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SOS - What Are You Using To Clean Your Grates?

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Hey guys, I just got done with my first big low and slow cook yesterday. Pork butt cooked perfectly for 10+ hours only to find (literally) hundreds of wire brush bristles sitting in my drip pan when I went to clean everything out. Obviously, this can be a health concern and I even found 2 stuck to the bottom of the grate when I started double checking so the whole batch had to go straight into the trash...completely gut wrenching (but hopefully not literally, we did eat 2 sandwiches before we saw this).


What are you guys using to clean your grates? These bristle brushes have me freaked out now but there is a lot of skepticism around the effectiveness of some of the alternatives. At this point, I just need to know what works well on the KJ so everyone stays safe and no more hard work has to go in the garbage.


Thanks in advance!

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Posted (edited)

I've always just used a wire brush too, never lost any bristles.  But a buddy of mine stands by the grill rescue brush.  I don't have any personal experience with it.




Edit: Now that I think about it, this may not be the best idea for a kamado grill due to the amount of water involved.

Edited by AJS390
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Your not the first one to have this happen.  Apparently that's why the wooden scrapers have become popular but I mostly just burn the heavy residue off by running the Kamado up to 600˚F and holding it there for 20-30 minutes.

I use a wire brush too but I buy the welders style with the wooden handle.  When the bristles start to wear down I cut off the couple of inches and go again. 

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I always  use the Weber wire brushes either with the long or short handle and have never had issue finding bristles in food or on my grates in the last 30 some  years. Because I have read posts like yours, I do take the precaution of spraying grape seed oil on an old towel and then wiping down the grate and other surfaces I have brushed before I put on food. They do make those round wire brushes with wire connected on both ends that can not come loose, I bought a few but found them to be completely useless when I need to clean crud off the grill grate Have also used the synthetic grill cleaning pads, but always return to the Weber brushes, their the Gold Standard when it comes to grill brushes, IMO, anyway. 

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Maybe I'll have to go with cleaning down with something afterwards. I really don't understand how everyone uses these with no problems - it wasn't like there was a loose bristle or two, my drip pan was just full of those things and every single one could have been chance for a trip to the ER. Still super gun-shy about trying those again.

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I am in complete agreement with you, wire brushes freak me out and like you, I have found them on my grill.  You see, I am completely colorblind so it's hard for me to see them. Having worked ER and when I do get a chance to watch TV, I will tune into ER recreation stories and there was a segment about fella who swallowed one and it created all sorts of problems.  

So, I take the time before I start a cook and bring them into the house and wash my grills, it's really easy if I keep it up.  I have also used a wad of foil occasionally if the grills are not that dirty.  Be safe.  

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I typically remove the grates from my KJC3 to soak in the sink to loosen up the crud.


I will then take a wire brush to scrub clean.....then rinse with clean water.


I have yet to find any wires from the brush in the sink strainer.

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Always used a Weber wire brush until I got a bristle stuck in my mouth behind my teeth.  Switched to the wooden scraper, works pretty well, but just this year switched to the grill floss.  I like the way it cleans the top and bottom of the grate, makes it easier to do the deep clean with PBW later.

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1 hour ago, O C said:

Wood scraper if the grill is hot, or a Char Broil cool clean nylon brush if its not.


I had one of those Char Broil plastic brushes.. didn't seem to do squat on a cold grill..

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