Best Grill Brushes

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Best Grill Brushes

Whether you need to replace an old, worn-out grill brush or need a new one for that brand-new grill you are itching to assemble, you want to make sure you’ve got the best grill brush possible. A grill cleaning brush is a quintessential tool for all backyard grilling and smoking enthusiasts, and you want to make sure you get the right one for your needs and budget.

We took a look at some of the most recommended grill cleaning brushes on the market so you wouldn’t have to spend unnecessary time scrolling through endless pages of search results. We here at Angry BBQ have used all different types of grill brushes through the years in our pursuit of finding the best grill brush. We looked at budget options, high-end brushes, and even different styles of brushes to give you the best options.

Did you know the right grill brush for your grill depends on the grill grate material? We cover that too.

Quick Glance at our favorite grill brushes

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageBest Overall for Cast IronBest Overall for Cast IronPoligo 18" Grill Brush
  • Coiled Wire Design
  • Sturdy
  • Includes Scraper
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageRunner-UpRunner-UpKona Safe Grill Brush
  • Coiled Wire Design
  • Wide Cleaning Head
  • Sturdy
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest High-EndBest High-EndGrill Rescue Grill Brush
  • Wire Free
  • Kevlar Materials
  • Durable
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest for Porcelain Enameled GratesBest for Porcelain Enameled GratesGrillaholics Brass Grill Brush
  • Brass Wires
  • Long Handle
  • Large Surface Area
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageRunner-UpRunner-UpPit Boss Grills Soft Touch
  • Palmyra Bristles
  • Replaceable Heads
  • Includes Scraper
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest for Stainless SteelBest for Stainless SteelChar Broil Nylon Brush
  • Includes Scraper
  • Replaceable Heads
  • Grate Lifter
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageTraditional Wire BrushTraditional Wire BrushGrillart Grill Brush
  • Comfortable Handle
  • Rust Proof
  • Includes Scraper
CHECK PRICE

What Makes The Best Grill Brush?

A grill brush is typically the best grill cleaning tool at your disposal whether you’re using a gas grill, charcoal grill, pellet grill, or offset smoker. The best grill brushes have long handles to keep your hands away from the hottest parts of the grill. They are also sturdy both in the brush end and the handle. You need a strong grill brush to clean even the most heavily-stuck food debris because those leftover bits can affect the taste of your food and even destroy your grill grates.

You also need to find out what type of grill brush works best for your type of grill grates. The last thing you want to do when trying to clean all the gunk and residue off is to cause damage to the grates. We’ll get into what types of brushes you want to pursue and what types of bristles to avoid based on your grate material. 

Our pick for the best grill brush is the POLIGO 18″ Grill Cleaner Brush for its combination of sturdy construction and its pairing of a coiled wire brush and scraper at a good price. It will be strong enough to tackle even caramelized barbecue sauce without you having to worry about wire bristles coming loose and sticking to your grill.

There are some other competitors aiming for the POLIGO 18 Grill Cleaner Brush whether by presenting themselves as a value option, using a different design to stake a claim as the best grill cleaning tool or even banking on familiarity. We’ll take a look at all the options and let you know why they have a claim to the top spot and why they also fell just short.

Type Of Grill Grates

Most grills have grates made with a base of stainless steel, plain steel, or cast iron. Some are porcelain-enameled steel or cast iron. These surfaces all respond differently to the different types of grill brushes that you could use. 

Porcelain Enameled

For instance, if you have a porcelain-enameled cast iron or steel grate, hard metal bristles and scrapers can scratch or chip that porcelain layer. 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel grates look nice and shiny when they are brand new but food sticks easily and using a harsher grill brush can cause damage to the smooth surface which will lead to food sticking even more. A softer brass bristle or nylon bristle or a fabric-based cleaning head can help ensure these grates won’t get damaged.

Cast Iron

Uncoated cast-iron grates can hold up to a lot of abuse from a grill brush, but you’ll need to take care to ensure they are properly seasoned before you cook on them. That seasoning is important for both keeping food from sticking and extending the life of the cast iron.

Then you need to consider the style of grates you’re trying to clean. Is it thinner rods or thick cast iron? Are there big gaps or is everything packed close together? 

Types Of Brushes And Bristles

Grill brushes can be broken down into two major categories: bristle brushes or bristle-free brushes. When most people think of cleaning tools for a grill, a bristle brush is what comes to mind. They can come in various styles or even materials. Stainless steel offers a good combination of strength for dislodging debris and durability. Brass bristles may not have as long a life a stainless steel but they are better suited for cleaning porcelain-coated grates. 

Nylon bristles are even more gentle than brass but can only be used on a cool grill so they don’t melt. There are even natural materials like palmyra bristles made from palm trees. Palmyra brushes can be used on a grill that is on but not over direct flame because that can catch the bristles on fire. They also tend to be stronger than nylone bristles as well.

Bristle-free brushes have become a major part of the industry thanks to concerns about metal bristles coming loose over repeated uses and even getting lodged in food and consequently people’s mouths or throats. Some bristle-free options include stainless steel coils, wood scrapers, and even fire-retardant fabric cleaning heads. 

So let’s get into the list!

Angry BBQ’s List Of The Best Grill Brushes

 1. Best Grill Brush For Cast Iron Grates – POLIGO 18″ Grill Cleaner Brush

To tackle cast iron, a grill brush needs to be sturdy and reliable. That means being reliable to clean up tough messes and not leaving behind unwanted wire bristles that can cause health concerns for you and those eating your food. The POLIGO 18″ Grill Cleaner Brush delivers on that promise of reliability thanks in part to it being a bristle-free brush.

The core of the grill brush’s design is the three tightly-coiled banks of wire brushes. The stiffness allows the grill brush to scrape off food debris without you needing to worry about a stray bristle coming off and sticking to the grill grates. POLIGO also attached a scraper head to really work on the worst gunk and even indented the sides to allow you to clean in between the grill grates

Cleaning with a coiled wire brush versus a traditional wire brush can be a challenge at first. The coiled wire may not be as efficient as you learn how it works. I’ve used coiled wire brushes and it may take a little longer than a standard wire bristle brush. However, you can rely on the POLIGO grill cleaner brush to keep you and those eating your food safe from loose wire bristles.  The combination of the scraper and the coiled wire will allow you to get in between parts of the grates to ensure everything gets properly cleaned, too.

The 18 in the name comes from the length of the brush in its entirety, and 18 inches is plenty long for hitting all the spots in your grill without worrying about exposing your hand to too much heat. The handle is also non-slip so it’s easy to keep a grip when cleaning stubborn spots.

POLIGO also wanted this grill cleaner brush to be sturdy and reinforced the main part of the handle with a steel tube to prevent the brush from flexing or snapping. The grill brush comes with a hook on the end for easy storage at your grill as well. 

This brush will work with most styles of grates, but it is strong enough to hold up to cast iron without gouging it badly. Just make sure you take the time to oil the cast iron after use. 

What We Like…

  • Sturdy construction of both the handle and the coiled wire
  • Combination of scraper and coiled wire for getting even the worst messes off
  • The coiled wire design is safer than traditional wire bristle

What Makes Us Angry…

  • The coiled wire design can be harder to use on grills where the actual grates are tighter together
  • If your smoker or grill has a mesh grill grate, this will not work properly
  • It can take longer to clean your grill than a traditional wire brush

 
2. Runner Up For Cast Iron – Kona Safe/Clean Grill Brush

The coiled wire design has taken the grill cleaning brush industry by storm as health concerns over traditional wire bristles have climbed in recent years. Like POLIGO with their grill cleaner brush, Kona came up with their own coiled wire design with the Safe/Clean Grill Brush. 

Kona went with a three-layer design to ensure that there is plenty of contact between the coils and the grill grates. To help bolster the grill brush’s cleaning ability, Kona says that you should dip the coils into water before cleaning with the grill hot. The extra steam can help loosen stubborn caked-on debris. The wire head is also wider than a traditional grill brush meaning you can clean more of the grill in one pass.

The grill brush is almost 18 inches long to help you reach the entirety of your grill while preventing you from suffering too much from the heat of the grill. The handle is sturdy and can hold up to the effort you sometimes need for cleaning if you’ve let your grill linger without proper cleaning for too long. 

Just like with the POLIGO, Kona’s brush will tackle most issues on your cast iron grates without doing much in the way of damage. While you do dip this brush into water, the grates will be hot enough to turn that water to steam. Just make sure to oil and season properly after cleaning.

Kona Grill Brush Overview

One of the drawbacks of the Kona Safe/Clean Grill Brush is the lack of a scraper. While they do say you should be dipping the brush into water before using it so you can steam some of the worst mess away, having a scraper is always handy for big problems.

The Kona grill brush is a great option, but the lack of a scraper and a regular plastic handle versus POLIGO’s non-slip grip makes it our runner-up. 

What We Like…

  • Coiled wire design puts safety as a top priority
  • Utilizing water to help steam messes away is an effective way to improve the cleaning ability
  • Wide grill head cleans a good amount at once

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Lack of a scraper can make tackling the worst caked-on debris harder
  • Coiled wire design can be more difficult to use than a traditional wire bristle brush
  • Not using water can limit its effectiveness

 
3. Best High-End Grill Brush – Grill Rescue Grill Brush With Scraper

There are few people in this world that understand fire better than firefighters. So it stands to reason that they might know a thing or two about how to clean up from fires. Enter Grill Rescue and their grill brush, our high-end entry for the best grill brush. 

After you get used to the yellow and red firefighter-inspired look, the next detail you will likely notice is that not only is the grill brush bristle-free it doesn’t have any hint of wire. Instead, the cleaning heads were designed using similar materials to firefighter uniforms to withstand the heat of a grill. 

The brush uses a kevlar-wrapped head made from a special foam that resists fires. You dip the grill cleaning brush in water then clean the grates that have been preheated to a minimum of 400°F. The water turns to steam to help loosen the grime and debris, then the scrubbing action of the kevlar wipes away the grease and residue from whatever you’ve cooked. If you’re concerned about porcelain-coated grill grates getting scratches, Grill Rescue has you covered.

If you’ve got some particularly stubborn debris, Grill Rescue added a metal scraper to the grill brush to give you that extra strength. It’s made with thick stainless steel to hold up to whatever you throw at this brush.

Speaking of durability, the handle may look like bright red plastic that would melt or break, but instead, the developers at Grill Rescue relied on polypropylene, a heavy-duty heat-resistant plastic that will stand up to the rigors of cleaning a grill. You can also purchase replacement pads if needed.

What We Like…

  • Heavy-duty construction from the materials in the brush head to the polypropylene handle
  • Using steam to clean limits any chances of damaging whatever cooking surface you’re cleaning, making it perfect for porcelain-enameled or stainless steel while also being strong enough to clean cast iron grill grates
  • Grill Rescue says they’ve even used this grill brush to clean flat-top grills

What Makes Us Angry…

  • It might be hard to digest spending this amount of money on a grill brush
  • Some customers have had issues with the clips that hold on the replaceable head


4. Best For Porcelain-Enameled Grates – Grillaholics Essentials Brass Grill Brush

A porcelain-enameled grill grate combines the heat retention of cast iron with the non-stick properties of a stainless steel material to give your grill great performance. However, scratching or chipping that coating can ruin all of that. That’s why the Grillaholic’s brass bristles are perfect for cleaning materials that can scratch or chip.

Despite being made from a softer material like brass, the bristles are strong enough to clean messes that do get left behind without causing any damage to the cooking surface. The brush has three banks of bristles to be able to work between the grates as well as cleaning any surface issues. The cleaning head is 5.5 inches long and coupled with three banks of bristles which makes cleaning easier. 

Grillaholics made sure the grill brush is long enough to help keep your hands away from the heat while also making the handle strong enough to give you leverage for worse messes. 

The one thing to remember with using brass bristles is that their softness works both ways. It helps protect the grill grates from damage, but it also makes them more susceptible to bending. While you may be tempted to push as hard as you can especially at stubborn debris, you need to be patient with a brass brush like this one, even with the worst of messes. 

This brush is not only good for porcelain-enameled grates, but you can use this brush on any type of grill grate as long as you are careful about not applying too much pressure.

What We Like…

  • Large surface area allows us to clean the grill quicker
  • Brass bristles are soft enough to not scratch while still getting the grates clean
  • Long handle will keep your hands safe while cleaning the grill

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Susceptible to bending and wearing down because of the softer brass
  • A few customers had issues with the handle breaking
  • Some customers reported bristles falling out, but that might be from pushing the softer material too hard


5. Runner-up For Porcelain-Enameled Grates – Pit Boss Grills Soft Touch Palmyra Head Brush

Pit Boss Grill Brush

Pit Boss developed a high-quality grill brush using palmyra bristles that is safe for use on materials that damage easily. It will also help with other surfaces as well because of the attached scraper blade. 

Pit Boss took a look at the concerns around wire bristles and the associated potential health risks and tried to make a better brush. Rather than going with a bristle-free brush like some other manufacturers, the company went with an all-natural bristle made from the palm tree. That gives the brush both the softness needed to handle easily-damaged grates and ensured that if any bristles fell out, they would end up burning away rather than ending up in food or someone’s mouth.

While some may worry about whether a softer material like palmyra bristles would hold up to bigger messes, Pit Boss put an angled scraper on the front of the brush to aid in hard to remove food remnants. While the blade extends beyond the front of the brush, the angling means it doesn’t stick out as far so you can still get into some of those nooks and crannies around the edge of your grill. 

Pit Boss Grill Brush replacement head

The palmyra bristles will wear down over time, but Pit Boss took that into account by making the entire head removable so you can purchase a replacement head instead of buying a whole new brush.

However, using a natural wood-based fiber like palmyra bristles does have its drawbacks. You can only use the brush when your grill isn’t too hot. We all know that heating up your grill to help with the cleaning process is a good idea, but you have to be careful when using a palmyra brush, otherwise you just might catch your bristles on fire (or at least get them a little toasty.)

What We Like…

  • Palmyra bristles are soft enough to protect damage-susceptible grates while being able to stand up to big messes
  • Attached scraper blade can help with the worst messes
  • Can replace just the head rather than the entire grill brush

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Palmyra bristles are prone to bending and wearing down, so try not to be too forceful
  • Using over an open flame or too hot of a grill can burn the bristles
  • Smaller head than Grillaholic’s brush means it takes longer to clean


6. Best Brush For Stainless Steel Grill Grates – Char-Broil Nylon Bristle Grill Brush 

Even stainless steel needs proper care from a brush. You may not think twice about what material the brush is made of, but you should. While stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and rust, any surface damage can cause problems down the road. Also, food will begin to stick more to scratches.

A nylon bristle brush like this one from Char-Broil will help prevent any sort of damage while still ensuring your grates get clean. Char-Broil stepped it up adding some design elements that set it apart from a lot of the competition. It has two independent scraper blades in the front to help with picking up grates or cleaning under them. 

Also, the sides of the nylon brush are angled to help get around the sides and bottoms of the individual rods. Char-Broil also notes that the nylon bristles are grit-infused, essentially texturing the bristles to be able to agitate messes better.

However, there is one big drawback to any nylon bristle brush, including Char-Broil’s. The grill must be cooled down before cleaning, otherwise the bristles will melt. While this could be a big problem, the combination of stainless steel’s inherent nonstick surface combined with the textured bristles means you can still get those grates cleaned without issue. You can even purchase replacement heads as the bristles inevitably wear down over time. 

What We Like…

  • Angled bristle design helps reach the sides and under the individual grate rods for a full cleaning
  • Independent scraper blades help with the worst messes while also allowing you to pick up the grates if needed
  • Replaceable head means no need to go out and buy a whole new brush

What Makes Us Angry…

  • You can only use this brush when the grill has cooled down because the nylon will melt otherwise
  • Some customers have had issues with the clip holders breaking
  • The bristles end well before the edge of the brush, so it can be hard to get the last bit of grates clean


7. Best Wire Bristle Grill Brush – GRILLART Grill Brush And Scraper

If all this talk about safety from wire bristles doesn’t concern you, we’ve got you covered. Most of us have spent at least some time using an old-school wire bristle brush to clean our grill grates. Some of us who spend a lot of time around a grill or pit are traditionalists in some ways. GRILLART still puts a modern spin on the traditional wire bristle brush, but you’ll get a great experience.

Just like a traditional wire bristle brush, GRILLART’s grill brush combines wire bristles with a scraper to ensure you can tackle the worst messes your grill grates have seen. This grill brush packs more bristles than the traditional grill brush and arrays them in three banks of wires to help clean your grill faster. Both the scraper and the bristles are made from stainless steel, ensuring they’ll get the job done and hold up for a long time.

GRILLART, like Kona, recommends dipping the grill brush in water before using it on a hot grill to add the power of steam to your efforts. The stainless steel construction will hold up to the water as well so you don’t have to worry about rust forming quickly. 

The handle for this 18 in grill brush is non-slip and has nice grooves for comfort while scraping away debris. The handle is connected to the brush head by twisted coils of steel for added stability and strength over repeated uses.

What We Like…

  • Traditional metal bristles clean well, and GRILLART essentially tripled the number of bristles to ensure a deep, thorough, and quick clean
  • The handle is comfortable to hold
  • Dipping the brush head in water makes the cleaning process quicker and more effective

What Makes Us Angry…

  • Some customers had issues with the grill brush arriving with the scraper broken off or breaking soon thereafter, but the majority of users haven’t encountered that issue
  • Using a traditional wire bristle brush means you are prone to having bristles coming off on the grill and ending up in your food
  • The scraper head is wider than the bristles, so some users complained of the scraper banging into the grill when trying to clean the nooks and crannies around the edges of the grill


Final Thoughts

In our efforts to find the best grill brush, we fell in love with the POLIGO 18″ Grill Cleaner Brush. Its combination of sturdy construction, the safety of the coiled-wire design, and the scraper for bad messes make it an effective grill cleaning tool without breaking the bank. A grill brush is an essential tool because it gets used (or at least should be used) every time we cook on a grill. So having a sturdy, effective brush that is safe makes our decision to give the POLIGO the award an easy one.

When you’re considering which one of these options to go with (or any of the seemingly endless options out there,) make sure you’re looking for a brush that is safe, sturdy, gets the job done, and will last. While replacing a nine-dollar brush often isn’t a huge financial investment, you’d rather spend your money on something that will last and get the job done without shedding wire bristles that could end up in your food.

If you’re looking to expand your grilling and smoking tool set or for a gift for that new grill or smoker owner in your life, check out our list of the top grilling and smoking accessories

What do you think is the best grill brush? Is it on the list? Let us know in the comments!

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageBest Overall for Cast IronBest Overall for Cast IronPoligo 18" Grill Brush
  • Coiled Wire Design
  • Sturdy
  • Includes Scraper
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageRunner-UpRunner-UpKona Safe Grill Brush
  • Coiled Wire Design
  • Wide Cleaning Head
  • Sturdy
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest High-EndBest High-EndGrill Rescue Grill Brush
  • Wire Free
  • Kevlar Materials
  • Durable
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest for Porcelain Enameled GratesBest for Porcelain Enameled GratesGrillaholics Brass Grill Brush
  • Brass Wires
  • Long Handle
  • Large Surface Area
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageRunner-UpRunner-UpPit Boss Grills Soft Touch
  • Palmyra Bristles
  • Replaceable Heads
  • Includes Scraper
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageBest for Stainless SteelBest for Stainless SteelChar Broil Nylon Brush
  • Includes Scraper
  • Replaceable Heads
  • Grate Lifter
CHECK PRICE
byb2-table__imageTraditional Wire BrushTraditional Wire BrushGrillart Grill Brush
  • Comfortable Handle
  • Rust Proof
  • Includes Scraper
CHECK PRICE

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