Sick of scrubbing your barbecue? We set out to see if a robot can do the job for you.
What’s the worst part of barbecuing? The obligatory salad? For me it’s the clean up.
After stuffing myself with chops, I never feel motivated to venture back outside, wire brush in hand. That’s where Grillbot comes in. It’s touted as the world’s first automatic grill-cleaning robot.
Think of it as a Roomba for your barbecue. The Grillbot is small, about the size of a snack pizza. Underneath are three brass brushes – these not only clean, but move the Grillbot about the grill. There’s only one button to press, which sets a timer for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. A small LCD screen shows the time you selected and battery life remaining. The batteries themselves are integrated, rechargeable and last a long time – a 30-minute run used only a quarter of the battery.
It’s quite a simple machine without any real smarts, so your barbecue needs a hood or it’ll drive right off the edge. The Grillbot simply drives in one direction, bumping into anything in its path before switching directions and hooning somewhere else. These random changes of direction mean it should eventually clean your entire cooking surface.
I absolutely loved it. It’s quite funny watching the barbecue rock around as the Grillbot scoots about inside. It does make a bit of a racket, as it constantly hits the hood and the motors driving the brushes aren’t too quiet, so I wouldn’t put it on while trying to hold a conversation next to the barbecue.
For a stern test, I flipped the grills in my barbecue upside down to the rarely cleaned side, which was in a real state. After 30 minutes I was very pleased with the results, and even happier with the fact that I didn’t have to use an ounce of elbow grease to get things ready for summer.
I own a Weber Q and was initially worried it’d be too small for the robot, but that wasn’t the case. It did an excellent job, but I think you’d want a bigger barbecue to really take advantage of the amount of work this wee robot takes out of your life.
The removable brushes can be popped off and put in the dishwasher, but I found them quite stiff and difficult to remove. The brushes are a throwaway item and the only place I could find replacements was on Amazon for $27 plus shipping. You’d be wanting to replace them annually at the very least, or sooner if they start dropping bristles, so factor that in.
My only whinge is the cost. We paid $180 from BBQ’s & More whereas my usual grill brush costs less than $10. I’m not sure if I could stomach the cost alone, but if everybody in the family pitched in, it’d be a fantastic birthday or Christmas present.