Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Product Review: Reliable Enviromate Pronto Steam Cleaner

My experience has been that the best thing for keeping a grill in good condition is frequent use.   Buy two identical grills and store them the same way.  Use one 2-3 times a week and one 2-3 times a year.  The frequently used one will last longer in most cases.   I think that is because the neglected grill is not seasoned so it rusts out and falls apart sooner.  A well seasoned grill is like a well oiled machine, it performs better and lasts longer.

But at some point, seasoning becomes gunk and gunk is not good.  Gunk is built up grease, old food, and bits of who knows what.  It builds up in corner, cracks and on the bottom of grates and it has to be removed.

My normal cleaning routine is:
  1. Scrub top and bottom of grates while cold with wire brush.
  2. Preheat grill, allowing grates to get hot and burn off crud.
  3. Scrub top of grates while hot with wire brush.

This does good but still allows build up to occur..  I don't like to use chemical solvents because they strip off all seasoning and will leave their own residue.  The only way to get rid of it is a lot of dirty scraping and a hefty application of "elbow grease". 

So I was excited when the Reliable Corporation offered me a chance to use their Enviromate Pronto P7 portable steam cleaner to clean my grills.   Could I have found the magic bullet to eliminate the physical work of cleaning a grill?  

Product Description
The P7 Enviromate Pronto is a portable steam cleaner that uses pulses of 245f steam to help clean and sanitize surfaces.

It comes with multiple attachments including wire brush, nylon brushes, window/glass tool, upholstery tool, and more.   It has an ergonomic design that fit both my hands and Alexis' smaller hands.  Even when filled with water, it is light enough to use for prolonged use, which is a good thing because we used it for a full afternoon.

Product Trials
Cleaning Grill Exterior - The outside of my Big Green Egg has some crazing and over the years the dimples have collected a dark build up.  I have tried several detergents and solutions to clean it with limited success.  

We put on one of the nylon brushes and started steam scrubbing the Egg.  

It removed a lot of the dark spots.  It wasn't perfect but it definitely did better than anything else we have tried.

On my Smoke Hollow grill/smoker, the rails that hold the grates often have grease pool up on them.  Usually I have to use a putty knife to scrape it off with marginal results.  The Enviromate helped power through the film of grease that the knife left behind.

My Egg table had a rust stain on the tile top from when I left a cast iron tool on it.  I had planned to buy some CLR to get rid of the stain but used the Enviromate with a nylon brush instead.  It disappeared.

Cleaning Grill Grates -  I pulled out my Craycort cast iron grate from my Egg and the grates from the charcoal grill on my Smoke Hollow combo cooker.  We used the hose and brass brush attachments for this job.

As you can see, the Smoke Hollow grates were also in grimy condition.

The hose and long electrical cord made this job easier.

Test Results
The gunk didn't just magically fall off by just pointing the Enviromate at it.  We still had to apply some physical effort and get a little dirty.  

But as you can see, the Enviromate got the grates very clean and as an added bonus - sanitized.  My normal wire brush doesn't do that.

I thought we were done for the day but Alexis was just getting started with the Enviromate Pronto.  She took it inside and...

used it to clean out and sanitize the microwave, worked like a champ!  You couldn't even tell that we have a 14 y/o that using the microwave when we were through.

The Pronto got our range top as clean as it has been since it was brand new.
 This part is pretty gross.  There is this gap between the oven and range top that lets stuff get in but won't let a rag through to clean it.  The hot steam penetrated and cleared it out.  As the 245f hit the long term "stuff" in there, it smelled like soup was cooking.   Yeah, like I said, gross.

She used the other nylon brush to steam clean the grout between tiles.
Since our initial tests a few weeks ago, we have also used the Pronto with the upholstery attachment to clean a sofa and chair.  We have used it to clean and sanitize bathrooms.   You know the vent hood on your microwave that gets a greasy film on it over time?  It wiped that right away in just a few seconds.

It does a fantastic job of cutting through built up grime and cleaning hard to access places.   Plus it is comforting knowing that it is not only clean but sterile too.

Long story short - would I buy the Enviromate Pronto solely to clean my grills?  No.  But I would absolutely pay the retail price of about $100 (I checked online retailers) to have it to clean in and around the house including my grills. 

The Enviromate Pronto is available online at Reliable Corporation's website and at other online retailers such as Crate and Barrel.  

[Standard Disclaimer]  I received the Enviormate Pronto free for review relative to cleaning grills.  They had no stipulations and the testing that we did was of our own design.