Unitasker Wednesday: The Grillion

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

I use a non-conventional barbecue grill cleaning method — I remove ashes and wipe down the grate with a dry, cotton rag after I use the grill, but I don’t thoroughly clean the black coating off the grate. I wait to clean off the black coating until I heat up the grill the next time I use it to keep the grate from rusting in between uses. When I do clean the black coating off the grate, I let the grate heat up over the fire for 10 minutes and then scrub it deeply with a metal grill brush. The heated black crud comes off without much elbow grease, and cleaning gives me something to do while the flames are dying down and the coals are heating up.

A friend recently suggested to me to ditch the metal grill brush and to wipe the grate down with half an onion instead. He explained that there is something in onions that eats away at the black gunk (he’d read an article once on Lifehacker about it). I have yet to try this method because I’d rather eat grilled onions than use them as cleaning products, but based on his experience it seems to be a legitimate way to clean the grill grate if you don’t mind the smell and taste of onions.

My friend simply stabs half an onion with his long-handle barbecue fork and rubs the onion over the hot grill grate to clean it (like I do with the metal grill brush). If he can’t find his barbecue fork, he just uses a regular dinner fork while wearing an oven mitt. He does not, under any circumstance, require the help of The Grillion:

The thing that resembles a small hatchet is to cut your onion in half (apparently, a knife you already own isn’t good enough to cut your grill-cleaning onions) and the plunger-Starship-Enterprise looking thing is the specialty plastic tool that holds the onion while you clean the grill grate. Upon seeing the device, my immediate thought was that the inventors of this device never had an Easy Bake Oven as a child. This is clear because every child who had one of these toys quickly learned that heat and plastic do not mix. If something as tame as an incandescent light bulb can melt a plastic orange stick in a matter of seconds, just imagine what a roaring fire will do when it comes into contact with that plastic claw holding the onion.

I’m going to stick to using my metal grill brush and my friend is going to just use his onion on a barbecue fork when cleaning the grill. I’ll use the extra $20 to buy a nice Porterhouse, which I’ll probably drench with a balsamic vinegar steak sauce. Yum.

Thanks to reader Verily for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

13 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: The Grillion”

  1. posted by priest's wife (@byzcathwife) on

    all this PLASTIC! I just imagine that huge plastic trash blob in the ocean filled with water bottles and unitaskers….

    I would spend my money not spent on this on a ribeye…YUMMMMMM

  2. posted by Liz E. on

    This isn’t a unitasker! You can use the warped cleaver to slice ruffled potatoes! And the “plunger” thing? Psshht. That can double as a ball thrower for Fido (at least until it melted all over the grill grate….)

    I kid. I kid a lot. This is one of the silliest unistaskers ever =)

  3. posted by JustGail on

    It looks like the cleaver cuts a wavy shape so the onion goes between bars on the grates a bit. Not enough to justify it in my kitchen.

  4. posted by Robin on

    What a deal – it’s actually TWO unitaskers in ONE! You get both the wavy knife (which, being made of heavy thick plastic, couldn’t be used to slice anything into nice ruffles only thick unpretty ones) and the onion holder which… Well, it can’t do anything but hold an onion can it? Well, maybe an apple, but why? On the other hand, isn’t that the question behind the whole product? Why?

  5. posted by N'Lo on

    Judging by the number of people I know who’ve required surgery after having been punctured by errant wire brush stems, I’ll stick the onion! (One went to hospital with an infected intestine and blockage, and they found the wire inside, probably from some restaurant or festival BBQ; the other had hand surgery for a “splinter” which on removal turned out to be a crimped wire probably from a wire brush drill attachment, that wiggled its way down to the bone before he could tweeze it out).

  6. posted by Dede on

    While our dog was alive we never had to clean a grill. Ever. After the grill cooled, we’d lay it on the patio and our dog would clean off all the yummies (one persons gunk is another dogs yummies). For those of you freaking out at this, our dog lived to 13.5 (max for her breed is 16 years) and yes, we did use a grill brush before using the grill again. We miss our puppy every time we grill because WE have to clean it. I don’t need a Grillion, I need a dog.

  7. posted by NoAlias on

    (One of many) problems with items like this – what if your vegetable is a different diameter than the gizmo?

  8. posted by biggerbox on

    Wow. The HSN video on YouTube is really something, too. As the guy is telling you how the “long, contoured handle” allows you to keep your fingers away from the heat, he’s seen with his fingers just inches above the supposedly hot grill. And they keep saying it’s a “natural” solution to cleaning your grill, as if molded plastic grew on trees. I guess they figure anyone likely to buy their product isn’t too smart.

  9. posted by Maya on

    But with the contoured cut to the onions and just a contoured non-fork holder, wouldn’t the onion not slide easily but get stuck moving across the grates? Or do you still need a fork to lift it up and move it over to the next set of grates?

  10. posted by Steven Smith @ Get organized nyc on

    Well this sounds to me a most amazing kitchen tool so as to avoid the kitchen clutter and have an organized way of cutting out the stock.

  11. posted by HonkyTonkFoodie on

    The LifeHacker article goes back to Apartment Therapy where someone mentions how great the Grillion is. Ha!

  12. posted by KW on

    The natural sulfuric acid in the onion is what cleans off the burnt organic matter on the grill.

  13. posted by Nongriller on

    Apparently the wire bits come off those grill brushes and impale themselves in meat: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/.....ue-hazard/

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