The best grill brushes in 2024: Tested and rated

Now we're approaching grilling season, it's time to break out your grill and give it a good cleaning before your first cookout. This means opting for a grill brush to dislodge any built up grease and leftover food from your grates. Buying the best grill brush will not only extend the life of your grill, but also improve the result of your meals by ensuring no burnt residue ends up in your next meal. 

The best grills are designed to be easy to clean, and simply running your grill on high heat is enough to incinerate leftover grease or crumbs. However, grill brushes are an affordable and thoughtfully-designed tool to have on hand when you want to tackle particularly tricky areas, or give your grill a final scrub before you fire it up for the summer. 

To determine the best grill brush, we tested a range of grill brushes to suit different lifestyles, cooking needs, and budgets. We considered everything from the performance to the design to help you find the best grill brush for your grilling needs. During our tests, we fired up the grill in our own backyards and cooked endless burgers, tomatoes and fish filets to create the perfect mess to assess these brushes.  

The quick list

So before you get grilling, here are the best grill brushes you can buy right now based on our testing and reviews.

Best grill brush overall

tom's guide top pick

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Kona 360 Clean Grill Brush

Best grill brush overall

Specifications

Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 18 x 4 x 10 inches
Metal scraper: No
Replaceable head: No

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable, long handle
+
Great from cleaning up after fish
+
Grooved finger rest

Reasons to avoid

-
No metal scraper

For most of the brushes we tested, the metal scraper was essential to get the last remaining bits of burnt food off the grates, so we assumed the Kona would automatically be at a disadvantage. This was not the case.

The brush effectively removed burnt bits of cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, flaky fish, and grilled tomatoes, even without a scraper. In fact, out of all the brushes we tested, this one did the best job of cleaning up grilled fish. While other brushes did a good job of scraping fish off the top of the grill, they struggled with stubborn pieces that were stuck under the grates. Not only did Kona’s bristles get down into the sides of the grill grates, but they were able to dig the flaky fish out from the curved corners underneath, which is where other brushes struggled.

The brush’s bristles felt like the strongest and hardest that we tested, and the fact that they are tightly woven around the frame means they are secure and very unlikely to fall out. Considering the reasonable price tag, we think this brush is a great value, and its impressive performance is backed up by a 5-year warranty. That's why it takes the top spot as the best grill brush overall. 

Additionally, we found the Kona to be comfortable in use. At 18-inches long with a wide handle, it fits our grip well. It also has a grooved finger rest to make its use even more comfortable. Because the brush head is slightly wider and longer than the similarly designed GRILLART, it was also able to tackle a larger space in a single swipe.

Best metal brush with scraper

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2. GRILLART Grill Brush and Scraper

Best metal grill brush with scraper

Specifications

Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 6.7 x 2.8 x 18 inches
Metal scraper: Yes
Replaceable head: No

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable, long handle
+
Good for cleaning up fish
+
Effective scraper

Reasons to avoid

-
Brush head is more narrow than others

The GRILLART Grill Brush and Scraper has a lot of things going for it — that’s why it’s one of the best grill brushes. It’s strong, sturdy, and comfortable to use, and it did a bang-up job during testing by easily cleaning all kinds of debris effectively. Its densely packed bristles splay out at different angles, which allow this brush to wrap around the grates and clean efficiently. After the similarly-styled Kona 360, it did the best job at getting pesky fish skin out of the corners of the grill grates. However, because this brush head is narrower, it took a bit longer to clean the top of the grill.

Though the Kona excelled in the fish department, we still think this GRILLART brush offers a better overall cleaning experience. The scraper, in particular, is convenient to have as a back-up. The divots on the sides of the scraper wrapped nicely around the grill’s grates, efficiently removing debris from the sides and base. However, the narrow brush head design and secondary performance on fish just edges it out of the top spot.

Some may be concerned about the steel bristles breaking off into food (which is a concern with every steel bristle brush), but the risk with this particular model is reduced. The bristles are woven around the frame for better security, making them less likely to fall out.

Best cold grill brush

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3. OXO Good Grips Grilling Cold Clean Grill Brush

Best cold grill brush

Specifications

Material: Nylon
Dimensions: 7.7 x 18.4 inches
Metal scraper: Yes
Replaceable head: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Dishwasher safe
+
Changeable heads
+
Comfortable, long handle
+
Nylon bristles are soft on delicate grill grates

Reasons to avoid

-
Metal scraper makes an unpleasant screeching noise
-
Nylon requires more time to clean the grill

The first thing we noticed about the OXO Good Grips Grilling Cold Clean Grill Brush was how comfortable it was in use. It felt good in our hands, as the extended handle — the longest in our testing — made it easy to reach the back of the grill while the soft grip end ensured it was pleasant to hold. It was definitely the most comfortable brush we tested as well as one of the best grill brushes overall.

The next thing we noticed about the brush was that it can’t be used on hot grills. In my family, we typically clean the grill before each use, after we’ve fired it up, so this was an unusual surprise. Some may not be so keen to use a cold grill brush, but it’s nice to have the alternative option. Bear in mind you will obviously have to wait for your grill to cool after use to clean it with this brush.

Though this nylon brush can’t be used on hot grills, its softer-than-steel bristles mean it can be used on more sensitive (and pricey) grill surfaces like porcelain or coated ceramic. Overall, the brush did a good job cleaning up our cold grill, including removing residue from meat and veggie burgers, fish, and tomatoes, though cleaning took longer with this brush than it did with its steel-bristle counterparts. So long as you’ve got the time, it’s ultimately a good option for more delicate grill surfaces. And considering it’s dishwasher-safe, that’s an added bonus for clean-up.  

On really tough spots, the metal scraper was more effective than the nylon bristles and did a good job getting gunk off the top of the grill. The cut-out divots on the metal scraper didn’t get at every little bit of crusty mess we found stuck to the lower sides of the individual grates, but it did a better job than the Char-Broil brush, which has a very similar design (nylon bristles and metal scraper). The biggest drawback of this brush was that the metal scraper produced a piercing screech as we worked, which was far more unpleasant than the Char-Broil brush.

We found the brush — both the nylon bristles and the metal scraper — to be high-quality and durable, but we still appreciate that the nylon heads are replaceable. Not only does the ability to swap out heads instead of having to replace the entire brush keep more money in your pocket, but it also keeps more brushes out of landfills, which is good for the planet. And considering that OXO has also committed to donating 1% of all of their annual sales to environmental nonprofits, we think this is a purchase you can feel good about.

Best budget cold grill brush

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Char-Broil Replaceable Head Nylon Bristle Grill Brush

Best budget cold grill brush

Specifications

Material: Nylon
Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.1 x 2.9 inches
Metal scraper: Yes
Replaceable head: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Changeable heads
+
Comfortable, long handle
+
Nylon bristles are soft on delicate grill grates
+
Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Metal scraper is not as effective as others
-
Nylon requires more time to clean the grill

The Char-Broil Replaceable Head Nylon Bristle Grill Brush is very similar to the OXO Good Grips Grilling Cold Clean Brush, in that it has a removable brush head with nylon bristles. As before, these bristles are less likely to scratch delicate surfaces, but they are not heat resistant, so you will need to wait for your grill to cool down before use. This brush is half the price of the OXO brush, but it’s still a strong performer. 

Overall, we liked this brush, but there are some consequences of the reduced price. Unlike the OXO brush, it’s not dishwasher safe and it ranked slightly lower in performance. Additionally, while the long plastic handle was comfortable to hold, it wasn’t as easy to maneuver around. On the plus side, the wider brush head on the Char-Broil brush allowed us to clean a wider surface area at once, so it’s faster in use, but the slightly shorter handle meant that we couldn’t reach as far into the grill as we could with the OXO. This may not be an issue if you have a more shallow grill, but if your grill is deep, the longer handled-OXO might be better.  

With a little effort, this brush cleaned everything we threw at it, though it had a harder time attacking gunk stuck onto the side of the grates. Because the cut-out in the metal scraper is smaller than that of the OXO, it didn’t reach down as far into the grates. Additionally, the bristles on this brush are shorter, less flexible, and less densely packed than on the OXO, so it required more effort to get the grill clean on the whole. 

However, when using the metal grill scraper, we found the scraping noise far more pleasant than the OXO, which made working with it more manageable. If your grill has a sensitive surface like porcelain grates, and you plan to rely heavily on your metal scraper, this may be the better option for the sake of your ears, and all things considered it’s great value for money. Just keep in mind that, unlike the OXO, this brush is not dishwasher safe, so you will need to make the effort to clean it down the line.

Best wood grill scraper

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5. Cuisinart BBQ Wood Grill Scraper

Best wood grill scraper

Specifications

Material: Wood
Dimensions: 4.75 x 2 x 18.1 inches
Metal scraper: N/A
Replaceable head: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Safe on sensitive grill surfaces
+
Tapered edges slide in between grates
+
Sustainable material — no bristles
+
One-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Large and clunky design
-
Less suited to thinly-spaced steel grates

While the Cuisinart BBQ Wood Grill Scraper is clunkier and more awkward to hold than the Easy Function Wood Grill Scraper (the other wooden scraper we tested), it did a much better job cleaning down between the grates. The grooves did not get deep enough to clean the sides of the grates effectively, but because both sides of the scraper are tapered, they easily slid in between the grates to reach places the Easy Function couldn’t. 

Overall, this wooden alternative did a pretty good job cleaning up after burgers, cheese, and tomatoes, but didn’t do quite as good of a job as the metal brushes. Also, know that it worked best if used immediately after grilling, when the grill was hot and before the food residue set in.  

However, if you’re set on getting a wooden scraper, or any type of bristle-free design, this is a good choice. It’s an attractive design that conforms to your grill grates and it poses zero risk of nylon or metal bristles breaking off into your food. It’s also made of sustainable materials and it’s safe on sensitive grill surfaces that can’t handle steel.

A handy feature of this wooden scraper is that it has not one, but two ways to be hung. The large handle doubles as an extra-large hanging loop, and it also has a faux-leather strap attached that allows it to be hung on smaller items, like a knob on the grill or a nail in the wall.

Made of natural beechwood, this scraper is designed for grated grills, particularly those with large, widely-spaced grates. When this wooden scraper is scraped over the hot grill, its scalloped edges take on the shape of the grill grates, which provides a more customized clean. However, because the pre-set grooves are widely spaced out, this scraper is not going to work well on some thinner grates, which may be spaced more narrowly than the pre-defined grooves. 

An additional problem this paddle-style scraper may encounter is  crossbars. Certainly, you could just lift it up and over to the other side of the crossbar, but this will likely get annoying and provide a less efficient clean.

Best versatile design

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

6. Easy Function Wood Grill Scraper

Most versatile design

Specifications

Material: Wood
Dimensions: 15 x 1 x 5 inches
Metal scraper: N/A
Replaceable head: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Safe on sensitive grill surfaces
+
Comfortable to use
+
Sustainable design — no bristles
+
Handy bottle opener on the back

Reasons to avoid

-
Less-effective at cleaning the sides of the grates
-
May be too short for some grills

We initially thought that Easy Function’s shorter, 15-inch handle would put this model at a disadvantage, but it was actually more comfortable to use than the somewhat awkward and clunky Cuisinart. It was easy to maneuver and its length didn’t create a problem for us during testing. However, its shorter handle may be a concern if your grill is extremely deep because reaching could become tricky, so stick to shorter grills with this one. 

Made from non-toxic, durable pine wood, this wooden scraper is recommended for porcelain and ceramic grills — it won’t lead to scratches the way metal designs might. Not only is it heat-resistant, but it improves with use as it gradually takes on the exact shape of your grill grates, just as the Cuisinart BBQ Wood Grill Scraper does. By scraping it along the hot grill, the heat burns divots into the wood to fit your grill over time.

Though we found this (and the other wooden scraper on the list) to be less effective than metal scrapers we tested, this paddle performed fairly well, particularly when used immediately after cooking. It tore through chunks of sticky tomato, crusty burger bits, and flaky fish skin, but it did require more time and physical effort compared to metal or foam brushes. While it did get hard-to-clean fish off the top and side of the grates, it struggled with residue in the corners of the grates. But, for a sustainable option with no bristles, this adequate performance might be a fair trade-off for some.

At twice the price of the Cuisinart BBQ Wood Grill Scraper, we don’t necessarily think such a dramatic price difference is justified, though it is much more comfortable to hold and maneuver. We love that it has a handy (and unexpected) bottle opener on the back of the paddle, but it didn’t outperform the Cuisinart in any particular category and certainly doesn’t function twice as effectively. So it really comes down to how much you value comfort in use.

The main drawback of this model is that because the sides aren’t tapered, it can’t squeeze in between the grates as well as the Cuisinart does. While the scraper takes the shape of the grill grates when you scrape it over the top, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can fit down into the sides of the grates, which is why a tapered side would improve this model. Also keep in mind that you may have to use it quite a few times before these divots form. One online review we spotted said they had to use it a dozen times before the divots were adequately burned in. 

Also, while this scraper does come with a tiny hole drilled into it through which you could thread a cord or old piece of leather to use as a hanger, we think it would benefit from an actual hanging loop. Had the hole been drilled a few millimeters wider, it could be hung directly from the hole, but because the hole is so small, we feel Easy Function should have included some sort of loop to hang it from instead of expecting customers to devise a solution. Having said that, this is a small bugbear. Ultimately, this wooden scraper makes the best grill brushes list because of its comfort, sustainability and useful bottle opener.

Best for flat top grills

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7. Grill Rescue Grill Brush with Scraper

Best for flat top grills

Specifications

Material: Kevlar and heat retardant foam
Dimensions: 16.7 x 5.2 x 3.2 inches
Metal scraper: Yes
Replaceable head: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
No bristles or coils
+
It’s gentle on any grill surface
+
Changeable heads
+
Comfortable, long handle
+
Washing machine and dishwasher-safe

Reasons to avoid

-
Can’t reach crevices under grates
-
Doesn’t come with instructions

Unlike other brushes we tested, which scrape away grime with wood, nylon or steel, the Grill Rescue Grill Brush with Scraper uses steam cleaning to get rid of gunk. Simply heat the grill to at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit (then turn off the burners), dunk the heat-resistant foam brush in water, then scrub the grill to wipe away buildup.

Overall, this brush did a great job cleaning up after burgers (both meat and veg), fish, and tomatoes. The handle is long and comfortable, and the Kevlar-wrapped foam cleaning pad is wide and ample, so you don’t have to exert too much effort to use it. However, because the foam pad is flat (unlike bristles, which vary in direction and angle), it wasn’t able to reach into the crevices of the individual grates. As such, some additional maneuvering was required. Despite this, there was still some stickiness between the grates that even the brush’s scraper couldn’t reach. This was only an issue for us when grilling fish, as the pad quickly mopped up burger and tomato bits off the top of the grill.

Thanks to this brush’s bristle-free design, it’s an excellent option for grillers who worry about stray bristles — be they metal or nylon — ending up in their food. It’s also a great option for flat top griddles because of its flat pad design, plus it’s suitable for delicate grill surfaces too.  

However, while we didn’t experience this issue during testing, we saw regular online complaints regarding the foam pad coming loose and not fitting snuggly with prolonged use. Some users also experienced the foam pad detaching during use, or leaving stray fibers on the grill, though we didn’t experience either.

We appreciate that the foam pad is durable and both dishwasher- and washing machine-safe. Note that it does take a while to dry since the foam is thick. Though we didn’t see any mildew growing, and we’re unsure if this could be a problem, we wound up throwing the pad on the picnic table and letting it dry in the hot sun. By the next morning, it was fully dry. The pad can also be hand washed with detergent and hot water, though this method takes longer, partly because it’s hard to get all the detergent out and partly because so much water is caught in the thick foam that it needs to be wrung out several times. When it eventually is time to replace it, you can also swap out the head instead of buying an entirely new brush, saving on landfill. 

This is also the most expensive grill brush we tested, costing three to four times as much as most other grill brushes. However, this may be your best option if you own a flat top grill or a high-end grill with pricey porcelain or ceramic grates. Also, given that you can swap out the foam pads, which cost one-third of the price of another brand-new brush, you may save money in the long run. The innovative design secures its position as one of the best grill brushes.

How we tested

To determine the best grill brushes, we grilled a variety of different foods and attempted to clean up the residue right away, as well as after a few days, to make things difficult. In the case of the two nylon brushes that were not heat-safe, testing was only conducted after the grill had cooled down.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In each case, we tested the grill brushes against cheeseburgers, flaky salmon fish (with the skin on), sliced tomatoes, and veggie burgers (both mainstream Beyond Burger meatless patties and also Simple Soyman, a tiny independent brand made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin). We tested how easily and effectively each grill brush removed food residue, considering how clean the grates were left, how long it took, and how much physical effort was required.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In addition to grill tests, we also gauged comfort, ease of use, and maneuverability. Essentially, we assessed whether the brushes were effortless to use. For instance, did it do its job intuitively, or did we have to maneuver it around awkwardly or position our bodies in an uncomfortable way to be able to reach and remove residues?

What to look for

When choosing the best grill brush for you and your family, a few things to consider are material, size, and durability. Of course, everyone wants a grill brush that is strong and durable, not just so it will last longer, but also because weak and flimsy bristles are more likely to fall off during use. Some home cooks have very different opinions about what the best material is. For instance, some swear by stainless steel, while others prefer nylon bristle brushes, which are also more likely to be dishwasher-safe. Here are some considerations to help with your decision.

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(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Material
In some cases, it’s purely a matter of personal preference when it comes to choosing between steel vs nylon vs foam vs wood. In other cases, the type of grill you have will determine what sort of grill brush is best suited. For instance, sensitive grill surfaces, such as those made of ceramic and porcelain, are more delicate than steel grates. While this doesn’t necessarily rule out all steel brushes, some very aggressive steel brushes could potentially scratch or chip these surfaces, so confirm the type of grill you have (and what sort of grates the brush is suitable for) before buying.

Heat sensitivity
Also, consider when you’d prefer to use your brush. Some grill brushes, such as those made from stainless steel or heat-retardant foam, can be used on hot grills, while nylon brushes can only be used on cool grills. For some backyard barbecuers, this may not matter, but for others, it’s a deal breaker. If you tend to prefer cleaning your grill before each use or between different types of foods when the grill is hot and smoky (say, between veggies and meat), then your best bet will be a heat-resistant brush. 

Long handle
In order to safely clean the far back corners of a grill while also keeping your hands a safe distance from the heat source, a long handle is essential. If your grill is on the smaller side, you may be able to get away with a more petite grill brush, but if your grill is large and in charge, you’ll want to look for brushes with extended handles. Also, keep in mind that while some grill brushes may be advertised as being a certain length, that may refer to the total length of the grill brush, including the handle and the head. If it’s important to you that the handle itself be extra-long, confirm its actual length before purchase.

Sturdy Bristles
Nobody wants bristles falling off in their food, be they metal, nylon or some other material, so it’s essential to buy a grill brush that has strong and sturdy bristles that will stay in place even with vigorous scrubbing. We had no issues with bristles falling out on any of the brushes tested, so we feel confident recommending them.

Budget
Finally, what’s your budget? While the best grill brushes won’t require taking out a home equity loan, they do have a wide price range, from about $7 - $70. If you use your grill infrequently or if you have a bargain-budget grill that doesn’t require high-end tools, then you may be okay with a cheaper option. But, if you have one of the best grills or will be cooking on a prized possession that you spent thousands of dollars on, then you’ll likely want to invest in higher-end grill brushes that are less likely to cause damage.

Brass or nylon grill brush: which is better?

Typically, the nylon grill brush has softer bristles than the brass or stainless steel brushes, but last longer. As a result, nylon won't scratch the surfaces, to help maintain your grill, and keep it looking good. 

Steel brushes on the other hand are suitable for tougher grills, such as stainless steel. This can also cut down on your cleaning time, should you want to frequently use your grill. 

Are wire grill brushes safe?

In recent years, there have been reports that wire grill brushes can pose a safety risk if used incorrectly. If your wire grill brush features individual bristles, these can become loose over time in eventually fall out. If these bristles get stuck on the grates of your grill, they could end up in your food and eventually your stomach, where they can cause serious health issues. If you do opt for a wire bristled brush, be sure to inspect it regularly and wipe down your grill with a cloth after scrubbing. This should dislodge any wires that may have ended up on your grates.

If you'd rather avoid this risk altogether, we recommend opting for a coil brush. These can still feature wire, but it's in one long coil as opposed to individual bristles. This option will ensure that no loose bristles end up in your grill. Alternatively, using a wooden or natural brush that will burn away from your grill if any bristles end up on your grates is a safer option. 

Cassandra Brooklyn
Freelance writer

Cassandra is a freelance journalist, content marketing writer, and guidebook author. She specializes in travel, sustainability, accessibility, wellness, and the outdoors. Her SEO-driven features and blog posts rank well in search and are frequently shared by high-level profiles. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Forbes, TIME, The Daily Beast, Sierra Club, WIRED UK, Digital Trends, Ars Technica, AAA, Lonely Planet, Fodor's, Travel + Leisure, Matador Network, Shondaland, Moon Travel Guides, Roadtrippers, and Reader's Digest, among others. She is also the author of Cuba by Bike, a cycling guidebook that premiered as #1 on Amazon.