Kitchn Love Letters

I Tried Scrub Daddy’s New Grill Cleaning Tool and I Have Mixed Reviews

published Jun 13, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Hand lifting a grill grate from the grill
Credit: Rachel Joy Barehl

I love cooking al fresco so much that I don’t think twice about grilling in the rain. I’ve even grilled in the snow (okay, definitely not my first choice, but I was recipe testing). That means on any given sunny day, you can absolutely bet I’ll be giving my outdoor grill a solid workout. So, as you can imagine, I have a keen interest in finding a grill brush that truly works.

I used to always use a grill brush with metal bristle brushes because they’re so good at scraping away the gunk. But I’ve sworn them off ever since I found out that they can leave metal fragments behind (and unfortunately those tiny pieces can make their way into my food). Since then, I’ve tried grill bricks (made of pumice stone; they work great at scraping but get used up fast); solid metal scrapers, bamboo scrapers, chain mail, and, yes, aluminum foil balls. Nothing really seems to easily get the grates super clean — without leaving anything behind.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

So, when I recently went shopping, I was pleased to come across the brand-new BBQ Daddy grill cleaning tool from popular brand Scrub Daddy. According to the packaging, it uses the “power of steam” to get grates clean. See, steam is super hot, so it actually kills germs and bacteria and quickly dissipates fats. It seemed like a cool idea, maybe a little gimmicky, but different enough from other grill brushes that I was intrigued. I had to give it a try!

How I Tested the BBQ Daddy

First, I decided to test this new cleaning tool on the underside of the grates. Let me explain. After every grilling session, I scrape my grates clean so they’re not really that gross. But the undersides are a whole other story. They’re a sticky wonderland of carbonized stalactites and oily goop. If the BBQ Daddy brush could tackle that mess without turning me into the usual sweaty heap covered in old grease, then I’d pretty much call it a resounding success. 

To put the brush to the test, I turned the grates over so they were nasty-side up, preheated the grill to 300 as directed, and got a bucket of cold water ready. Like other Scrub Daddy brand scrubbers, the sponge head gets soft in hot water, but stays firm in cold water, and I knew I needed it to be firm for extra chisel power. 

Credit: Danielle Centoni
The new BBQ Daddy uses steam to clean.

I used the built-in metal scraper to clear away as much gunk as possible. Then I dipped the scrubby head in the bucket and swiped it across the grates. Immediately, it produced a cloud of steam and left a trail of truly sparklingly clean cast iron in its wake. Holy smokes! I thought. This thing really works! 

Credit: Danielle Centoni
The pyramid-shaped sponge is detachable and dishwasher safe.

The steam melted the grease right off with very little effort. I was gobsmacked and ready to declare the BBQ Daddy engineers worthy of the Nobel Prize. But as I kept using it, the scrubby head got softer thanks to the heat from the grill. Within a couple minutes, it had turned into a floppy sponge that didn’t want to cooperate. Because the scrubber is in a pyramid shape and attaches to the handle at the point, once it gets soft, it gets flappy.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

Still, the steam trick really works. The undersides of my grates looked brand new with very little effort. And the long handle with well-placed grips makes the tool easy to use and apply downward pressure. It has all sorts of little features too, like a retractable hook for picking up and moving the grates and a bottle opener. Plus, the scrubby head is detachable and dishwasher-safe. 

Credit: Danielle Centoni
Ready for grilling!

The best part is I’ve now figured out the best way to use the BBQ Daddy. When I’m grilling, I set a bowl of cold water nearby so that when I’m done and the grill has cooled a bit, I just dip and swipe. I don’t need more than a couple swipes to keep them super clean and the head stays firm for that short time. When I need to use it for longer and the scrubby head gets soft, I press down really hard to keep it from flopping around or put on my grill gloves and hold it steady. With a few adjustments, the BBQ Daddy makes grilling cleanup just a little bit easier! Good thing because tonight’s burger night!

What’s your secret to getting your grill clean? Tell us your tips and product suggestions in the comments below.