Cleaning your grill grates


 

Serge Carbone

TVWBB Member
I've always used steel bristled brushes to clean my grills and have never had issues. However, I now have a couple of young kids who share their dad's love of BBQ'd meats and I'm hearing more and more reports of the dangers of these brushes leaving bristles on the grill which are then ingested so I'm looking for alternatives.

I use cast iron grates on my grill.

Anyone used any alternatives that approach the performance of a good steel bristled brush?

Thanks
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Gold Member
I share your concern. I've been grilling and smoking for about 2 1/2 years and started with a wire brush. I LOVED how well it cleaned and it was a higher-end and advertised as one that would not shed. After reading official reports of issues I became cautious but never saw a stray bristle. Then it came time to replace it and on my first use of the identical brush it shed like a cat. In the trash it went. Today, I don't have a perfect solution but in all honesty I feel at this time that a big piece of wadded foil is my best weapon. Here are a few that I have purchased recently:

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B018A484AK/tvwb-20 - bought this a couple weeks ago. I'm unimpressed.
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07B4X7R22/tvwb-20 - bought this last week. Received but have not yet used.
https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00IJ3C28I/tvwb-20 - bought this several months ago. I am used to cleaning a hot grate, which cannot be done with this, but I'm inclined to say it's reasonably credible. As I write this, I'm wondering why I am not using it more.
 

Kevin L (NKY)

TVWBB Gold Member
I personally do not have that type of grate but have seen and heard of using a ball of foil to do the cleaning of the grates and inside of you lid.
 

timothy

TVWBB Olympian
I personally do not have that type of grate but have seen and heard of using a ball of foil to do the cleaning of the grates and inside of you lid.

I tried that, but noticed little flecks of foil leftover on the grates so I quit doing that.
I like these wooden scrapers coming out lately and will try one, but who know's we might be talking about wooden splinters soon.
The way I look at it , whatever you use, wipe the grate down with a dry then oiled paper towel.

Tim
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Thanks to member TonyUK, I have been very happy with my “Billy bar” or,”Lil Willie” to be precise, no errant flecks or wires, should last for years if I don’t end up sharing it and giving it away!
 

Mike Freel

TVWBB Pro
I too have seen the wires fall out of the brush when the design is for them to be pressed into the head. Personally I use a wire brush where the wires are held in place by two heavy wires that are twisted together. I have now had issues with the cleaning wires coming out of these. What experiences have others of you had with this type of brush.
 

Serge Carbone

TVWBB Member
I tried that, but noticed little flecks of foil leftover on the grates so I quit doing that.
I like these wooden scrapers coming out lately and will try one, but who know's we might be talking about wooden splinters soon.
The way I look at it , whatever you use, wipe the grate down with a dry then oiled paper towel.

Tim

I was going to give the wooden scraper a try.

I kind of get the feeling that anything I use just isn't going to do the job of my old weber wire scraper but I'll live with it I guess. These days, with everything made for 20 cents somewhere overseas, I just have trouble trusting in quality of workmanship.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I have never had anything occur with wire bristle brushes. Never found residue from them or broken bristles. I must be doing something wrong :D
 

MKEvenson

TVWBB Wizard
I was at the gas company yesterday getting a fitting for my q. I noticed a "Grill Daddy Pro cleaning brush" This device holds water which is delivered to your pre heated grate and cleans with steam. Hmmmm. No idea if it works and it does employ steel bristles. May be worth a look? Available at Home Depot and many other sources.

Mark
 

Brian_D

TVWBB Pro
I use a wire brush AFTER the cook is done. Then the next time I cook, before the food goes on, I go over the grill with a wad of aluminum foil. My thinking is that the foil will knock off any unseen wires. Best of both worlds. Of course if I do notice any shedding, into the trash that brush goes!
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Brush and follow up with an old piece of towel soaked in oil. Gets off any possible particles and seasons the grate. Honestly though I have never once found a brush particle left behind (and I LOOK). But then I do replace my brushes pretty often. Basically as soon as they get dirty they go in the trash and a new one takes their place
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Bought a couple of those wood scrapers because I saw people gushing over them here. Seems like a waste of time to me. I already misplaced one and the other never unpacked
 

Tim K

TVWBB All-Star
I had an old 1/2"x4 piece of wood laying around in the garage. Maybe oak, maybe not.....anyhow, no cutting, no trimming, no forming, I just started running it back and forth over the grates of my Q-200 and I have to say I am impressed. I thought the Q would rock terribly since its on the weber stand, but no such thing. What little bit I can't get between the grates is easily removed by turning the board on its side and the narrow (1/2") side corner gets the rest. Like I always say, "free is for me!!"
Tim
 

JayHeyl

TVWBB Pro
Honestly though I have never once found a brush particle left behind (and I LOOK). But then I do replace my brushes pretty often. Basically as soon as they get dirty they go in the trash and a new one takes their place
I think the real problem would be if small pieces of bristle break off. Somebody will most certainly notice an inch-long bristle when they bite into their food. Not pleasant and may ruin an otherwise nice meal, but not likely to require a hospital stay for a perforated bowel. A very small piece that is swallowed without being noticed would be the big problem, and if you can chew and swallow without noticing, you probably won't see it on the grill.

Perhaps a row of powerful magnets attached to the scraper would do the trick. If any bristles break off they'll be attracted to the magnets.
 

 

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