Summer is the ultimate grilling season (hello, holiday BBQs!), so you want to make sure your grill is ready to go in time with the best grilling accessories
out there — and that includes cleaning tools. Brushing gunky grill
grates might not be the first thing you feel like doing after eating,
but it'll help avoid tasting yesterday's sirloin on tomorrow's veggie burger. Plus, a regular cleaning routine can help reduce the chance of a dangerous flare-up and extend the life of your grill.
Whether you have a pellet, gas, or charcoal grill, here are the best grill brushes to buy this year, based on brands our cooking and cleaning experts in the Just Cooking Tools use, trust, and, of course, have put to the test. When evaluating grill brushes, more than 20 were tested by both the Kitchen Appliances Lab and Test Kitchen. Their ability to clean grates after cooking juicy burgers was assessed as well as how well they got into corners. Balance and sturdiness were also taken into account in addition to versatility; did they have a scraper, could they be used on hot grates, etc? Here are the best of the bunch; plus, some of the top-rated grill brushes by consumers who swear by them:
- Best Overall Grill Brush: Grillart Grill Brush and Scraper
- Best Value: Outset Short Plastic Grill Brush with Scraper
- Best Wooden Grill Brush: Weber Bamboo Grill Brush
- Best Short-Handled Grill Brush: Weber 3-Sided Grill Brush
- Best Bristle-Free Grill Brush: Kona Safe/Clean Grill Brush
- Best Reusable Grill Brush: Unicook Nylon Grill Brush
- Best Electric Grill Brush: Grilltastic by Sienna Grill Cleaner
This grill brush was a top performer in our tests. It has a thick, round handle that's comfortable to use with one hand and three cylindrical columns of wire bristles that cover a lot of surface area and get around grill grates well. The overlapping design of the bristles allows the bristles to hug the grates and clean the top and sides with minimal effort. These round designs also allow for easy rotating during use to clean edges; simply turn your wrist either way to better get between grates. Flip the brush over to scrape grates with the long edge of the scraper, or use one of the pointed edges to clean single grates. An additional scraper provides even more versatility.
- Round handle and bristle design allow for easy cleaning
- Keep an eye out for loose bristles
If you're looking for something simple that still works well –perhaps something you can take on the go or just rely on occasionally – consider this Short Plastic Grill Brush from Outset. It's lightweight with metal bristles that get the job done. The angled head helps keep your hand away from hot grates and offers good leverage when you need to scrape. We recommend using light force as the bristles started to deform with heavy pressure.
- Small and compact
- Includes a scraper
- Short plastic handle is better for use with cooler or smaller grills
This traditional bamboo brush and scraper combo is a strong tool to clean your grill with. It's available in two different lengths — 12 inches and 18 inches — and it has a bonus scraper on the back of the brush to help you remove caked-on food. We tested the 18-inch version, which provided plenty of space for a sturdy, two-hand grip. The handle is smooth and thick with rounded edges and comfortable in the hand. In our tests, this brush proved to be good for getting in the edges of grates, while the the scraper allowed for precise cleanup of single grates.
- Available in two sizes
- Nylon bristles are less likely to scratch porcelain and enameled grill grates
- Must be used on cool grill to avoid melting nylon bristles
If you'd rather play it safe and get a completely bristle-free grill brush, try this one from Kona. It features three rows of stainless-steel, so it's basically like cleaning with three brushes at once. It has a thick, plastic handle with finger grip that encourages a comfortable grasp. It's flexible and sturdy, and designed to stay cool. In our tests, this type of grill brush wasn't the best at scraping off burger residue or getting into corners, but it eventually got the job done.
- Comfortable handle
- Didn't clean up burger residue as well as bristle brushes
This short handled brush stood out from long ones in our tests for being able to get a good grip during cleaning. It felt sturdier than its long, 18-inch counterpart that almost felt too flexible to get a thorough clean without using two hands. The round bristled design maneuvered around grates well, and we liked how easy it was to rotate the brush to get into corners. The horizontal head covers a lot of surface area and makes for a quick and easy cleanup.
- Short head and handle offer stability
- Rounded bristles get around individual grates well
- Horizontal design cleans many grates at once
- Short handle makes it harder to clean super hot grills
Your brush has probably been through a lot of wear and tear by the end of grilling season. Instead of replacing the entire thing when it's worn out, this grill brush allows you to remove and replace just the brush head. Since the brush is made of nylon, be sure to let the grill cool down before using this one. The wide shape covers more surface area at once.
This powerful scrubber might be on the pricier side, but it's worth the investment. It's a favorite of our Cleaning Lab and we actually use it to clean our grills in the GH Test Kitchen! Fill it with water and plug it in, and it produces hot steam that cleans all the grease off of your grill.
- Steam helps loosen residue and makes it easier to clean
- Powerful degreaser
- Requires an electrical outlet
Skip bristles all together with this pumice-like cleaning block. It's sold in the shape of a sponge and conforms to the grates of your grill after a couple of uses (think of a pumice stone that wears down when you scrub it against something hard.) It's a highly effective way of cleaning grime off of grates in just a couple of passes, but leaves behind a sand-like residue that needs to be wiped away before cooking.
Reviewers say they like to use this tool occasionally for a deep, once or twice a year scrub versus every day for a quick cleanup. A set with a handled block holder is also available for purchase. Note that the cleaning block will completely wear down over time and require replacing.
- Conforms to the shape of your grill
- Leaves behind a sand-like residue
Bristle type: Always check with your grill's manufacturer for recommended cleaning tips or preferred tools to get certain results. Choose between metal or nylon bristles, or none at all:
- Metal bristles are heavy duty, work quickly, and can handle hot temperatures. They can, however, scratch coated grill grates and need to be monitored closely to ensure they don't loosen and accidentally land in food.
- Nylon bristles are more gentle and can't be used over high heat because they will melt. They don't clean as well or as quickly as metal bristles, but some people opt for them to better protect their grates from scratches and to avoid potentially dangerous wear.
- Bristle-free brushes don't get around grates like bristles do, but they're typically strong, resilient, and good at scraping.
If you're using a bristle brush, check that bristles haven't fallen out or gotten stuck to the grill. These can be ingested and cause harm if swallowed. We recommend replacing your bristle brushes every one to two seasons.
Bristle design and head shape: Rounded bristles offer a more comprehensive clean and can often be rotated with just a small turn of the wrist to get into edges and hard to reach places. In our tests, we found that the shape of the head made a difference, too: Horizontal heads covered more surface area at once while vertical ones tended to get deeper into grates because of the more evenly distributed weight.
Handle: A sturdy handle will help you get a better hold on the grill brush so you can clean better. They're typically made of plastic or wood; the grill brushes we tested with plastic handles were a bit more flexible and provided more give for the heads to penetrate the grates more. We found that thicker handles with rounded edges were more comfortable to use, while the best length depends on preference. Twelve-inch or smaller brushes can be used with one hand, while 18-inch brushes often benefited from two-hand use.
Scraper: Many grill brushes come with scrapers that help loosen food. These proved to be very useful in our tests, especially those with corners designed to get around individual grates. Scrapers also help increase the longevity of your brush by cutting down on some of the extra back and forth motions.