Basting is a time-honored cooking technique where pan drippings, butter, cooking stock, sauce, or marinade is poured over meat before and during cooking. This helps maintain moisture, create more even browning, and increase or add flavor as the meat cooks. It’s a process mostly used in cooking techniques like roasting, grilling, and rotisserie, where meat is exposed to heat for an extended period of time. A turkey baster is a tool designed specifically to make basting easier. Simply insert it into the cooking liquid, squeeze the bulb, release the bulb once it’s full, and then hold the baster over the meat and squeeze the bulb to release. Though ladles and brushes can be used for the task, a baster is a more effective, precise, and speedy way to do so while also reducing the risk of dripping or spilling. Despite the name, turkey basters can be used on any type of meat or seafood. They can also be utilized in other kitchen tasks like separating egg yolks from the whites, draining ground meat, or pouring batter into muffin tins without dripping it all over the pan. If you want to add a turkey baster to your kitchen, here are a few we recommend.
What to Consider in Turkey Basters
Here are a few things to think about before buying a turkey baster:
- Tubes: Turkey baster tubes will be made of three materials: glass, plastic/nylon, or stainless steel. Glass tubes are see-through and won’t melt under high temperatures, but they run a higher risk for breaking. Plastic and nylon tubes tend to be dishwasher safe, affordable, and shatterproof, though plastic may not hold up as well under heat. Stainless steel tubes are durable and easy to clean, though they won’t let you see the liquid inside. Most models can be used for temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, but there are more heat-resistant ones that may be able to withstand up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The tube’s length may be an important factor for cooking techniques such as grilling since it’ll help your hands as far away as possible from the flames.
- Capacity: It’s important that any turkey baster you buy is large enough to hold the amount of liquid you need. The larger the capacity, the fewer times you’ll have to refill it during the basting process. Most basters will be able to hold one and a half to two ounces of liquid at a time. However, there are models with bigger capacities if you’re someone who tends to cook and baste in large quantities.
- Features: There are a couple of handy features you can look for in a turkey baster. You’ll want to look for a model that is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Some have detachable bulbs and tips that make them easy to clean or allow you to switch out different tips. Others have internal valves that prevent them from dripping all over your countertops. Some models come as part of a kit that might include extra tools like brushes, injectors, and cleaning brushes. Any or all of these features can make basting a quicker and more efficient task.
Best for Budget: Norpro Plastic Nylon Baster
Kitchen appliances and utensils can run on the pricey side more often than not. Fortunately, this turkey baster is not one of them. This 10.5-inch model has a 1.5-ounce capacity, with the measurements are marked on the side of the baster. This makes it easier for you to measure out the exact quantities you need, should a recipe call for a specific quantity of drippings or other liquids. It has powerful suction to suck up any juices, melted butter, marinades, and sauces that you want to use to drizzle over and baste your turkey. This model is made out of heat-resistant nylon that can resist a temperature of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite its name, this turkey baster can be used to moisturize and roast just about any protein, from scallops to chicken, pork to fish, and much more.
Norpro Plastic Nylon Baster, 1 EA, Black
A highly affordable turkey baster with powerful suction and 1.5-ounce capacity.
Best Drip-Less: Tovolo Dripless Baster for Turkey Roasting
While basting is a highly functional cooking technique, it can also be a messy one at times. Spilling, spurting, and dripping oil, juices, butter, or sauces all over the counters and cooking surfaces is not an uncommon problem. If you’ve found this happening to you quite often while you’re basting meat or fish, this turkey baster offers a solution. This model comes equipped with an angled tip that holds a silicone mechanism inside, which opens when the bulb is squeezed and re-seals as soon as you release it. This helps prevent the liquids inside from dripping all over, even if you ever need to carry the baster across the room. This tip is angled to ensure that your juices and drippings are evenly distributed across the meat, and it twists off for superior cleaning in between uses. The round, durable, silicone bulb head is small enough to avoid jamming or getting stuck in your kitchen drawers but big enough to accommodate plenty of liquid with each squeeze. It can also be removed for more in-depth cleaning. The cylinder is 11.5 inches long and made of clear plastic, so you can easily see how much liquid is inside at any given moment from any angle. It can resist temperatures as high as 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so you never need to worry about sucking up hot liquids with it. All parts of this turkey baster are dishwasher safe, and you receive an extra tip and a cleaning brush with your purchase.
Tovolo Easy-to-Use, Angle Tipped, Dripless Baster for Turkey Roasting, Dishwasher-Safe, BPA-Free Silicone & Plastic, Large, 1 Count, Clear
A turkey baster with a specialty mechanism inside the tip that seals the cylinder in order to prevent liquids inside from dripping all over your cooking surfaces.
Best for Grilling: Boao Heat-Resistant Turkey Baster for BBQ Grill
Basting isn’t just a useful kitchen technique for roasting meat. If you’re someone who grills a lot, these turkey basters and the included tools are specifically for basting during grilling or barbequing. Besides the two turkey basters, you receive a silicone basting brush and two cleaning brushes. Both basters are 11 inches long to help keep your hands away from the heat with 1.5-ounce capacities. Their powerful suction is strong enough to suck up even thick barbeque sauces and marinades to drizzle over turkeys, ham, pork, and other meats and proteins. The drip tubing is made of nylon, while the top bulbs, both the black and white models, are made out of rubber. The tubing is marked in half-ounce increments so that you can easily measure out the quantities of liquid. The silicone brush is perfect for brushing and spreading barbeque sauces more evenly over the meat’s surface. The cleaning brushes are made out of nylon and stainless steel for a strong and thorough scrub.
Nylon Heat-resistant Turkey Baster Cooking Set Includes Meat Baster, 1 Silicone Basting Brush and 2 Cleaning Brush for BBQ Grill Baking Kitchen Cooking (Black White, 5 Pieces)
A pair of turkey basters with barbecue drip tubing, a silicone brush, and two cleaning brushes, ready for grilling.
Best Kit: FIRECOW Turkey Baster for Basting and Marinating
This full turkey basting kit comes with just about any of the tools you need to thoroughly baste your meats and fish. This kit includes a turkey baster, a cleaning brush, two full-sized silicone brushes, a small attachable basting brush, an injector needle, and a meat injector. In addition to using the turkey baster itself to pour marinades, juices, drippings, and other fluids over the meat, you can attach the small basting brush onto the end to help distribute the sauces and liquids across the meat. You can also screw on the injector needle to the baster to insert the marinades and sauces deeper into the meat itself for even more flavor. The turkey baster’s tube is marked along the sides in both milliliters and ounces so that you can calculate exactly how much fluid is inside without needing to convert the units back and forth. The silicone bulb, silicone attachment brush, and stainless steel injector needle are detachable for easier cleaning.
FIRECOW Turkey Baster, with Cleaning Brush, Meat Injector, Perfect for oiling and Marinating Turkey, Beef, Pork, Fish
A turkey basting kit with extra accessories to for a more in-depth cooking experience and more flavorful meats and fish.