We are about to enter the magical time of year when I get to turn off my oven and cook as many of my meals as possible on the grill outside. This will be the third summer my husband and I have owned a grill (our third summer of home-owning!). And we've finally found a grill-cleaning tool that we actually like!
The first summer, it felt like we went through grill cleaners as quickly as we went through hamburger buns. Okay, obviously not really, but it certainly felt like it!
The first one we had featured nylon bristles, which melted almost instantly. It's easier to scrape off bits of food and gristle when the grates are hot, so I'd let the grill cool a little and then I'd have at it. Just a few uses in, the bristles melted down to the wire. I suppose I should have waited even longer before cleaning the grill each time, but then I'd have to scrub even harder and run the risk of the grates not coming as clean as I'd prefer.
The second grill cleaner was a gift from a house guest. It featured brass bristles and a sturdy stainless steel handle. It was legit and felt more like a weapon ... and it kind of attacked our porcelain sink. Don't get me wrong, I do like it — it just seems to be a little too much on the nights it's just the two of us. Plus, I've read tons of stories about bristles coming off of brushes and getting stuck in food, sending many people to the emergency room. That probably won't happen, but I don't love knowing that it could!
Which brings me to my favorite new grilling tool: This wooden scraper from Pampered Chef. It's made of one solid piece of oak and the beveled edge develops grooves over time, as the hot grates burn their way into the paddle. It essentially becomes a custom grill scraper made just for my grates! Sure, eventually it could burn all the way down to the handle, but so far it's happening very slowly (I've learned to wait a little longer before cleaning the grill!) and it cleans better and better each time.
We used it all last summer and I'm still pretty obsessed with this thing.
Buy: Wooden Grill Scraper, $15 at Pampered Chef
What do you use to clean your grill?