When the weather is great and the cookout is calling, the last thing you may 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 the burgers and steak tasting great, a grill should be cleaned before and after every use.
A handy grill brush can take care of most of the mess after the grilling is done, though for the worst messes a grill cleaner should be used as well. A combination of the two is the best option for keeping the grill clean and rust-free, ensuring your backyard barbeques can continue to be a neighborhood hit.
For the most avid backyard grill masters, only the best grill brush is good enough to keep their grill pristine, but knowing which grill brush is best for your grill and your cleaning habits can be difficult. Keep reading to find out some important features to consider when shopping for a grill brush. The grill brushes below exemplify some of the top grill brushes in their categories to help you with cookout cleanup and improving your backyard grill game.
- BEST OVERALL: Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Grill Cleaning Brush
- BEST BRISTLE: GRILLART Stainless Steel 3-in-1 Grill Brush
- BEST BRISTLE-FREE: GRILLART Bristle-Free Brush & Scraper
- BEST AUTOMATED: Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaning Robot
- BEST STAINLESS STEEL: Weber 12-Inch 3-Sided Grill Brush
- BEST BRASS: Grillaholics Essentials Brass Grill Brush
- BEST NYLON: Char-Broil SAFER Replaceable Head Nylon Grill Brush
Finding the perfect grill brush for a backyard chef can be challenging. There are many different options and features to consider for cookout cleanup. In addition to thinking about whether a bristle or bristle-free brush is best, also think about handle length, materials, and extra features. To make the decision process even more interesting, there also is the automated brush to consider.
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 accidentally eaten.
If wire bristles can cause injury, it may seem like a pretty big argument in favor of bristle-free brushes; however, these issues do not occur if the brushes are cared for properly. To avoid this issue, regularly inspect the grill brush before use and throw out those that do not appear safe to use. Also after using a bristle-brush on a grill, wipe the grill surface with a wet cloth to make sure it is clear of any bristles. Bristle brushes are efficient tools, but they should be replaced when the bristles become worn or warped to avoid this danger.
Since bristle-free brushes pose less of a hazard to health, they have enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, resulting in several high-quality brushes hitting the market. These can do just as good a job at cleaning a grill as a bristle brush. However, just like the bristle brush, attention must be paid to the wear and tear. While it isn’t likely that a piece of a bristle-free brush will become lodged in food, ongoing wear can lead to rust buildup or a broken brush.
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 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, regardless of whether the surface is hot or cold. However, it can be very difficult to locate a bristle-free brush that comes in brass.
The third popular choice for material is nylon. Similar to the brass grill brush, it is hard to find a bristle-free nylon brush. Without the danger of shedding metal wires, however, a nylon brush may be just what the grill needs. 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. Plus, there’s time spent waiting for the grates to cool before cleaning.
The handle length of a grill brush is only a real concern if the grill is larger than the standard backyard grill, which is about 400 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. They work in much the same way as automated vacuum cleaners, except 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.
Cleaning the grill is a necessity, but it is also necessary to clean the grill brush. Whether that means washing by hand or in an automated dishwasher depends on whether the grill brush is deemed dishwasher safe.
Most products state whether they are dishwasher safe or not. If they are not safe for the dishwasher, the manufacturer can, and often will, provide instructions for how to clean the grill brush. While this won’t be a make-or-break feature for many grillers, if easy cleaning is important to you, then a dishwasher-safe brush may be the better option.
Grill brushes can come with several different features that can affect how efficiently and easily they clean the grill.
- 360-degree clean. One of the most popular features is the 360-degree clean brush. These brushes feature three different wire brushes in one that surround the grate to clean the top, sides, and bottom of the grate at the same time.
- Metal scraper. Many other brushes will offer a metal scraper on the back of the brush to quickly scrape large, stuck-on gunk.
- Automated cleaning. 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
Now that you know more about grill brushes, it’s time to start shopping for the best option. There are many grill brushes on the market, but the considerations detailed above may have helped narrow the field to the best type for your grilling life. To make the search easier, the following grill brushes are some of the best picks in different categories.
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 three-in-one brush design that surrounds the top, sides, and bottom of each grate with 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. While cleaning a hot grill, dip the brush in water to steam clean the surfaces.
The bristle-style grill brush has a completely stainless steel design, including the handle, shaft, head, wire bristles, and even the scraper at the front of the brush. The scraper is typically used to help remove stuck-on food, sauce, and other debris from the grill grates. This inexpensive grill brush also has a hanging loop at the end of the brush to provide an additional way to store the tool when it’s not being used.
It is 16.5 inches in length, allowing users to reach every corner of a typical-size grill without difficulty. The durable construction keeps the grill brush protected from high temperatures on the grill. The sleek stainless steel also makes it easier to clean by simply rinsing the brush with water and scrubbing it with a sponge.
Featuring a unique design, the GRILLART Stainless Steel 3-in-1 Grill Brush cleans a surface area that is five times greater than the average grill brush. The 18-inch-long grill brush is made up of three traditional grill brushes rotated 360 degrees lengthwise for significantly faster cleaning.
The tightly woven stainless steel bristles won’t rust or break off in food and can be used on gas, charcoal, smoker, porcelain, or infrared grills. This brush is topped off with a strong scraper for cleaning stubborn, stuck-on grease, making cleaning the grill an easier task.
Bristle-free brushes are quickly becoming a popular option for cleaning the grill, and with products like the GRILLART Bristle-Free Brush & Scraper it’s easy to understand why. The stainless steel coils replace the traditional bristles and give peace of mind that there aren’t any stray bristles on the grill. A hollowed-out design on the scraper makes it more flexible and lightweight for faster cleaning.
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. This brush’s generous 17-inch handle keeps hands safe from the heat of the grill.
Welcome to the future of grill cleaning. The Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaning Robot may soon replace the standard manual grill brush in many homes. This interesting grill master’s tool uses three rotating nylon bristle brushes to clean the grates of the grill with the push of a button. Cook up the food, hit the button, and let the Grillbot’s CPU chip control the speed and direction of the brushes. Just set the timer and walk away. An alarm sounds when the grill is clean, and the Grillbot will turn off automatically so the cook can focus on friends, family, and fun.
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 stainless steel design with thick bristles 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 affordable to replace the brush with a new one to keep the grill in perfect condition.
The angled design of this bristle-style grill brush allows the user to apply pressure evenly with the entire surface of the brush. When the pressure is uneven and unbalanced, the brush can scrub some portions of the grill clean of their protective coating while other parts are barely touched. This brush uses soft but durable brass bristles that are safe for use with sensitive grill grates, like ceramic and porcelain.
The brush is 18 inches long, so users won’t need to extend their hands and arms over the heat of the grill. Due to the flexible brush design, the bristles can reach the top, sides, and bottom of each grill grate without having to remove the grates. This helps users remain diligent with regular grill cleaning before and after every use.
The brush has a curved plastic handle with a stainless steel hanging hook for simple storage. It also has two scrapers at the front of the brush so it can be used right side up or upside down to remove burned sauces, vegetables, and other grill debris. The soft nylon bristles can clean most of the grill without a problem and won’t damage the grill grates, even those made of sensitive materials, like ceramic or porcelain.
The nylon bristles on this 18-inch-long grill brush are angled in order to increase the cleaning ability between and under the grill grates. However, nylon brushes should only be used on cool grill surfaces to avoid melting or otherwise damaging the brush and the bristles.
FAQs about Grill Brushes
Now that you’ve learned about what to look for while shopping for the best grill brush, there may still be some lingering questions about specifics. Read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. What kind of brush should I use to clean my grill?
Choose a grill brush that will be able to clean your grill without damaging the grill grates. The style and material are up to personal preference, ranging from soft, bristle-free nylon to abrasive, stainless steel-bristle grill brushes.
Q. What is the best grill brush for stainless steel grates?
If you regularly clean your grill, then nylon brushes are the best option to help prevent chipping, rusting, and corrosion. However, a brass or stainless steel brush may be necessary to remove burned food, sauces, and fat from a dirty grill.
Q. What can I use instead of a wire grill brush?
Clean a grill with a nylon bristle brush or a nylon bristle-free brush instead of using a wire grill brush.