Last Updated: July 17, 2021
The pastry brush is one of the most essential brushes in the kitchen. Its uses are broad, yet very specific. Butter a cake base with ease and more control using the Pastry Brush. The domed, flexible head makes it easier to apply butter to a pan without spreading it beyond the edges. A pastry brush is a kitchen utensil that is designed especially for applying liquids like sauces, syrups, oils and melted butter (although vegetable oil can also be used).
By creating many tiny crevices on its surface, the bristles of a pastry brush are able to absorb liquids and distribute them evenly over a larger area. It is good to keep at least one large pastry brush in the kitchen for general use as well as some smaller ones for more specific tasks like applying egg wash (also called egg wash or egg glaze) to pastries and breads.
The pastry brush is one of the most important tools in any baker’s arsenal. Picking a pastry brush can be hard because there are so many types and brands available. But once you find the right kind for you, it will become your best friend. It can help increase your pastries’ presentation, make decorating them easier, and even improve the final product when used as a decoration or glaze!
What type is the best pastry brush? Do you want natural or synthetic bristles? Is durability a concern? Are bacteria issues important to you? How about price? There are so many options to consider when buying a new pastry brush. This article breaks down the different types and makes a recommendation based on personal experience and input from professionals.
In the past, the hostess was content with what was at hand — bird feathers, paper, lard, or working with her hands. But with the use of a special device, you will not only stay with clean hands, but also reduce the consumption of fat in your dishes, getting a thin layer without excess oil and mayonnaise. All you need to know is what kind of chef and pastry brushes there are, and how to choose the best one.
It is difficult to imagine the kitchen without a pastry brush. Today, it is one of the elements of the equipment, which will become part of any cooking. It’s hard to imagine how we could make pancakes and cakes without this small tool.
The device is quite simple in its composition: a handle and a brush for spreading butter or another fat product from culinary fallimentos.
Usually, the handle is made of plastic or wood, and the head — of natural or synthetic bristles. As a rule, the length of the handle does not exceed 25 cm. So it boils down to what chef and pastry brushes exist, as well as what features they should have.
The history of the pastry brush is as old as the pan itself. This is not surprising, because the main purpose of this household utensil has always been to use it to cover a dish with a special layer of fat or sauce, making it more delicious and useful. Pastry brushes are considered one of several indispensable kitchen utensils.
They are used by professionals and home cooks alike when baking various sweets, cakes, or roasting roasted vegetables. The most important thing in a cooking brush is the bristles. Its quality largely determines how thick the layer will be, whether excessive streaks will form on the cake, and whether odors from sauces and oils will be so absorbed that it will be difficult to get rid of them later.
Cooking brush bristles come in round and flat bristles. The round one is excellent at evenly applying a sauce or gravy on top of meat, like on a turkey or pork roast. This is also useful for coating your chicken in seasonings, like lemon pepper. Flat brushes are better for glazing your baked ham, where you want to evenly distribute the glaze that forms while the ham bakes.
When you are shopping for a new pastry brush, know that the choice of flat or round is yours. The round tips are for the traditional pastry brushes while the flat brushes are good for general cooking. Make sure to get one that has stiff bristles and a long handle so it does not flop when you use it.
The size of the bristles is determined by the width (or diameter), the number of rows in the flat brushes, and the number of hairs. Narrow brushes are convenient for greasing small and shaped pastries, as well as pie rims. Wide brushes are needed for baking trays and flat cakes, fritters and meat dishes.
The main decisive criterion when choosing is the bristle material. It can be made of natural or artificial fibers :
Natural bristle brushes are not recognized as the best these days, but they still have many fans. Some housewives claim that a pastry brush with natural bristles lubricates dough products more thoroughly, covering the entire surface more evenly and avoiding any streaks or thickening. When buying, carefully examine the strength of the attachment of the hairs, their quality and uniformity.
Not a single hair should not stick out, odors and glued hairs are not allowed. Natural base needs proper care. It is important to wash the working part thoroughly and wipe dry to prevent the appearance of fungus and bacteria development.
A pile brush made of artificial lint is not really a good choice. Such material absorbs foreign odors, it is difficult to wash off grease from it, it is noticeably thinning, as a result of which lint remains on the surface of products. There are also artificial bristles made of inert materials that do not absorb moisture.
Somehow these hairs are similar to a thin fishing line. They are much more convenient to wash. The ease and quality of work is directly related to the material and reliability of fixing the filaments.
A pastry brush with silicone bristles is a very practical choice for every day. Silicone products are not afraid of high temperatures, so they can safely lubricate not only cooled but also heated areas of products. It does not absorb liquids, cleans well with detergents and warm water, does not stick, does not leave unpleasant odors.
The disadvantages of silicone are its thinness — with its help it is unlikely to create an exquisite pattern or drawing. But if you need a brush to work in the kitchen, and not for decorating baked goods, then there are no complaints.
Handles are made of a wide variety of materials :
A brush handle that is too long is not necessary. Convenience is important only for brushes for pastry patterns. And you can coat a frying pan with oil or coat a chicken with any brush. There are dispenser handles that, when pressed, take a small amount of oil from the container.
The liquid goes into the compartment above the bristles and moistens them. There are also brushes that come with hollow dispenser handles.
In some brushes, the bottom part can easily be removed from the handle. And this is not a negative thing — what if the working part falls off? It is possible, but collapsible designs have their own advantages.
Removable nozzles are easier to wash. If it is silicone, it can be boiled, soaked and even placed in the dishwasher for thorough cleaning. Not every handle will be able to stand that kind of test. And if the handle breaks, you can replace it yourself.
Each baker and pastry chef needs to have at least a few basic brushes for his work. This is what you probably think, knowing that in the toolkit they do not necessarily need to be standard. But besides these conventional brushes, there is a whole range of pastry brushes specialized for different purposes. They facilitate labor, cleaning and storage of the accessory.
If you often lubricate your dishes, consider the kitchen brushes with an oil reservoir. With the reservoir included, the need to pour oil into other utensils is eliminated. However, even here there is a lot of controversy and certain limitations. The set will be handy if you oil the clean surface of the cookware only before you start cooking. You take out the container, remove the brush, apply the oil to the bottom, twist the jar and put it away. In this case, the glass and the dishwashing brush don’t need to be cleaned daily.
It is different if you have to grease meat, as well as vegetables, dough or pancakes. Here you will need to be sure to drain the leftovers every time and rinse the entire set well. But the design of the jars is clever — you can pour a small amount of liquid. Another plus is that you don’t have to think where to put the brush, it hangs over the container and will not stain the rest of the utensils.
The dispenser brush is very handy and thrifty with regard to consumption. There is a small container in the handle for storing oil or liquid sauces. No need to contaminate other containers, no need to dip anything! With a squeeze of the hand, the liquid is dispensed onto the brush, then it is ready to use.
If necessary, another portion is dispensed. Such a brush is most convenient for greasing fritters, meat dishes, vegetables, pans, including grills, when you do not need a large amount of fat for frying. The advantage is the low consumption, which is not only important to save, but also to reduce the amount of fat in the diet. The portion of oil inside the dispenser is not in contact with the food and always stays clean. There is another option — oil bottles with a brush. In this case, a brush with a short lint is built into the neck. To wet the lint just turn the vessel upside down.
The brush is not in contact with the liquid in the jar. If you use oil and soy sauce frequently, you need two cooking brushes so that each works with only one of the products. The work surface should be rinsed after each use. The jar should also be emptied and washed occasionally to prevent the oil from going rancid.
A special feature is the pastry brushes for painting. They are thinner, with rounded or flatter bristles and look similar to art brushes. They are used to decorate gingerbread, cakes, cakes, cookies. For painting small elements you need the thinnest brushes with beveled edge like real art brushes.
For complicated paintings you usually use brushes of natural bristles. You can buy them by the piece or in sets together with different thickness and shape of working parts. You can buy cooking brushes for home kitchens and professional confectioners in stores that specialize in the sale of dishes, as well as in department stores. Be sure to buy yourself some useful little things.
Cook’s pastry brush has long been part of the equipment of professional and amateur café chefs, as well as home cooks. Often products of good quality have a low price. To choose a product, pay attention to the material from which it is made. Quality brushes are made of plastic, silicone or with a wooden handle. Quality products have an inner coating that does not contain toxic dyes. They should be easy to clean and durable.
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