Chef’n PinPair 2-in-1 Rolling Pin review:
Two-Way Rolling Pin Is a Double Disappointment
It’s bright and colorful, and the silicone sleeve resists sticking.
It’s hard to use in both modes; the wood feels rough and gets sticky when you use it.
This is a less than satisfying version of both rolling pin styles, American and French. The PinPair feels more like a gimmick than a solution.
There are two broad types of rolling pins, American and French. American rolling pins have dedicated handles and a metal dowel through the rolling cylinder. French-style pins take the form of a single cylinder, tapered at the ends to accommodate hands but with no handles per se. Most cooks probably prefer one or the other, but some appreciate both kinds, switching back and forth depending on what they’re rolling out (using a heavier American pin for sturdy yeasted doughs, and a French one for delicate pastry). Could one rolling pin combine the virtues of both? That’s the promise of Chef’n’s PinPair, a French rolling pin with a silicone cylinder you can add to convert it to an American pin.
The core of the PinPair is a beech-wood French rolling pin, 20 inches long and tapered at the ends, weighing a hair less than 12 1/2 ounces. Fitted with the bright red silicone cylinder, it weighs 15 ounces. The silicone cylinder is 2 3/4 inches in diameter; it slides onto the wooden rolling pin and secures via a threaded ring piece that locks it in place. Chef’n recommends washing the PinPair by hand.
To test the PinPair, we rolled out a couple of doughs: CHOW’s Flaky Pie Dough and Dorie Greenspan's Sablés (Basic Sugar Cookies). We rolled out both doughs both ways: with PinPair’s silicone roller in place, and without.
Results: In American rolling pin mode, the PinPair felt awkward and hard to control with both doughs. It tended to smash the dough, and it was hard to tell how thin or thick we were rolling it. The silicone seemed marginally nonstick, but we had to flour it anyway.
In French rolling pin mode (our preferred pin style), the PinPair was also awkward—the diameter felt a little small (smaller than the French pin we normally use). The contour of the tapered ends also seemed wrong: Our knuckles hit the table, and we don’t have particularly large hands. Plus the beech-wood surface is a little rough. Once we started working with it, the wood felt sticky.
To sum up: We found the PinPair less than ideal in both American and French modes—hard to maneuver in both cases. We should point out that the rolling pin pictured here is the second one we bought. On the first, the threaded ring that holds the silicone sleeve in place was frozen: We couldn’t loosen it, no matter how we twisted. Bottom line, we felt like anything we rolled out with the PinPair could have been better handled with either a standard French rolling pin or a standard American one. This is one international alliance that fails.
Photos by Chris Rochelle