Don’t Use a Bristle Brush to Clean Your Grill

Burgers are good, but burgers with bristles in them are decidedly not. It turns out that the small, coarse, poke-y bristles on BBQ bristle brushes can fall off the brush and get stuck in your food, potentially lodging themselves in your throat and tongue. This is, obviously, not ideal.

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To make things worse, they are extremely difficult to extract from your mouth or throat once they’re in there. As Dr. Ian Dempsey, an otolaryngologist in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia told CBC, “It’s not an easy structure to go fishing around in, especially when it gets embedded in deeply.” Yikes.

The easiest solution is to throw out your brush, and clean your grill some other way. Luckily, there many bristle-free brushes and scrapers for sale—Epicurious has five favorites!—but you can also wad up some aluminum foil, hold it with a pair of tongs, and get to scrubbing (like I do in this video). You can also take the extremely natural route—as this clever Deadspin commenter suggests—and use an onion. Cut it in half, dip it in oil and, using either tongs or a fork, rub it on the grates to clean and oil ‘em up. There are a lot of options that don’t involve your mouth getting impaled with tiny little poke-y bristles, so choose your favorite and protect your mouth.

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