A Guide to Carlisle Food Brushes

Carlisle Food Prep Brush

Carlisle food brushes enable chefs to complete specific tasks quickly and accurately, with minimal cleanup and without adversely affecting the food. Basting proteins, glazing baked goods, and scrubbing vegetables all require different types of prep brushes, but Carlisle makes a wide range of brushes to ensure you can find the perfect set for your needs. Below, you can learn more about the different types of brushes available and how to incorporate them in your food prep processes.

Carlisle Pastry Brushes & Basting Brushes

Pastry brushes enable chefs to spread glazes, sauces, and butter evenly across their pastries without affecting the delicate shape of the baked goods. Basting brushes, on the other hand, are made to withstand the high heat of ovens and hot proteins. The brushes look similar, and indeed a basting brush can usually work as a pastry brush, but finding the right one will ensure your tools don't degrade and remain undamaged.

Pastry Brush
Basting Brush

Pastry Brushes

Pastry brushes, or cold-use brushes, are designed to fit patisserie applications. Carlisle pastry brushes designed for cold applications use nylon bristles, which are not heat resistant like the materials used in basting brushes. The handles of cold-use pastry brushes are usually synthetic, with a hole in the end to hang it on a hook, saving space in busy kitchens.

Basting Brushes

Basting brushes are used to baste proteins, which means they operate at a much higher heat than the average pastry brush. For this reason, basting brushes are made of either boar's hair or silicone bristles, which can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. These Carlisle food brushes enable chefs to baste at any point in the cooking process.

Should I get boar's hair or synthetic bristles?

Boar's hair is the traditional bristle of a pastry or basting brush. The consistency and durability of the bristle have made boar's hair the first choice for food prep brushes, traditionally – but synthetic bristles have caught up and offer a unique set of benefits.

Boars Hair Bristles
Synthetic Bristles

Boar's Hair

  • Bleached and double-boiled for sanitization.
  • Withstands up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Tough and durable.
  • Traditional styling.


  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Withstands up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Resistant to stains and odors.
  • Available in white or blue to distinguish them from common toppings.

Carlisle Food Brush

Food brushes are used to scrub unwanted debris off of vegetables before preparation. The bristles for a food prep brush are different from those used in pastry and basting brushes because they must be tougher to abrade the food, removing dirt or other debris. Potato brushes can be around 6 inches long and have an array of bristles on one side. Vegetable brushes meant for other types of produce have a circle of brushes at the end through which you can scrub vegetables such as zucchini, cucumber, or carrots. The bristles on these brushes are almost always synthetic, which means they are dishwasher safe and will not stain or take on odors.

Food Safety

The most important concern with any new tool in a commercial kitchen is safety. Food brushes can be especially tricky, since the bristles can give bacteria plenty of places to hide. All three types of food prep brush are used on uncooked food as well, which exposes the brush to potentially dangerous bacteria. Carlisle brushes are made to eliminate that risk. Bristles in the company's line of Sparta brushes are epoxy-set to ferrules in the handle, which prevents any difficult-to-reach air pockets in which bacteria might grow. The quality attachment safeguards bristles from falling out as they might with another brush, ensuring no customer is served a meal with bristles in it and that chefs don't need to replace their brush as routinely.

Carlisle Food Brush Maintenance

  • Synthetic bristles can usually be washed in a commercial dishwasher, where the high heat will thoroughly sanitize your brush.
  • Boar's hair bristles won't survive a commercial dishwasher, so they should be dipped into commercial cleansers, then rinsed.
  • Store the brush somewhere safe where it won't be exposed to debris.
  • Check regularly to ensure the brush isn't cracking or breaking, as damage can create dangerous pockets in which bacteria can grow.