press into the butter, cutting it as you press down. Pull the tines down, pressing the butter into small pieces.

Continue to cut the butter with the fork tines until the pieces are nice and small. 

Want to know how to use 2 forks as pastry cutter? Well, you can use two forks to cut the butter for an even faster method.

Cross the forks together, interlocking the tines. Pull them apart and cut the butter into your dry mix.

This is a very quick way to make small fat pieces for your dough. It will also fluff your flour as you incorporate air with each stroke. 

3.Your Hands

We know you have this tool in your kitchen! In fact, your hands may be the most useful kitchen tool we own.

They are perfect for blending cold fat into dry ingredients to make perfect dough. 

Wash and dry your hands before getting started. You want your “tools” to be clean before using them!

Use your fingers and palms to rub the butter into the flour, breaking it into small pieces as you rub. 

Keep in mind that your hands are much warmer than the butter.

You want to move quickly so the butter doesn’t melt from the heat of your hands. Cold butter is key to making flakey pastry dough

4.Cheese Grater

A cheese grater is a great way to make very small pieces of butter, perfect for mixing into your dry ingredients.

A large, box grater is perfect but a handheld grater will work as well. 

Make sure your butter is very cold before starting. Cold butter will grate better and into finer pieces. 

Hold the butter with the wrapper as you grate it, up and down, on the cheese grater. This will prevent the butter from melting from the heat of your hands. Be sure to work quickly!

Once the butter is grated into your dry mix, use a spoon, fork or your hands to quickly mix the small butter pieces into the dry ingredients.

This may even be easier than using a pastry blender! 

5.Potato Masher

A potato masher is very similar to a pastry blender. However, a potato masher has tines that are not quite as sharp as a pastry blender.

The thicker wires are designed to smash potatoes into a paste rather than cut them into pieces. 

Potato Masher

You can use a potato masher in place of a pastry blender.

Press the potato masher all the way to the bottom of the bowl, pushing it through the butter as much as possible so the butter is actually cut rather than just mashed. Stir the mix in between each smash to really blend the butter. 

Cold butter is very important as it will break easier.  

6.Egg Mixer

An egg blender is a great tool to use to break up cold butter. It will also whisk it into flour, fluffing the mix as it chops. 

The tines of an egg mixer are a little thinner than those on a pastry blender. They may not be strong enough to cut large pieces of butter. 

Use a sharp knife to cut the cold butter into small pieces. Add the butter to the dry ingredients then use the egg mixer to further break up the butter into the flour. 

Automatic Pastry Blender Substitutes

Do you like automated appliances? Rather than use a pastry blender and working dough by hand, try using one of these powerful kitchen tools instead.

They will all help you quickly and efficiently cut fats into pastry dough. 

7.Food Processor

Want to know a great pastry cutter hack? Just use a food processor!

A food processor will quickly chop your butter into small pieces. It is much faster and easier than using a pastry blender. Hurray for electric appliances!

Make sure your butter is very cold. Add it to your food processor along with the dry ingredients for your pastry. Pulse the food processor, letting it chop briefly and then stop.

Pulsing the food processor will ensure the butter is chopped into pieces rather than being completely mashed into the flour. Be sure not to over mix.

This would make a very tough dough rather than creating small pieces. Stop blending once you see small, dry pieces in the food processor that look similar to sand. 

8.Blender

If you do not have a food processor or pastry blender, you can use a regular drink blender instead.

Add the cold butter and dry ingredients to a blender. Pulse the blender until the mix resembles coarse sand. 

Once the fat is cut into the dry mix, it is best to dump the mix into a bowl to finish the dough.

Adding the water and mixing the dough completely in the blender can be messy. Just use the blender to chop up the butter and then continue mixing in a regular bowl. 

9.Kitchen Aid Pastry Blender

If you have a KitchenAid mixer, then you should definitely look into getting the pastry blender attachment.

It looks very similar to the paddle attachment for the stand mixer. However, it has straight bars extending across the paddle that are designed to cut through fats. 

Attach the KitchenAid pastry blender to your stand mixer. Add the dry ingredients and cold fat to the bowl of the mixer.

Turn your mixer on low speed and let the machine do all the work!

Pastry Cutter Substitute for Scoring Dough

Pastry cutters are good for scoring dough and cutting strips.

If you need a pastry blender substitute to use for designs and decorations, try one of these substitutes instead. 

10.Cookie Cutter

A cookie cutter can be a great way to add a design to the top of a pie crust or pastry.

Use a square cookie cutter if you want the same straight lines as a pastry cutter. Or, get creative and use a shaped cutter instead. 

Press all the way down on your rolled dough to cut all the way through the dough. Push just halfway down to get the pattern of the cutter while keeping the dough whole. 

Cookie cutters are not very sharp so you can use them to indent rather than cut, just like a pastry cutter. 

11.Pastry Wheel

A pastry wheel is a set of five to seven small, sharp wheels. The tool looks like a row of connected, small pizza cutters.

It can be adjusted to be wider or smaller, making the wheels closer together or farther apart. 

Roll out your dough and then use the pastry wheel to cut perfect strips. All you need to do is push the wheel across the dough!

This is a very easy way to cut dough without a pastry cutter. 

What is a Pastry Blender?

A pastry blender is often called a pastry cutter. It is a cooking tool used to mix hard fat into flour.

The pastry blender cuts and mixes butter or fat into flour, making small pieces that will eventually make your pastries flakey and tender. 

The tool has narrow, rounded metal strips or wires that are connected to a straight handle.

The metal wires are pressed into the baking mix to break the fats into small pieces, blending them easily with the dry ingredients. 

Benefits of a Pastry Cutter

A pastry cutter mixes fats into dry ingredients while the fat is cold. Blending the fat into the flour while cold helps evenly distribute the fat throughout the dough.

This results in a light, airy dough that bakes to be tender and flakey. 

Using a pastry cutter will properly mix in your butter. Your dough will not get tough or glutinous from over mixing. 

Press the pastry blender into your mix again and again until the fat is in very small pieces. 

You can also use your pastry blender to cut or score dough. The metal strips on the end of the blender are evenly spaced and can easily cut through dough.

Roll out your pastry dough and then press your pastry cutter on the dough to create strips.

Press hard to fully cut the strips or press lightly to score the dough decoratively.

You can use the pastry cutter to cut a vent in the top of a pie crust or to add interest and decoration to small pastries. It is such a useful tool!

Easy Pie Crust Recipe

My simple pie crust recipe is perfect for sweet pies or savory ones. It is nice and flakey thanks to the pastry cutter chopping the butter nice and small.

Any one of these pastry cutter substitutes will work well if you do not have this tool in your kitchen. 

Yield: One Double Pie Crust

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook TIme: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ pound cold butter
  • 7 Tbsp cold water

Directions:

  1. Add the flour and salt to a medium sized bowl and stir. 
  2. Add the cold butter and use a pastry cutter to press the butter into the flour mix, breaking it up into small pieces. Stop once the butter is blended to be about the size of peas. 
  3. Add the water to the bowl and stir to make a smooth dough. You might need to add a touch more flour if the dough is too sticky. Add a little more cold water if the dough is too dry. 
  4. Sprinkle some extra flour on a flat work surface. 
  5. Divide the dough into two equal balls and roll each ball into a large circle for the top and bottom crust of your pie. 
  6. Par bake the bottom crust in your pan using pie weights. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes to par bake. You can also skip this step and just bake the crust with your pie. This will all depend on what you are filling the pie with! 

Final Considerations

Pastry should be flakey and light. They should be butter and melt in your mouth.

You can get this perfect texture when you blend the fat into your dry ingredients correctly. A pastry cutter oe blender can help you do this!

However, if you do not want to invest in yet another kitchen tool (like me!), all of these pastry blender substitutes will work well! 

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