Scraping and brushing take the fun out of barbecue parties. Having a robot to relieve you from the chore of cleaning your grill, and let you get back to the party is a great idea. In fact, such a robot exists. It is the Grillbot. This unique robot automatically roams over the grate (see videos below) likewise a robotic vacuum cleaner. It has three powerful motors with hard rotating brushes that swipe away dirt and residues. For this review, we rely on four criteria:
- Ease of use
- Ease of maintenance
- Robustness and safety
Ease of use
The Grillbot is easy to handle: it’s small (8.7 x 3.3 x 8.3 inches) and not very heavy (3.5 Pounds, approx. 1.6Kilograms). The user interface straight forward. Simply put the robot over the grate and press the unique button. The LCD screen displays the cleaning cycle duration. Press once, and the cycle will take 10 minutes. Press a second time for 20 minutes. A third press will set the robot to work for half an hour. After a 5 second delay, the robot starts cleaning automatically. Once done, the robot will shutdown and emit audible beeps to notify you that your grill is clean and ready for another barbecue.
Ease of maintenance
BBQ robotic compagnon is easy to maintain. The brushes can be easily removed. Simply press the release button and pull out each brush from its axle. The body of the robot can be wiped using a damped cloth or a degreaser. Brushes can be either rinsed in a soapy hot water or simply put in a dishwasher.
Robustness and safety
The Grillbot is robust. It can stand temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (about 90 degrees Celsius). However you must never use the robot over an open flame to avoid damage and injuries. Grillbot is equipped with a temperature sensor. If the grill is too hot, motors will stop automatically, and an alarm will sound to alert the user. The Grillbot has also a sensor for detecting when its battery is full and avoid overcharging. When the battery reach 100%, the robot stops charging and beeps to notify that it is ready to serve. Unfortunately, the Grillbot is missing fall sensors. The user needs to ensure that the grill lid is closed, to prevent the robot from falling off.
While operating, Grillbot will bounce on the sides of the grill to ensure that the whole surface including the corners are cleaned. The brushes extend a bit beyond the robot body, so they actually reach the edges of the grate. The Grillbot is shipped with brass brushes. They are recommended for porcelain or enamel coated grill grates. For more robust grates, you need to get extra stainless steel brushes that will ensure deeper cleaning. The three cycles (10, 20, or 30 minutes) also allow to adapt the cleaning according to how dirty is the grill.
Summary of the review of Grillbot
The Grillbot is a robust, well designed easy to use and to maintain robot as summarized by the table above. With its unique button, operation is straight forward. Brushes are easy to remove for replacement or cleaning in a dishwasher. Grillbot is safe as long as you don’t touch the rotating brushes and close the grill lid. It operates on a hot grill (200ºF max), and alerts you if it’s too hot. Given the price (about $90) the performance are good, though extra stainless steel brushes (approx. $15) are required to clean cast iron or expanded steel grills.