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In Cooking, what is a Dredger?

A dredger in cooking is a handy tool for evenly sprinkling fine, dry ingredients like flour, powdered sugar, or spices. It's essential for coating surfaces to prevent sticking or for adding a finishing touch to sweets. Think of it as your culinary fairy dust wand, transforming simple dishes into magical creations. Ready to sprinkle some magic into your recipes?
A Kaminsky
A Kaminsky

A dredger is a large shaker. It looks like an aluminum cheese shaker in a pizza parlor. It has large holes in the top, and may have a domed or flat top. It may have a handle or not. This device allows a cook to sprinkle flour on to a piece of meat, on top of dough, or on anything that needs a coating of flour.

Dredging meat helps keep it moist while frying. Seasoning can also be added to the dredging flour, which then transfers to the meat, as well. Using a dredger means the cook does not have to handle the meat as much, which translates to a lower risk of contracting food-borne diseases and results in a higher level of food safety.

A dredger may be used to provide food with a coating of flour.
A dredger may be used to provide food with a coating of flour.

This increase in food safety is seen especially when the cook is doing something like frying chicken. Many cooks dip the chicken pieces in egg and or milk, and there is a good opportunity for cross-contamination with the flour mixture. A dredger takes care of that possibility by never having the whole batch of flour contact the chicken. If a heavier flour coating is desired, the cook just shakes more flour out. Using one is a much safer way of preparing raw meat for cooking.

Any kind of shaker with large holes can be used as a dredger. The larger the holes, obviously, the more flour that will be shaken on to the food. Cheese shakers are available everywhere, for under $10 U.S. Dollars. A utensil actually called a dredger is usually made of aluminum and will retail for $15 to $30 USD.

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Discussion Comments


A dredger with small holes also works well for sprinkling cinnamon sugar topping for french toast or coffee cake.


@MikeMason-- If you're making the pie crust yourself than it certainly will.

I use a flour dredger when I'm making pastries.

When rolling out the dough for the pastries, I always have to keep some flour on hand to prevent the dough from sticking to my hands or the surface I'm working on.

It's difficult to get flour out of the bag constantly for this and I might also put too much flour which is not good.

A dredger works perfect because it puts just the right amount of flour on the dough and distributes it evenly too.


Will a dredger come in handy when making pie?

The plastic container store has a dredger for sale but will a plastic dredger work as well as an aluminum one?


I usually associate the term “dredging” with scraping sediment out of an area. My uncle had a sand dredger that he used to deepen the river bottom, and it would store and deposit the sand somewhere else.

I suppose that the way a sand dredger deposits sand onto other areas is kin to the way a cooking dredger deposits flour onto food. Maybe this is where the name came from.


I absolutely hate touching raw meat. I feel like no matter how much I wash my hands afterward, they are never clean enough.

That's why I use a dredger on meat that needs a coating. I've even used it to put spice mixes on steak for fajitas.

I still have to touch the meat when cutting it into strips, but at least I don't have to toss it around in the flour with my bare hands. The less I have to touch it, the happier I am.


@lighth0se33 – I think that the only contamination would be in the flour, if you were planning on saving the excess for later use. With hand-dipped chicken, you just can't do this. You have to throw out the unused flour, because it might possibly have raw chicken juices in it.

If you put the flour in a dredger, you can reuse any that remains after you have doused the chicken with it, because it never touched the chicken. I have saved a lot of flour by using a dredger.


I'm not quite sure what would be contaminated when you are dipping the chicken in egg and then in flour. Isn't all of the stuff going to get cooked with the chicken? Won't any bacteria cook out?

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    • A dredger may be used to provide food with a coating of flour.
      By: claireliz
      A dredger may be used to provide food with a coating of flour.