Kansas City’s barbecue sauce is tomato-based, thick, sweet and smoky. These Kansas City-style spareribs are a perfect example of that style of barbecue.
Having been a painting contractor for more years than I care to remember, quality tools meant a quality job. This was especially true when it came to brushes. Purdy brand brushes are the standard of the industry. Ask any pro and I guarantee each and every painter will confirm that. Why should your basting brush be any different? I find it odd that most grillers spare no expense on most of their barbecue equipment, yet go cheap when it comes to their basting brush. So, why should you spend $25 for a basting brush?
How many times have you had to pick out a bristle off your meat because of a shedding brush? You’re lucky that you spotted it. It could have been worse had you not. Are you sure you got every one? There would be nothing worse than one of your guests finding it, especially if they found it in their mouth. It’s about as disgusting as finding a hair in your food. Purdy brand brushes rarely loose their bristles. We can’t have that on a paint job and Purdy knows that. They have engineered their brushes with that in mind.
Holding power is the ability of a tool to carry the largest amount of paint to the item being painted. Increased dipping into the paint requires added time. Efficiency is key in the construction field and a Purdy brush has excellent holding power. That’s more sauce that you’re able to bring to your meat which converts to more efficiency at the grill and less time with it uncovered. High holding power also means the sauce will hang to the bristles and not drip all over the place.
Spreading characteristics are also important in a paint brush. It should easily release the coating in a steady and controllable manner. Isn’t this what we want in a basting brush? Again, that’s another aspect Purdy brushes have been designed to achieve.
Longevity is another consideration. A Purdy brush will last a lifetime if well cared for.
What to Look for When Buying
Purdy brushes are readily available at most hardware stores, home improvement centers and paint stores. I find that a 2 to 2-1/2 inch sash, or angled brush works best. Any larger, and things get a little bit out of control unless you’re basting a whole hog.
Get the brush labeled, “For Oil-Based Paints”. You’re looking for 100% Natural China Bristle. This is stated on the bottom of the brush’s package. China bristles are available in white or black. I prefer white for basting as these bristles are more fine in texture than their black counterpart. White also better shows how well you’ve cleaned your brush after use. Brushes labeled “For Latex Paint” or “For all Paints” have bristles made from polyester and/or nylon blends. (They’re technically called filaments if polyester or nylon, not bristles) These types of materials have little tolerance for heat and may distort or melt if they get to close to your fire.
How to Care for Your Purdy Basting Brush
Hand wash. I don’t trust a dishwasher with the wood handle. I’m sure it would be fine, it’s just as easy to clean it under warm running water. Once clean, shake the water out of the bristles. A couple of taps on the toe of your shoe is my best method. Groom the bristles with a scrub brush, wire brush or even a comb. This straightens out the bristles and gives the brush back its shape. Return the brush to the sleeve, or keeper that it came in and store.
Although the cost of a Purdy basting brush may seem high to some, remember all that you ask from a basting brush. A small investment now should give you a lifetime of returns.