Pastry brushes are a kitchen staple thanks to their versatility in all manner of recipes. From basting meats to glazing desserts, many professional chefs swear by pastry brushes as a must-have utensil. However, if you're shopping for a new one, it can be tough to know where to begin.
Luckily we've compiled all the information you'll need in this article, including tips on bristle material, handle properties and sizing considerations. Plus, we've got a list of the 10 best pastry brushes in the UK, currently available through Amazon, Tesco, Waitrose, John Lewis and ASDA.
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The main consideration when it comes to pastry brushes is the bristle material. The ideal brush will be malleable, with bristles that easily absorb and retain liquid. For this reason, you'll need to choose between boar hair, nylon and silicone. Here are the key features of each to help you choose.
The handle of your pastry brush will also impact performance as you'll need something that's easy to maintain and provides a sturdy grip. It's also beneficial if the handle does not conduct heat, which is why metal is rarely used for most kitchen utensils. The choice will ordinarily be between a wooden or plastic handle.
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As well as material, the handle length is also an important consideration. If you intend to use your brush for basting meats or hot pastries, you will need a handle that's long enough to avoid close contact. Handles around 20 cm long should be sufficient to keep your hand at a safe distance from the heat, while also maintaining adequate control of the brush.
Brush heads range from 2 to 10 cm in width. If you are mainly working across larger surface areas, such as basting ham or applying egg wash, look for a width of 4 cm or above to complete the task much quicker. For more delicate work, like glazing pastries or sealing dumplings, a thinner brush would be preferable. Its a good idea to opt for a multipack of various sizes if you will be attending to many different tasks in the kitchen
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Pastry Brushes and Dough Scraper｜Set of 4
Two Brush Set With Pastry Scrapers for Chopping and Icing
Good Grips Silicone Pastry Brush
A Heat and Odour-Resistant Silicone Brush With a Porous Section to Improve Absorbency
Nylon Bristle Pastry Brush ｜Set of 4
Four Brushes in Various Sizes That Are Dishwasher Safe and Easy to Clean
John Lewis & Partners Pastry Brush
A Traditional Pastry Brush Composed of Sustainable Beech Wood and Boar Hair
3 In 1 Pastry Brush
Wide Nylon Brush With Pastry Wheel for Crimping, Cutting and Decorating
Pastry Brushes for Baking｜Set of 4
All Natural Boar Hair Brushes in Two Different Sizes
Silicone Pastry Brush
Thick Silicone Bristles for Sticky Sauces and Basting Meats
Professional Nylon Pastry Brush｜KCSGPB
Frizz-Free Nylon Bristles Covered by a 25-Year Satisfaction Guarantee
Silicone Pastry Brush
The Benefits of Silicone Paired With the Sleek Appearance of Wood
Silicone Pastry Brush
High-Quality Construction That Will Stand the Test of Time
The pack also includes 2 pastry scrapers, the perfect tools for chopping dough into desired portions as well as flattening the surface of the crust for an even finish. Plus, they double up as fantastic tools for icing cakes!
OXO is a kitchen staple, and once you try their silicone pastry brush, it's sure to become a staple of your kitchen too! The heat resistant silicone is suitable for use in temperatures up to 315°C, so it's ideal for basting meats as well as hot pastries.
With a porous section in the centre of the bristles, this brush will absorb and retain liquids much better than an average silicone brush. It's easy to clean and odour-resistant, but if you experience any issues, you can simply contact OXO directly for a hassle-free repair or replacement.
The bristles dry quickly and will never shed. Not to mention, having multiple sizes is always useful. In particular, the 2.5 and 4.5 cm brush heads will mean you can always pick the right brush for any job.
If you want a traditional pastry brush, this is the best you're going to get. With an FSC-certified beech wood handle and a 2 cm round boar hair brush head, it's exactly what comes to mind when picturing a typical basting brush.
The bristles are tough yet malleable, so they'll be suitable for use with both thin runny glazes and thick sauces. With a low price and sustainably sourced materials, you can protect your purse and the planet!
The plastic is BPA-free and dishwasher safe so cleanup will be easy and you won't need to worry about the transfer of harmful chemicals into your food. For an all-in-one purchase that won't break the bank, this could be your ideal choice.
Although the natural composition of this product may be appealing, it does make it tougher to clean and the boar hair bristles are prone to shedding over time. Thankfully, with four in a pack, you'll have a replacement on hand if you ever need it.
Unfortunately, there is no porous inner section to increase absorbency, so the thick silicone bristles cannot hold runny liquids very well. If you're looking for something for meat basting, however, this will do the job nicely.
The bristles are particularly rigid so, when combined with the 4 cm width, this brush is not suitable for working on delicate pastries. For larger tasks and tougher surfaces, though, it could be exactly what you need.
Tough time deciding between the look of traditional wooden pastry brushes and the soft-grip silicone feel? This brush from George is the perfect middle ground, with a heat-resistant handle and head that will tackle baking and cooking with ease.
While silicone is typically dishwasher safe, the wooden body on this brush makes it a little more high-maintenance. If you don't mind hand washing, though, you'll still get all the other benefits of silicone cookware.
If you're strictly in the market for a brush for meats and thick sauces, you've no doubt already settled on silicone. Waitrose's silicone brush has been well received by many bakers and the high-quality construction is sturdy enough to last many years.
It's a little more expensive than similar silicone brushes on the market. Still, if you're willing to make that marginally higher investment, you're sure to notice the difference.
No. 1: findTop｜Pastry Brushes and Dough Scraper｜Set of 4
No. 2: OXO｜Good Grips Silicone Pastry Brush
No. 3: HEMOTON｜Nylon Bristle Pastry Brush ｜Set of 4
No. 4: ANYDAY｜John Lewis & Partners Pastry Brush
No. 5: Chef Aid｜3 In 1 Pastry Brush
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