How to clean the grill grate without a brush

Just before we get stuck into how to clean the grill grate without a brush I should probably tell you why we don’t use a brush. Most BBQ brands supply grill brushes to clean a grill grate however I don’t think you will find a BBQ enthusiast that recommends cleaning it with said brushes.

Why nobody recommends using brushes to clean a grill grate

Metal brushes have tiny wire-like strands that scrape the grill grate of all the food remnants, which is fine they clean the grill it works. However, these brush hairs tend to break and cling on the grill grate, see where I’m going with this?

You think the grill is lovely and clean, fire up the BBQ slap a piece of meat on it, the bristles from the brush get stuck in the meat. You eat the meat and end up at the hospital having them removed.

Don’t believe this happens? See the article Webmd has on it.

Believe me now?

Why do BBQ brands still sell brushes then?

Well, who knows. I think the reason is, the bristles only break off when you’re not careful. You can still use a brush safely but you need to thoroughly inspect the grate after and wipe with a damp towel to ensure all the bristles are removed from the grill grate before using it again.

How to clean the grill grate without a brush, the different methods

A couple of different easy methods on how to clean the grill grate are below. I do want to point out please do not put the grill grate in the dishwasher. It will clean it however it isn’t great for the longevity of the product. It will also need to go through a thorough re-season afterward.

How to clean the grill grate with tinfoil

This is by far the easiest and best method. I use this one myself more than any other. It involves scrunching up a piece of tinfoil into a ball and rubbing the grill grate with it.

This method requires a bit of elbow grease to get hard-baked food off the grill grate, but it works extremely well. You can also get into all the nooks and crannies of the grate with ease by scrunching another piece of tin foil to size.

How to clean a grill grate using a Scraper tool

There are scraper tools on the market with cut outs for different-sized grill grates. This is also an extremely easy way of scraping the grate to remove any remains from it.

The old only downside to the method is it’s quite difficult to get into the corners and certain parts of the grill grate with a scraper tool. You find you still need to use tinfoil to get to these hard-to-reach places.

How to clean the grill grate with cleaning products?

There are plenty of really good cleaning products to assist you without damaging the grill. I strongly recommend those suited specifically to BBQ’s for example the Weber brand does a huge amount of cleaning solutions in spray bottles.

Coating the grills with the type of cleaning products specifically designed ensure you aren’t damaging the grill grate surface, by using harsh chemicals that aren’t fit for this purpose.

Spray the chemical onto the surface of the grill grate and clean off with tinfoil/scraper tool.

Re-season after cleaning

It’s not always necessary to complete a full re-season after each clean of the grill grate. It is very good practice to apply a small coating of cooking oil after cleaning to help protect the surface.

If the BBQ is still warm or has lit coals after I’ve cleaned the grate I will always open the vents get it hot again and re-season, there is not much effort involved and really doesn’t take much time.


There is nothing worse than coming to use your BBQ and the grill grate is covered in food remains from the last grill. It is extremely easy to maintain a grill grate ready for use next time straight after use, normally the BBQ will still be warm which makes cleaning a lot easier.

For good BBQ maintenance always clean your grill grate after a BBQ session. If you leave a BBQ for any length of time (I’m talking a few weeks) without cleaning, mold will develop and consume the inside of your BBQ. Fire and a deep clean will destroy the mold but it’s not pretty.

Hopefully, with this article, you should understand how to clean the grill grate correctly.