The 4 best grill brush and cleaning tools we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Cleaning a grill isn’t the most fun chore, but it’s essential for both your and your grill’s health.
  • The Kona 360° Grill Brush is our favorite because it evenly scours large swathes with each pass.
  • We also have recommendations for grill-cleaning bricks and metal-free brushes below.

Keeping your grill clean is paramount to its longevity; it helps preserve the hardware, preventing corrosion and rust. It’s also essential if you want to make sure the food you cook is safe for consumption.

That’s because the residue that builds up on the grate and inside of a grill contains carcinogens, and leftover food bits are a magnet for bacteria. Safety aside, your food will also taste better and cook more evenly if you commit to regular grill maintenance.

When it comes to choosing the right grill-cleaning tool(s), Barbecue University TV host, author, and grilling expert Steven Raichlen said to look for the longest tools you can find because “grilling utensils are never long enough.” Anything over 16 inches should suffice, and anything under 12 inches is best avoided, or you’ll face some serious singeing every time you go to clean your grill.

Below, we’ve chosen the ones we find to be most useful and effective, though a combination of two or three of them is probably ideal. So long as you have at least one brush and one scraper, and make sure to put in the time to actually use them, they’ll do wonders for keeping your grill in top condition.

Here are the best grill brushes in 2021

The best grill brush overall

The best grill brush overall, Kona 360 Grill Brush

The Kona 360° Grill Brush works in all directions to clean any and all grates, and comes with sturdy bristles that won’t end up stuck in your grill, or your food.

Pros: High-quality bristles that won’t bend or break easily, multidirectional, cleans at angles

Cons: Head is not replaceable, prone to rust if not properly dried, no built-in scraper (though you may not need it with this brush)

Kona’s 360° Grill Brush is effectively a one-stop tool that makes cleaning a grill as painless as possible. Thanks to its three-part head consisting of what are basically heavy-duty, oversized pipe cleaners, it reaches angles that more traditional, square, flat grill brushes simply can’t.

After using this brush for a couple of months, we’ve found that a combination of a few different angles, and specifically using the rounded edges, takes care of almost the entire surface area of a grill grate, which makes cleanup as swift as we could ever imagine.

Lightweight and balanced, this brush is great for cleaning hot or cold surfaces (hot is always preferred, because you’ll be able to dislodge residue much more easily). However, you do want to be careful about making sure it dries properly if you use it with water to clean your grill (hanging it vertically works well for us, and we haven’t encountered any rust yet). 

You can also use this brush to clean the entire grill box, should you choose, and it is designated safe for use on ceramic, porcelain, and infrared cooking surfaces, too.

Best budget grill brush

The best grill brush on a budget, Cuisinart

Cuisinart’s Grill Cleaning Brush comes with a sturdy stainless steel handle and scraper and well-spaced bristles for getting into hard-to-reach spaces.

Pros: Long, stainless steel handle, built-in scraper

Cons: Base of the brush head is plastic, which can melt over high heat if you’re not quick and careful; brand doesn’t offer replacement heads

Cuisinart’s Grill Cleaning Brush offers just what you need for a basic tool at an affordable price, without being made entirely of cheap, heat-intolerant materials.

One of the most common problems with budget grill brushes is that their handles are often short and plastic, meaning they melt easily (and put you in danger of singeing your arm hair). Cuisinart addresses this issue by outfitting their brush with a long, stainless steel handle; it won’t burn, and it will keep your hands far enough away from the flames. 

Between the inch-long bristles and the three-and-a-quarter-inch scraper, this brush will give you everything you need (save for a little water and maybe some grill spray) to keep your grill operational.

That’s not to say this is the perfect brush — we still haven’t quite found one within this price range. The bristles are a little short, but that seems to be the case with most brushes on the cheaper side. While the majority of the tool is stainless steel, the base of the brush head is plastic, which, yes, will melt if you’re not careful. Some advice: keep moving if you’re working over a hot grill, as resting in one place too long will speed up the melting process. 

Otherwise, it’s a functional, traditional brush design with a rectangular grid of bristles. If you want to eliminate plastic entirely, you’ll have to spend a bit more, but know full well that this brush should last you a few good years, if not longer.

Best grill scraper

The best grill scraper, Kona

Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper is 100% nontoxic with food-grade varnish, molds to your grill grates over time, and won’t leave behind stray bristles.

Pros: Food-quality varnish, solid hardwood, molds to your grill over time

Cons: Takes time to mold to your grill, not as thorough as a brush

Fresh out of the packaging, you might be inclined to think that Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper doesn’t work. You’ll need to spend some time scraping your grill and forming grooves into this scraper, but once you get it to that point, it’s going to function almost as well as — and in some ways better than — a good grill brush. Its main advantage: there are no metal bristles to break off and get stuck in your grill’s grates (or your food). 

In truth, you’ll probably want to follow your work with a wet paper towel to pick up anything left over. You’ll also have to flip your grates to properly clean them top and bottom. 

We like this scraper because it has a D-shaped handle like a snow shovel, which really allows you to put your shoulder into cleaning. It’s also a lot thicker than some other options, which look like they might wear out considerably faster.

And, because there can never be too many bottle openers within reach when it comes to grilling outdoors, there’s one built into Kona’s Safe/Clean Wooden Grill Scraper.

Best grill-cleaning brick

The best grill cleaning brick, KegWorks

For that truly like-new, grime-free, high shine look, it’s hard to beat the amazing scouring power you get with the KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick.

Pros: Does an excellent job of removing grease, quick and easy to use, immediately builds groves to fit your grill

Cons: Large, a little messy in your hands, doesn’t reach corners and edges (you’ll need a brush and/or scraper as well)

A cleaning brick is similar to a wooden grill scraper in that you’ll build grooves in it with your grill grates, but because it’s softer, the grooves will take shape almost immediately. It’s going to do a great job of cleaning them, but as with the scraper, you will have to turn the grates over to get the underside.

Most grill cleaning bricks are made of nonporous pumice, and there are universal cleaning brick handles that make the job a lot smoother and easier on your hands, but they’re far from necessary. What we like about grill cleaning bricks is that they are simple and also safer and potentially less damaging to your grill’s grates than wire brushes (if you overuse them). That said, you do have to replace them more frequently than brushes, as they wear away quickly.

Any grill-cleaning brick made with nonporous pumice will do the trick, but KegWorks‘ is on the more affordable side, probably because it’s not as dense. That lightness has its benefits: this brick breaks in a lot faster than most. 

We found that this brick gets porcelain-coated stainless steel grates shining in the shortest order, but because it doesn’t have a scraper or a contoured edge, you’ll have to use something else to get into those harder-to-reach spots.

What else we tested

The best grill brush, what else we tested

What we don’t recommend and why:

BBQ Aid: This tool worked nicely, and we like the replacement head, but we have some concerns about bristle longevity due to a number of customer reviews on Amazon. We still think that the Kona 360°, being roughly the same price and having no plastic components, is the better bet.

Tool Wizard Barbecue Brush: This was another tool that worked very well, but it took a beating quickly, and we tore the mesh scrubber pad up pretty badly within the first use. You might swap the provided pads out for steel wool ones and find that they survive better, but it could wreak havoc on your grill grates so we don’t recommend it.

Our testing methodology

The best grill brushes, methodology

We spoke with experts like New York City meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda and Barbecue University TV host Steven Raichlen to learn what makes a good grill-cleaning tool. We also went to work cleaning too-many-to-count grills around the house and neighborhood.

Here’s what we looked for in the best grill brushes and tools:

Handles: During testing, we learned that handles, where applicable, had to be long and ideally not made of plastic, which can melt. Across the board, we preferred stainless steel handles, followed by wood handles.

Bristles: Bristles are highly effective, but can bend or break, which poses a hazard if they get in your food. We made sure that even over a hot grate, none of the bristles became deformed or dislodged from the plate to which they’re attached.

Ease of use: If a brush or tool was difficult to engage properly, we lost interest. Most people don’t want to spend too much time learning how to use a brush, and we think it should be easy enough for anyone to pick up and (effectively) use.

What we’re testing next

We’re not currently preparing to test anything new at the moment, but we’re going to keep testing our current picks for durability and longevity.

FAQs

What’s the best way to clean a grill?

The best way to clean a grill is while it’s still hot, which helps loosen residue and grease for easier removal. In general, it’s best to clean the grill both before and after cooking. Here’s how experts recommend cleaning your grill:

Before cooking

  1. Pre-heat your grill to your desired cooking temperature.
  2. When the grill is up to temp, use a grill brush to clean across the entire cooking surface.
  3. Using long tongs, dip a folded paper towel into high-heat cooking oil (such a vegetable or canola oil) and rub across the entire cooking surface. This helps clean and prime the cook top.
  4. Proceed with grilling.

After cooking

  1. While the grill is still hot, use your grill brush to loosen any debris and clean the cooking surface.
  2. Water is ok to use on your grill as long as it’s hot. Keep in mind that water left on cold cast iron grates or grill bodies can cause rusting.
  3. You may periodically want to use a scrubbing block for deeper grill cleaning, but this should be done on a cool grill.

How do I clean my grill brush?

Clean your grill brush with water and/or soap when it comes time, but be sure to hang it vertically so that it dries sufficiently, otherwise you’ll end up with rust.

Check out our other grilling guides

best charcoal grill 2021 masterbuilt
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Spring Grilling Gear Hub 4x3
  • If you love good food and warm weather, grill season may be the highlight of your year.
  • We rounded up our favorite grilling guides to help you set up and start cooking.
  • We’ve also arranged for some exclusive deals on grills, meat, and grill accessories just for Insider Reviews readers.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

In honor of grill season, we’ve gathered all of our grill resources in one place. Along with our guides to the best grills and gear, we have a running list of sales and exclusive discounts on our favorite grilling products.

We’ve assembled and tested dozens upon dozens of grills from age-old charcoal kettle grills to state-of-the-art Bluetooth-controlled pellet grills and smokers. Through all of that, along with just as many interviews with experts, we’ve learned a few things:

1. You – yes, you! – can grill just about anything you’d eat, so don’t think grilling has to be a meat-centric, testosterone-driven affair: Cauliflower and courgettes are worth lighting up the grill every bit as much as sirloins and sausages.

2. Grilling doesn’t have to take forever: With the right equipment, it can be hardly more of a time investment than preheating an oven or priming a cast-iron skillet on the stove.

3. A good thermometer is everything: Whether you’re a novice or you fancy yourself an amateur expert, grilling doesn’t have to be guesswork, and there’s no substitute for a temperature probe.

Grilling is what you make of it. There’s a lot of false mysticism around how to grill meat specifically, and no shortage of sorcery and folklore about measuring doneness – another reason people shy away from the task. Fortunately, with the right gear, grilling can be fun and easy. We’ve got you covered with all our favorite grill equipment and accessories.

Here are our favorite resources to help you get grilling this spring:

Insider exclusive Grill Week deals

We’ve arranged for some exclusive discounts for Insider readers on our favorite grill brands and meat purveyors. Act fast, though, these deals are only valid during Grill Week, which runs May 10 through May 16. 

Grill deals

Deals on grilling meat and grilling accessories

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  • Crowd Cow: Save $15 on your first order from Crowd Cow with code GRILLWEEK15.
  • Omaha Steaks: Get four free top sirloins on orders $159+ when you shop through our link.
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  • Porter Road: Save $20 off a first order of $100 or more with code INSIDER20.
  • Rastelli’s: Save $20 off your first purchase with code INSIDER.
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  • Thrive Market: Get 25% OFF your first order and a free gift when you join Thrive Market (1 year and 1 month memberships available).

 

Other great grilling deals and discounts happening now

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  • The Home Depot: Savings of up to 40% on select grills.
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  • Walmart: Select grills and grilling accessories on sale. 
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  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Select savings for Beyond+ members or take 20% off select grilling products with coupon.
  • Traeger: Free grill cover and pellets with select grill purchases.
  • ThermoWorks: 25% any one item, including the Thermapen Mk4, our top-rated meat thermometer. 
  • Wayfair: Save hundreds of dollars on grills, smokers, and outdoor cooking appliances. 
  • Overstock: Save up to 20% on select grills and outdoor cooking accessories.

The best charcoal grills

weber smokey joe

The 4 best charcoal grills

The best charcoal for grilling

Review: The IG Charcoal Grill, a weatherproof workhorse

Charcoal grilling is about as elemental as it gets, save for maybe an open hardwood fire, and to many of us, there’s little else in this world that elicits the smell of summer.

A good charcoal grill doesn’t have to be fancy. In the end, it’s one of those things that’s best made with robust parts, and not too many frills. We tried out a lot of charcoal grills, and and have picks for solid, well-built models in every size and price range.

Here are some of our favorite charcoal grills:

Charcoal BBQ (small)Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill (small)10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill (small)Double Play 3 Burner Gas and Charcoal Grill (small)
The best gas grills

pat16

The 5 best gas grills in 2021

There’s a reason legendary butcher Pat LaFrieda endorsed this at-home overhead grill

Gas grills, be they propane or natural gas, are among the more convenient options out there, and while a basic one is often the best choice for many people, it’s worth considering different designs that incorporate flat-tops, smokers, and one of our favorites, the overhead broiler.

Here are some of our favorite gas grills:

Spirit II E-310 LP Gas Grill (small)3-Burner Open Cart Propane Gas Grill (small)
The best BBQ smokers

Nexgrill smoker

The 5 best BBQ smokers in 2021

Smokers come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. The best for you depends on how much time and space you want to dedicate to the task, and whether you see it as a hobby or a chore. You’ll also want to consider flavor: While electric smokers are considerably easier and lower-maintenance, hardwood, charcoal, and pellet smokers tend to offer considerably more smokey flavor.

A great smoker, though, should be built to last at least a couple of years on the more budget-friendly end of the spectrum, and the better part of a decade on the higher end (if not longer, provided you take excellent care of it).

Here are some of our favorite barbecue smokers:

Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker (small)29-inch Barrel Charcoal Grill with Smoker (small)30 Inch Digital Electric Meat Smoker (small)
The best pizza ovens

Ooni pizza oven

The 5 best pizza ovens

A pizza oven is a fantastic investment if you have a knack for dough, or have limited access to quality, wood-fired pizza. Grilling pizza requires just a few ingredients and a quick flash in the pizza oven. The results are untold dollars saved for real pizza devotees that would otherwise be ordering it clad in cardboard several times a week.

Hardwood, wood pellets, charcoal, and propane (among other methods) are all feasible means of making pizza, and we have plenty of recommendations.

Here are some of our favorite pizza ovens:

Roccbox Pizza Oven (small)Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven (small)Basic Oven Kit (small)
The best meat and seafood for grilling

rastellis meat and fish delivery 4

Meat was in short supply during periods of the pandemic. Thankfully, most purveyors have replenished their stock by now, so your grill won’t stand empty. If you want to skip the butcher, we created a list of the best places to buy meat online.

When we spoke with Chef Pat LaFrieda about how to cook the perfect medium rare steak, he told us what we’ve heard from many other chefs: a quality steak is so delicious that it doesn’t need much in terms of preparation. The best way to start a grilling experience is with the best meat. 

Seafood is another great option for outdoor cooking, but it can be intimidating to order online. You want to make sure the retailer handles seafood properly, so that fresh or frozen, it tastes delicious. We spent eight months testing seafood and found the best places to buy seafood online.

Farmers Market Subscription (small)
The best grill gloves and brushes

Best grill brush

The best BBQ gloves

The 5 best grill brushes and cleaning tools in 2021

Grilling can be a messy endeavor, but keeping yourself and your grill relatively clean pays off. Regularly cleaning your grill improves its longevity and prevents the harmful build-up of bacteria and rust. Similarly, wearing quality grill gloves will keep your hands safe and clean while handling raw meat and hot cookware.

Here are some of our favorite grilling gloves and tools:

Extra Long Suede Grill Gloves (small)360° Clean Grill Brush (small)
Other great grilling products to enjoy this spring

traeger grill

Once you have the basics, it’s time to think about grilling extras that will take your experience and meals up a notch. Everyone’s favorite meat expert Pat LaFrieda told Insider Reviews about his must have grill accessories. There’s no substitute for the benefits of a quality meat thermometer or grill spatula. 

LaFrieda told Insider Reviews that a meat thermometer is the real key to a great grilling experience. “This whole thing about ‘if you touch it, and it feels like your cheek,’ … I never got that. Stick a thermometer in the center where it’s toughest and where the bone is,” he said.

Meat: Everything You Need to Know (small)Thermapen Mk4 (small)Grilling Spatula (small)Togiharu Inox Steel Gyuto (small)
How to grill

gasgrill

Okay, so you’ve got a grill. We all have a basic idea of how to operate a grill, but how do you choose what to grill, and how do you know how to set and adjust the temperature? And what about cleaning it? Here are our guides to using and caring for your grill(s).

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This weatherproof charcoal grill is a true workhorse – this week only it’s 20% off with our exclusive code

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igfinal
The 18″ IG Charcoal Barrel Grill, rough and ready.

  • The IG Charcoal Grill is stainless steel, and weatherproof (we left it outside for two years).
  • It’ll far outlast any grill at its price, and can hold 15 to 20 burgers at a time.
  • Right now you can get it for 20% off with code INSIDER20 as part of Insider Reviews Grill Week deals.

Charcoal BBQ (small)

The IG Charcoal Grill is a simplistic but sturdy take on a simple, age-old design that, sadly, not a lot of grill manufacturers strive toward these days.

I’m not naming names, but it’s been a long time since I’ve owned a grill that didn’t immediately show signs of wear and tear, let alone last a full year (four seasons in the temperate Northeast of the U.S.) out in the open, pelted with everything from wind (upwards of 60 mph), rain, hail, snow, salt (it lives less than 100 yards from the sea), and merciless summer sunlight. Here’s the real shocker, though: It has no cover.

Yep, this grill has been out in the elements through winter, spring, summer, and fall, and I’ve put it through everything I could possibly think of, save for a two-story drop test, which is a ridiculous thing to put a grill through in the first place. (However, if you disagree, I’m open to talking.)

And while grills can be notoriously difficult and laborious to assemble, this one was pretty straightforward; even this fumbling reporter had it up and running, coals aflare, in under an hour.

Design and specs

iglawn3
Two folding tables and a shelf beneath the basin means you have plenty of space to store, prep, and organize your food, mise en place, and tools.

First of all, at 18 inches (dimensions: 61.5″ x 18″ x 36.5″), this is a very large grill, but don’t let it intimidate you. You don’t have to fill it with charcoal, and I actually find that the extra space to move it into and out of the heat can make cooking just about anything far less hectic. If I’m not cooking for, say, a party of eight to 10 (which in my case is rare), then I’ll pile my coals on one side and leave the other to warm or slow-cook, if I’m slow-cooking anything.

There’s really everything you need here. The side tables are great for prepped food, further prepping, and even mise en place, and the shelf below can handle all your grilling tools while keeping them out of the way. The stainless steel grill grate (which breaks in two) is large, wide, and easy to handle (thanks to two raised synthetic-but-heat-proof-coated wooden handles), which allows you access into the charcoal bed while cooking, should you need to reload or, heaven forbid, recover anything of importance.

The commercial-grade wheels (and everything is commercial-grade on this grill) also lock in place, naturally (but it’s still worth pointing out), so you don’t have to worry about your grill rolling away. Just make sure you remember to lock them.

The best thing about this grill might be that it’s so easy to assemble. It comes with rudimentary hardware, which means that, should anything break or pop off, you’ll be able to fix it with a quick trip to the hardware store if worst comes to worst. And yes, it does come with a reasonable one-year warranty, under which replacement parts are covered, as are shipping and handling charges.

How to adjust the IG Charcoal Grill’s heat

iggrill4
A rotating handle to raise and lower the coal bed is, in part, what makes this grill such a dream.

The rotating handle, which allows you to raise and lower the coal bed as needed, makes temperature control a cinch. It doesn’t require all that much explanation but just think of all the times you’ve overcooked your dinner because your charcoal grill was too hot. This solves it. It’s also, dare I say, kind of fun.

iggrill
A sliding ash-collector tray elevates your coals from your ash so you get a clean burn, and little to no ash in your food like with some grills.

All too often, charcoal grills get choked out by ash, and once you’ve got a fire lit, there’s not too much you can do. This tray is nothing revolutionary, but it’s something you won’t find in most consumer-grade charcoal grills – which, frankly, this is not. You’d be forgiven for letting the price fool you, though.

Cooking on the IG Charcoal Grill

iggrill1
Plenty of room, which translates to plenty of space to move things around find the right heat.

Okay, so things might have gotten a little too hot (see slight charring above) at one point, but do you see how well it corrected? Thank you, magically adjustable charcoal bed.

iggrill2
That’ll do.

We didn’t have a lot to cook – maybe two pounds of pork – but the IG Charcoal Grill was still our favored grill of choice this night. For the record, we have three grills to choose from here, and all of which are charcoal.

We easily could have used the smallest grill on the patio, which would have barely fit these two boneless country ribs, but we wouldn’t have had nearly as much room to move them around or adjust the coal bed level and find the sweet spot with the heat. And, remember, just because you’re using this large grill does not mean you have to fill it with charcoal (or food). No dish or fire is too small.

The bottom line

iggrill3
Folding side tables on either side of the 18″ grill mean you can multitask, or at least plate something like a real chef, without leaving your station.

I’ll be blunt here, because it feels appropriate, and because this is my time and your time at stake, and I would be beyond remiss to waste it: If it’s time for you to look for a new charcoal grill, look no further. Buy this grill. I mean it.

It is among my most beloved cooking contraptions, and I can’t imagine going back to life without it. It can handle everything, but it is still worth lighting up for relatively nothing (see photo above). The elements do not seem to penetrate it, it’s user-friendly, and, hey, it doesn’t look all that bad, either.

This grill is a brute, and plain and simply put: It just works.

Charcoal BBQ (button)

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The 5 best grill brush and cleaning tools in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Cleaning the grill isn’t the most fun chore, but it’s an essential one.
  • The Kona 360° Grill Brush is our favorite because it evenly scours large swathes with each pass.

No matter how often you use your grill, it’s important to keep it clean both for the safety of your food and the longevity of your grill.

The black residue that builds up on the cooking surface of your grill contains carcinogens that can have serious health implications if transferred to your food. Further, bacteria can develop on leftover food bits, so scraping those bars and grates clean after each use, and again before the next cookout, is the best practice for good measure.

Properly cleaning your grill also helps preserve the hardware by preventing corrosion and rust, which can expedite its life expectancy while also presenting additional health risks, of course. Finally, and perhaps most obviously, food tastes better and is easier to handle when it is prepared on a clean grill.

As for choosing which grill-cleaning tool is right for you, it doesn’t hurt to have a few different options at your disposal. Below are the ones we deem most effective, though a combination of two or three of them will more than suffice. Just make sure to have at least one brush and one scraper, and, of course, make sure that you use them.

Here are the best grill brushes in 2021

Best overall

kona grill brush

The Kona 360° Grill Brush cleans in all directions to scrape away bits of food and built up soot on the top, sides, and the bottom of the grill.

Pros: Cleans in all directions, lightweight and balanced, safe for use on all types of grill

Cons: May rust if not properly dried

Cleaning your grill is important. We’ve already established that. But it can also be tedious. The Kona 360° Grill Brush is perfect for people who value a clean grill but want it cleaned fast. Its design allows you to clean the top, bottom, and sides of each bar of the grill without removing the grill top and with a minimal number of passes.

While most grill brushes feature a panel of bristles facing in one direction, this clever tool has bristles facing in all directions. And what’s more, there are three coils of said omnidirectional bristles, so you can scrape away at a broad swath of the grill with each pass.

While lightweight and easy to wield, this grill brush is far from dainty. In fact, it’s backed by a five-year warranty and is tough enough to use on all types of grills for hot or cold cleaning.

For the record, you’ll get the best results using it on a heated grill and with occasional dips into a bowl of water, or with water sprayed across the grill — just watch out for hot steam. And though rugged, the many fine bristles are safe for use on ceramic, porcelain, or infrared cook surfaces, too.

Best for stubborn residue

grill brush and scraper

Whether it’s baked on after a marathon barbecuing session or caked on after a long season of disuse, even the most stubborn grill residue doesn’t stand a chance against the BBQ-Aid Grill Brush and Scraper.

Pros: Extra strength bristles, steel scraper breaks up stubborn grit, ergonomic wooden handle

Cons: Plastic plate can melt if left on the grill

There’s nothing fancy or technically advanced about the BBQ-Aid Grill Brush and Scraper. It has a wooden handle, a three-inch by three-inch panel of bristles, and a steel scraper set into the end of the unit. But what it lacks in extravagance, it makes up for in brute strength. This is the grill cleaning brush you break out after an all-day smoking session, before an end-of-season deep cleaning, or when you uncover your grill for the first time after a long break from barbecue cooking.

This grill brush has 72 bundles of stiff stainless steel bristles that work together to loosen and remove even the most stubborn grease, grit, food bits, and soot. With a bit of muscle behind it, the brush is almost unstoppable. But should you ever come up against a chunk of cooked-on crud too mighty for the brush alone, that’s when you apply the steel scraper. This blade-like tool can break up anything that adheres to that grill, and then the bristles can handle the cleanup work.

The only downside is that the bristles are mounted in a plastic plate that can melt if left on a hot grill. But as long as you’re scraping with some expediency, or waiting until your grill is cool enough to clean, you should be fine.

Best on a budget

grilll brush

The Room Essentials Tough Brush has heavy-duty bristles that scrape away grit and grime about as well as any other basic grill brush at a fraction of the cost.

Pros: Comes with spare bristle pad, built-in scraper

Cons: Bristles prone to bending and detaching with time

There’s not much to say about this grill brush aside from the fact that it’s affordable and gets the job done. The solid plastic handle is durable enough to apply as much pressure as needed while scraping away at that dirty grill. There’s also a metal scraper built into the head of the piece, and a handy hook to store the brush off the side of the grill or wherever you keep your grill cleaning tools.

This grill brush also comes with a replacement bristle pad in case the first one wears out, which is downright thoughtful, really.

I’ve used a cheap grill brush plenty of times in my day, and while this one doesn’t hold up as long as a higher-priced option, it will work just as well for a couple of seasons of use.

Best with no metal bristles

charcoal companion scraper

The more you use the unique wooden Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape Non-Bristle Cleaning Tool on your charcoal grill, the better the tool will perform as it adopts a shape customized to your grill.

Pros: Becomes a customized cleaning tool, no metal bits that can get into foods, good low price

Cons: Requires break-in period, could catch on fire

Using an old grill brush with metal bristles could become hazardous if you’re not careful. The bristles can fall out over time and potentially get into your food, which could lead to injury if you accidentally swallow one. But there are alternatives to metal bristles, like the Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape for those who want to be extra careful.

Just know that the first time you use the Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape Non-Bristle Cleaning Tool to scrape away grime and gunk on your charcoal grill’s grates, it’s not going to be very effective. The second and third time you use it, expect the same story. But stick with it, for soon enough, this clever paddle-shaped wooden tool will adapt to fit the exact width and placement of your grill’s bars.

Each time you use your Charcoal Companion grill cleaner, the grooves worn into it by cleaning sessions become a bit deeper. That means that soon won’t just be cleaning the top of the grill, but will be scouring away at the sides of the bars as well. And because the tool is made from wood, it will never scratch or damage metal grill grates. Even with regular, vigorous cleanings, the Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape Non-Bristle Cleaning Tool will never damage your grill top.

As it is wooden and flammable, just make sure you don’t leave this grill cleaner near a hot grill or atop the grate.

Best grill cleaning brick

grill brick for cleaning

For a truly like-new, grime-free, high shine look, it’s hard to beat the amazing scouring power of the KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick.

Pros: Removes even the finest grime, customizes shape to grill with repeated use

Cons: Often leaves behind bits of stone, best when used with a second tool

Like the previous wooden grill cleaning paddle, this KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick won’t be at its best the first few times you use it. But by always scraping at your grill in the same pattern (moving back and forth along the length of the bars, in other words), you will slowly carve grooves into the surface of this nonporous pumice stone block. Over time, it adapts to fit your grill, and this brick will become a more precise, effective scraping tool, even above that of a wire brush.

Also, it’s cheap, which is pretty great.

Despite how well the KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick can scrape off the top of the grill, it will take time for it to be effective on the sides of the bars. And you also might want to wipe down or even rinse off the grill after each use, as bits of stone may adhere to the grilling surface.

I recommend scouring and scraping away with this stone, then using another grill brush to remove the bits of grime it loosened, as well as the bits of stone itself. Yes, that’s more work and will require two tools, but the cleanliness of your grill will go unmatched.

Check out our other grilling guides

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