To Bristle or Not to Bristle: What Brush Should You Choose?

Big Boy Ms. Clean Grill Brush

You've just gotten your new barbecue (or maybe you're tending to ol' reliable), and you're in the market for a new brush. We get it, there're tons of questions that you have:

  • Are bristles safe?
  • Do the type of grills dictate what type of brush to use?
  • What are the benefits of palmyra bristles?
  • Do synthetic bristles or bristle free options really work?

Lucky for you, we're here to answer your questions and put your worries to rest. 

Starting with our first section, "Bristle brushes, are they safe?"

You would have no idea how many times we get asked in a day, "Do I have to worry about this brush when I use it?" In short - NO!  At least, not for awhile.

Bristle brushes are arguably the best and most effective option for cleaning, removing debris, and getting food gunk off those grill grids. However, they aren't meant to last a life time. We recommend replacing your bristle brush once every six months to once a year (depends if you only barbecue in the summer or for then entire year) to ensure the bristles are safely secured to the brush. Anything over that, and you should start paying attention to any potential loose bristles. You wouldn't use your toothbrush until it starts falling apart, so why would a barbecue brush be any different?

If you're still concerned about the safety of bristle brushes, we HIGHLY recommend the new Broil King Bristle Brush. This brush is the first CSA (Canadian Safety Association) approved bristle brush that comes with it's very own set of safety standards. 

Broil King Bristle Brush | Barbecues Galore

Click Here for our entire lineup of bristle brushes.


Secondly, "Does the type of brush I need change whether I have stainless steel or cast iron grills?"

In the old days, you may have heard that you need to use either a soft brass brush, a synthetic brush, or a scrubbing pad on porous cast iron grids. Our verdict? While brass or softer bristles may be "better," a stainless steel bristle brush will still work wonders for your cast iron.

Just don't scrape too hard. Remember, cast iron grids are best when they're seasoned with oil. This can sometimes come from the grease and food gunk, which will keep your grills well oiled. Brushing too hard can chip away that coating, leaving you at a higher risk of rust forming on your cast iron. Not only that, but sometimes dirtier grills give you that classic charred and greasy flavor (this is not gross, we promise).

If you have stainless steel grills - grab whatever brush makes you happiest. Your grills are too hard and non porous to be affected by any grill brush material.

 Broil King Ice Brush | Barbecues Galore

Third, "What are the benefits of palmyra bristles?"

You may have heard of palmyra bushes before. For some time, there was a fear of steel bristles being consumed if they were to fall off into your food while cleaning a grill. Although this is unlikely to happen with your brush (remember, brushes get ware and tear like any other product and need to be replaced approximately every six months to once a year), the palmyra bristle brushes were created to be a great natural alternative to steel bristles. 

A great benefit of palmyra bristles are that they are made of palm trees. Since they are made out of wood, any bristles that happen to fall off onto your grill will likely burn to nothing before it gets in your food. However, if it does get in your food, the wood bristles are much softer than metal ones, so you don't have to worry about getting poked by any steel bristles. 

The softer bristles will also help ensure your don't scratch up your grills when you have to apply some pressure to get the tough burnt gunk off you grills. 

Another great feature of palmyra bristles is that they will absorb a small amount of oil. This is beneficial for your hot cast iron grids because you'll be slightly seasoning your grills as you clean them. 

Click here to checkout out this fan favorite palmyra brush from our Big Boy collection, the Hat Trick

best palmyra brush


One thing to keep in mind is that, as palmyra is made of wood, it can only withstand heat up to 449°F (232°C)


Lastly, "Do synthetic bristles or bristle-free brush options work?"

Brander "The Threesome" Grill Brush

Our verdict? Absolutely! Bristle-free and synthetic bristle brushes work great. If you're using a synthetic bristle brush, you may just need to put in a little more "umph" to get the same cleaning results. A bristle-free option, such as a wooden brush, will need to be moulded to your grill grates before it does the best it can, so be patient with it.

Some of our favourite options in this category are The Brander "Threesome" (Appropriately named, as you'll soon find out), and The Brander "Barbecue Blade."


To check out our bristle free brushes, Click Here.

Still have questions about bristle or bristle-free grill brushes? Not to worry. You can stop by or call any of our 5 locations across Canada. We have two in Alberta, with our Calgary North and Calgary South stores. We also have three across the GTA in Ontario with our Burlington, Oakville & Etobicoke stores. You can also ask your question in our Online Chat for an expert to help you out.


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