I love grilling year round regardless of the weather and because of this I’m always looking for ways to improve my techniques and tools concerning the art of cooking meat with fire. One of the things that I’m famous for within my family is what I’ve come to call Ryan’s Internet Ribs; a mash-up of four different recipes for ribs that I found on the Internet. I have no shame and I’m willing to let the best ideas win regardless of whose they are. I figure I’m still only around level 6 on the grilling skill-tree (you don’t get invited onto the Food Network shows until you’ve hit at least 12th level).
The folks at Grill Daddy reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in checking out their grilling tools, specifically the steam-powered grill cleaning brush called the Grill Daddy Pro. Being a grilling geek I didn’t want to pass up the chance to see if their claims of eliminating the annoyance of constant grill scrubbing were true.
I have a Weber gas grill with the ceramic coated grates and they are far from maintenance-free. Like all grills they get a lot of build-up in the form of grease and the black crusty remnants of my previous grilling session that I do my best to scrape off with a wire brush.
The Grill Daddy Pro is a funky looking ergonomic cleaning tool primarily made of plastic and a metal head and brush. The whole trick with the cleaning brush is that you fill up the water reservoir by unscrewing a cap on the handle and there is a small valve near the head of the brush. You heat your grill up nice and hot (or it’s still hot from cooking your food) and by turning the valve a slow trickle of water super heats into steam. Steam is the same thing professional kitchens around the world use to get rid of grease build-up (and it works a lot better than harsh chemicals). So in theory this was going to work pretty well, right? Well, I put it to the test and decided to clean my nasty neglected meat-cooking-machine by preheating the grill and filling the Grill Daddy up with water.
The task before me was going to be rather heroic. It had been over a month since my last grilling session because I ran out of propane right after I took the chicken off the grill and I couldn’t bake off the crispy leftovers. So this was going to be a challenge. I hooked up the new LP tank and turned things up to 450 degrees and let it get nice and hot before putting brush to grate.
I was amazed with how much build-up was on my ceramic grate. The steam really did a wonderful job of peeling back the layers and getting me at the clean ceramic powder coated steel underneath. The only thing that this brush couldn’t do was do much to restore the rusted top rack on my grill. All of the build-up was removed but the rust underneath was a result of going an entire spring and summer without a grill cover (always keep your grill covered when not in use!).
The clean-up took more than the several minutes for this major cleaning. I went through two refills worth of water before I had things totally clean. The subsequent cleanings have gone much faster now that I don’t have carbon build-up coating every surface. The days of turning the grill on high after taking the meat off the grate in order to turn it into ash are over.
The product works as advertised and I’ve been able to get over my initial impressions that it was a cheap plastic gimmick. The power of steam really does a great job and it’s clearly no gimmick even if it still is made of a light-weight plastic. Part of me associates specific materials with grilling tools like heavy steal and wood handles. The manufacturers claim it’s completely dishwasher safe and as long as you’re letting the steam do most of the cleaning you won’t need to apply He-Man levels of strength when scrubbing; the power of Grayskull would likely snap the Grill Daddy in half or cause there to be cracks along its seams (it’s hollow so it can be filled with water, remember?). I’ve recommended this product for friends so it’s safe for me to say I’d recommend it to fellow grilling GeekDads out there.