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Best Grill Brush? 8 Safe, Effective + Damage-Free Options

BEST OVERALL

Easy Function Wood Grill Scraper
Easy Function
4.7/5

BEST METAL

Cave Tools Metal Grill & Griddle Scraper
Cave Tools
4.5/5

BEST WIRE

OXO Good Grips Hot Clean Grill Brush
OXO Hot Brush
4.6/5

BEST BRISTLE-FREE

GrillArt Bristle-Free Wire Brush
Grill Art Wire Brush
4.3/5

BEST NYLON

OXO Cold Clean Grill Brush
OXO Cold Brush
4.6/5

BEST BUDGET

Char-broil nylon bristle grill brush
Char-Broil Nylon
4.4/5

Cleaning sure ain’t the most fun part of barbecuing. But, it can be a lot faster and easier with the right tools.

We’re not here to say you need all the fancy sprays and cloths to do it. A simple but quality grill brush goes a long way to looking after your investment.

So, what is the best grill brush for your bbq?

Well… we are going to say the best grill brush for any smoker or grill isn’t a brush at all.

You might have heard a thing or two about the safety warnings issued against your standard wire grill brush.

With time and use, the bristles, or small parts of them, do bend, break and fall off and get stuck onto the grate. Without washing it, that metal is just sitting there waiting to be transfered onto your steak next time the barbecue’s fired up.

A significant number of people actually end up in the ED every year with internal damage from ingesting small pieces of wire from grill brushes.

We don’t use them and we don’t think you should.

You won’t see a standard wire bristle barbecue brush in this list. What you will find is the best bristle-free tools to clean your barbecue. Yes, they’re still effective but they won’t damage your grates or risk your health.

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How We Tested the Best Grill Brushes

After selecting a wide sample of the most popular, wire bristle-free grate brushes, we bought them and set about testing them all.

We made notes on the following factors:

What good is a grill brush that doesn’t do the job well?

We tested these brushes on at least 3 different types of grates including a chrome-coated wire rack, a porcelain-coated wire rack, and a cast iron grate.

Notes were made on how durable both the brush handle and the brush head was to see if the best could handle a heavy hand.

Most of these best grill brushes were used regularly over a period of at least a few months. Others, we have been using for years to clean family and tested barbecues.

Safety is of upmost importance to us.

If we wouldn’t use it on a barbecue for our family, we wouldn’t recommend it for you to use on yours.

Hygine is important when you’re using the same old brush to clean your barbecue every week.

We looked for brushes that can be cleaned well and easily so that your grates stay cleaner too.

Not every barbecue brush we tested made this list.

Table of Contents

The Best Grill Brush: Our Top Choices

For something that cleans well, and is a safer choice for you and your family, choose from any of these tried and tested grill brushes.

BEST OVERALL

Easy Function Wood Grill Scraper

4.7/5

This one is technically not a brush. But, the Easy Function Wood Scraper is our absolute all-time favorite way to safely and effectively clean any grill grate.

Natural wood has the advantage of having absolutely nothing nasty in it. So, if safe and healthy is your priority, this is it. But, this Easy Function Wood Scraper is also super effective.

Suitable for any type of grill or smoker grate, this A grade pine will, over time, start to mold to the size of whatever grate you’re cleaning to create the perfect fit.

It’s great because it means that this wood scraper can be used on absolutely any barbecue with all grate sizes. But, it’s downside is that you do need a different scraper for each different grate size you have because wearing it in basically permanently sets it up for that particular grate.

Best used on a warm barbecue, the Easy Function Scraper won’t scratch your grate, gets all the muck off easily, and, doesn’t leave any residue.

Pros
Cons
BEST TIMBER

Traeger Grills Wooden Grill Scraper

4.6/5

Another timber alternative (because wood is our preferred option any day of the week), is the Traeger Grills Wooden Grill Scraper.

It’s a bit more expensive than the Easy Function. And, some people won’t like the fact it’s got no handle. But, the paddle is pretty large and easy to hold, so I personally don’t find the heat off the grill to be an issue. Plus, the solid Rosewood is a little nicer than your typical pine.

The groves are spaced to fit Traeger Grills. But, with use, the wood will mold to any grate distance quite quickly so there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use this on any type of grill or smoker.

It cleans a warm grill grate easily and effectively and is wide enough that you’re cleaning a good strip of your grill at a time.

Like the Easy Function, the only downside of this type of grate cleaner is that the it molds to the particular spacing of whatever sized grate you’re using it on.

If you’ve got multiple barbecues, or you have two different grate sizes in the one barbecue, you’ll need a different scraper to clean each. They work best once those grooves are deeply set to get down the sides of each grate.

Pros
Cons
BEST METAL

Cave Tools Metal Grill & Griddle Scraper

4.5/5

This brush alternative ticks the boxes in terms of safety, durability, and effectiveness.

With a farily univsersal set of crafted grooves for scraping a wide range of barbecue grates, the good thing about this tool versus the wooden ones is that you don’t need more than one to clean different grate types.

What we don’t like about it is that the handle on the Cave Tools is pretty short.

When you’re scraping a warm grill, which we found is the best way to do it, your hand does feel the heat. On the plus side, because it’s short you can put a lot of pressure on the grate and even a strong hand won’t damage the metal head.

The other thing worth mentioning is that with this tool, you do need to clean every single bar of that grate individually. It’s not a paddle that will do 4, 5, or even 6 bars at a time. So, cleaning a grate with the Cave Tools does take a little longer than the other best grill brush options on this list.

But, it’s perfect for anyone who’s meticulous with their cleaning. And, is the cheapest option too.

Pros
Cons
BEST WIRE

OXO Good Grips Hot Clean Grill Brush

4.4/5

If you like the effectiveness of cleaning your grates with metal but want something that’s absolutely in no way going to be breaking off, getting stuck on the grates, check out the OXO Good Grips Hot Clean Grill Brush.

This is actually our favorite non-wooden grate cleaner.

It works well, the brush itself is very well made, and it’s safe for yourself, your family, and your friends.

The only downside is that we find it doesn’t fit into all types of grates well. The metal chain-link style pad isn’t very flexible so it’s hard to get down the sides of a grate. While we like it for most thinner style of grates, we find it harder to use on the thick cast iron racks.

The heads are removeable so you can throw them in the dishwasher. And, it’s cheaper to buy a new head when it’s time to replace it as well.

Pros
Cons
BEST BRISTLE FREE

GrillArt Bristle Free Grill Brush

4.4/5

For a grill brush without the dangerous bristles, our go to is this one from GrillArt.

Six inches wide, it’s got three stainless steel scouring pads that effectively clean a lot of grate in one movement. The long handle keeps your hand away from the still-warm barbecue. You can angle it to get down the sides. And, there’s a scraper on the back to help you get off any really stuck on bits.

Overall, this grill brush is pretty heavy-duty and lasts well without rusting.

Just keep in mind that it is still metal. Over time it will degrade and once it does, you’ve got the same danger of leaving small metal shards on your grill grates. So, expect to replace it when it starts to wear. Exactly how long will depend on how much you use it but ours is still in good condition a year later with semi-regular use.

We find that you do have to put your back into it a bit more with this style of grill brush. Dip the head in a little bit of water and apply to warm or hot grates to steam clean any really baked on bits. It works a treat.

Pros
Cons
BEST NYLON

OXO Good Grips Grilling Cold Clean Grill Brush

4.6/5

If you really like the idea of a grill brush WITH bristles, make it safer by going nylon.

Now, before we say any more, note that this grill brush can ONLY be used on a COLD grill. The nylon plastic will melt if you use it on a still-warm grate like you would other grill brushes.

But, if you are okay with cold, then the OXO Good Grips Cold Clean Brush is our favorite of these types.

Strong and durable, it’s really well made. There’s a scaper on the back for anything that’s really stuck on there. But, the angled bristles do a great job of cleaning any type of grate.

We’ve tried it on everything from wide cast iron grate to thin chrome-coated racks and it cleans easily without damaging them.

When the brush head is looking worn and isn’t cleaning as well, you can buy cheaper replaceable heads as well, saving you cash and the environment a bit of extra plastic.

Pros
Cons
NYLON RUNNER-UP

Char-Broil Nylon Bristle Grill Brush

4.4/5

Coming in a little cheaper than the OXO Cold Brush is this Char-Broil version.

Overall, the quality isn’t quite as good as the OXO. But, it’s still strong and durable and gives you absolutely nothing to argue about.

It’s got angled nylon bristles that get down the side of the grates pretty well. You can use this on absolutely any type of grill or smoker grate. And, we find the scraper on the back really useful too.

Best Grill Brush

Like the OXO Cold Brush, the Char-Broil heads are replaceable too.

Pros
Cons
BEST HAND-HELD

Char-Broil Cool-Clean Handheld Brush

4.3/5

Since you’re using it on a COLD grill, you don’t really need the long handle. So, we like that the handheld brush version from Char-Broil’s Cool-Clean range lets you put that extra bit of muscle into it.

It’s pretty basic and nothing special. But, for a cheap and durable option that gets the job done well, we rate it. The angled bristles do a decent job of getting down the sides of each grate too.

Once again, don’t use this on a hot grate! The nylon bristles will melt. But, on a cold grate, it’s strong and sturdy.

Pros
Cons

FAQs About the Best Grill Brush

Wire brushes cause trips to the emergency room every single year as small parts of the bristles can break off, get stuck to the grate, and then get stuck to your food the next time you cook on them.

There are a number of safer alternatives to using a wire grill brush.

These include timber grate paddles, metal scrapers, nylon cold brushes, and bristle-free metal cleaners.

Find our favorite tried and tested grill brushes above.

Our absolute favorite grate cleaning solution isn’t a brush at all, it’s a wooden paddle.

The Easy Function Grate Scraper is fast, effective, and won’t leave anything harmful behind on your grates. This means it’s safer for you and your family.

We would personally use a nylon brush over a brass brush because the nylon doesn’t tend to break off, leaving metal shards on your grill grates that can then be ingested after you cook on it next.

The downside of nylon is that you can only use it on a cold grate. We tend to just wait until the next morning and then give the grate a rub down.

Cleaning your grill grates is an important part of barbecue maintenance that should be done after each and every use.

Not only does it help to keep your barbecue hygienic, it stops old bits of food from burning onto your next cook.

If you really like a brush, the safest option to use on any barbecue is a nylon cold brush. Our favorite of this type is the OXO Cold Brush. Note that this can only be used on a cold brush because any heat will melt the nylon plastic bristles.

If you want something that can be used on a hot grill, check out the Grill Art Bristle-Free Grill Brush that still uses a metal head but doesn’t have bristles that get stuck on the grate and break off from the very first use.

We use a timber paddle to clean warm grill grates instead of a grill brush. They’re all natural, fast, effective, and last a long time. Our favorite is the Easy Function Grill Scraper.

A wooden paddle moulds over the first few uses to fit any grate thickness and spacing. The only downside to this is that you do need a different paddle for different grate sizes if you have more than one barbecue at home.

Alternatively, you can use a metal scraper like this tried and tested one from Cave Tools.

With preformed notches to fit most grates, you can simply select a different slot to clean different sized grates. It does take longer than a wooden paddle though because you’re literally scraping each bar of the grate individually. It’s very effective though.

Yes, cleaning your grill grates after every barbecue is the only essential bit of cleaning you need to do. This applies to both grills and smokers.

We prefer to clean them while they’re still warm as any food isn’t quite so baked on. But, if you’re using a nylon brush, these must be used when the grate is fully cold or the bristles will melt.

A fine metal grill brush will need to be regularly replaced as soon as it starts to look worn.

A timber grate paddle like the Easy Function should last many, many seasons. Ours is going strong after very regular use for 4 years plus. Same goes for the Cave Tools metal scraper.

Nylon grate brushes will need to be replaced when the head starts to look worn and matted. You’ll notice that it gets more difficult to use and that’s when you’ll need to grab a new head.

When grill grates are still warm, any leftover food and residue is softer so it’s easier to scrape or brush off. That’s why we always clean our grill grates when they’re still warm.

The only exception to this rule is if you’re using a nylon brush. These are made from plastic so will melt on a hot or warm grate. We tend to wait until the next morning to clean a grate with a nylon cold brush to make sure it’s really cold and won’t damage the bristles.

Jared Brown, an avid lover of all things meat has a fearless enthusiasm for experimenting with anything that's grilling, smoking or outdoor cooking. With a wealth of experience across a range different barbecue types, Jared's got a real knack for helping others make a decision they're happy with, ensuring they find the perfect fit regardless of conventional notions of the 'right' choice. This unique approach has made Jared a trusted guide in the world of barbecue.

About Burning Brisket

Burning Brisket is one of the leading, independent authorities on all things barbecue. Family-owned and run, it's our mission uncomplicate the art of smoking to help you enjoy making incredible food at home for your family and friends to create memories over.

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