A grill enhances the flavor of nearly every food it is used to cook. Of course, after enough uses, you will need to clean the grill to ensure that it provides that same enhanced flavor without the flare-ups of burning fat or ashy taste of baked on char. That is why we have put together a list of the best grill brushes for cleaning your grill and smoker below. We even provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best grill brushes to suit your needs.
This is one of the most important factors in determining not only the effectiveness of the grill brush but its durability as well. That said, some materials present unique qualities that you may ultimately favor over others even if they may not be the best at actually removing the char and fat from your grill. This is often due to the fact that different types of grills will require different stiffnesses and abrasiveness of brush.
Nylon - This is the least stiff material used for a grill brush. As such, if the cleaning part of your brush is made out of nylon, you will ultimately have to spend more time and apply more force to get the same level of clean. That said, this material general plays better with the different types of detergents that people use to help break up the gunk on the grates than metal does. On top of that, some grills with protective coatings such as porcelain need the brush to be nylon or risk the coating coming off. One thing to keep in mind is that nylon brushes are not appropriate for use with heat.
Brass - This is the next stiffest material used for grill brushes and serves as sort of a Goldilocks. It is not so stiff that it risks pulling a protective coating off of the grate or other surfaces, but it is generally firm enough to still remove stuck on gunk without having to apply too much force. Unlike nylon, brass is more than capable of cleaning a grill with the use of heat to help break up some of the gunk. The one issue with brass is this must be cleaned more often after use or else the metal will begin to corrode much quicker than with stainless steel.
Stainless Steel - This is generally seen as the best material to use with grill brushes. The brush itself will be far stiffer than with either brass or nylon--though you can get stainless steel brushes that are thin if you need a softer brush. Because it is stiffer, this type of brush does carry the potential risk of stripping a protective coating if you are not careful. That said, this is still one of the best brush materials primarily because of its use with heat and steam. This means you will not have to worry about using detergents which can be difficult to remove completely from the surface. Stainless steel is also the most rust-resistant and second only to nylon for use with water.
A quick glance at grill brushes will tell you that there are far more types than you may have expected. While the most common type of brush that most people are familiar with is the bristle brush, there are actually numerous types that each aim to solve a different problem. That said, no one type of brush is universally better than all of the others, and your intended usage will determine which is right for you.
Bristle - This is the standard type of brush that often comes with most grills as part of a set. That said, even within the bristle type of brush, there are a couple different approaches. The first, and classic, style of bristle brush is designed somewhat similarly to a hairbrush. The bristles are fed into a base where they brace and allow you to apply force. These are also the most common type of bristle grill brush to be part of a brush/scraper combo.
The second type of bristle grill brush does not actually secure the bristles to a backing but instead threads them through a wire frame. This allows the bristles to clean at a wider variety of angles and reduces the number of strokes necessary to clean the grill surface. In fact, wire-bristle grill brushes can often clean both sides of a grill’s great without ever having to flip the grate.
Bristleless - While the bristle type of brush may be the most common, there is one glaring issue with that type of brush: the bristles will eventually wear out and come off. If you are not paying attention or less fastidious in how you clean the grill, this can lead to a situation where the bristles actually become lodged in the food.
In order to combat this issue, some manufacturers have been moving away from the bristle type of brush. The alternative uses an ingenious design where the wire that would normally be used is bristleless and is instead wound in a helical shape. This prevents the wire from coming off and potentially ending up in your food, although it does limit some of the surface area and angles that bristled brushes can provide.
Automatic - There are not too terribly many automatic grill cleaners on the market, but they do pop up here and there. The primary issue with an automatic grill brush is that the amount of force applied is fixed, and it generally is not all that much. That said, if your grill is not especially dirty then this can be an incredibly convenient grill brush.
However, this means that you will likely need to clean the grill after every use to prevent the buildup of char and fat. Of course, if you are not actually the one cleaning the grill, then what does it matter? Just remember that an automatic grill brush has to be powered by batteries, which are generally rechargeable, and is not suitable for cleaning a hot grill.
Scrubber - Scrubbers are far more similar to a tool that you would use to clean dishes than one which you would use to clean a grill. This is due to the fact that the actual cleaning surface of a scrubber is neither wound nor bristled but is instead a mesh. This mesh can be made of any common material but is generally either made of stainless steel or nylon. One of the biggest advantages of a scrubber is that it is generally safe to use on any surface and can be used for both indoor or outdoor purposes.
As the name suggests, Grill Daddy specializes in products made explicitly for the grill. This focus allows the company to provide the best products available, keeping in mind the specific needs of their consumers. For the Grill Daddy Pro, this takes the form of the only steam cleaning brush that we saw.
Unlike literally every brush on this list and all the ones we could find, this is the only brush that comes with a built-in water reservoir. This is important because the entire handle is hollow. Once you fill the reservoir, the water begins to drip through the brush and onto the grill’s surface. If the grill is hot, this will cause the water to evaporate into steam which will ultimately help loosen the gunk on the surface of the grill and make it easier to clean.
Aside from serving as a reservoir for the water, the Grill Daddy Pro’s handle is exceptional for a couple other reasons as well. For one, this is one of the largest handles that we encounter which will help keep your hands a safe distance from the heat of the grill as you clean it. On top of a good length, the Grill Daddy Pro also features a double-handled design which provides plenty of leverage, so you can really lean into the stroke to remove tough, baked-on grease and grime.
If you are looking to clean your grill but do not want to have to go through the hassle of actually cleaning it yourself, then you are in luck. The Grillbot is the only automatic grill cleaner that we found. This is a bit surprising considering the product was released at the beginning of 2014.
That said, there are some serious considerations that need to be taken into account before you sign on to this grill brush. Specifically, the Grillbot is not designed to handle heavy-duty cleaning. By that, we mean that the Grillbot will not be able to handle baked on char and gunk. Instead, this grill brush is meant to be used immediately after the surface of the grill cools where the mess has not net hardened but the temperature has dropped.
In that instance, using the Grillbot is as easy as pushing a single button. It also has an LED indicator light to tell you when it is on and when it is running low on battery life. Thankfully, the Grillbot uses a rechargeable lithium battery, so you do not have to worry about a continued, additional expense. The only potential problem with this is that the battery should be recharged fairly often.
Though they may be known more as a middle-man than an actual manufacturer, there are a wide range of products that the Amazon company actually sells themselves. These products can range from electronics to tools to anything in between. In this instance, they have made a grill grate scrubber.
It is important to keep in mind the benefits and limitations of this type of grill brush. That said, the benefits definitely outweigh the limitations which are more appropriately understood and minor inconveniences. For instance, the compact shape and design combined with the large handle of this scrubber mean that you can apply more direct force with this grill brush than with any other that we reviewed and most others that we saw in general.
Aside from the fact that the ability to apply more force means that you can ultimately clean caked on gunk easier, this grill brush also has the advantage of being made out of a nylon mesh. This means that you will not have to worry about bristles coming off and ending up in your food, nor will you have to worry about the brush rubbing away at protective surfaces. In fact, this is the only grill brush that is safe enough to use on your dishes and cooking surfaces indoors as well as outdoors.
BBQ Masters is not actually a company on its own but is instead one of many brands owned by the global conglomerate TCP Global. If you have never heard of that company, it would not be all that surprising. However, you have almost certainly heard of its brands which include high-quality brands like the 3M Company, SAS Safety Corp., and Sharpe. As a specialized brand, BBQ Masters focuses exclusively on grill-centric accessories.
This specialization as well conglomerate business structure allows BBQ Masters to provide easily one of the best values that we encountered. This grill brush is not only a solid product on its own, but it even comes with a second, smaller triple action grill brush as well. The smaller brush features the standard braced bristle brush style as well as a scrubber side and even a scraper.
Still, the frontrunner of this show is the 3-in-1 spiral bristle brush. Unlike the smaller bristle brush it comes with, this bristle brush features three rows of stainless steel bristles threaded through a thicker gauge stainless steel wire. This allows the BBQ Masters grill brush to clean more surface area than most from a variety of different angles. Its materials also allow you to spray a hot grill to generate steam to make cleaning easier without the risk or rusting the metal.
Like many of the products that we reviewed, Beily is a company that focuses exclusively on grill accessories. However, unlike most of the other companies on our list, Beily literally only manufactures this grill brush. This is likely why this grill brush features one of the safer designs that we saw while also providing a complete set of tools in a single package.
Specifically, this is a woven grill brush. This means that you will not have to worry about pieces of the brush coming off during the cleaning process and potentially ending up in your food. Conversely, it also means that you can apply more pressure than an automatic brush and can do so while the grill is hot, unlike with most grill brush scrubbers. Altogether, this is the safest and most convenient type of grill brush we saw.
Beyond the bristleless design, this particular grill brush has a couple other advantages. For one, this was the only bristleless grill brush that we saw which also features a grill scraper. Rather than having to switch tools when you run into some especially baked-on grime, you can simply turn the Beily over and scrape it off. Then just turn it back and continue cleaning as normal.
Ultimately the best grill brushes will depend on what level of effort you are looking to put into cleaning your grill. While most people would generally prefer their cleaning chores to be as easy as possible, that can lead to cutting corners and simply doing a worse job.
If you are willing to put in a little bit of elbow grease but would like a grill brush to help alleviate that as much as possible, we recommend the Grill Daddy Pro. This brush has so many things going for it. First, the built-in water reservoir means you do not have to worry about spraying the hot grill to generate steam which will help break up the grease and make cleaning the grill easier. Second, this grill brush features a long hand with two hand holds. This means that you can apply more force to the grill if necessary than most.
That said, not everyone is looking to spend over $20 on a brush that they will eventually have to replace at some point in time anyway. In this instance, there are a number of routes you can go. The Grillbot is great if you do not need to clean an especially dirty grill and are willing to clean regularly. The Beily grill brush is the best bristleless grill brush that we saw, though the BBQ Masters provide by far the best value on our list.
We hope you enjoyed our guide of the best grill brushes for cleaning your grill & smoker!