When it comes to grilling, a few things come with it other than the grill itself. Another essential thing you will need is a grill mat. And just like shopping for any other thing that we need in our homes, shopping for a grill mat is not that easy. Therefore, we decided to come up with a list of best grill mats that you can go for. We have also listed their features, pros, and cons.
When To Use Grill Mats
Looking at different grill mats' designs, they come in handy for foods like eggs, fish, or lose vegetables. Although you would enjoy seeing the sear marks on your steak, you can push the mat aside when grilling hardier foods. That way, you can use it for softer foods on the mat beside the more important stuff.
A grill mat broadens your cooking opportunities. Simultaneously, you can use them to preserve spices and sauces and use your creativity to heat them up. They also make your end-of-cookout cleanup much easier and faster. Scrubbing a brill mat is ten times easier than scraping the grease off thin grates. The fact that the mats can be soaked in warm soapy water makes things more fun and time-saving.
Most of the mess that comes with food dropping down at the bottom of the grill. An added advantage is the portability of these grill mats. Whether you need to use them at home or take them along on your next camping spree, you are free to do so. Trusting a random campsite grill might not be easy but charging your grill mat is easy!
Why Is A Grill Mat Necessary in Grilling?
Although not all foods need a grill mat, they can still be a lifesaver when it comes to grilling other foods. For example, when you are cooking foods like jumbles of vegetables, hamburgers, seafood (which can be in small pieces like scallops or shrimp and sometimes crumbly), grill mats can be incredible.
Best grill mats aid in preventing grease fires from happening and in cleanups. At the same time, they can help you in many other uses as long as you get the right quality. However, finding a good grill might not be easy, especially if you have never bought one before. When you go shopping, you will get confused as all the grill mats in the market seem to be the same.
Although this might be true to an extent as they are all expected to be made of the same material, they are not the same. The difference might be very minute, but if you are keen enough, you will identify it. This is why we are here to break down and point out the uniqueness in every grill mat. This will be easier for you to remember which is worth buying and which is not.
Top 5 Best BBQ Grill Mat
1. Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat
Kona has taken the approach of the "thicker the better" in designing their best grill mats. This explains the reason why we have listed it as our number one. Their grill mat is very thick at 39mm. This is a whole 50% thicker compared to what you'd consider the minimum for a thick, good mat.
Kona boasts of great features some of which are listed below:
i. Non-Stick Material
This grill mat features a non-stick (generic Teflon-alike) material coating. This is over the standard fiberglass cloth construction. This mat's thickness also gives it a much higher rated temperature compared to what you receive from average mats. You will be safe to use up to 315 degrees Celsius or 600 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is recommended to work with a total of 260 degrees Celsius or 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a perfect temperature if you need to sear steaks.
ii. More Reliable
Although many of the mats on sale in the market can only bear up between 300 or 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is approximately 148 to 204 degrees Celsius. These mats also wear out quickly compared to what Kona offers you. With the Kona mat, it is rated for over 1000 uses per side. This is an excellent quality of its thicker construction.
iii. The Mat is Affordable
We are not looking for a cheap mat compromising on quality. However, we need a mat that we can rely on and one that is pocket-friendly and this is exactly what you get with Kona Best. Considering all the features and benefits of this mat, we would all agree that it comes at an affordable price. The packaging comes with two units inside.
Kona are so proud of their product that they have backed it up with a 7-year warranty. The warranty covers replacements for almost anything (this includes accidental burning).
Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat is an excellent choice at any time, especially for people who need a mat they can use over very high temperatures. At the same time, you are guaranteed excellent service, and the 7 year warranty is enough proof!
2. Grillaholics Grill Mat- Set of 2
Anyone who is a fan of grilling understands perfectly well how disappointing it is to drop food between the grates. It is also very irritating when you cannot cook soft or tender food or dedicate food like eggs, small veggies, and fish. Choosing a grill mat will be an ideal solution if you are not planning on buying a stand-alone outdoor griddle.
There are many features associated with this grill, some of which are listed below:
i. Heavy-Duty Grilling Mats
We all have different preferences when it comes to the choice of fuel we use for our grills. Some choose charcoal, and others prefer gas while the other percentage have chosen electric grills. Whichever choice of fuel you make, you should have a grill mat that works perfectly well with it. This is exactly what Grillaholics Grill Mats promises you.
ii. Nice And Safe
Safety is of paramount importance when we are preparing our meals. For that reason, whatever we choose, it must guarantee us of our security. With Grillaholics Grill Mats, you will be comfortable and safe using it with nothing to worry about.
A good life span is a must before we decide to take any product home with us. This is one of the qualities we look for in any product we buy. Every consumer is eager to know the time duration they are guaranteed to benefit from that particular unit. However, with a pair of Grillaholics Grill Mats, there is nothing to worry about.
iv. Easy To Use
Apart from the durability of the product, the last thing we would wish to do is to buy a product that will be of no use to us. Therefore, it is always advisable to go for a mat that is durable and easy to use. Grillaholics provides you with a pair of durable non-stick surfaces that you can easily prepare delicious and healthy foods.
v. Dishwasher Safe
If you rely on grill pans when you are enjoying your grilling spree with family and friends, choosing these pair of mats is a worthy alternative. The mats are affordable and dishwasher safe making it easy to maintain their cleanliness at all times. They also protect the floors as well as the cooking grills from oil stains and accelerated damage.
For a grilling expert who is very careful with allowing compromising on quality, you wouldn't go wrong with choosing Grillaholics Grill Mats. They are designed to give you top quality services at a very affordable price.
3. Chef Caron Non-stick BBQ Grill Mats
Chef Caron Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mats comes as a pair. Listing down Chef Caron as number three of my choice mats shows they are a product you can rely on.
These grill mats have great parts that perfectly fit them in our choice of three grill mats in 2022. Some of these features include:
i. Able To Stand High Temperatures
Chef Caron Non-Stick grill mats are 0.25mm and able to withstand maximum temperatures of 500 degrees. This is an ideal thickness for a grill mat, while the temperature maximum allows you to cook different kinds of food at different temperatures.
ii. Features a Second Layer of PTFE
This grill mats utilize a second layer of PTFE that ensures that it usually is sticky or greasy. These mats ensure that nothing will stick to the surface. The surface of the mat is just slightly textured, which helps in preventing food from clumping together.
iii. An Extended Life-Span
Chef Caron Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mats serves you for an extended period thanks to the second PTFE layer. This is a bonus for these already-affordable sets. The PTFE layer doesn't interfere with its ease of cleaning. This is because you can place it in a dishwasher without any problem. At the same time, storing it in a cramped spot is not a problem at all.
When buying a product that you will take to your kitchen, never compromise on the quality; choosing Chef Caron Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mats does guarantee you not only excellent quality but also affordable and best grill mats!
How To Use Grill Mats
The first you do after purchasing a grill mat is giving it a good wash. If possible, wash the mat using hot soapy water. This removes excess dirt and debris, if any, from the manufacturing center. Therefore, it will be safe to place your food on its surface.
(i)Avoid Using Very High Temperatures
Using the mat is very easy, provided you don't damage them and avoid using higher temperatures. Starters shouldn't expose the grill mat to temperatures above 500 degrees F. Most of the mats we have in the market have temperatures rated between 300 and 450 degrees F.
Although some are coated with PTFE, they tend to break down the moment you hit the temperatures of around 570 degrees. In a real sense, these temperatures will still be too hot to cook any food type safely.
(ii)Use Plastic Utensils To Maneuver Food
To avoid cutting into the material of the grill mats, use plastic utensils to maneuver food. You can also use silicone-tipped tools as they also work perfectly well. The most important thing to remember is never to use sharp objects on the mats.
(iii)Clean it Immediately After Use.
After you are through with cooking, it is advisable to clean the grill mat immediately after. To avoid wearing the PTFE coating, use a mild soap that is not corrosive to hand wash it. You can clean the dishwasher's mat, but it is advisable only to do so if you don't have other utensils in the dishwasher. This is because the mats are likely to cover other dishes during cleaning.
To enjoy using the grill mat for long, avoid using a scrubbing brush to clean the mat. If you are not careful, using strong soaps or a scrubbing brush can eliminate the PTFE coating.
Buying Guide of a Grill Mat
Although the above-listed mats might be among the best, they might not be your choice. For that reason, we have listed a few things that you need to look out for when selecting a grill mat in the market. Mastering these features will help you to differentiate between the great mat and mediocre ones.
One of the most important things you need to look out for when buying a grill mat is its thickness. The touch of your fingers can quickly felt the difference in thickness. Mats that are too thin are avoided as they heat up too quickly. These mats are also easily susceptible to degrading too fast or getting burned.
At the same time, we should not go formats that are too thick. Just as the thin mats have their faults, too thick, those are also not very good. This is because they take too long to heat up and may not be able to heat effectively. Hence, your food will not cook evenly.
Ideally, a grill mat with a thickness of about 0.25mm is the preferred thickness by many chefs. This guarantees you of optimal heating speed as well as ensuring even heat distribution. If you are not ready to compromise on integrity and safety in your kitchen, this is the right thickness to go for.
Before buying any product from the market, always measure it to ensure it perfectly fits what you are looking for. This is no different from buying a grill mat. Ensure that you measure the grill or the surface where you intend to place it. This way, you will have a rough estimate of the dimensions of what you are aiming for.
We all know that it is possible to cut a grill mat to fit the size of the surface you want to place it on. However, this might be a challenge when you get a much smaller mat; it might not serve you accordingly. Simultaneously, getting a much bigger mat will cost you more, and you end up wasting a big chunk when trying to resize it.
In short, make sure you know the exact size of the grilling mat needed. We can also not forget the challenge of testing your scissoring skills to realize you have none. Therefore, if you are using a circular grill, make sure you get a circular mat. Cutting a circle out of a square or rectangle might not be as easy as you might take it. If not careful, you might end up damaging it.
c. Temperature Capacity
Most mats seem to have a similar temperature capacity, while some just have a slight difference. Those with higher temperature capacity are more preferred as they are less likely to break down accidentally in an accident. The best grill should have a maximum temperature of 500 degrees or so. Although you will rarely hit up your fire to go this high, you will be safe if it happens.
Simultaneously, grill mats with high maximum temperatures give you the freedom to cook food at different temperatures.
Temperature capacity seems to be an essential point to consider when your kitchen's safety is concerned. To avoid flare-ups and fire accidents, ensure that you maintain reasonable temperatures regardless of the grill mat you are using.
Whichever grill mat you decide to go for, always make sure that it can suit your needs. Although Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat might be our choice number one, our preferences might differ significantly. Using our buying guide above, you will be able to buy what fits you best. Regardless of the fire type you choose, always remember to choose a grill mat that can stand high temperatures.