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Found and cleaned up wire bristles - still danger?

dsc106

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Joined Jul 21, 2021
I have an apparently too old wire grill brush, cleaned the grates of my MB560 gravity late the other night and couldn’t see well. This morning, saw multiple wire bristles on the grates and metal lip of the smoker.

I tossed the brush, and pulled the grates off. Removed all visible bristles I could see by hand and with paper towels, a handful on the grates and a bunch off the grates on the front lip of the frame.

Heated things up good. Tossed my pork shoulder in, and it’s going.

However this had me spooked a bit reading on wire bristles danger. I *think* I got all the visible ones - grates looked clear when I put the meat on. But did I clean this well enough? I’m assuming more bristles fell down lower into the chamber if I saw that many on the grates and frame. Could the convection of the smoker blow any stragglers up onto the food?

Should I have perhaps used a magnet to pull up potential bristle pieces, or liquid to rinse the grates rather than just a visible removal and dry towel wipe down?

How concerned should I be?
 
Last edited:

Colin1230

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I seriously doubt convection would bring any bristles up and onto your food. But, like you, I would be concerned. A thorough cleaning in the near future is in order.
 

kilo charlie

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Most of the metal brushes that i have seen are brass bristles so a magnet would not have helped you. Throwing out the brush and cleaning up what you saw is the right thing to do. You could have possibly run a lemon cut in half over the grates or something which helps clean them but would possibly catch any strays that you didn't see. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about any blowing onto the food.. it would have to be a pretty strong breeze for any to be floating around.

Good catch and a great reminder to not use wire brushes to clean your grates!
 

cansmoke

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Joined Jul 21, 2012
I have an apparently too old wire grill brush, cleaned the grates of my MB560 gravity late the other night and couldn’t see well. This morning, saw multiple wire bristles on the grates and metal lip of the smoker.

I tossed the brush, and pulled the grates off. Removed all visible bristles I could see by hand and with paper towels, a handful on the grates and a bunch off the grates on the front lip of the frame.

Heated things up good. Tossed my pork shoulder in, and it’s going.

However this had me spooked a bit reading on wire bristles danger. I *think* I got all the visible ones - grates looked clear when I put the meat on. But did I clean this well enough? I’m assuming more bristles fell down lower into the chamber if I saw that many on the grates and frame. Could the convection of the smoker blow any stragglers up onto the food?

Should I have perhaps used a magnet to pull up potential bristle pieces, or liquid to rinse the grates rather than just a visible removal and dry towel wipe down?

How concerned should I be?
I use wire brushes to clean the grates after cooking. The grates come in to the be cleaned off using a grill cleaner which gets rid of wire bristles. Even a good rinse with hot water after cleaning with wire bristles should get rid of any loose bristles.
 

smokerjim

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I remember reading a story a few years ago about the bristles being eaten and poking through the intestines, I immediately threw mine away, now I use a little ball of tinfoil to knock off the heavy stuff then some paper towel and oil for the rest. You'll be fine though if you cleaned them from your grates.
 

dsc106

Newbie
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Joined Jul 21, 2021
Thanks for the input everyone. And I think this is clear from everyone's reply, but just to clarify - I should be all good for this cook, even though I didn't use any water/oil/liquid to clean - so long as I got just the visible bristles off the grate itself? It unfortunately wasn't a thorough clean of the grates, just a quick once over and removal of the visible stuff on the grate only. The concern was that visible bristles might indicate additional pieces of wire present that the naked eye may not be able to see, or that bristles elsewhere in the grill (not on grates) could wind up being a problem. What I'm hearing is as long as I got the pieces I could see on the grates off, shouldn't be an issue, but going forward I should do a thorough clean.

In any case, using a wire brush doesn't seem worth the risk... any recommendations for your favorite non wire bristle cleaning tools??
 

kilo charlie

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Most of the non wire ones are nylon bristles and made to clean the grates when they are cold.. otherwise they will melt.

Many tricks out there from using balled up tinfoil to lemons cut in half to dish towels and some high temp oil like grapeseed. Don't use olive oil on grill grates though.
 

Chasdev

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Jan 18, 2020
Answer is simple, pull the under tray and hit the cook chamber with the hose, then hit the tray with the hose.
That same hose would work on the grates too.
I use a wire bristle brush but I got the kind that does not shed wires.
"Best" is the brand name.
Copy and paste into Amazon, I can't get the page to load here.

BEST BBQ Grill Brush Stainless Steel 18" Barbecue Cleaning Brush w/Wire Bristles & Soft Comfortable Handle - Perfect Cleaner & Scraper for Grill Cooking Grates
 

Colin1230

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I use the Weber 18" Three Sided Grill Brush and have never had a problem of bristles shedding. But, I get a new one every spring rather I need it or not.
 

SmokinAl

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I use a s/s brush & have never has a problem with bristles on the grates. I think I would use a gas blower to just blow anything & everything out of the smoker, & clean the grates with soap & water.
Al
 

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