Best Grill Brushes (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Stop eating charcoal food and cooked-on grease by using a grill brush.
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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON March 21, 2021
You pride yourself in grilling up a mean steak—you pick the perfect cuts of meat, have a secret marinade and spice concoction, and carefully grill it to perfection. However, something is slightly off, and it's the flavor. You didn't clean your grill grates before you started cooking, and the proof is in the food. Unclean grill grates have rancid food bits and grease that cook into your food. Then there are the flare ups as it melts off the grates and into the flame below.
A solid brushing before you start cooking is the way to go. There are many options over what type of brush to use for an effective clean, but you don't have to make it more complicated than it needs to be. All you need is a quality built brush that can effectively clean. This guide will show you the top options.
This safe stainless steel grill brush uses a rigid metal coil to clean your grates. It’s 18 inches in length and 6 inches wide for safe, effective cleaning.
- 125 percent more rigid
- Safe for all grill types
- Struggles to clean down between the grates
- Wire is very stiff
At 18.5 inches long, this stainless steel grill brush is safe to use. It’s also comfortable with a silicone cushioned ergonomic handle.
- Stainless steel scraper
- Reach all facts of your grates
- Has bristles
- Small brush head
Safely clean your grill grates with this stainless steel bristle-free brush. You’ll find it comfortable to hold with the 18-inch length and plastic handle.
- Large cleaning surface
- Flexible helix metal
- Wire can come unraveled
- Awkward metal scraper
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Benefits of a Grill Brush
- Longer-lasting grates. Keeping your grates clean prevents premature deterioration and corrosion. Residues can eat into the coating on your grates and expose the underlying metal to the elements—they could begin to rust at this point.
- Better-tasting food. Food bits and grease that get left on your grill grates go rancid and start to rot. This smell and taste will infuse into your food while you’re cooking. Your food will have a funny taste and could get you sick.
- Fewer flare-ups. Old grease that’s built-up on your grates will heat up and begin to melt when you run your grill. It has nowhere to go but drip down onto the flames. Grease and fire combine to create flare-ups, which are dangerous and can burn your food.
Types of Grill Brushes
This is the most well-known type of grill brush and the one that most people turn to. They typically have a long handle with a flat square or rectangle head on the end. There are bristles on the flat part that are either made of metal or nylon. Modern versions use a single piece of metal wire shaped into a helix spiral.
This type of grill brush doesn’t look like a brush but rather like a flat paddle scraper, and the handles tend to be shorter. It can be made of metal, ceramic, wood, or stone. Some scrapers have a single flat edge across the end of the scraper, while others will have a notch on the sides. This is nice because it can help you get down between the grates to clean them thoroughly.
A grill brick is a small block that you rub on the grates to scrape the grease and food particles off. They’re typically made of pumice stone, which is a natural stone that has abrasive qualities. What’s nice about these stones is that they are effective at cleaning but aren’t so abrasive that they’ll scratch or remove the nonstick coating on your grates.
Founded in 1971, Cuisinart first offered a food processor. The company has since grown to be one of the biggest manufacturers of kitchen appliances. Its mission is to help people “Savor the Good Life®” with its high-quality products such as cutlery, bakeware, outdoor grilling accessories, and more.
Since 1948, Char-Broil is the go-to name in grills and grilling accessories. Each innovative product is carefully crafted with quality and reliability in mind. You can have a suite of outdoor cooking tools to choose from, including charcoal, electric, and gas grills—it also offers smokers.
As one of the oldest grilling manufacturers in America, Weber produces a range of grills. Since its founding in 1893, grilling enthusiasts have turned to Weber for electric, charcoal, and gas grills. The affordable and straightforward Weber Three-Sided Grill Brush is just what you need to get your grill clean.
Grill Brush Pricing
- Under $10: You’ll find effective grill brushes in this price range in various types. They may not be the most durable, but they should easily last you the grilling season.
- $10 to $20: The majority of grill brushes are in this price range. They will be made of high-quality stainless steel, wood, or pumice stone.
- $20 and up: These high-end grill brushes have luxury materials like innovative synthetics or high-quality wood. They’ll have nice features like an ergonomic design or silicone cushioning.
The cleaning method is essentially the type of grill brush. Bristle brushes use a brush action where the individual bristles remove the food and grease. A scraper brush has a single edge that will get under the grease and lift it up. A stone has multiple edges that scrape along the grate and lift the grease. Choose a cleaning method that will be safe for the type of grates you have and the material they’re made of.
It's in your best interest to buy a grill brush with a long handle. A longer handle will keep your hands safely away from the heat of the grill. Some handles are ergonomically shaped to make holding them more comfortable, while others will have cushioning to make them softer to hold. A handle that allows you to use both hands simultaneously helps you get better leverage for cleaning.
Grills come with hooks or pegs to hang your grilling tools from, and a brush that you can hang from these hooks keeps everything together and your brush easily within reach. Some brushes have a hole in the handle, while others have a loop that you can put on the hook.
- Gimmicks. Avoid the brushes with gimmicks—you don't need fancy tricks and features to get your grill grates clean. Grill cleaning robots may look neat, but those electronics will quickly wear out with exposure to the weather elements and the grill's extreme heat.
- Integrated Scraper. For the most versatility, look for a brush with an integrated scraper, so you have two tools in one. On one side, you'll have a brush-style tool, and on the end or backside is a scraper. Start by working the brush over the grates and then finish with the scraper.
- Durability. Grill brushes that are made from durable materials are the best. Stainless steel is strong and corrosion-resistant. Nylon is also corrosion-resistant but can be susceptible to heat. Wood can absorb moisture, which can cause rotting, swelling, and cracking. If you choose stainless steel, stick with high-quality steel. Otherwise, it can rust once the protective finish wears off.
Best Grill Brushes Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- To get the most out of your grill brush, occasionally clean it to remove gunk so you aren’t rubbing it back onto your grill when you use it.
- Plan to replace your grill brush every season. Exposure to the weather and changing climate causes your brush to age, which can reduce its effectiveness.
- Try wearing a barbecue mitt that extends up your arm while using your grill brush to protect your hand and arm from the heat of the grill so you can clean better.
Q: What is the best grill brush?
The best grill brush has a solid construction that makes it durable. The bristles should be tightly secured to the brush head to prevent shedding. The handle should be long to protect you from heat.
Q: Are grill brushes dangerous?
Some people claim that grill brushes with metal bristles can be dangerous since they can shed metal bristles while using them. Those metal pieces stay on the grate and attach to your food. You then can ingest them with your food and get injured internally. If you are worried about this happening, choose a grill brush without metal bristles.
Q: What kind of grill brush is safe?
The safest type of grill brush doesn’t have individual bristles. This eliminates the risk of losing metal bristles and makes the grill brush safer to use. The safest types of brushes are scrapers, blocks, or a single piece of twisted metal wire.
Q: What can I use instead of a wire brush for grilling?
You can use a wooden scraper, crunched-up aluminum foil, or a pumice stone to clean your grill grates. There are also liquid cleaners that you can use to break through the crud and dissolve it away.
The Kona Safe Grill Brush can clean and prep your grill with its durable and safe stainless steel helix coil. An affordable alternative is the Cuisinart Comfort Grill Cleaning Brush with its ergonomic silicone handle and an integrated metal scraper.