1,700. That’s the number of emergency room visits by people who got the bristles of a wire grill brush stuck in their tongues, throat, intestines or colon. YES. Colon.
1,700 people from 2002 to 2014. And yes again. It could easily, EASILY happen to you. The problem with wire grill scrapers is eventually some of those bristles that are great for scraping gunk off of your BBQ break off. They stick to your grill, you throw your hamburger on it, it sticks to your burger and then you eat it.
And about a day later you end up in the emergency room with a doctor who looks nothing like George Clooney telling you to put a hospital gown on, you need surgery … which may or may not work.
So there’s that.
I am here to today to tell you …
So how are you going to clean your grill? Well you have a few options. Some people use an onion on a long fork and claim it works as long as your grill is really, really hot.
I’ve resorted to not even cleaning my grill and just cooking my food on a new, undirty part of the grill every time I BBQ.
I ran out of clean spots last week.
As luck would have it I also came across a brilliant invention at Costco last week that solves everything.
It’s The Great Scrape. It’s a long wood paddle that you rub over your grill grates. The heat from your grates burns their shape into the paddle, giving you a grill scraper that’s completely formed to your BBQ grill.
And I’m going to show you how. First here’s a look at the scraper I made from all angles before the grate grooves have been formed in it.
1 foot length of 6×1″ Oak. (you can get oak boards by the foot at any lumber store) They cost around $5 per foot.
Drill and bit
40 grit and 120 grit belt sander paper
Strip of leather or cord
Total Time – 1 hour if using a belt sander, less if you’re using an electric planer, more if you’re using a palm sander. All these tools will work. I used a belt sander so those are the instructions I’m going to give you.
- Lay your 12″ piece of oak flat on a table and with measure and mark 2″ from one end of the wood.
From the 2 inch point down, is where you are going to be sanding away the material until it forms a thin point. Draw a guide on the side of your wood.
After sanding, all that will remain is the point in the centre.
2. Clamp your belt sander with the 40 grit paper on it SECURELY into a vice.
3. Turn the sander on. If it’s the type you have to keep your finger on the button for it to run, hold the power button down with a hand clamp.
4. Gradually sand down one side of the oak. This will take 10 – 20 minutes depending on your sander and sand paper.
5. Do the other side. Make sure you have a nice, sharp, thin edge on the end.
6. Using the rolled end of the belt sander, sand a groove into the top of the wood to act as a handle for your fingers. This is optional.
6. Change to 120 grit sand paper and smooth out all of the wood including rounding out the edges.
7. Drill a hole into the top and run your string or leather through for hanging your scraper.
8. If you want to get fancy like me, stamp your initial into the handle of the wood with a leather stamp.
8. Wipe with mineral oil.
To prepare your scraper for its scraping duties, turn your grill onto high so the grates are nice and hot. Then run your scraper slowly back and forth with firm pressure on the grates. The grooves with start to char and form slowly but surely.
The more you use the scraper the deeper the grooves will get. Thicker grates take longer to form grooves than thinner ones.
I didn’t want to wait for 150 BBQing sessions before I got nice deep grooves, so once I had the beginnings of my grooves from the hot grill, I used a round file to speed up the process a bit. Then I rubbed the scraper across the grill again.
You can also use the tool for cleaning out the inside of the grates by turning it sideways.
Can’t be bothered? I get that. Just buy one.
Whether you buy it or make one this makes a GREAT host/hostess gift for someone who invites you over for a BBQ. If they happen to have cleaned their grill with a wire brush you might want to discreetly scream at the top of your lungs …
Just a discrete, raving, screaming you understand. You don’t want to be considered an ungrateful guest. Also leave the BBQ with your entire family chanting, YOU’RE TRYING TO KILL US, YOU’RE TRYING TO KILL US, while throwing your hostess gift and the link to this blog post over your shoulder in their general direction.
You can leave it outside because it’s such a hard wood and it’s treated with mineral oil, but I bring mine inside when I’m not using it.
Just doing my part to keep you from becoming #1,701.