BBQ Brushes and Scrapers and Mops
Our yellow brick road leads to bbq brushes. We won’t let the wicked witch of the west and her little flying monkeys get in your way.
Surprisingly there are lots of different types of BBQ brushes and scrapers. Here we’ll offer up info - what they’re for, how to use ‘em and where to buy them.
Grill Cleaning with a Brush
We don’t like burnt food particles from Tuesday night’s BBQ on our Friday night hamburger. It’s important to clean the food grate (or grid) because of germs (and what-not) and it helps to keep food from sticking.
One of our favorite grill brushes (a must-have) is shaped like a ‘T’. It has a skinny handle about 18” long with a portion of the handle being hard plastic or wood (plastic seems to last longer). The head is about 4” across and has stiff wire bristles. The bristles get between the grates easily and the price is right. Look for brass bristles for rust resistance.
Length is important because we clean the grate while the grill is getting hot. A long-handled grill cleaning brush will keep from burning the hair on your arms and cooking your fingers. It also helps to keep clothes clean - though we still suggest a BBQ apron.
There are a variety of brushes to clean the grill - different sizes, shapes, lengths and materials. Go with what you think will work best with your grate size and what feels comfortable.
No budget for a brush or left it at home?
Brush the grate with aluminum foil that’s been crunched up in a ball.
We do this only when the grill is cold…we don’t like burnt fingers!
Scrapers are used to get the really tough stuck-on grime off the food grid/grate. Some are attached to the BBQ brushes that are used for cleaning and some are a tool all on their own.
MORE ON SCRAPERS LATER
To keep food moist and add flavor while grilling we use a BBQ basting brush. They are a lot like a paint brush-some people use a natural bristle paint brush right out of the hardware section!
It’s easy to baste. We put a bit of our favorite glaze, sauce or marinade in a bowl and with a dip of the brush we simply ‘paint’ the meat or veggies. We try to keep the sauce even on the meat and the brush helps to control the amount of sauce that we use.
When choosing a basting brush for grilling we go for length - 12” or longer - so we won’t get burnt. The bristles should extend about 2 ½ - 3 inches from the handle and be somewhat pliable.
We like our high-heat resistant silicone brush. It doesn’t melt, shed, fray, stain, retain odors, or lose its shape. Cleaning is a breeze because it goes right in the dishwasher. A heat-resistant brush is not fire-proof…don’t leave the brush directly on the hot surface or in the flames for very long (unless you want to get a new one…hmmm).
The typical wooden handled grill brush with natural or plastic bristles work fine and are at a low cost. Sometimes they shed or melt and since they can’t go into the dishwasher for a good sanitizing we can’t keep them as clean as we’d like. We’ve found that they don’t last as long as silicone – you’ll have to replace them more often.
There are lots of choices of BBQ brushes. Choose one (or two) that are easy to use and to clean.
This category is fun because not that many people have heard of this type of mop…a while back we honestly didn’t know too much about ‘mops’ ourselves (you should see our floors). We’re glad we learned.
Just like the mop that the janitor mopped the floor with at school…white yarn-like cotton head on a pole…just smaller. Sometimes a BBQ Mop is called a Texas Sop Mop or a Basting Mop.
There is some discrepancy about how to use BBQ mops. Some books and sites indicate to use the BBQ sauce mop for thicker sauces that are applied in the last few minutes of grilling…
But we prepare a watered down version of the thicker sauce and put it in a bowl (you can use a mini basting bucket that comes with some mops). We simply dip the mop in the bowl, the applicator sops up the sauce and we apply it directly to both sides of the meat throughout the entire grilling process. Applying the watered down version helps to flavor the meat and keep the meat moist. The water also helps to keep flame down when flare ups start from grease.
Again, we go for length – 15” long. We also like the cotton basting mops with removable heads because clean up is easy and thorough. They are inexpensive…normally between $3 and $10…you truly don’t need anything fancy.
It's easy to find a variety of BBQ Brushes at local hardware stores, Lowe's, Home Depot, and even grocery stores.
Grilling-Made-Easy will be offering them soon.
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