Basting is Fun Again
Brushing pan drippings across the top of a roasting chicken or two is always a trick. The cook must reach around the chickens and into the very bottom of the roasting pan, pull some of the hot juices on the brush, and then paint them on the chickens.
Attempting all this in a 400 degree oven, while welcoming guests and opening wine, makes basting every 20 minutes of roasting time an extreme challenge.
A silicone brush with long stainless steel handle is the solution. While the silicone brush from iSi Basics, — inventor of the Orka oven mitt — did not seem convincing in the store, an employee at Art of Cooking recommended the brush.
She was right. The brush does spread basting liquids evenly and the bristles do not stick together. Silicone bristles also do not fall out of the brush and end up in the food, either.
The arched fifteen inch handle on this brush ($10.50 at the Art of Cooking, $9.95 at Amazon.com) helped me to reach safely reach into the oven. This tool is marked as heat resistant to 600 degrees.
The brush is dishwasher safe. The bristles do not stain and have not picked up odors.
I tested the tool using Tyler Florence’s recipe for Lemon And Herb Roasted Chicken With Baby Potatoes. The lemons created golden drippings while the potatoes provided an obstacle course in the roasting pan for my new brush. I basted away and was surprised how well the silicon brush worked.