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Pastry Brush versus Silicone Brush

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2018

If you're equal parts cook and baker, consider keeping both types of brushes in your kitchen.

If you're equal parts cook and baker, consider keeping two brushes in your kitchen—a pastry brush with thin, natural-fiber bristles, and a sturdy silicone brush.

Natural-Fiber Brush

Use for: Applying egg wash or glaze to delicate doughs and pastry or butter/oil to phyllo dough; brushing crumbs from cake layers

Avoid: High heat, which can burn bristles and melt glue that secures them. Also avoid using with anything that has strong odor—smells cling to bristles, even after washing.

To clean: Rinse briefly to remove debris. Rub warm, soapy water into bristles and rinse thoroughly. Blot with towel and lay flat to dry. Replace brush if it begins to smell.

Silicone Brush

Use for: High-heat applications; basting meat or poultry; applying oil or melted butter to pans; applying anything with strong odor

Avoid: Delicate items. Brush can damage fragile dough or fruit; its larger bristles can also leave visible lines on baked goods.

To clean: Place in top rack of dishwasher. Replace if silicone retains smells even after washing.