Three Things to Look For When Shopping For a Turkey Baster

A quality baster is one tool every cook should have on hand. Here are three considerations to make baster buying easy.

thanksgiving turkey
Keep your birds and roasts moist and flavorful by basting them regularly throughout the cooking process.Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

While most of us reach for our turkey baster at Thanksgiving time, a quality baster is a handy tool to have around the kitchen anytime. I use mine year-round to baste meat and fish on the barbeque with marinades and for topping roasted vegetables. And a baster is perfect for syphoning off fat when you want to make gravy. I even used my baster recently to help bale water out of a kitchen faucet connector I was repairing. Like I said, you’ll never run out of uses for a baster, but how do you choose a good one? Here are three tips that will get you on the road to finding the best baster ever.

Choose the Right Tube

turkey baster
This 10 ½-inch baster holds 1.5 ounces of liquid and its heat-resistant nylon is rated to 450˚F/230˚C.Norpro

Basters have three tube options:

  • Nylon tubes are generally rated to 450 F and most a dishwasher safe. Unlike glass tubes, they’re unbreakable.
  • Glass tubes are easy to see through and you don’t have to worry about scalding meat juices coming in contact with plastic tubes that can melt under high temps.
  • Stainless tubes are super rugged and will stand up to ultra-high temperatures. They also clean up easily, but you won’t be able to see the liquid inside.

Bulb Size

turkey baster
Tired of baster drippings going all over the place? This model has a specially designed valve that makes it dripless, so you can set it down anywhere without the mess.Tovolo

You’ll find all sizes of baster bulbs when you shop. Go for the biggest you can find. This will ensure you can get larger doses of basting juices over the top of your bird quickly, so you can pop it right back into the over before the oven temp drops off.

Heat Resistance

metal turkey baster
This stainless-steel model comes with a screw-in needle for injecting flavorful juices or marinades into meats.BestUtensils

While many models are rated to 450 F., some have higher ratings to 600 F and more. Err on the side of heat resistance and go for models that have the highest heat rating you can find. Some models also have internal valves that prevent drips when you set your baster on the counter—something to consider if you want to keep your countertops mess-free as you cook.