A basting brush, also called a pastry brush, is used to apply glaze to the food so as to keep it moist. It is used in baking as well as grilling or roasting. In baking, the glaze is applied to the pan so that the food does not stick to the pan and can smoothly come out of it. Basting is more popular for cooking meat, poultry, etc. where the sauces are applied to the meat. These brushes are good to control the amount of marinade or glaze to be applied.
A brush typically has two parts – The handle and the bristles. Traditionally, theses handles were made in wood but now they also come in metal and plastic. The complaints with the wooden handles were of the staining and odor. The new ones are easy to clean and are stain resistant. The brush has also seen two phases. Previously, natural bristles that were made of hard hair were more common along with nylon and plastic bristles. Now-a-days the silicon ones are trending among the chefs. They can either have a metal handle or can be entirely made of silicone. Silicon brushes can withstand high temperatures and are dishwasher safe.
The heat resistance is highly required as when the meat is cooking in the oven, the juices tend to come out on the tray. These juices are collected using the basting brush and then reapplied to the meat so as to keep the skin crisp. One can keep a combination or different types of brushes and in different sizes to ensure that all cooking needs are met.