Cookware | How to Choose a Basting or Pastry Brush

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A basting or pastry brush can be used for everything from basting meat and fish to egg-washing pastry and even brushing flour out of the way when you are making bread. You’ll need at least two and possibly three: one for meat and poultry, one that you keep especially for fish and seafood and one for baking.

What to look when you are buying a basting brush:

1. Your basting brush should be dishwasher-proof because you will be using it to baste meat and poultry and fish (you’ll need to keep a separate one especially for fish).

2. Make sure that the brush has good strong bristles that won’t fall into the food you are cooking or buy a silicone brush which won’t moult. A small new good quality paint brush works just as well as a more expensive one and you can change it more often as it costs less.

3. A basting brush should preferably have a long handle so you can use it to reach into awkward parts of a large chicken or turkey and so that you don’t burn yourself when you are using it to baste something that’s already in the oven.

4. If the bristles are made of plastic or silicone be careful when using it in a hot pan and don’t leave it near the cooker hob or the ‘bristles’ will melt and congeal together. If this happens trim it so that you get a stubbly brush which is still useful for dabbing melted butter on the top of scones or creating a pattern on icing.

5. Keep old worn-out brushes for doing things around the house – cleaning taps or dusting awkward corners.

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