Which basting brushes are best?
The basting or pastry brush is used in kitchens to coat certain foods before, during or after they have been cooked. Despite being the same utensil, a basting brush must be kept separate from a pastry brush to avoid contamination. You don’t want your lemon drizzle tasting of last week’s brisket.
A basting brush is used to coat meat, fish or poultry with marinades or seasoning. The brush helps cooks achieve an even layer of coverage without the need for getting their hands dirty.
For a good quality, versatile basting brush, a top pick is the Food Network Reversible Basting Brush.
What to know before you buy a basting brush
Basting brush bristles come in four different materials, and the material you choose will depend on what you plan on using it for. A brush with boar bristles is better suited for more delicate tasks and those that use thinner liquids. Boar bristles hold more liquid and are naturally water-resistant.
Nylon bristles work well on big jobs that involve larger areas. These bristles hold a lot more liquid and are able to spread thick mixes effectively. You will also find that these bristles hold up the longest with minimal fallout. With cooks working on the grill or over a fire, a silicone brush works best as these bristles are heat-resistant and are able to spread thicker sauces over large areas such as a big piece of brisket.
Arguably one of the best materials for a basting brush, Teflon bristles have been designed to outlast and outdo any of its competitors. These bristles can withstand extreme temperatures of up to 500 degrees and work well with oils and marinades.
Your basting brush and your pastry brush must be kept separate to avoid cross-contamination. So when choosing your basting brush, keep in mind what meats and marinades you’ll need it for as well as whether or not you plan on using any thin liquids.
A basting brush will need to cover more surface area, hold thicker liquids and be a lot more durable and heat-resistant. Pastry brushes can be smaller and more delicate as the work they are required for is a lot more intricate.
Whichever material you choose for your basting brush will have its own set of strict cleaning instructions. You must adhere to these cleaning instructions to avoid any contamination or buildup of bacteria. By cleaning your brush correctly, you will be extending its lifespan and preventing any transmission of old food particles next time you’re in the kitchen.
Animal hair bristles must be hand washed to prevent bacteria from building up in the crevices. These brushes are slightly more delicate and will need a little extra care. Nylon brushes are prone to shedding, so make sure that you are prepared to keep them clean when you are buying your basting brush.
Silicone brushes require the least amount of attention and can be placed in the dishwasher along with your other utensils.
What to look for in a quality basting brush
A good quality basting brush won’t only come down to the materials used for the bristles alone but also the quality of the brush handle. The design and materials used to make the brush will make a big difference in a small way.
The length, material and additional elements you choose to look for will depend on what you’re using it for, whether or not there will be heat involved and where you plan on storing it.
Some brushes will come with an extra feature to help in the drying process. Whether it’s a stand or a little hook for you to hang the brush from, these elements will help you extend the lifespan of your brush and take care of it properly.
The silicone basting brushes will mostly all be made entirely out of silicone. This makes it far easier to clean your brush and will also help you avoid any bristles falling out or breaking while basting your food.
How much you can expect to spend on a basting brush
The price of your basting brush will depend on what material you decide to choose, with higher-end boar bristle brushes coming in at around $30 and lower-end silicone brushes at a value of approximately $5.
Basting brush FAQ
How long do basting brushes last?
A. The lifespan of your brush will depend on how well you look after it, what it is made out of and whether or not it has been damaged in any way. Brushes with bristles that keep falling out, melted handles or a foul smell must all be thrown out immediately.
What is the difference between a pastry and a basting brush?
A. The only difference you’ll find between these two utensils is the name. Both brushes can look the same but will be used for different purposes. Pastry brushes tend to be smaller, have shorter handles and be made from natural materials. Remember to label your brushes to make sure you don’t cross-contaminate.
What are the best basting brushes to buy?
Top basting brush
What you need to know: This reversible basting brush has an interchangeable small and large brush head.
What you’ll love: The brush head is removable and interchangeable. It is made from heat-resistant silicone and the brush is also dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: It can be difficult to change the head when you’ve already started using the brush.
Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s
Top basting brush for the money
What you need to know: This is a standard set of two silicone brushes to suit your big and small kitchen projects.
What you’ll love: These silicone basting brushes are made from heat-resistant materials. The set includes one short and one long-handled brush with different-sized brush heads. It is made from one continuous piece of silicone.
What you should consider: The bristles are pretty soft and bendy.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a cast-iron set that includes a brush and bowl for heavy-duty grilling and outdoor cooking.
What you’ll love: The bowl is made from cast iron and includes a handy design that allows the brush to rest on it, collecting any dripping from the bristles. The mop-style brush head is detachable and easy to clean.
What you should consider: The handle and bowl can get very hot if left exposed to heat.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lottie Winsor writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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