Rolling pins can be instrumental in baking because of the wide range of activities you can accomplish using it. But despite being useful, it is not something that is seen in many households.

While we do recommend getting one to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, including flattening dough, crushing spices, and tenderizing meat, there are a few rolling pin substitutes that can work just fine as well. So even if you are one of the people who don’t own a rolling pin, you can still get your dough flattened properly.

This article is dedicated to highlighting these substitutes and showing you how you can utilize them to get the best possible results.

What Is a Rolling Pin?

Before we move on to the substitutes in question, let us first understand what a rolling pin exactly is and what makes it capable of doing what it does.

A rolling pin is a cylindrical structure with two handles at its two ends. The primary function of a rolling pin is flattening and reshaping dough. Besides that, the pin can also be used to crush things like cookies, spices, etc. Again, you can also make your meat more tender using this pin if you apply more force behind it.

A Rolling Pin

To use a rolling pin, you must grip the two aforementioned handles on both sides and put force on the dough. In this way, you can flatten it or reshape it as you see fit. The key is adding just the right amount of force that your task at hand demands.

The Best Rolling Pin Substitutes  

Here we will list the things that could do the same things that you do with a rolling pin. But we should tell you that these substances can only be good enough to either flattening the dough or crushing spices and cookies. When it comes to tenderizing meat, you might need a rolling pin to get it done.

Best Rolling Pin Substitutes

So without further ado, let’s get on with the list:-

Wine Bottle

You can do what you do with a rolling pin because of its unique cylindrical structure. So it’s only natural that a cylindrical structure like a wine bottle will be a viable substitute to a rolling pin.

The body of a wine bottle looks almost identical to that of a rolling pin. So you can roll this body over your dough in order to flatten it or shape it in any way you like. Again, the neck of the wine bottle is very thin. So if you absolutely need a handle for better maneuverability, the wine bottle has you covered there as well.

Wine Bottle

Lastly, the body of the wine bottle is usually made of non-porous glass, which makes it perfect to use a substitute for a rolling pin.

In order to effectively use it, it is better to fill up the bottle as it would increase its weight, and thus, you would be able to apply more force. But you should be careful about moderating your force so that you don’t break the bottle by accident.

Cylindrical Drinking Glass

Almost anything solid and cylindrical will work as a rolling pin. But some work better than others, and a proper drinking glass definitely works better than a lot of other candidates. To ensure the best possible results, you should make sure the drinking glass is perfectly straight.

For better hygiene, you should also ensure that glass is properly cleaned before using it. Lastly, like the wine bottle, you absolutely cannot apply excessive force while using this. Otherwise, the glass might break and create multiple problems that you would be better off avoiding.

PVC Pipe

A PVC pipe is the paragon of a rolling pin substitute for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is cylindrical in shape, and we have already discussed how much of an impact that structure alone has on making the rolling pin effective.

Secondly, it is a very hard structure. The other thing that makes a rolling pin so effective is its solid structure. So having such a hard body definitely helps the PVC pipe in being a suitable substitute.

PVC Pipe

Lastly, no amount of force is likely to completely break the PVC pipe. This is what gives the PVC pipe an edge over the drinking glass and wine bottle. It is very unlikely to buckle under excessive pressure and so you can go all out with this.

But before using, make sure to clean it properly. The hygiene risk is arguably the highest in using a PVC pipe. So you must take extra care to make sure it’s clean.

A Watermelon

Among all the other substitutes on the list, the watermelon is definitely the odd man out. We have been emphasizing the impact of the cylindrical structure on the effectiveness of a rolling pin. But watermelon isn’t cylindrical. However, it makes up for that by simply being big.

A Watermelon

The advantage of using a watermelon is that it is very easy to apply the necessary amount of force because of its weight. Furthermore, you can apply a lot of force yourself without the fear of it breaking. Carrying it around can be a hassle however, and that is its biggest drawback as a substitute.

A Vase

At this point, it goes without saying that a cylindrical vase would be best suited for this task. The size of the vase should also be taken into account for this. If the vase is on the smaller side, it will still do the job, but it will take a bit more effort.

A Vase

But if the vase is too big, it might limit its maneuverability significantly. So you should keep that in mind while choosing the right vase. And it goes without saying that the vase must be clean to ensure proper hygiene.


A thermos has the perfect shape in order to be a proper rolling pin substitute. Again, because of its sturdy construction, it’s easy to apply a considerable amount of force with it.


The only drawback will be its size. It is quite smaller compared to a rolling pin. Hence, you will need to do twice the amount of work to get the same results. So it wouldn’t be our ideal pick, but it can help you out when you need it.

Soda Can

We have gone over this. As long as something is cylindrical and can roll forward, you can use this as a substitute. What we want to do is tell you how to maximize the effectiveness of each substitute.

Soda Can

A soda can is very similar to the thermos in its effectiveness as a substitute for a rolling pin. Like the thermos, it is very small in size compared to an actual rolling pin. So if you do end up using this as your substitute, you might have to roll it twice to flatten the dough properly.

Glass Water Bottle

A glass water bottle has all the properties you could ask from a good substitute for a rolling pin. First of all, you need to make sure the bottle is cylindrical for the best results. As long as the structure is covered, the glass water bottle will serve you well, provided that you keep it clean.

However, there is one drawback, and that is the fact that you have to moderate the amount of force you apply to it. It is made of glass, and thus, it can easily break if you apply too much force.

Glass Water Bottle

Also, a lot of people suggest that a plastic bottle would also work as a substitute. But we think that a plastic bottle is too weak to handle the force required to properly flatten the dough. That is why we kept it off the list.


This is basically the last resort, and hopefully, you will never have to resort to this. But in case you don’t have any of the above-mentioned objects available at your disposal, you can always use your hands to shape the dough in any way that you like.

Final Words

A famous Bear Grylls quote that has now become a meme says, “Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.” Grylls may have said that in relation to surviving in the harshest conditions of the wild. But it is true in all stages of life, even in something as simple as finding an alternative to a rolling pin.

Now, if you don’t have a rolling pin available, you don’t have to abandon whatever tasks you were doing. With the help of our listed rolling pin substitutes, you too can now adapt, improvise and overcome. So keep our advice in mind and use the substitute that suits you the best.