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Grilling may feel footloose and fancy-free, but that’s before you realize you have to scrub the grill after you’re done. Whether you’re cooking up a couple elotes or dozens of burgers, clean grill grates mean food that’s safer, tastier, and less prone to sticking. To get the cleanest grill around, brush your grates with a damp grill brush either after every session or while the grill is heating up.
But which grill brush is the right one for you? There are metal bristle brushes, steam brushes, and even electric brushes that take some of the labor off the table. Some materials can be used on any grill surface, while others are too harsh for delicate grates. The grill brush that’s best for you depends on your personal needs.
Here are the best grilling brushes for a successful BBQ season.
Best Overall: Kona 360° Clean Grill Brush
This three-brushes-in-one brush exerts extra force while you use it, cleaning not only the top surface but also the spaces between grates. It’s a quick, efficient, and inexpensive tool that can be used on porcelain, ceramic, infrared, and traditional grill grates. The bristles are made from stainless steel and a weather-resistant handle means accidentally leaving this exposed won’t ruin the brush.
At 18 inches, this tool is the ideal length for maximizing the strength from your hand with minimal effort and yet be far enough away from any rising heat. It also comes with a 5-year limited warranty, so you won’t have to worry about replacing it soon.
Best Budget: Weber 6464 18-Inch Bamboo Grill Brush
Functional, easy-to-use, and attractive, this bamboo-handled grill brush has a scraper on the end to help dislodge stuck-on food. A long leather loop makes it simple to hang this from a hook to keep it on hand (but out of sight). The stainless-steel bristles are rustproof and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
Weber offers a 2-year warranty should anything go wrong. That plus the ability to work on chrome, porcelain enamel, cast iron, and stainless steel grates make this straightforward brush an excellent choice for a budget option.
Best Bristle-Free: POLIGO BBQ Grill Cleaning Brush
Not only is this sturdy grill brush bristle-free, but it also has an attached scraper, perfect for attacking the sticky bits on your grill grates. Helix coils protect grill grates against scratches and the three-in-one design is ideal for getting at really tough messes.
An 18-inch reinforced non-slip handle is the ideal length for leverage. That reinforcement means it won’t snap, even under pressure. The metal is also rust-resistant so it’ll stay intact longer. This brush is gentle enough to be used on porcelain, ceramic, iron, and steel grates.
Best for Stainless Steel: Kona Barbecue Grill Brush and Scraper
This bristle-free option from Kona has the force to remove stubborn food with its rigid coils. Unlike nylon bristles, this tool will not melt. And there is no danger of losing individual metal bristles, either, which can happen with wire brushes.
Because of its construction, the 18-inch tool can last up to 125 percent longer than a conventional grill brush. It also comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, so even if something does happen to it, you’ll be insured.
Best for Cast Iron: Le Creuset Nylon Grill Brush
This attractive, dishwasher-safe grill brush looks as good in your kitchen as it does on your grill. Soft nylon brushes are flexible enough to get into even the smallest of crevices, but the firm, flat shape offers leverage to get hard-to-budge food off of your favorite cast iron grill pan or cast iron grill grates.
The bright cherry-red color offers a pop of drama to the kitchen, while the ergonomic design is easy on your hands. It comes with Le Creuset’s 5-year warranty.
Best for Porcelain: Grillaholics Pro Brass Grill Brush
Stainless brass is both heavy-duty and not prone to shedding bristles, meaning this brush can be used regularly without fear. Since it’s made from brass and not stainless steel, this grill brush is safe for every kind of grill, including delicate porcelain and ceramic grates.
The 18-inch handle is ideal for leverage, and the design is meant to amplify cleaning. Reviewers confirm the manufacturer’s claim that this brush gets your grill cleaner faster than most. The company also offers a risk-free purchase, meaning you can send it back if you’re unsatisfied. Strength and utility are combined in this all-around excellent outdoor grill brush.
Best Luxury: Cuisinart Grill Dozer Steam Cleaning Grill Cleaning Tool
Cuisinart’s Grill Dozer Steam Cleaning Brush is the creme de la creme of grill brushes, with a cleaning and sanitizing spray system that makes cleaning a breeze. The spray expels a fine mist that turns to steam on a hot grill, helping to break down any leftover debris. The brush is three-sided and can reach into hard-to-clean areas.
The spray trigger is thumb-activated and the handle is ergonomically designed for comfort. An attached water tank makes it easy to fill the spray container. The stainless-steel brush is suitable for charcoal and gas grills.
Best for Indoor Grills: OXO Good Grips Electric Grill and Panini Press Brush
This indoor-only grill brush has soft and flexible bristles that are well suited to panini presses, indoor grills, electric grill tops, waffle makers, and more. The handle is soft and comfortable and allows for ample leverage, and has a nonstick function that keeps its grip even when wet.
A wiper blade helps dislodge grease and food and is made from a heat-resistant silicone that will not melt in high temperatures. Because the bristles are soft, this can be used on nonstick pans, too, and it won’t damage the surface.
The flexible Kona 360° Clean Grill Brush (view at Amazon) cleans nearly any surface capably. The three-in-one brush helps navigate small and hard-to-reach places. Its stainless-steel bristles are durable, and the warranty guarantees that you’ll have this brush for a long time to come.
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Hannah Selinger has written about food and drinks for local and national publications since 2015. A former sommelier, Hannah has worked for some of New York’s top restaurant groups, including Laurent Tourondel’s BLT group and David Chang’s Momofuku group. Her work has appeared in Eater, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, and more. Hannah is also a graduate of the International Culinary Center, which is where she honed her superior grilling skills.