Cooking out is great – but the cleanup? Not so much. Getting grease and droppings off your grill grates is a huge pain, but it needs to be done. So a high-quality grill brush is a must-have!
There are myriad grill brushes available, though. So how do you sort through them to find the ones that work well? Let’s take a look at what to look for and then look at just a few of the best options.
What To Consider
Cleaning a grill is a tough process, of course. It takes a decent amount of elbow grease. And unfortunately, no grill brush is going to hold up for a long time. However, some are better than others. Here are our recommendations on what to look for.
Wire Is Best
Wire bristles seem to be the best choice for grill brushes, although they’re not the only option out there (we even recommend one that doesn’t have them!). They are tough enough to stand up to the rough surfaces they have to deal with. And they won’t wear out as quickly as steel wool or other materials!
Bristles Attached Firmly
At the same time, you have to be careful about bristles. They will come out of their sockets, no matter what you do. You want to be sure they are attached as firmly as possible so that your brush lasts longer.
Also, these falling bristles are a hazard that you have to stay aware of. Whenever you clean your grill, be sure to wash the grate down thoroughly AFTER brushing it to remove any bristles that may have fallen off your brush. You don’t want them getting into your food!
There’s no way around that problem. They do the best job of getting your grill clean, but no one seems to have found a perfect system to keep them permanently attached.
You also want the handle of the brush to support the effort you put into scrubbing! Inferior handles may crack under the stress. We’ve found great handles in all sorts of materials, though, including stainless steel, wood (including bamboo), and plastic.
Not every grill brush has a metal scraper on the back of the head. And we even recommend some that don’t. However, we prefer this feature when possible. It makes it easier to make a good “first pass” and remove some of the bigger clumps of grease and ash from the top of the grate.
Reviews of the Best Barbecue Grill Brushes
There are tons of options out there, but here are our top picks for grill brushes!
Weber is better known for their grills, but of course, they offer a full line of accessories, too. And this brush doesn’t disappoint.
We were divided over whether to include this 18” model or the 12” version they offer. Both do a great job. The bamboo handle is sturdy but lightweight. The head is angled so that your hand is above the grill, reducing the risk of burns. Of course, the bamboo won’t heat up, either, so you don’t have that uncomfortable feeling you may get with a stainless steel brush.
The bristles are fastened in tightly. This is never foolproof, but we think this grill brush holds its bristles in at least as well as any other.
The brush head is replaceable, so you can save a little by replacing only the head while keeping the handle.
There is even a handy loop so you can hang this on the side of your grill alongside other accessories.
There are only two slight drawbacks. First, this lacks a metal scraping blade. As we said, we prefer this because it makes it easy to do a “first pass” and remove the worst of the burned-on waste. Also, the long handle can make it a little hard to get enough leverage when you need to scrub hard.
We made an exception here to our preference for wire brushes. But it’s a well-deserved one!
This cleaning pad/block is shaped more like a sponge but it’s made of recycled glass. It does a great job on both hot and cold grill grates, although it can be uncomfortable for your hand to use it on a hot grate!
The indentations on this pad may not match up perfectly with your grill grate, but it’s flexible enough to do a good job getting into every space.
These do at least as well as any wire brush. The only drawbacks are that you have to be careful when trying to work with a warm grill grate and that they wear out quickly. Usually, they last 3 to 4 uses. They’re much cheaper than a decent wire brush, of course, but you’ll still need a lot of these if you grill often.
Nexgrill is another maker of great grills and accessories. We found this brush with a replaceable head to be a great choice! The only problem is that it’s hard to find new heads for it, and we fear it might be discontinued.
The brush has a heavy-duty plastic handle that does well on a warm – but not hot – grill grate. The bristles stay intact reasonably well, too. And it’s the first entry on our list with a scraper blade!
All in all, it’s a handy tool that does a great job of getting our grill grates clean. We’re hoping the difficulty finding replacements is due to pandemic-related supply chain issues because we’d hate to see this disappear!
This brush has a unique design with three parallel strips of bristles. It’s easy to hold and does a great job getting into the space between the bars on your grill grate.
The handle allows you to work with your hand in a comfortable position. It works best on a warm grill, but the design keeps your fingers safely away from the heat.
It’s labeled as rust-proof, although we have seen a few complaints that it rusted. We’ve also seen a lot of complaints about loose bristles coming off. However, we know this is normal with any wire brush, so it’s hard to say if this one is any better or worse. Our own experience showed that after extended use, it does tend to lose bristles, but we expected that.
Overall, we like this grill for its almost ergonomic design that makes cleaning the grate a cinch!
They may be better known for their indoor kitchen products, but Cuisinart does a good job with this long-handled grill brush.
The handle is made of stainless steel, so it’s durable and rust-resistant. It also includes a scraper that will hold up to the punishment of the worst grilled-on grease. The bristles are also stainless steel and are sewn in place. Yes, shedding will still happen but we only noticed a minimal amount.
Replacement heads are available in different-sized packs.
This brush works best if you take the grate off the grill. The biggest drawback is that the handle and brush are in a straight line. That means you may lack leverage and even bump your knuckles against the edge of the grill. It’s a definite drawback to an otherwise great tool.
Sure, some people swear that grease and fat droppings in your charcoal add flavor to your barbecued food. But you don’t want all that junk sticking to the grill! A good brush is an essential part of your barbecue tool kit. They don’t last forever, but you can get a season or two out of a good one.