We’ve been using wired grill brushes to clean our grills for years. The debate on whether or not these simple tools are the best solution to maintaining the cleanliness of your grill has gone on for years. Some argue that fragments of bristles left on racks after cleaning are then transferred to foods and inevitably ingested. Other claim damage to porcelain coatings and still others lament that leaving them out in the weather and reusing them again the following season is near impossible if they have rusted. Metal scrapers can cause chips and scratch porcelain coatings and even on metal grates. But is there something better to clean your grill grates?
Nylon, a man-made material is being used in grill cleaning brushes because the nylon can withstand temperatures of over 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Using nylon brushes can be a good alternative if you don’t want to use a metal brush but you’ll want to read this entire article to the definitive answer from the pros.
Fire has been around a long time so what did they do to clean grills 40-50 years ago. Well onions have always been a cheap solution. Onions were cut in half and used cut side down to scrub the surface clean while it is still hot. The reason it works is that the moisture in the onion steams cleans the surface and the enzymes help to break down the tough grilled on food.
Grillstone Cleaning blocks have been around a while. Although they look like a pumice stone, they are actually made from recycled glass. In effect, they work like a pumice by getting those tough deposits off your cooking grates when you have the time for a serious cleaning.
Thought about flossing your grill? Grill floss simply put is a metal rod with a swivel mounted hook on the end that cleans the top of the grate, and all the way around. However, because it is designed for heavy metal rod grates it requires that each rod be cleaned individually which is time consuming.
However you choose to clean your grill grates should be cleaned completely after every use. It’s not just for aesthetic reasons, it’s also a health and safety precaution. Cleaning your grill prevents food from sticking on your grill making it much easier to cook on and will also eliminate bacteria build up from left over foods.
If your grate is a cast iron grate clean it completely and then brush on some oil with a paper towel to keep your grate in good condition. Bare cast iron can rust so make sure to inspect it regularly and replace it if necessary.
And while there are a lot of products on the market when it comes down to it, most experts agree, a really good, quality stiff wire brush will do the best bang for the buck. True, cheaper ones tend to lose bristles so your local dollar store may not be the best place to buy your wire bristle brush.
See Crown Verity’s own Bill Verity in our Chef to Chef Video on BBQ Tips and cleaning your grill grates
So are wired bristle brushes the way to go to clean your grill? Our panel of experts say yes. invest in a quality brush with a sturdy handle with well manufactured, quality bristles and you’ll keep your grill cleaner and better performing. The best way to do maintain your grill is to clean after you cook, not before. Once the grill has begun to cool but is still warm, use a good quality wire brush and clean off all remaining food particles. Doing this after you cook is simpler because food particles can still be easily scraped off as opposed to on a cool grill where they have been baked on.
Selecting all of the right tools and regular cleaning and maintenance of your grill will ensure longevity and the best possible result in your cooking efforts.