Shane Draper Reviews The Texas Jr. Brush

Today’s review is a guest review by Shane Draper of Draper’s BBQ of the Texas Jr. Brush.  I had a chance to see this tool in use at Memphis in May, and you’ll get to see some of my feedback in Shane’s review.


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I always seem to be the last to be in the “know” or at least the last to actually review / get the latest and best in barbecue gear. My introduction the Texas Brush is no different. I have seen them around on the internet and I’ve even seen some of my good friends, like John Dawson of Patio Daddio BBQ and Robyn Lindars of Grill Grrrl review them.

So when Jay Prince asked me to try out the Texas Brush in the Jr size and write a review I of course accepted. Jay’s idea was that I have several different types and sizes of barbecue pits that might be more of a fit for this hulk of a grill cleaner. For this review I decided to try the Texas Brush (TB from here forward) on our Old Hickory CTO, Tucker Cooker and Grilla Pellet Grill.

About Texas Brush

On the TB website there is a great story about where and how TB got started. I don’t think it needs too much added to it, instead I’d prefer to quote it.

“Founded in 1996 in Beaumont, Texas, the Texas Brush was the brainchild of two retirees eager to make a little golf money. What started as a few brushes, has evolved into a full-scale manufacturer with distribution nationwide.

The Texas Brush is no ordinary brush. Each brush is hand-crafted to achieve consistency and durability. All of our component parts have been carefully chosen and manufactured to our strict standards.

Each wood block stabilizer is cut from an actual tree, chosen for us in Gadsden, Alabama. We discard any discolored or blemished wood, then dry, cut and sand each block. Creating both an attractive and functional brush, for our customers.

Our handles are cut thick, 1-1/4″ and over 4′ in length, for comfort and safety. And as you may guess the handles are also made in Texas.

The brushes we use are tempered carbon steel designed to take the heat.

Our goal is to offer innovtive and durable products that exceed the expectations of our customers.

Thanks for your support,”

EC Tuttle and Alvis Garretson
“The Brushmen”

Initial Impressions

The first thing you will notice when you get the TB is the size of the box. It’s a pretty good clue that this is NOT your average grill brush. The TB is large, heavy and almost menacing in its simplicity. I’m pretty sure the TB shares its DNA with some sort of medieval torture device. Essentially as you can see in the picture the TB consists of a couple of large wood blocks sporting two kinds of wire that is attached to a heavy broom handle.

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There is nothing overly complicated about the TB but it is very, very well built.  Holding this thing up is akin to raising Thor’s hammer to the sky and waiting for the God’s open the clouds in an attempt to get a glimpse of this mighty grime buster.  Ok, so that might be over stating it, but you get the idea.

The delivery of the Texas Brush occurred just before my trip to compete at the World Barbecue Cooking Contest at Memphis in May. So I did some basic testing with it and figured what better place to complete the review than at the competition since there are typically 4-5 Tucker Cooker’s there that need cleaning and about 15 different Tucker owners there to provide feedback.

Upon completion of the competition I posted on Facebook asking those that got some time with the TB to post the comments. Again, I think they speak for themselves.

“Well, I have to say this is a very nice brush for gettin’ the crud off… I used it over the course of Memphis in May on some grills that just weren’t going to get clean with some ordinary backyard grill brush. When you take a first glance at the brush you know it means business. When you put this brush in your hand you know you have a brush to clean with and it will get the job done! It wasn’t too heavy in weight but I didn’t have to use much pressure due to it had just enough weight but not overly weighted. You also have a choice of two types of bristles which to choose from aggressive and damn aggressive! The one side has nice stiff bristles to get the grime and caked on matter of the expanded grates with out effort while the other side you could use to get down deep and scrape off paint and rust if you needed too but your grill & grate would have to be a total train wreck if you need to use the side which these grates where almost to that point. It only took me a few minutes to knock out my job and got those cruddy grates nice and ready for the food to be cooked. When I get a chance one of the babies will be in my possession and you should get one too.”  – Capt Ron Worby

“I didn’t use it, but I have to say that thing was MASSIVE!” – Wayne Brown

“I used the brush at the site and ordered one on Monday– delivered yesterday.” – Jim Loggins

“I liked it and plan on ordering one.” – Hoyt E. Liggins Jr

 

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My Thoughts

After Memphis in May and getting the chance to use the TB on a couple of our other pits I really like this brush. In fact it lives inside our Tucker Cooker now as part of our standard load out for cooking. The ultra stiff, thicker bristles will blast though any crud and took my grates down to bare steel with just a couple of passes. The finer, slightly less stiff bristles are prefect for every day clean up and are the side 98% of users will typically use.

The TB is large, that is true. Most who don’t have pro sized cookers will find it to be too big. For those of us though that have had to literally crawl inside of our cookers to clean them properly will love the size and reach of the TB.

The weight of the TB will turn off some, but while it is weighted I don’t find it overly heavy to use. That might not be the case for a petite woman, but I don’t think it would be that big of deal even then. The weight once you get the momentum going works in your favor and helps break up the crud even faster.

Texas is at the heart of the TB when you look at build quality. It is genuinely something you will pass down to your children and you can even order replacement heads and parts if you should ever need them. Seriously though I cant think of a way to use this thing enough to damage it though.

Some will balk at the price. I would equate the TB to the Thermapen. It’s just one of those things that until you use it or been around it you can’t understand how it’s worth the money. Once you have though, you get it and you order one without delay. When I consider that I have probably spent $100 in my life time on several other grill brushes, well the TB starts making a whole lot of sense. This is the last grill brush I will ever use or buy.

What I Like

  • The TB just works. Simple as that. It does the job advertised with no fuss.
  • Build quality – It’s built for a lifetime, literally. I will be passing this down to my children.
  • Design – Simple, effective, heavy enough to be useful but not too heavy that its too big for larger pits.
  • Modular Parts – If you ever some how managed to wear out a part of your TB you can order replacement parts, which is awesome.
  • Made here – More things should be made in the USA, this is and I appreciate that.
  • Options – You can work with the fine folks at TB and basically custom design and personalize your own brush.

What May Bother Some

  • Size – Make no bones this thing is big. If you have a Weber Kettle this likely isn’t for you. This is for big pits weighing 100lbs or more. Otherwise I could imagine you could knock them over operating the TB.
  • Price – It does have a high price of entry, but dare I say it’s the last brush you will ever buy. Try that with something you can get at Wal-Mart.

All in all the Texas Jr. Brush is a great product.  It is well made in the USA and is exactly what you would expect from something that carries Texas as part of it’s name.  Go buy you one, its the last grill brush you will ever need.

Shane


Website: http://www.texasbrush.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TexasBrush
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TexasBrush

  • http://www.nibblemethis.com Chris

    I’d love to see a version for kamado cookers. My cast iron could use some help some times.

  • BBQ Los Angeles

    The Texas Brush is no ordinary brush. Each brush is hand-crafted to achieve consistency and durability.It seems that it is very useful for cleaning the grill,even the handle is strong enough for the support.Should try it.

  • John

    How about buying an easy and durable fire starter for all your BBQ needs? check it out here:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1025864883/bbq-dragon-the-barbecue-and-fire-supercharger