9 grilling products put to the stickiest test at a Parma barbecue smokehouse

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleaning up and maintaining your grill can be a real pain, and in some cases dangerous, as we showed you in Dan DeRoos's story last season about people accidentally ingesting the wire bristles from traditional grill brushes.

After this hazard was exposed, avid grillers and manufacturers went to work developing safe ways to keep your grill clean.

The 750 pound smoker at Barabicu Smokehouse in Parma gets a lot of use and abuse.

"When we're about 30 minutes away from finishing the ribs we hit it with the glaze and the sugar as you can see, that's caked on," said Owner Danny Cassano.

He has to wash it out after every cook, with a hose and grill brushes. That job that usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. So he was more than willing to try out nine grill cleaning gadgets that promise to safely and effectively clean his pride and joy.

The Grill Daddy, with bristle-lock technology for safety, promises to use steam to rid the racks of caked on gunk. Cassano was pleased with the results, but didn't see the steam form as his smoker wasn't very hot.

"I'm not really putting any pressure. I'm putting barely any force on it," Cassano also called the Grill Stone a 'good product' after trying it out.

"I like it. Once it gets worn down, it sticks in those grooves so it actually makes it easier," he said.

The Woody Shovel, a bristle-free wooden paddle, also got a test drive. The idea is to create the grooves yourself with a hot grill.

"It's great for this caked on sugar. But as far as getting them shiny and in between, not going to happen with this guy," Cassano said.

We had similar results with another paddle, the Safe Scrape.

"It's not wrapping around and hugging them like that lava stone did or I think a brush would. But for getting heavy stuff up, this one's great too," Cassano

When he picked up the Kona Grill Brush and Scraper, he knew he'd like the results.

"Wow that's taking it off really well," he said.

Cassano liked this one for the shape of the bristles, also woven in for safety. They seemed to wrap around the grill for a more complete clean.

"This thing is amazing. I want one of these," he said.

The Grate Valley brush's dual head looks like it should get those hard to reach places. But it kept catching on the smoker rack's reinforcement bars.

"It does an OK job. It's kind of awkward. But the good thing about it, these don't seem to wear down at all ," Cassano said.

Another bristled brush we tried was from Weber, which Cassano hoped would form around the grill. It was effective but a little harder to use.

The Grill Floss also seemed promising, but didn't really deliver.

It too, got caught up on the grill's reinforcement bars that are on nearly every backyard grill.

"It works but it's pretty tedious. You'll spend hours and hours," Cassano said.

The Kona Safe Clean Brush is shaped like the Grate Valley one but oriented in a more user-friendly way.

"it's more natural to use it and it seems like it's not bogging itself down on these reinforcement bars. It doesn't get in as well as the other Kona model," he said.

So, how do these nine products stack up?

1. Kona Grill Brush and Scraper
2. Grill Stone
3. Kona Safe Clean Brush
4. Grill Daddy
5. Weber Bamboo Brush
6. Grate Valley Brush
7. Grill Floss
8. (tie) Safe Scrape and the Woody Shovel

The clear winner was the Kona Brush with the Floss feature, scraper and long bristles.

"It contours. These bristles are sturdy but flexible. and they don't seem to get destroyed."

These safe cleaning options range in price from $15 to $26 each.

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