To earn a space in Sara Moulton’s kitchen, a gadget must make her work easier, faster or neater. Her favorite tools nail all three. Which is why the host of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and author of the recent “Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101” swears by her 8-inch Wilton Cake Lifter. Except she rarely uses it for cake. The lifter resembles an oversized bench scraper, a tool cooks use to transfer piles of ingredients from the cutting board to the pot. Moulton says her lifter beats those scrapers every time.

“I often chop a whole head of broccoli to put in a roasting pan. How do you get it there? I guess you could do it several times with a smaller bench scraper, but that’s a pain. The cake lifter does the entire thing at once,” she says. “Just shovel it under whatever you’ve got on the cutting board and bring it over.”

Moulton also likes that the lifter keeps things neater. “If you have liquid ingredients—if you chop tomatoes, for example—it also picks up the liquid.”

Wilton’s stainless-steel cake lifter sells for around $11. An upturned, plastic-coated edge serves as both a handle and back side for better scooping.