Herbal Basting Brushes

How to Make an Herbal DIY Basting Brush

I do not currently own a basting brush. I have owned them, plenty of them, but they get all oily and are hard to clean and I end up tossing them long before most people would.

As a consequence, I would find myself in need of one all the time, but having to make do with using a spoon or some other awkward improvisation.

Right after I saw this idea in a library book I was reading, Herbal Treasures by Phyllis V. Shaudys, I put it down and headed straight to my rosemary plant so I could try it out on the chicken roasting in my oven at that very moment.

I was smitten by the subtle flavor it added and plan to never buy another basting brush in my life again!


herbs for herbal basting brushes

All you’ll need to make your own herbal basting brush, is a handful of herbs and a stick or wooden spoon to attach them to.

Or, some people just tie the bunches of herbs together to use and that’s fine also.

You may prefer a longer handle of sorts on it though, especially if you’re grilling and don’t want your hands too close to the high heat.


Things to make an herbal basting brush

Simply gather your herbs together (around the stick or wooden spoon handle if you are using that) and tie in place with kitchen string.

In the past, I’ve also use the more unconventional choice of unflavored dental floss. (I had a ton leftover from when I went through my extreme couponer phase!)


I like to chop the ends off evenly with a sharp knife; this makes for easier and smoother spreading of sauces and marinades. Save the little snipped off pieces to sprinkle on your dish a few minutes before it’s done cooking.

Snip the ends off of your herbal basting brush, if you'd like a smoother edge


Right now, we are enjoying lots of roasted new potatoes from our garden. I mix half melted butter, half olive oil plus seasonings to taste , then use a rosemary herbal brush to frequently baste them with the mixture.

After basting for the last time, I snip off the ends of my brush, allowing the pieces to sprinkle over my potatoes then roast for just a few more minutes.

The subtle rosemary flavor is sublime!

roasted potates with rosemary basting brush


There are many herbs suitable for use. The first five are perhaps the most sturdiest of choices; use one or more of those for the skeleton of your brush, then intersperse the more delicate ones between:

  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Tarragon
  • Onion or garlic greens
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Cilantro

This is just a starting point for your imagination! There are many more culinary herbs and herbal combinations out there to try!


If you enjoyed this tutorial for making Herbal Basting Brushes, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE to get my best herbal projects, soap ideas, and DIY body care recipes sent straight to your inbox, once per month. (No spam ever, unsubscribe at any time.)


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Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen says:

    So simple & frugal! I love this idea!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Barb! Thanks for stopping by. Your blog looks fantastic! I’m looking forward to following along and getting new food ideas!

  • Susie Earning-My-Cape says:

    OK.. This is AWESOME!!! I am definitely going to be doing this!
    Guess what! I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Stop by when you get the chance, to check it out! :-)

  • Jenn says:

    Love this!! I’m going to try this when I grill later this week! :)

  • Lisa Lynn says:

    Great idea! You can also take long rosemary twigs, peel the leaves off and use them as skewers for your veggies :)

    Now I’m getting hungry!

  • Gale says:


    • Jan says:

      I thought so too when I first saw the idea! I love how people come up with these amazing ideas then share them! :)

  • KarinSDCA says:

    Yummy! What an awesome idea for using herbs. I love lemon verbena and rosemary for grilling a whole chicken (upright over a can of liquid), so I grow both. I wonder how well the lemon verbena will do as a basting brush…

    Thanks for sharing via Frugally Sustainable!

    • Jan says:

      Grilled whole chicken sounds delicious! I’ve never grown or used lemon verbena (though every time I see it mentioned somewhere, I remember that I want to!) but I bet you could try it and see! :)

  • Sarah @ Nature's Nurture says:

    This is the coolest thing I think I’ve seen all week! Thanks so much for linking up at Tiny Tip Tuesday! I’m pinning this and sharing on my FB page :)

  • lynaeve says:

    thanks for the idea!! i’m a new subscriber. I was looking for new ideas like this one.

  • I Got the Sunshine Award… Twice! says:

    […] Jan at The Nerdy Farm Wife – Just about everything you’d expect from a farm wife – canning, home remedies, recipes, soap making, and my recent favorite: using herbs as basting brushes! […]

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