A grill is great for roasting food for backyard parties but it’s imperative that you clean your barbecue grill before and after you use it. After all, you may have some old bits of food sticking on the grill grate as well as ashes and perhaps even some dead insects.
You certainly don’t want those things to stick to your food! To make sure you clean the grill properly you may need a grill brush with metal bristles. Guess what; you also have to learn how to clean your grill brush regularly.
Why Clean the Grill Brush: How to Clean a Grill Brush
A grill brush works very well in removing the buildup of grime and grease on your grill grate. Grime and grease can be very sticky so you may need the metal bristles to rub them off the grate. Cleaning the grate however, can leave the grime on the grill brush instead so you need to get rid of the grime after you use the brush.
It’s important that you clean the grill brush because neglecting to do so can contribute to unnecessary wear and tear on it. This may force you to buy a new grill brush because the old one is just too worn down to work properly anymore.
Failure to clean the brush can also lead to broken bristles that can dislodge and stick to your grate instead. This is a safety hazard because it’s possible that the dislodged bristle can get into your food and you may swallow it without your notice.
The wire bristle can then puncture your stomach, intestines, or esophagus. The damage can be so severe it can lead to death. Part of the problem here is that these wire bristles are so thin that X-rays don’t always reveal them.
How to Clean a Grill Brush
If you just have a grill brush, you should tap it firmly against a hard surface after every time you use it. This can dislodge any large bits of debris from the brush bristles. You can then use the following steps to clean it:
- Get a container that’s large enough to let you lay the grill brush face down on it. This can be a pail, sink, or bucket.
- Fill this container with warm water by about 2- to 3 inches deep.
- Add a bit of mild soap (about the size of a dime) to the water. The best soap to use should have the capability to fight off grease.
- If you have some, you can also add just a dab of olive oil to your soapy water mixture. The olive oil can help keep the bristles from cracking, drying out, or stiffening. The bristles can then remain supple.
- Now place the grill brush face down into the water. Just let it soak there for about 2 minutes. That should be enough time for the soapy water to cause the buildup of grime to detach and slide off the bristles.
- It’s possible that some of the debris on the bristles may stubbornly refuse to slide off. If that’s the case, you can maybe loosen the debris gently with a nail brush.
- Once the bristles are clean you should then either hang the brush or place it upside down while you let it dry. This keeps the moisture from getting trapped inside the head of the brush.
- Make sure you follow all these steps properly or else the brush will shed the bristles more quickly.
- Clean the grill brush about once or twice a month though this will depend more on how often you use it.
- Once the grill brush is dry store it away where it’s dry and protected from the rain, snow, or extreme heat.
When is Cleaning Not Enough?
Eventually you may have to replace your grill brush instead of just cleaning it. Here are several easy ways of checking whether you need a replacement for your grill brush.
- Look it over. A careful visual inspection can do the trick. Just look closely if the bristles are worn down too much. The bristles may be splitting or decaying noticeably. That means it needs to be replaced. The same is true if the bristles are full of too much grime and grease that you can’t seem to dislodge. If that’s the case, replace it too if you can’t clean it off. You really don’t want any of that disgusting stuff getting into your food.
- Check for rust. This isn’t a problem with stainless steel brushes but it’s an issue for brass. The rust will just weaken the bristles so the brush won’t clean the grate properly.
- Use pliers or tweezers to test the bristles. Tug on the bristles gently. If they come off even with just moderate pressure you need to replace the brush.
You need a nice clean brush every time you try to clean your grill grate. So either clean the grill brush or replace it!