Kitchen Talk: Silicone or Bristle Pastry Brush?

My dad is a baker. So growing up, we always had a pastry brush in our kitchen. Today, there are so many pastry brushes to choose from, but how do you know which one is for you? For the next few weeks, I’m going to be conducting a little experiment to find out which pastry brushes actually live up to their hype and which ones don’t.

But as for now, I want your opinion: Do you prefer silicone or bristle pastry brushes?

If you don’t currently use a pastry brush, here’s a few things that they are good at:

  • Brushing Butter or Oil: As I mentioned above, my dad is a baker. Occasionally, we’d wake up to the smell of homemade cinnamon rolls glazed perfectly in butter. He used a pastry brush for it. You actually use it with a ton of baked goods, both before and after they have been baked.
  • Glazing or Mopping: Turkey come to mind? Pastry brushes are excellent tools for glazing or mopping sauce and marinade onto meats and sauces onto heavy cakes.
  • Basting Meat: Don’t have a baster? Than just use a pastry brush!
  • Sugary Sauces: If you’ve ever made a sweet sauce on the stove-top then you know that sugar can burn to the sides of the pan. Use a pastry brush to brush the sugar down from the sides of the pan and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan as well.
  • Egg Wash: Pastry brushes are great for applying egg washes.

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  • Reply
    August 23, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I love the silicone brushes!! And because they come in different colors I can use the one I need for a specific type of use; meats, sugar, glazing, etc. The bristle brushes don’t clean up as well – especially over time – and they seem to release that occasional bristle into whatever I am doing!!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Silicone!! They clean up easily in the dishwasher, they are more heat resistant than bristles, and the bristles don’t break off and leave a little something ‘extra’ you don’t want in or on your culinary masterpieces.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Silicone is great for basting meats etc. but for pastry a boars hair round bristle brush that tapers toward the end is best for brushing pastry, glazing pie crusts, brushing a glaze on delicate fruit; anything that needs a delicate touch. plus best to use one just for dry use (brushing excess flour off of pastries when rolling out) and another for glazes. i rarely wash my flour brush, i clean the flour off after use, if washing i don’t use soap. It is worth getting a good one so the hairs don’t fall out on to your food as some cheap ones do this. Try to get one with a lot of medium soft bristles so they can reach into delicate cracks of pastry when brushing with butter or egg wash but won’t tear the dough. I’ve had mine for over 10 years.

    • Reply
      Heather Smith
      February 21, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      thank you so much for sharing! we agree we do love a good boars hair brush!

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