Today, let’s talk about grill-brush safety.
One of the most practical tools used before or after every cookout is a grill brush. Most people leave their grill brush hanging on their grill where it is always accessible. That means their trusty grill brush takes a real beating from frequent use and the weather. In normal use, we apply pressure to vigorously brush off burned on food residue and that action wears down the bristles. When you add the environmental wear from rain, snow, desert heat and sub-tropical humidity wooden and plastic brush heads can split, crack and warp.
If your grill brush is in bad condition, bristles can dislodge and stick to the cooking grates where they may adhere to the surface of steaks, burgers, chicken pieces and other foods. Unfortunately, there are injuries reported due to people ingesting wire bristles left behind by a worn out grill brush.
So here are some safety tips to follow.
- Inspect your grill brush for wear. If the bristles are worn down or clogged up with grease, throw it away and replace it.
- If your grill brush head is split or warped the bristles can come loose so throw it away and replace it.
- If your grill brush looks OK you should perform a simple safety check. Take a pair of pliers and grab a bristle and pull using moderate pressure, about the same pressure as pulling blades of grass out of your lawn. If the bristle pulls loose, replace your brush.
There are many brushes to choose from, as well alternatives to brushes. Here are some shopping tips.
- Choose a brush with a long handle to keep your hands, arms and clothing away from the open flame and heat of the grill.
- Select a good quality brush with stainless steel bristles that feel strongly anchored in the grill head or handle.
- There are alternatives to brushes made for cleaning a cold cooking grate. Look for abrasive pads and spray-on cleaners that work as a team to dislodge food residue and clean the cooking surface.
Always follow the manufacturers’ use and safety instructions and wear barbecue mitts to protect your hands and forearms when you are brushing a hot cooking grate.