Want a better brush
July 8, 2012 6:49 PM   Subscribe

I want a good grill brush that won't shed metal bristles.

The last couple brushes I've had for my outdoor grill have started shedding the metal bristles. This is unacceptable! I don't want to be surprised one day by a sharp metal wire in my food. Does anyone have any specific recommendations? Any kind of metal-bristled brush will do, I suppose.
posted by zsazsa to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I went through grill brushes like they were candy until I discovered that a crumpled ball of heavy duty aluminum foil held in long handled tongs will do the job better that any brush and won't shed.
posted by peachfuzz at 7:03 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, so the way we do this is two fold:

1) After cooking cover grill grates with heavy duty aluminum foil, crank heat al the way up for 20-30 minutes so you cook off as much as you can.

2) Crumple up a couple fist fulls of heavy duty foil, and use the tongs as noted above.

The only other tip is to lightly coat the clean grates with high temp cooking oil before heating them up, then coat again once more very very carefully when the grill is at heat before placing any items on the grill. It will minimize sticking.
posted by iamabot at 7:19 PM on July 8, 2012

Ditto: Tongs and a ball of aluminum foil works well. But I only do this if I am using the aluminum foil for something else ahead of time.

I do keep a brush around for the rest of the time.
I have had the same issue of bristles falling out of those brushes where the bristles are set in a plastic handle.
Then I got the Weber three sided grill brush. So far, so good (last 8 months or so, including a grilling-weather winter). The 12 inch works for me and cost $8 at the local sports store.
posted by Seamus at 8:10 PM on July 8, 2012

Best answer: I love my Grill Wizard! Great product, horrific website. I've had mine for six years without a problem.

It's Americas Test Kitchen's top pick as well.
posted by Marky at 9:23 PM on July 8, 2012

I have one of these, and it has never shed a bristle that I've noticed.
posted by primethyme at 9:55 PM on July 8, 2012

Response by poster: Wow, great answers. I'll try the foil trick (it's practically free), but I'm tempted to get the Grill Wizard just because apparently whoever makes them lives in my neighborhood. I could literally walk to their house and pick one up! But man, what an awful website.
posted by zsazsa at 11:28 PM on July 8, 2012

My partner sometimes does the tinfoil thing, but usually he just uses his stick. He found a stick in the woods (seriously) that has a knobbly notched bit from where two branches grew. He uses that to clean off his BBQ grill. Works like a charm. He even has his father and brother using sticks now too.
posted by gwenlister at 5:33 AM on July 9, 2012

I use one of these, with the scouring pad side.
posted by sanka at 5:47 AM on July 9, 2012

If you haven't tried it already, I'm actually a big fan of Grill Stones.
posted by BZArcher at 6:38 AM on July 9, 2012

The CDC just did a report on this and you are right to be concerned: Injuries from Ingestion of Wire Bristles from Grill-Cleaning Brushes — Providence, Rhode Island, March 2011–June 2012

Their unhelpful (for you) conclusion:
"Detailed information on the types and brands of grill-cleaning brushes was not available; therefore, recommendations regarding which brands might be safer overall or less likely to lose their bristles could not be made. Questions remain regarding whether different brands or designs of grill-cleaning brushes, different grill types (e.g., uncoated cast iron versus porcelain-coated cast iron), different types of food (e.g., whole cuts of meat versus patties), or different health conditions (e.g., dentures or other oral conditions) make a difference in the risk for ingestion of wire bristles."
posted by gingerbeer at 9:00 AM on July 9, 2012

Response by poster: gingerbeer: Yikes, that's a pretty harrowing report.

I just went by and pickedup the Grill Wizard. Looking at the scrubber on it, it won't leave any metal bits behind. Also, for the type of grill I have (a Weber Q), the fellow who makes them suggested cleaning between the bars with wooden chopsticks. So gwenlister's onto something with the stick idea.
posted by zsazsa at 1:08 PM on July 9, 2012

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