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ou’re daydreaming about a relaxed summer party. Delicious burgers are sizzling on the grill. Friends lounge around in the sun, drinks in hand, talking about recent vacations or football scores. 

You’re probably not picturing yourself cleaning. 

That said, it’s a real drag firing up the grill only to be confronted with a greasy, crusty mess. Diligent maintenance will help your grill keep up with all your summer plans.

Proper cleaning also helps your grill last longer, makes it easier to cook on, and prevents nasty stuff from sticking to your food!

Whether you’ve always kept your grates in pristine condition or your grill is in need of overdue TLC, a quality brush makes the job easier. Although a grill brush is a simple tool, don’t skimp on quality. A flimsy brush won’t stand up to burned-on grime. In this roundup, we’ll compare the five best grill brushes. With one of these beauties in hand, your grill will be ready to cook up the next feast in no time.

How to Clean your Grill

Your grill would like its grates cleaned thoroughly every month or two, depending on how often you’re using it. A couple of times a year, plan on really going all-in and getting under and around all the surfaces. Remember, you cook food on this thing! An efficient, sanitary tool is worth the elbow grease. 

What you’ll need:

  • Sturdy kitchen gloves
  • Household sponges
  • De-greasing dish soap
  • Wire grill brush
  • Large bucket

Before getting started, fill your bucket with warm water and dish soap. Gather up the rest of your tools, glove up, and open your grill. 

First, remove the grates. Use your brush to knock off leftover food particles, then dunk them in the sudsy water. Let them soak while you work with the rest of the grill. We’ll get back to those shortly.

Remove any remaining ash from inside the grill. If you’re using a gas grill, this should be minimal, but there can still be bits and pieces that have fallen through the grates and burned underneath. 

On a charcoal grill, remove any spent charcoal and gently wipe out the inside with a damp cloth or sponge. On a gas grill, wipe down the flavorizer bars to remove any dropped particles. 

A side not on charcoal grills: Always remove the spent charcoal when you’re done grilling. If you leave it for another day, it can collect moisture and cement to the inside of your grill. A fireproof bucket stashed near your setup makes this task handy. 

Give the outside of the grill a once-over. Make sure to use a soft sponge or cloth because steel wool or scouring pads can scratch enamel or stainless steel. If you have a stainless grill, a quick rub-down with stainless steel polish will make it shine. 

Now, get back to those grates. Dip your grill brush in the soapy water and get scrubbing. If there’s a lot of build-up, this could take some effort. This is why it’s doubly important to have a heavy-duty brush on your side. 

Once the grates are clean, rinse them in clean water and dry with a paper towel. A quick, light coating of cooking oil or spray will help protect the grates from moisture. 

Next time you fire up your grill after cleaning, let it heat empty for a few extra minutes to burn off any soap residue.

For more in depth instructions how to clean your grill, follow our instructions here.

Tips for Minimizing Cleanup

These steps will go a long way toward making sure your grill-cleaning chores are quick and easy later on. 

Brush before use. Once your grill is nice and hot, give it a quick brush-down to remove any clingers-on before you start cooking.

Oil the grates. Dip a wad of paper towel or heat-proof basting brush into some cooking oil and, using tongs, brush it lightly over the grates. This will help keep food from sticking in the first place. 

Line your drip tray. If you have a drip tray or oil pan, consider lining it with aluminum foil during cooking. Its job is to catch gunk, and with a disposable liner, all you have to do is pitch the foil when you’re done. No scrubbing required! 

The Best Grill Brushes

GRILLART’s brush-scraper combo is a hefty tool for taking on any grill mess. Three spiral brushes pack tight, durable bristles that spread out in a fan-shape. Having multiple angles makes your scrubbing more effective. The attached metal scraper is convenient and sturdy, and the notches on each corner make quick work of scraping along individual bars of your grate. The 18-inch handle keeps your fingers away from the heat.

Jolly Green’s extra-wide grill brush has four brush barrels instead of three. This is a great brush for large grills because you can cover more area at once. The bristles are very strong and won’t crush or break under pressure. The handle is 18 inches long and features a pike pole-style hook to keep your brush close at hand.

A thick, bristly three-barrel brush, iDoCare’s Wire Grill Brush has a wide, reinforced 18-inch handle. It’s comfortable to hold and stands up to force. This brush is durable enough to last through a lot of use without shedding bristles into your grill or turning into a flat, useless mess.

Kona’s 360 Grill Brush has bristles all the way around each of the three barrels, meaning you can easily reach any surface without struggling or craning. The bristles are slightly wavy, giving them more ‘tooth’ to grab on to stuck food and grime. The 18-inch handle keeps you clear of the heat without compromising leverage.

An 18-inch comfort-grip handle and densely packed bristles make this brush from Alpha Grillers quick and easy to use. It’s a sturdy brush that won’t come apart, even after lots of hard use. 

Cleanliness is Next to Grill-Godliness

Sure, it’s not your favorite chore. But trust us. A bit of care and maintenance is a very worthwhile investment in your grill. Clean grills are safer and tastier. The right tools make the grunt work go by so quickly you’ll barely notice it. We love the GRILLART brush for the attached scraper. It has all the durability and cleaning power you could ask for in a best grill brush choice, but the notched scraper attached to the back is like the ace in your sleeve for dealing with stubborn grill messes. 

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