The Best Grill Brushes for Cookout Cleanup
Don’t let the mouth-watering flavors of your favorite barbecue foods be ruined by build-up and residue in your grill. Reach for a grill brush!
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- BEST OVERALLKona 360 Clean Grill BrushCheck Latest Price
- BEST VALUEWeber 12-Inch 3-Sided Grill BrushCheck Latest Price
- HONORABLE MENTIONGrill Art Bristle-Free Brush & ScraperCheck Latest Price
When your next cookout is calling, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your grill is clean enough to use. Stuck-on pieces of fat and clinging grease can ruin the taste of any food cooked on a dirty grill. To keep burgers and steak tasting great, a grill should be cleaned before and after every use, and that’s virtually impossible to do without a good-quality grill brush.
Ahead, our guide to the considerations to bear in mind when choosing a grill brush, along with a roundup of our favorites among the best grill brush available today.
- BEST OVERALL: Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush
- BEST VALUE: Weber 12-Inch 3-Sided Grill Brush
- HONORABLE MENTION: Grill Art Bristle-Free Brush & Scraper
Key Shopping Considerations
Bristle vs. Bristle-Free
When shopping for a new grill brush, there are few factors more important than whether to choose a bristle brush or a bristle-free brush.
Lately, there have been a lot of negative reports about bristle brushes: Stray wire bristles have been found in cooked food, and injuries have occurred because these bristles were eaten. This point may seem like a pretty big one in favor of bristle-free brushes, however, these issues do not occur if the brushes are cared for properly. To avoid them, make sure that you regularly inspect your grill brush before use and throw out those that do not appear safe to use. Bristle brushes are efficient tools, but they should be replaced when the bristles become worn or warped to avoid this danger.
That being said, bristle-free brushes (which scrub with stainless steel coils) do pose less of a hazard to your health, and their recent popularity has resulted in several high-quality brushes being produced that can do just as good a job at cleaning your grill as a bristle brush. However, just like the bristle brush, you need to pay attention to the wear and tear on your brush. While it isn’t likely that a piece of a bristle-free brush will become lodged in food, ongoing wear can lead to rust build-up or may lead to finding a broken brush when you need it most.
Choosing the right material for the grill brush will depend on the style of grill and the cleaning style of the griller.
- Stainless steel brushes are the best for cleaning stainless steel grills. These brushes can be found in both the bristle brush style and bristle-free style and can be used on a hot or cold grill.
- Brass grill brushes are made of a softer metal and are great for cleaning both stainless steel and cast-iron grill surfaces, no matter whether the surface is hot or cold. However, it can be very difficult to locate a bristle-free brush that comes in brass.
- Nylon is a safer material for a grill brush and won’t damage the metal grates, but the softer material also means that it will take a bit more effort to get the grill clean, and you’ll be waiting until the grates are cool before cleaning. Similar to the brass grill brush, you will have a hard time finding a bristle-free nylon brush. Without the danger of shedding metal wires, however, a nylon brush may be just what the grill needs.
The handle length of a grill brush is only a real concern if your grill is larger than the standard backyard grill, which is about four hundred square inches. For the average grill, a 12-inch handle is more than sufficient for reaching the corners of the grill without having to stretch under the second shelf grating. Many grill brushes come with an 18-inch handle that allows the grill cook to apply a more even force across a greater surface of the grill. For those who grill regularly, it may be beneficial to invest in a grill brush with a longer handle.
On the opposite side of the handle length spectrum, new bot brushes are available that don’t have a handle at all. They work in much the same way as automated vacuum cleaners, except that they sit on the grates of the grill and clean it using rotating grill brushes under the base of the bot. Those looking for the set-it-and-forget-it method may want to consider this option.
Having something to clean the grill is a necessity, but it is also necessary to have something to clean the grill brush. This is where the dishwasher comes in. Whether that means you or your automated dishwasher depends on whether the grill brush is safe to wash in the dishwasher. Most products will say if they are dishwasher safe or not, and if they are not safe for the dishwasher the manufacturer can, and often will, provide instructions for how you can clean the grill brush. While for most this won’t be a make-or-break feature, if it is important to you it could sway your opinion towards a dishwasher-safe model.
Grill brushes can come with several different features.
- A 360° clean brush is a popular choice. It features three different wire brushes in one that surround the grate to clean the top, sides, and bottom of the grate at the same time.
- A metal scraper on the back of the brush can be used for quickly scraping large, stuck-on gunk.
- For those looking to pick up a grill bot, these automated devices come with a carrying case and removable, dishwasher-safe brushes.
Our Top Picks
1. BEST OVERALL: Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush
Built with a sturdy 18-inch handle, the Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush can easily be held with one or two hands for rigorous cleaning. It features a 3-in-1 brush design that surrounds the grate to clean the top, sides, and bottom of each grate with its stainless steel bristles, whether the grill is hot or cold. The bristle design is intended to prevent bristles from coming free during cleaning, allowing grill cooks to focus more on the food and less on grill brush hazards.
2. BEST VALUE: Weber 12-Inch 3-Sided Grill Brush
Smaller backyard grills won’t suffer from picking up a tried-and-true grill brush model. The Weber 12-Inch 3-Sided Grill Brush is made by one of the foremost grill manufacturers, and it shows. The sturdy design and ergonomic handle provide optimal control and leverage for cleaning dirty grates, while the wide brush head is perfect for cleaning larger surfaces in a timely manner. After a year of regular use (or possibly sooner for more avid grillers), the low price makes it easy to just toss this brush out and pick up a new one, keeping both your grill and your grill brush in perfect condition.
3. HONORABLE MENTION: Grill Art Bristle-Free Brush & Scraper
Bristle-free brushes are quickly becoming a popular option for cleaning the grill, and, with products like the Grill Art Bristle-Free Brush & Scraper, it’s easy to understand why. The stainless steel coils replace the traditional bristles and give you peace of mind as you bite into your food. A hollowed-out design on the scraper makes it more flexible and lightweight for faster cleaning, and the 17-inch handle keeps your hands safe from the heat of the grill. The stainless steel coils won’t rust or wear down, so the brush will last up to five times longer than the average grill brush.