To spoon or brush food as it cooks with melted butter or other fat, meat drippings or liquid such as stock. A bulb baster can also be used to drizzle the liquid over the food. In addition to adding flavor and color, basting keeps meats and other foods from drying out. Fatty roasts, when cooked fat side up, do not need basting.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.