Organization and Cleaning

Family Table Testing 123: Grill Cleaner

Esther Kurtz June 19, 2024

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A Thorough Grilling

Dirty grills are gross. Don’t argue “flavor” with me. Today’s challenge is finding the right grill cleaner. The classic wire bristle type gets many people skittish these days, with reports of wires breaking off, ending up in food, then ending up in people and then people ending up in the ER.

With that concern at the fore of my noggin, I tried out a few different types of cleaners. Some home solutions, others all natural, some budget, and some wire bristles to see which one will leave your grates gleaming and you feeling good about it.

Testing, Testing

1. I tested it for comfort and storage. Did it feel good in my hand, and can I store it easily near or on my grill?

2. I heated the grill to over 600 degrees Fahrenheit and tested each cleaner for cleaning quality and exertion required. Were my grates silver when I was done, and how much was I sweating with each scrape?

3. I retested the cleaners on a cold and gunky grill to see their performance without the heat turned up. I looked for cleaning quality and exertion.

Maryton Grill Cleaning Pumice Stone

Price: $8.52

Notes: Works chef’s kiss beautifully, even on a cold grill. If using on cold grill, you to need to wipe the grates with paper towel after. Need to use tongs with heated grill, or be very brave (or dumb). Needs to be wet when used. Uses up quickly, was one-third used after one cleaning. No place to hang to keep it near the grill.

Stars: 4.5

GrillArt Grill Cleaning Brush Kit

Price: $16.97

Notes: Effective cleaning. Handle installation requires effort. Hanging ring is small and not flexible, making hanging a challenge. Does not effectively clean sides of the grates when used on cold grill.  

Stars: 3

Easy Function Wooden Grill Scraper

Price: $25.95

Notes: Pricey. All natural. Cleaned well. Claims to clean a cold grill once the grate marks are set after a few uses. I tried it on cold after one use — didn’t work.

Stars: 3

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Brush and Scraper

Price: $9.99

Notes: Bristles bent after one use. The edge melted a little. Looks like a medieval torture device. Didn’t try it on cold grill. I threw it out, fearing for my life.

Stars: 1

Weber Three-Sided Grill Brush

Price: $18.99

Notes: Great job cleaning. Handle is flexible. Comes with lanyard to hang it from. Covers more area and requires less cleaning effort. Works well in getting in between the grates and leaves minimal residue.

Stars: 4.6

Steel Wool

Price: Minimal cost

Notes: Leaves flakes on grill, highly unsafe. Catches on fire when cleaning heated grill. Need to use tongs. If you have a death wish, it cleans nicely. If you like your life, stay far away.  

Stars: -1

Overall Winner: Weber

Is it cheating if I say I knew the Weber was the likely winner before I started? I’ve used their cleaner for two years. Yes, people have the bristle concern, but I’ve never seen any loose ones on the Weber (unlike others). The pumice stone was really cool, and if bristles are a concern, it may be a better choice. Ultimately Weber won out because of storage and durability.

Note: The best cleanings are done on hot grills, heated to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Safety Tip: Grill cleaning is risky business. Make sure to stay safe, and consider cold cleaning if you want to keep all your eyebrows and lashes.