The acidity and fluids in onions help loosen dirt, grime and grease, making the grill nearly new within minutes
Grilling season in the US is an eagerly anticipated time, typically from late spring through summer. Families and friends gather outdoors to fire up their grills as the weather warms up, creating a vibrant atmosphere filled with the enticing aroma of sizzling meats and vegetables. During the ongoing grilling season, Free Bee—who goes by @theofficial_freebee on TikTok—has a helpful suggestion to maintain your grill's cleanliness for those late-summer cookouts. Instead of using a wire brush, the influencer proposes using a sliced onion to clean the grill grate. Cutting an onion in half and rubbing its raw side directly on the heated grill grates allows you to keep your grill clean and ready for use. She advises against using wire brushes to clean the grill as they pose a significant health hazard.
According to Southern Living, onions are a very effective vegetable for grill cleaning. Cleaning grill grates can be challenging, with grease and food particles stubbornly clinging to them. This natural scrub works wonders due to its acidity and fluids, which help loosen dirt, grime, and grease, restoring your grill to a nearly new condition within minutes. Additionally, the onion's natural juices offer antibacterial properties, sanitizing the grates as you clean. Using onions for grill cleaning is not only effective but also a safer option compared to chemical cleaners. Unlike chemical products, which require burning off before cooking on the grates again, the onion poses no such concern.
For an added boost in cleaning efficacy, Southern Living suggests spraying white vinegar or lemon juice directly onto the grill grates before using the onion. This combination further loosens debris and enhances the cleaning process. And here's a delightful bonus: after cleaning the grill, you can put the onion directly into the flames, infusing your food with a delicious chargrilled onion flavor. Alternatively, you can chop off the cleaning layer and use the onion to cook up some tasty grilled onions, adding a flavorful touch to your meal. It's a win-win situation that leaves your grill clean and your food even more delectable.
Consumer Reports advises against the use of wire-bristled grill brushes for cleaning grills. It warns that the bristles have the potential to break off and stick to the grill's surface. When these bristles become lodged into the food being cooked, there is a risk of injury for anyone consuming the food. According to a 2021 article in the National Library of Medicine, there have been instances where people were seriously injured and had to visit the hospital due to accidentally ingesting grill bristles. The Journal reported cases where bristles ended up in people's digestive tracts, abdomens and even their necks, posing a significant safety concern.
Users on TikTok shared their concerns over these brushes sold across the country. @smashleyw shared, "My friend just got out of the hospital, was there for about two weeks due to what the doctor believed to be a wire from a grill brush bristle." Another user @marissajoymusic commented, "I saw a story of a child who accidentally ingested one of the bristles and it got stuck in her." Seeing that cleaning the grill by holding the onion in her hand was risky, @docriversclone suggested, "Use a two-pronged fork to stick the onion and move; that way, your hand will be further away from the heat."