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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 07-24-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
zubby01
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Join Date: 06-20-14
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Default Wire brush warning

Just an FYI for all of you out there.

My friend was grilling some chicken the other day and his son started choking while eating. He had to go to the ER and have surgery. Kinda scary.

One of the wire bristles off the grill brush that he used to clean the grill made its way into one of the pieces of chicken. The wire got lodged in his son's throat and they had to cut it out.

This also happened to me at a restaurant. I was eating some shrimp and thought I got some of the shell lodged in the back of my throat. I pulled out a wire bristle.

What are some alternatives you all use to clean your grill? I know my brushes get flimsy quickly and am rethinking using them. I wipe off the grate w/ a paper towel after using the brush but am leery now.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:27 PM   #2
BeastMode
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I used to use wire brushes. I now have been using easy off and hosing down. Any stubborn baked on food or grease I use a handheld wallpaper scrapper with the blade on one end and roller on the other end for a smooth glide. I still always aggressively hose down both sides.

I'll definitely pass the word to those I know who use wire brushes and especially the old worn out bristles.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:24 AM   #3
sunrise
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Absolutely agree. I have caught the wires on my grills/smokers before they have gotten into the food (I hope) I went to using a commercial brush/scraper from RD, they are expensive, but have really heavy bristles and dont brake off. I also found that a spray bottle of water while the grill is still hot works very well. Let the steam from the water clean, scrap at the same time, works pretty good.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:28 PM   #4
loco_engr
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I like the Billy Bar:

http://amazingribs.com/BBQ_buyers_gu..._cleaning.html

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Old 07-27-2014, 08:37 PM   #5
Piggysquealers
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Thanks for the heads up
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:25 PM   #6
rumproastiltskin
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Thanks for posting. That's something I've never even though about. And thanks loco_engr for posting the link - billy bar + block of oak = peace of mind.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:45 PM   #7
bawb
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that is scary glad his son is ok
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:54 PM   #8
grantw
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Crumpled up tin foil, even if it did end up inside you its not as sharp as steel brushes
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:28 PM   #9
gtr
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This seems to be coming up a lot more lately. I got rid of my brushes a little while ago and have been using a few different things like wadded up foil, grill bricks (with a wet rag after that), and today I just got one of those pro type deals with the really stiff wires and butcher block handle. It was pricey, but I'm all about eliminating unnecessary risks to zero, especially when there is really nothing to gain from sticking with cheaper grill brushes.

I've heard too many bad stories, some of them first hand accounts on this site, to dismiss this.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:40 AM   #10
Yambor44
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So with the pro type brushes, is there absolutely no way the wire will break off?
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:08 AM   #11
gtr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yambor44 View Post
So with the pro type brushes, is there absolutely no way the wire will break off?
If I'm not mistaken it looks like the bristles aren't glued in - it's like a long bristle doubled over so both ends of the bristle come in contact with the surface to be cleaned. The one I got kind of looks like this:



I haven't used it yet as I just got it - it may be overkill for smaller grates like Webers, but it seems like it'd be good for getting a deep clean on expanded metal grates for bigger cookers. It was $24, which is a lot, but I think it'll be around for a very long time and probably end up costing less than using multiple cheaper brushes over the long run

Someone in another thread recommended grill bricks. I got one and it worked really well - it does wear down quickly, but they're only a couple/few bucks each and they really get the job done. I go behind them with either a damp or oily rag in case any grit from the brick is left behind.



Wadded up foil will get a lot of the stuff off a grate, but these bricks are good for getting the stuff that foil doesn't, esp. if you're cooking something with a sugary sauce or teriyaki or something like that.

I would guess that a lot of the better quality grill brushes are probably fine and won't shed, but when it comes to feeding other people and the risk of a small piece of metal getting into someone's system, "probably" doesn't do it for me, especially, as I've mentioned, there's really no loss in using something else.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:06 AM   #12
Sammy_Shuford
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A good source said to get a welder's brush. ??
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:16 AM   #13
Bperkins01
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I started using the welders brushes.. the bristles are very very heavy and it would be much more difficult to not notice one of them.. it would be like chewing a hard fish bone.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:20 AM   #14
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I use a welding brush also
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:23 AM   #15
SmokerKing
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I've been using high quality welding brushes for over 30 years to clean my grill grates.

Beware of some of the Harbor Freight and Home Depot brushes. I've had the bristle wires come off of them.
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