Wire Grill Brush Risks and Alternatives

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Spring and summer are quickly approaching!  It is the time of regular backyard and beach BBQ’s with family and friends.  If you or someone you know uses a brass wire or stainless steel brush to clean the grill, it is necessary to be aware of the dangers and risks it poses to the health of you and your loved ones. 

While cleaning food from the grill's surface with wire and steel brushes, it is likely that small pieces of the bristles can break off and stick to the cooking surface.  When cooking on the grill the next time, these bristles can get cooked into the food and accidentally consumed by you and your guests.  Injuries to the mouth and throat are most common with this incident, however, some have had stomach and intestinal issues after swallowing                                                                                  metal pieces hidden in the food. 

According to a study published in 2016, between the years of 2002 and 2014, 1,700 Americans were admitted to the emergency room because of grill brush injuries.  1 in 4 of these grill brush patients were admitted to the hospital.  The study noted that while this number is small, it does not account for the number of people who had to go to urgent care or other outpatient locations.

Luckily, there are alternative cleaning tools that will allow you to clean your grill safely – depending on what type of grill you have (be sure to double check the grill manual).

The Great Scrape (pictured above)

A scraper made of oak that will conform to your cooking grate overtime without damaging the grill.  Because it is a craftsman’s product, actions toward preserving the oak scraper are required.  You can do this by adding occasional coatings of food grade mineral oil to the oak so it will last longer. 

Chargon

A simple cleaning tool meant for round, rod-like grill grates that can easily clean top and underneath without having to lift the grates out of the grill.  It does not clean fast because it is meant for one rod at a time, however, it is very thorough and great for a deep clean.

Grillbadger

This is a recyclable grill cleaning brush made from natural non-metal fibers.  This is to clean the grill after it has cooled off because the bristles can combust if the grate is too hot.  It still does a great job at cleaning the grill the same as the metal brushes but is just a healthier, more natural alternative.

The Grillion

This is a unique product that will clean your grill at the price of half an onion.  A special knife cuts the onion into shapes of the grill grate and works to clean the grate as the enzymes and moisture in the onion breaks down grilled-on food that’s difficult to remove.

Grillstone Cleaning Block

Works just like pumice, but made completely with recycled glass.  It eventually conforms to the pattern of your grate and works to get tough food deposits off the grill.

Grillfloss

A metal rod with a hook that thoroughly cleans all around the grill grate – designed for metal rod grates.  Requires patience, as each grate rod must be cleaned individually, however will remove all food residues from the grill.

 

https://www.thespruce.com/alternatives-to-wire-grill-brushes-333589

https://www.consumerreports.org/food-safety/wire-grill-brush-danger/