We all love a barbeque. There’s something primordial about grilling food in the open air. We all love that chargrilled flavour that you can only get with the flame. But everything sticks to the grill, leaving the dirtiest job for the unlucky person charged with the clean-up.
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Scrubbing a grill is a pain, so we’ve explored the market for the Best Grill Brushes to take the hard work out of the task.
Here are our recommendations
Food gets burnt deeply onto a grill. Traditional dish cloths, sponges or washing up brushes with nylon bristles are designed to help clear debris from your dishes and just aren’t up to the heavy duty task of grill cleaning. Nylon bristles collapse under the pressure and dish clothes don’t have the required abrasion to really cut through.
So what’s the answer?
A BBQ grill brush needs to be robust and abrasive. Many brushes have short metal teeth, bunched together to create a really strong, long-lasting brush that will drag burnt food away from the surface. Avoid anything other than stainless steel teeth, which are strong and unlikely to shed, but soft enough to avoid damaging the surface it’s cleaning.
What features should I look for?
An effective grill brush needs short, stainless steel teeth, preferably combined with a scraper tool and an ergonomic handle which is easy to hold whilst applying pressure. Go for something with a large “head” area as this will reduce your cleaning time. Most BBQ grill brushes recommend that you clean the grill whilst it’s still warm, so a long, heat-proof handle is definitely recommended.
Why should I avoid brass teeth?
Brass teeth are likely to bend out of shape easily and could shed, embedding into your grill. This can be dangerous if that shard of metal transfers itself to your food!
Do I need any chemicals to clean my grill?
Hot water alone is unlikely to be enough to shift compacted and carbonated organic matter. You don’t want to damage the surface of the grill with harsh chemicals, but you want something that’s going to help lift burnt food off the grill surface with minimum effort.
If you’ve been cooking meat, there’s going to be a lot of embedded grease, so you’ll need a detergent to break that down. Clearing the stuck-on food isn’t enough – you have to get rid of the grease.
A standard, good quality washing up liquid will do the job. If you’re immersing the grill into a bowl of hot water, you might find that this is a messy business and you’ll need to change the water a couple of times before the water runs clear.
So, there’s the advice. Read on our reviews of the products available that will make your life easier!
1. The Kona Safe Clean bristle free brush
This is a cleaning brush without bristles. You get a twisted, spiraled coil instead. This effectively cleans the top surface of the grill with a simple back and forth motion.
Importantly, though, this coiled head is flexible enough to reach around the edges of the grates at the same time as cleaning the top, which is a great time saving feature. This brush doesn’t have any sharp edges, so is suitable for all grill types and won’t scratch porcelain, stainless steel, even infra-red hobs.
For best results, it’s recommended that you have a pot of hot water that you repeatedly dip into to create a steam effect on the grill grates, helping lift the burnt on matter.
•Will not scratch porcelain and stainless steel
•No wire bristles, so this coil brush-head design is a safer product.
•Solid and heavy duty, with a hook for hanging.
•It comes with a 10-year guarantee and is 125% more rigid than a conventional brush tool
•The handle is 18”, making it the perfect length to keep your hand out of the heat.
•Cleans around the edges of the grate at the same time as the top
•Reportedly takes slightly longer than a conventional wire brush to clean
•Has no scraper tool
2. Qually United 3 in 1 Grill Brush
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This brush comes in a similar design to the Kona Safe Clean and is reputed to be 5 times faster than your average grill brush. The 18” handle is topped with a 3 brush-head design that can clean around the edges of the grates as well as the top.
Rather than a coil configuration, the brush head is made from teeth of woven steel wire.
This item is rust proof and dishwasher safe – this is really important because you don’t want to clean with a dirty brush. It comes with a 1-year warranty and a money-back guarantee.
•Reputed to clean 5 times faster
•18” long handle will protect your hand when cleaning a hot grill
•Has no scraper tool
•Has just 1-year warranty as opposed to the 10-year guarantee of the Kona brush.
3. Valesco Wooden Scraper Paddle
This is altogether a different kettle of fish. This is more a scraper than a brush but it’s worth exploring because we’re looking at the various options on the market.
This scraper is constructed from a single piece of natural red oak wood, carved into a paddle shape and is useful for cleaning both the top of the grill and around the grates, although I wonder how much more effort the area between the grates would be with this product.
Like the other brushes in this article, the wooden scraper paddle is best used on a hot grill. You apply pressure to the grill top to begin the cleaning process and the cleaning edge of the paddle molds to the exact shape of your grill, which is actually quite a unique feature. If you have more than one grill to clean, you might need to get two of these.
This paddle has no metal teeth, so there are no worries about getting shards of metal stuck into your food, so this is, perhaps, the best choice for the more cautious amongst us. It’s safe to use on ceramic surfaces, so it could be an effective scrubber for your cooker hob as well.
•No dangerous metal shards in your burgers
•Made from sustainably harvested red oak wood
•Has a hangtag so that you can attach it to your BBQ
•May require more pressure than the more abrasive grill brushes.
4. Chef Remi BBQ Grill Brush
This is the more traditional design and what you see more often in Cook Shops. With a 14” handle, a metal-toothed underside, a scraper tool at the tip of the brush and 4.9 stars out of 5 on Amazon, this could really be the winner. Let’s consider its features.
The stainless-steel wire teeth will hold onto its bristles, unlike a softer nylon or brass toothed brush. The wire bristles help to remove grease and burnt on food. The scraper tool is a great addition and a feature that is missing from the spiral-coil brushes, so you can really get heavy on those stubborn burnt on bits.
The handle is made from a non-slip polypropylene plastic which will withstand up to 330ºF in heat, so this will never be a problem when cleaning your hot grill. The grill gets to around 450-650ºF on high heat, however, so it’s probably worth waiting until it’s cooled down before you use this brush.
•Stainless steel teeth are tough enough to clean the grill, but won’t scratch the surface
•Includes a scraper tool
•There is potential for bristle breakage, so check the brush each time you use it.
5. Grill Grubber BBQ Cleaning Brush
This is a new innovation in the grill brush world. It features a replaceable head so is arguably the brush with the greatest potential longevity.
This brush is more suited to a cold or warm grill which is going to be a little more difficult to clean because the burnt on food will have cooled down and hardened.
The grill cleaning head is effectively a tough, replaceable plastic mesh sheet, similar to a traditional scouring pad, constructed from a dense plastic web material. Replacement heads are available on Amazon for around $12. This mesh head system is perfect for those who are concerned about the potential hazard of bristle shedding.
•Replaceable cleaning head
•Replacement heads are an additional cost
•Can’t be used on a hot grill
On balance, the best grill brush as far as we’re concerned is the Kona Safe Clean Grill Brush. The innovative design is the safest of all the brushes reviewed because the clever coiled brush head is flexible, able to get into the sides of the grate without too much effort and, because of the lack of bristles, is likely to be the most robust under frequent use.
Plus, with an 18” handle, you’re protected from the heat of a hot grill. It’s solid and heavy duty and comes with a 10-year guarantee, which is always a major assurance that the manufacturers believe that this is a high-quality item that won’t need replacing.