One common problem when buying a barbecue grill brush is whether it will scratch your cooking grid. The last thing you want is to scrape the grates of your pricey Weber grill. Fortunately, with just a bit of research it is really simple to make sure you buy the best grill brush for your BBQ.
How fragile you grate is, and how prone it may be to damage and scratching, is based upon the material the grate is made from. The most sturdy material that is often used is stainless steel. These grates are really strong and resistant to rust and corrosion. Porcelain coated grill grates, on the other hand, are much more fragile. The porcelain coat is relatively brittle and can chip and split. No only does this decrease the non stick capability of the grate, it also exposes the metal underneath the enamel to moisture. Cast iron grill grates are really tough, but have to be kept oiled to stop rusting.
The majority of brushes are completely safe for use with the majority of grills, but there is one notable exception. NEVER EVER use a scraper on porcelain coated grill grates! That is a sure fire way to chip the porcelain enamel. Other than that, most brushes are fine with most grates.
The 2 most common materials used to make the bristles for BBQ brushes are brass and stainless steel. Brass is softer, so less likely to scrape the grates, but this softness also means the bristles become flattened much more quickly. As a result, brass brushes have to be replaced often. Stainless steel grill brushes are far more long lasting, because of their stiffer bristles. However, this extra stiffness means that they can in some cases scrape the grate. This is why people often suggest using brass brushes for porcelain enamel coated grill grates.
So which sort of brush should you buy to clean your porcelain enamel coated grill grate?
My recommendation is to choose a stainless steel grill brush with bristles thin enough not to cause damage. The usual belief that you can only use brass bristled brushes for porcelain enamel coated grates is not actually true. Lots of stainless steel brushes are completely safe to use. Considering that they will last much longer than brass brushes, my recommendation is to opt for one of these. That's way, you get a grill brush that will not only safely clean your BBQ, but will also last a long time. To get even more life out your brush, only use it when the grate is hot. This will make it easy to clean, enabling you to use less pressure, which ultimately means that your bristles will remain in excellent condition much longer.