Pastry Brush

A tool to spread liquids onto foods.

  • A handle with bristles at end constructed of various materials.
  • Bristles carry and spread liquids over the exterior of foods they come in contact with.

What is a pastry brush?

A pastry brush spereads liquids evenly over the surface of pastry and other foods.

Pastry brush features - silicone bristles, easy grip handle, holes in center bristles help to hold liquid.

Pastry brushes were traditionally made with animal hair, then synthetic hair was used for the bristles and now silicone is the modern material for kitchen brushes.

The brush featured in the images of this page has silicone bristles.

close up of a pastry brush with silicone bristles.

Whatever the material used, the bristles of a pastry brush have the same goal in mind as a paint brush (to spread liquid evenly over a surface).

What is the difference between a pastry brush and a basting brush?

While basting brushes and pastry brushes can be the exact same tool, they are classified as different tools by the Utensil Organization 1 List.

Earlier I compared a pastry brush to a paint brush and even though these two types of brushes could be the exact same tool they are referred to with different names.

No one painting their house goes to a hardware store looking for a large pastry brush.

Just as paint and pastry are different, so are pastry and meat juices. This is particularly true for vegetarians.

How to use a Pastry Brush

using pastry brush to spread melted butter and garlic on french bread
  1. Gather your tools and materials (in our case we are making garlic bread).
  2. Place brush into the liquid mixture (butter and garlic).
  3. Spread the mixture along the surface of the bread.
  4. Repeat until surface is covered as needed.

What to look for when you buy:

The size of the brush and the material the bristles are made of are the main things to decide on.

Material of Bristles

  • Silicone
  • Natural
  • Synthetic

Silicone pastry brushes have become very popular and have great features (like not burning) and can come in colorful options.

Natural bristles are typically boars hair. These are the tradition brushes and they have been doing the job for hundreds of years, so they are doing something right!

Synthetic bristles are cheap but they are plastic or nylon fiber, which can be hit or miss as far as melting / burning / quality goes.

We think every kitchen should give the silicone brushes a try, but there is sometimes no replacing the traditional (natural) cooking brushes.

The best feature of silicone is that the bristles do not shed, fall off or end up on your food.