What Can I Use Instead Of a Pastry Brush?

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What can I use instead of a pastry brush?

A pastry brush makes work easier in recipes where you want your final product to have a nice crusty, moist, or sticky finish.

It is an efficient kitchen utensil piece but can be substituted with leafy greens, paper towels, coffee filters, paintbrushes, a freezer bag, or your fingers.

The brush is used to coat foods with oils, egg washes, sauces, marinades, and glazes.

However, you shouldn’t sweat and worry if you cannot find yours or have never bought one. You can improvise the brush using various items readily available in your kitchen. They include:

  • Leafy Greens

Leafy green such as celery and lettuce can make a temporary brush for you. These herbs are safe to use for sauces, marinades, or oils when basting veggies or meats.

You can use fresh vegetables from your garden and use them to brush your foods just like you would with a pastry brush.

  • Paper Towels

Paper towels come in handy in the kitchen in various ways. They are particularly perfect for basting foods with egg washes, melted butter, and oils.

Simply roll the paper into a small ball and soak it into the liquid you want to use and then rub it gently over the food that needs to be basted.

Make sure no small pieces of the paper if left on your food.

  • Coffee Filters

If you love coffee, you must have coffee filters in your kitchen. The filters are thin and therefore come in handy when dealing with thin liquids.

They are used like a kitchen towel only that it’s not thick and can tear easily

  • Unused Paint Brush

Paintbrush has similar bristles to a pastry brush. The shape is the same, and it’s, therefore, a good alternative if you do not have a basting brush in your kitchen.

However, it should be new, unused, and clean. A brush that has been used to paint is likely to have harmful chemicals, which can contaminate your food.

Also, make sure all bristles are firm because lose ones can get into your food.

  • Freezer bag

This is one of the most straightforward pastry brush substitutes to use. You simply put your food in a freezer bag along with the basting liquid.

Seal the paper and shake them; be careful, especially with baking products, to avoid crumbling them. When done basting with a freezer bag, throw it away.

  • Fingers

This sounds funny, but yes, you can use your fingers if you do not have a pastry brush. However, make sure your hands completely clean before you start working any food.

Drizzle the basting liquid with a spoon and then spread it with your fingers. However, this may not work when basting hot foods cooking over a grill.

Frequently Asked Questions about a Pastry Brush

Do you need to have a pastry brush?

Yes, a pastry brush is essential in the kitchen. It applies a thin coating on food to give a sticky, wet, or goey finish with a fruit glaze, egg wash, melted butter, and sometimes just plain water.

It helps you carry out the basting process safely and efficiently on different foods, including porous, dry, crumbly, flaky, and delicate ones.

How is a pastry brush cleaned?

The best way to clean a pastry brush is by using your hands. Use hot water and dish detergent as you rub the bristles gently.

Remove all food particles lodged at the base of the brush and make sure it’s thoroughly clean. Rinse it with clean water and leave it to dry.

How do you identify an excellent pastry brush?

The best brush is made of natural bristles.

Most of the brushes come with nylon bristles and are fine enough to brush various delicate foods finely, such as pastries, without causing any damages.

Can you use silicone brushes?

Silicone brushes are ideal for basting because they come with firm strands that do not fall out easily.

They are also easy to wash, which reduces the chances of food contamination from old food particles that may be lodged on the brush’s base.

However, a silicone pastry brush is not recommended for pastry recipes; it can damage your delicate pastry. It is highly recommended for meat recipes.


A pastry brush brush or a basting brush is an essential cooking tool used to glaze food. Most of them are made of soft natural bristles, but modern ones are made of silicone bristles.

But, they do have temporary alternatives to cook your recipes effortlessly.

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