How to Use a Pastry Brush

Pastry brushes (basting brushes) are handy pieces of kitchen equipment for baking, cooking, and candy making purposes. Using them is fairly straightforward.


  1. Image titled Purchasebrush Step 1
    Purchase some pastry brushes for your kitchen. It's a good idea to know what you want to use pastry brushes for as they can vary in size and quality for different tasks:
    • Traditional pastry brushes are made from natural bristles.
    • Newer pastry brushes are made from nylon bristles.
    • The newest kind of pastry brushes are made from silicone.
  2. Image titled UseBrush Step 2
    Use your pastry brushes. Pastry brushes can be used for a variety of tasks in the kitchen:
    • Use to put an egg wash, sugar glaze, salt glaze, or melted butter on pastry.
    • Use to add fat before assembling phyllo dough.
    • Use to add a glaze to meats and fish.
    • Add delicate glazes to cakes and cookies.
    • Use for candy-making. Such brushes should not be used for any other purpose to avoid tainting candy and chocolate with grease from other foods.
  3. Image titled KeepClean Step 3
    Keep the pastry brush clean. Natural bristle and nylon bristle brushes can be harder to keep clean than silicone versions. However, they must be cleaned regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria on the fat attached to the bristles after basting.
    • Dip natural or nylon bristle pastry brushes into bleach solution after washing.[1]
    • Wash silicone pastry brushes with hot water and detergent. Or, simply throw it into the dishwasher.
  4. Image titled StoreBrush Step 4
    Store pastry brushes in a cutlery drawer or utensils container. Do not put away wet; oily is okay provided the brush has been washed properly.


  • If you use pastry brushes for lots of things, consider using different ones for different food types and either adding a label or color coding them to avoid mixing them up.
  • You can place pastry brushes with natural bristles and wooden handles into the dishwasher on a very irregular basis. It's not good for the natural elements but it will ensure a sanitary clean.[2]
  • The best size pastry brush for candy making is a one inch (2.5cm) wide one. The flat, wooden-handled natural bristle kind is best.[3]

Things You'll Need

  • Pastry brushes

Sources and Citations

  2. Carole Bloom, Truffles, candies, and confections, p. 21, (2004), ISBN 1-58008-621-7
  3. Carole Bloom, Truffles, candies, and confections, p. 21, (2004), ISBN 1-58008-621-7

Article Info

Categories: Care and Use of Cooking Equipment | Pastries