A lamp baster is a kitchen utensil designed to make watering things like baked goods much easier. The classic design is often closely associated with turkey in the minds of consumers and is sometimes better known as a turkey paste. There are countless uses for a bucket of light bulbs in the kitchen, and most are relatively inexpensive, making them a useful investment.
The basic design of a baster lamp includes two parts. The first is a long cylinder of metal, glass or plastic that can hold liquids for watering. The cylinder also distances the chef’s hand from potentially hot pans and food, reducing the risk of burns. The second part is the lamp, made of plastic, silicone or rubber. The bulb is squeezed to pull the liquid into the cylinder and then gently pressed to release it. A high quality baster can create a great vacuum, sucking up a large amount of liquid to baste or remove from a pan.
Aligning foods as they cook ensures they stay moist, flavorful and evenly browned. Typically, the basting is done with drippings from the roasting pan, recycling them efficiently and preventing the roasting bottom from getting soggy. A bulb baster can also be used to apply a marinade. The tool is also useful for removing excess liquid from a pan. Heating the baster before use tends to make it more effective and can be done by placing it under warm water.
While the basic design of a lamp pole is simple, there are a number of optional tips that can be included. In some cases, the baster is combined with a basting brush, which attaches to the end of the tube. An injection needle can also be used to penetrate the roast with the watering liquid. Some companies also design drip-free tips, which help the bulb baster retain fluids until needed.
The quality of bulb pots varies widely. Many companies make the tools with less-than-ideal materials, which means they can fail, sometimes at very inconvenient times. As a general rule of thumb, you want to find a baster that you can clean easily, usually by removing the bulb. Silicone is a great material for lamp basters as it is heat resistant. Try to avoid thin plastics as they can crack or melt.