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Grilling Product Reviews – Charboss Grill Scraper

Grilling Product Reviews: Charboss – Bristle Free Nirvana?

Is the Charboss Grill Cleaning Tool an effective evolution to those dangerous bristle brushes? On a consistent basis the team here at GrillJunkie™ sets time aside to communicate our formal rating on either a Grilling, BBQ or Burger related product. We do this via our Grilling Product Reviews process. As you certainly can imagine these products run the gamut from: Gotta Have It!CoolUsefulUtilitarianRidiculous and the, well, Just Plain Asinine! The spectrum of grilling related products is wide.

Today’s Grilling Product Reviews candidate:

Charboss BBQ Grill Scraper – $19.95

charboss product review, grilling product reviews, GrillJunkie

 

The GrillJunkie™ Grilling Product Reviews (GPR) Scale

Based on our extensive field research, the GrillJunkie Product Review team assigns a formal rating to every product that we test. This rating is based on a 1-5 Firepot structure depicted through our Grilling Product Review (GPR) scale as illustrated below. The number of Firepots given to the grilling product indicates its final rating. The higher the number of Firepots, the more positive the review.  

GrillJunkie Grilling Product Review GPR Firepot key with logo

  GrillJunkie GPR Four FirePot ratingQuick Product Reviews Rating: For the more impatient reader who needs to get the rating right away, we gave the Charboss Grill Scraping Tool a 4.3 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product.

The Charboss solidly addresses and solves a very charboss, grilling product reviewsserious safety problem with bristle-based grill brushes, while evolving the simple hardwood scraper design via a patent-pending cleaning guide tooth, a grill grate lifter and built-in bottle opener. Combined with an attractive, well balanced and easy to use design and you’re looking at a sustainable, bristle-free, highly effective and customizable grill cleaning tool.

For more detail on this Product Review, including The 7 Different Types of Grill Surfaces and Cleaning Tools as well as the many upcoming Grilling Product Reviews on our schedule, read on!

First Up: 7 Types of Grilling Surfaces

Type 1: Stainless Steel – Stainless steel can be made from thin or thick rods. Stainless steel grates are not to be confused with chrome or nickel plated grates which are not as beneficial. The real advantage to stainless steel is that it has the potential to have a long life span and is easy to clean. Good quality and/or true stainless steel grates will never rust or corrode while cheap stainless eventually ceases to be truly “stainless”, and eventually will require replacement. Stainess_Steel_Grill_Grates_GrillJunkieThe last thing you want on your grates is rust or other oxides that can make their way onto your food. Some prefer thinner stainless steel grates that allow more radiant heat through, especially for charcoal grills. There are those that believe that the challenge with thick rods is that they block radiant heat and, although they make large dark grill marks, some find them less adequate in creating all over and even browning.

Type 2: Enamel-Coated Porcelain – A sturdy porcelain enamel coating is applied to a variety of metals Enamel_coated_porcelain_grill_grates_GrillJunkieof different weights. Some grill manufacturers put it on rods or on upside down V or U-shaped rails. It can be coated on cast iron or tempered steel. Some prefer the thin rods so they don’t block the radiant heat needed to brown the surfaces of foods. Porcelain is easy to clean. It is hard to crack the surface, but dropping them can create a fissure in the coating allowing for the creation of rust. Vigorous scrubbing and scraping can scratch them and eventually wear off the coating. However, with proper care they work just fine, should last for years, and are much less expensive than stainless.

Type 3: Chrome or Nickel Plated Wire – Inexpensive and easily replaceable, these types of grates warp under extremely high heat. After a year or two they pit and the plating begins to chip off. Once this occurs the exposed metal is susceptible to rust. But they’re so cheap that replacing them is not a budget-breaker. Their main advantage is that they allow radiant heat from below to find the food on the grate by leaving the heating surface of the grill open for real searing. They’re the next best thing to no grates at all and as close to open fire cooking that you can get. An example is what you will find as standard equipment with the Weber Hinged Cooking Grate.

Type 4: Cast Iron Grates – Unlike cast iron fry pans and griddles that can become non-stick with use, many people believe that the same is true for cast iron grill grates. Untrue! Pans and griddles become non-stick due to their design. The metal is slightly porous and the surface is textured so oil becomes embedded in the surface pores forming a slippery polymer that can last for years.  The key to the longevity of these types of surfaces is to not allow them to become overheated or scrubbed with abrasives. Therein lies the problem with cast-iron grill grates. They become a lot hotter than most frying pans and that intense heat burns off the embedded surface oil and/or turns it to carbon. This eliminates the intended advantage of a non-stick surface. When finished cooking on a grill, excessively scrubbing and scraping the grease and food residue off actually removes those non-stick properties.

Cast_iron_grill_grate_GrillJunkie_product_reviewAdditionally, because cast iron grates are so heavy and therefore highly efficient at holding and transmitting heat to meat, they make definitive grill marks. You might ask, “What’s wrong with that?” The answer lies in the fact that it’s not the grill marks in and of themselves but the intensity of and quickness at which the grill marks were created! What is produced at too high of a surface temperature is a very significant contrast between those marks and the rest of the meat, leaving much of the meat surface under cooked and underdeveloped, never mind the potential of unsafely under heating the inner portions of the meat. What is desired is an even browning of the meat across the entire surface leaving dark mahogany tones of brown caramelized stripes slightly contrasted by medium mahogany surface colors between the stripes. Not only does the food being grilled look richer and more attractive, the taste tones are more satisfying and complex!

Furthermore, cast iron grates need extra and immediate TLC. You have to scrape them immediately after cooking, then oil them while they are still warm. The oil will fill the pores that have opened during cooking and prevent rust. To perform this maintenance ritual constantly and consistently is a hassle as you will find yourself on a frantic time scheduled obstacle course of leaving the fire on in order to burn off residue, running the food into the house, and while everyone is waiting for you, running back out to scrape and re-oil. If you forget to do this, you will notice that within days the cast-iron grates can start rusting. If you don’t use cast iron grates for months, they will rust even if you oiled them after the last use.

Type 5: Tempered Steel – Common on large barbecue pits, tempered steel grates often come in expanded metal diamond grids. Their main advantages are that they are lightweight, inexpensive, and make diamond shaped grill marks without having to rotate the meat. Their disadvantages are that they rust, warp easily and they are extremely hard to clean. Similar to cast iron, they must be oiled.

Type 6: Teflon and Non-Stick Coatings – These surfaces are typically found on electric “grills” and a few portable gas grills. As with non-stick pans, the surface is easily scratched, must be treated gingerly and the use of a metal spatula, tongs, or fork, never mind a grill cleaning brush is verboten. Also, some are known to put out dangerous gases if they get very hot. Depending on the specific coating, “very hot” is usually 500° F, which is the range of a good direct grill surface. Their top feature is that they clean up easily, usually with mild soap and water, and some can even go through the dishwasher.

Type 7: Hard-Anodized Cast Aluminum – Made from aircraft quality aluminum into various shapes, (either as a pure flat plate, aerated and shaped for strength and air-flow, or raised railed wide rectangles), this light weight material is well suited for grilling as it allows if not epitomizes the infrared cooking method. NotGrillGrate_Product_Review_GrillJunkie_GPR4 typically used as standard grilling surface material direct from the original equipment manufacturer – OEM, they are available as an after market product either as complete replacement grates or designed to sit on top of existing grates. Dependent upon the surface shape and design, aluminum grates have been shown to amplify heat, reduce hot spots by evening out the heat transfer across the grilling surface, minimize flare-ups and are easier to clean. The GrillGrate is made of this material and is shaped to maximize the infrared grilling method. Click here for the GrillGrate Product Review.

Next Up: Traditional Grill Surface Cleaning Tools

Maintaining a clean grill is essential to great tasting food. There are many tools that can be used to scrape and clean your grilling surfaces. These tools run the gamut from the traditional brass grill brush to cleaning stones to steam cleaners and even using an onion. Here are a few of the most frequently used grill surface cleaning tools:

Traditional Grill Surface Cleaning Brush – The utilitarian brass-bristled brush with handle canthLRZBGUZS typically last a whole season, does a respectable job of cleaning grilling surfaces but usually needs to be replaced or repaired after one season. This type of brush can also be a safety hazard as individual bristles can come loose and end up in food.

thJ74N6XE5Triangular Grill Brush – A bit different than the traditional handled brush, this design is more flexible to avoid scratching sensitive surfaces, covers more surface area, yet is capable of getting into nook and crannies.

Steam Cleaners – Exemplified by the GrillDaddy steamer, this type of grill surface cleaning tool combines hot water vapor with the traditional brush design.

Grill Cleaning Stones – Either mounted on a handle or as a standalone, grill cleaning stones are designed to conform to the grill grate surface to do its part in cleaning your grill.thVLQ2ZWIC

Aluminum Foil – By rolling aluminum foil into a loose ball and gripping the ball with grilling tongs you can make a decent make-shift grill cleaning tool.

An Onion? – By cutting an onion in half and grasping it with tongs to slide across the grilling surface you can not only clean the surface but lubricate it as well as the onion contains oils that prevent food from sticking to the hot surface.

Does the Charboss BBQ Grill Scraper evolve the utilitarian and dangerous bristle-based cleaning brush to the next level by successfully combining durability, effectiveness and food safety into a “Toothy Grill Scraper?” Let’s see!

charboss product review, grilling product reviews, GrillJunkieCharboss Product Review – Toothy Scraper Tool?

The GrillJunkie Grilling Product Reviews follow a comprehensive structure which includes the:

 

  • Problem that needs to be solved or addressed
  • Solution to that problem
  • Good, Bad and Ugly elements of the product
  • Verdict – the official GrillJunkie™ GPR (Grilling Product Reviews Rating)

So let’s dig in to the Charboss BBQ Scraping Tool product review.

Official Product Review and GPR

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Problem – The way we view it, cleaning your grill should be a simple, quick, efficient and safe process. Unfortunately, many of the grill cleaning and/or scraping tools on the market today are either poorly designed, over-engineered, flimsy or down-right dangerous. In fact, wire brush-based grill cleaning tools can tear, splinter and leave entire wires, or fragments of wires on your grill or in your food. According to the CDC, each year children and adults of all ages ingest grill-cleaning brush bristles causing severe injury. As a result, the CDC recently issued a warning against using metal wire brushes on a grill due to the risk of ingesting a wire as it falls off the brush and attaches itself to an unsuspecting burger.

Additionally, CBS News reported on the Dangers of BBQ Grill Cleaning BrushesBIANCA SEIDMAN CBS NEWS May 27, 2015, 2:55 PM. Below is a Fox 45 News report from Columbus citing a real life event of the dangers of grill brushes.


  • Product’s Solution Pitch – The Charboss team’s approach to addressing the problem was to develop, market and distribute the Charboss BBQ scraping toolAccording to the inventor, Jeff Rosenberger, and the company’s marketing material / ad copy:
“Charboss is a new type of wooden BBQ grill scraper for use on outdoor gas grills. When used on a heated grill, Charboss form fits to the grid surface (straight rods front to back). It is a unique scraping tool that makes grilling safe! Recently, the CDC issued a warning against using metal wire brushes on a grill due to the risk of ingesting a wire as it falls off the brush and attaches itself to an unsuspecting burger. As an avid BBQ griller, it was because of these unsuspecting dangers that inspired me to invent this scraper. Simply type in “dangers of grill brushes” in any search engine and learn about this growing problem.
Here is a quick YouTube video of the Charboss in action:

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The Good – The product has a few important positive attributes. First of all, the Charboss product team did indeed address the problem head on with a brushless, feature-rich hardwood grill cleaning tool designed with a tooth guide to customize cleaning grooves into the tool while also offering a grate lifting and scraping side tool and built-in bottle opener. Under extensive product testing using various grate surfaces, a myriad of burnt on foods, the hard to impress GrillJunkie team found that this grilling product:

  • Is well made with sustainable oak hardwood
  • Effectively cleans and scrapes a variety of grill grate surfaces without damage
  • Comes with a unique guide tooth designed to fit in between each grill rod for effective cleaning and customization
  • Can be customized to your personal grill’s grate surface rods
  • Leaves no dangerous bristle brushes behindcharboss product review,grilling product reviews
  • Is feature rich with a side grate lifting, under rod scraping tool and built-in bottle opener
  • Is easy to clean
  • Is made in the USA
  • Should last a lifetime with minimal care

 

The Bad – There is, however, one very minor challenge to customizing the Charboss Grill Cleaning Tool.  For the very impatient griller, who wants a fully turnkey product that goes from packaging to hot grill, the Charboss team suggests a very quick and simple modification (a 5 minute job with a pencil and needle nose pliars) to fully customize the burned in grooves to match your particular grill. For people with more than one grill, and minimal handyman skills this could prove challenging to some. But c’mon, have we really become this lazy and disposable? Man up!

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The Ugly – We did not believe that this variable directly applied to this product. In fact, the Charboss BBQ Grill Cleaning Tool has a clean and attractive design and is very elegant, well designed and extremely effective. If the Charboss does become a bit faded and tattered over time, the application of a small amount of food grade wood oil will make a well used and faded Charboss look like new again.

Verdict – We give the Charboss BBQ Grill Scraper a 4.3 out of 5 GrillJunkie™ GPR Firepots. This rating equates to a Hot product.  The product solidly addresses and solves a very serious safety problem with bristle-based grill brushes, while evolving the simple hardwood scraper design via a patent-pending cleaning guide tooth, a grill grate lifter and built-in bottle opener. Combined with an attractive, well balanced and easy to use design and you’re looking at a sustainable, bristle-free, highly effective and customizable grill cleaning tool. The fact that this product is made of sustainable hardwood and is bristle-free significantly helped raise the eco-friendly and food safety green flag here at GrillJunkie! We look forward to any new product developments that will come from the Charboss team. The future is ours to see. Stay tuned! We only have about 250 products on our Grilling Product Reviews schedule before that.

GrillJunkie 4 Firepots

    GrillJunkie Rating of Charboss BBQ Scraper = 4.3 / 5.0

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