What is the best pastry brush?
For casual bakers and experienced artisans alike, the proper utensils must make the finest of creations in the kitchen. A simple and versatile tool for bakers is the pastry brush, an implement typically used for applying wash, glaze or frosting to your baked goods.
Pastry brushes vary widely in size, material and construction, with some more general use and others highly specific. Our favorite is the OXO Good Grips Silicone Pastry Brush as a more versatile option, but a different model may be required depending on your needs. Our guide has your pastry brush questions covered.
What to know before you buy a pastry brush
The type and quality of the bristles on a pastry brush will determine how easy and effective the tool is. Bristles should be soft to retain liquid without dripping and avoid damaging more delicate pastries. However, excessively soft bristles may prove more challenging to control. There are four main types of bristles offered.
- Boar: Soft and flexible, boar bristles are durable and long-lasting, typically employed by experienced chefs and those who bake regularly. They hold liquid well without dripping and may offer precision if the end is tapered. However, these should be washed by hand, and quality options tend to cost more. Cheaper boar bristle brushes may frequently shed, contaminating food.
- Nylon: These tougher bristles are ideal for spreading thicker liquids and covering a large surface quickly. Nylon bristles are relatively inexpensive and come in various sizes. However, quality may vary greatly depending on the density and firmness of the bristles; some may be too soft, reducing the ability to hold liquids, while others can be too hard, creating problems when dealing with delicate items.
- Silicone: These bristles tend to come with wood or plastic handles. They are flexible and can withstand high heat, holding liquid well. They’re helpful across a variety of tasks and tend to have high heat resistance, though they typically can’t handle delicate pastries as well as other options.
- Teflon: These bristles are ideal for delicate application and can withstand high heat as well. You may use them to spread oil on a hot pan; however, they take more effort and care to clean and don’t hold liquids particularly well since they aren’t as densely packed.
Pastry brush handles will be made of wood, plastic or metal. Wood is sturdy and easy to use, though lesser quality options may break down quickly, especially if water is allowed to seep in. They are usually paired with boar bristles.
Plastic options vary in quality and accommodate all types of bristles, though they tend to be durable and inexpensive. Metal options are less common, but stainless steel brushes will be of higher quality and more durable. They typically feature boar or silicone bristles.
What to look for in a quality pastry brush
Pastry brushes may feature a flat or a round head, and each style offers some advantages. Flat brushes are versatile and adept for applying washes or glazes; they can also apply oil or grease to a pan. Round brushes, however, tend to be preferred for more delicate or intricate applications.
Depending on the material, you may come across color options for both the handle and the bristles of a pastry brush. These simply serve aesthetic purposes, though if you’ve multiple cooks in the kitchen, they can be color-coded to the user. You can also use color to denote specific usage if you’ve similar brushes.
How much you can expect to spend on a pastry brush
Pastry brushes typically cost between $10-$20, with prices varying based on the material of the bristles and the brush.
Pastry brush FAQ
How long do pastry brushes usually last?
A. Pastry brushes may last months or up to and over a year, depending on quality and maintenance. The type of bristle will influence how it should be washed, whether by hand or machine. Take note of boar bristles, which can fall out, and plastic construction, which may melt over high heat. If you note either of these issues, it’s time to replace the brush.
How many pastry brushes do I need?
A. With diverse applications, including sealing edges, spreading spices and basting meats, most regular cooks and chefs have on hand at least two brushes of different sizes and materials. It’s helpful to have a diverse collection for different applications. You may want to buy different color options to help differentiate users or uses. Some purchases may include a set of two or three brushes.
What’s the best pastry brush to buy?
Top pastry brush
What you need to know: Silicone pastry brush that holds a large amount of liquid and offers versatility when cooking.
What you’ll love: Unique design allows for varied uses. Large size holds thick liquids and washes. Allows for delicate application. High heat resistance. Dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: Too large for smaller pastries.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top pastry brush for the money
What you need to know: A pair of durable and reliable silicone brushes of different sizes that offer convenience and affordability.
What you’ll love: Resists melting, warping and discoloration. Dishwasher safe. It holds a large amount of liquid, avoids tearing delicate pastries. Solid value.
What you should consider: Struggles to pick up particles in liquid.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Quality boar bristle brush with a wooden handle that provides durability and precision.
What you’ll love: Made from a trusted company. Bristles hold liquid well and apply smoothly and quickly. Bristles resist falling out. Ideal for tight spaces and accuracy.
What you should consider: Hand wash only.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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