I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy good barbecue, but I’ve also never met anyone who enjoys cleaning the grill afterward. Whether you’re a vegan or a carnivore, scraping and scrubbing away the charred and greasy remnants of whatever food you just cooked, with the brush flicking the charred bits at your clothes on the backstroke, is about as enjoyable as cleaning the toilet. The only thing worse is not cleaning the grates until the next time you’re ready to grill. Just as robots have relieved us of the drudgery of vacuuming and scrubbing floors, the Grillbot frees us from cleaning the ‘cue.
The Grillbot is a battery-powered robot with three removable rotating wire brushes that automatically cleans your barbecue grill. You simply place it on the cool or warm grill, push a button, and put the lid on the barbecue. The surface temperature needs to be less than 250 degrees Fahrenheit, but a heat sensor will warn you if it’s too hot. If the grill is cool enough, the Grillbot’s brushes will spin, stop, and restart in a random fashion that makes the robot crawl across the surface of the grill. Things get a little noisy as the plastic chassis repeatedly bangs against the barbecue’s lid, but enduring the clatter is vastly better than scrubbing and scraping by hand.
The Grillbot isn’t nearly as sophisticated as a robot vacuum or floor scrubber, but it doesn’t need to be. The upside of its simpler design is a lower price tag: $119.95 or $139.95 for the Grillbot and a carrying case that costs $29.95 if purchased separately. Given how greasy the device got after just a few cleanings, the case is a good investment that will keep the grime isolated to the robot. Well, mostly. Removing the brushes for periodic cleanings is bound to leave your hands dirty, and you’ll occasionally want to scrub down the rest of the Grillbot—and the rest of your barbecue—too. But you’ll never need to scrape the grates, and that’s awesome.