What Are Grill Mats Used For
Lets start with a quick recap of what grill mats are. Grill mats are thin, reusable mats made from fiberglass that lay over the grates on your grill to keep food from falling through and create a barrier between the food and the flames.
They are meant to be durable, yet flexible while creating a flat cooking surface. Meaning, they typically have no holes or gaps. Though, this isnt the case for all of them because the holes in the mat serve a very specific purpose.
Furthermore, grill mats are meant to be nonstick. To give them this quality they are coated with PTFE, which is made from Teflon. This material is non-flammable, which is perfect for grill mats.
In addition to keeping food from sticking, a grill mat helps preserve sauces, marinades and spices making food tastier. Plus, they help prevent flare ups that can be caused by grease dripping from meat.
Though, its important to note that grill mats arent just useful for cooking meat. They are excellent for grilling loose vegetables. No need to spend too much time tediously skewering veggies thatll still probably fall through the grates. Plus, you can even use them to cook pancakes or eggs on the grill.
Basically, theyre the most necessary grilling accessory you didnt know you needed. Until now!
Why Are Thicker Mats Better
In short, theyre more durable.
A thicker mat lasts longer without deteriorating and can survive much hotter heats safely. Thinner mats say theyre rated for about 500 degrees Fahrenheit but thats only really a technicality. They cant survive those temperatures for prolonged periods of time and will quickly deteriorate if the temperature flares beyond that point.
.25 mm mats can survive those temperatures longer and are suitable for searing meat like steaks. Other, even thicker mats are better for that and can be rated for even higher temperatures.
In short, thicker is better: to a point. It can be overdone, and there are some drawbacks , but for the most part a relatively thick mat is a far better purchase.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Grill Mat
As youll see, there is a huge variety of grill mats available on the market. For this reason, we want to give you some pointers on the main factors you should look for in a good barbeque mat. This way, the choosing process will become streamlined for you.
Size and Shape
The first thing to consider is the size of your grill and the size of the mat. A grill mat thats too small will lead to flare ups because the juices wont be contained. Look for one thats just about the size of your grill or even too big. Too big is fine because you can cut it to fit your grill and make the fit perfect.
And since not all grills are rectangular, wed like to point out that circular grill mats are available, so you wont need to MacGyver your mat if you have a Big Green Egg. Thank gosh, am I right!?!
It might sound obvious, but a good grill mat will need to withstand really high temperatures in order to work properly. Generally, make sure the mat youre looking at can take up to 500 F of heat without burning or melting. Its unlikely youll be cooking at a temperature that high, but for durability sake, its a good quality to have.
Also, its important to keep your grill mat around 6 or more inches away from the flame. Even with their high heat resistance, if the flame touches your grill mat, it can still melt. Best case scenario, it only warps it. So, do yourself a favor and just keep it well above the flame.
Other Things to Consider
Recommended Reading: Cleaning Stainless Steel Bbq Grates
What Are Grill Mats And How Do They Work
Traditional grills have you place food suspended between grates. In most cases, food is firm enough to rest on these grates without falling apart.
But some foods are soft and tender and will come apart and fall through the narrow spaces between grates.
Grill mats are thin sheets or heat-able material that you place atop regular grates on a grill or inside an oven.
You can then place softer foods like eggs or fish atop a grill mat and cook them without any risk for those foods falling through to the bottom.
You can see how they work at around the 1:07 mark in this video.
Grill mats can withstand hot cooking temperatures without becoming damaged. Theyre usually made from a heavy-duty coated fabric. The material is flexible and lightweight, yet durable at the same time.
A grill mat is so protective since its covered in PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene. Thats a mouthful, but essentially PTFE is a synthetic resin that prevents stuff from sticking to the mat, as well as providing some flame-retardant qualities.
Because theyre a flat, even surface, they dont have the same risk for soft or tender foods falling through as traditional grilling grates do.
Best For High Heat: Nst Grill Mats With Holes
Includes 6 mats and an oil brush
Safe up to 600°F
Cant be used with certain foods
Grill mats with holes are advantageous because they allow for tiny airways where smoke can escape. This also allows for smoke to better reach whatever it is youre cooking, and some of the fat from meats can drip into the holes, providing tiny flare-ups for added flavor. These mats are safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and users are impressed by how easy they are to cleanthe tiny holes dont get in the way at all. You can even use this mat as an oven liner or baking mat over a baking sheet. Because of the small holes, you cant cook some foods that you would be able to on other grill mats, like eggs, pancakes, etc.
Material: PTFE fiberglass-coating | Dimensions: 15.74 x 13 x .02 inches
Round shape ideal for circular grills
Only safe up to 500°F
If you have a circular grill, its definitely best to seek out a round mat. Even though you can always trim these mats down with scissors, its much easier to trim down a circle instead of a rectangle for a circular grill. These 15-inch circles are the perfect starting point for your round-shaped grill. Safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, these mats are a great reusable alternative to parchment paper or foil. Reviewers enjoy fitting these mats to their kamado dome grills and smokers.
Material: PTFE-fiberglass coating | Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 0.01 inches
Mesh allows more smoke to penetrate foods
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Our Top Pick For A Grill Mat: Grillaholics Grill Mat
To wrap it all up, the best grill mat is the one that suits your needs. You might just need to use it for a special event or maybe you grill frequently.
There are plenty of viable options in the market but for our overall best pick, Grillaholics Grill Mat offers the best quality for its price. It’s not too expensive and it’s heavy-duty. You can rely on it to expand your grilling experience without compromising flavor!
If you have a little extra to spare, go for the Kona XL! It’s also worth it and you can use it long-term.
Having a grill mat lets you prepare different types of food on your grill besides meat.
You can cook eggs, chopped vegetables, fish, chicken, and so much more! You definitely won’t regret investing in one.
Want to have a unique grilling experience? Check out our review of Kamado Joe vs Primo, next!
Outdoor Cooking Pros
The Bbq Grill Mat Tips And Advice
- Smaller grill mats wont fit a two or three burner gas or kettle-style grill.
- Thicker construction is not always better, as they take longer to heat up.
- Dont overlap your grill mats when using more than one, as they have a tendency to stick together.
- Some BBQ grill mat owners report problems with flareups along the mats edges.
- Never place the grill mat directly on a bed of charcoal. Grill mats should always be between 5 and 7 inches above the heat source.
- BBQ grill mats are not the best choice if youre looking to sear or char your food.
- Reviewers report that some grill mats allow juices to puddle, which can create a bit of a mess.
- While most grill mats can simply be wiped clean using a soapy dish rag, they are dishwasher safe if you dont want to wash them by hand.
- You can store your grill mats flat in a cabinet or rolled up in a drawer.
- Thickness plays the biggest part in the overall price of BBQ grill mats. The Vremi Heavy Duty Grill BBQ Mat, Set of 5 costs less than the Kona 600 Degree Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mat, Set of 2, the Grillaholics Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mat, Set of 2 and the RENOOK 600 Degree Non-Stick Grill Mat, Set of 2, as it is just .2 mm thick.
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How Do You Use A Grill Mat
To use your grill mat, lay the mat down directly onto your preheated grill grates. Using a grill mat will prevent you from needing to clean your grates after grilling and you dont have to use as much oil on your food to grill. By using the grill mat, you also dont need to worry about smaller food items falling between the grates. Instead of skewering veggies, you can just throw them directly on the mat, and if you want to prepare breakfast items like eggs, pancakes, or French toast over the grill, now you can. When youre done using the grill mat, let it cool down before removing and cleaning.
Best For Fish: Grillaholics Grill Mats Set Of 2
Only heat safe up to 500°F
For a super flat, level, and nonstick mat, this Grillaholics model is a fan favorite. If you cook a lot of delicate foods on your grill, like fish, this mat is a great way to ensure that you dont run into any sticking issues. Its thick and sturdy enough to protect the fish from any intense flavors but will still allow for that signature grilled flavor. Users love the option to cook smaller foods, like crumbled sausage, eggs, and veggies. These mats fall on the slightly pricier side, but for such great quality, they do warrant a few extra dollars.
Material: PTFE-fiberglass coating | Dimensions: 15.75 x 13 x 0.01 inches
Don’t Miss: Grill Pork Temp
Just Perfectly Grilled Food Every Time
I never had a grill mat before and Iâve grilled many times â I was missing out greatly. These things are amazing! I can cook any type of meat like loose chorizo on it and never lose any of it. Itâs easily washable and they give you 2. But seriously, these things make grilling so much easier. The best part is that you can prep all your food directly on it and then carry the grill mat over to the grill and youâre good to go!
Best Grill Mats For All Types Of Grills
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Anyone who grills frequently knows how irritating it can be to drop food between the grates.
Or not being able to cook tender or soft or delicate food like eggs, fish, and small veggies.
If you dont want to buy a stand-alone outdoor griddle, grill mats are an ideal solution.
They are flat, durable surfaces that have the flexibility to be rolled for storage or cut into the ideal shape for your grill or oven.
In this guide, well go over everything you need to know to find the best grill mat for your cookout needs. Lets get started.
At a Glance: Our Top Choices For Best Grill Mat
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Are Bbq Grill Mats Any Good
BBQ grill mats come with a bunch of benefits. But what should attract you the most is these mats will give you the flavor of the food to its fullest. You probably are thinking about how a grill mat will provide flavor? Think about it, every time you cook without a mat, directly on the grill especially meat, the meat came into direct contact with the flame and what it does is, it evaporates the juice of the meat. As a result, the meat becomes flaky and flavorless. But when you use grill mat the meat cooks in its juice. Now you should understand why it is worth.
Not only that, as I was saying before it enables you with so many cooking options including frying eggs. BBQ grill mats are non-sticky so that cooking and cleaning becomes easier. You can not only BBQ or grill with these mats, but also these mats have multipurpose uses as you can bake or roast almost anything you want.
BBQ grill mat can resist high temperatures. The recipes that you could not try because of the low, heat now you can try it with a grill mat. A good quality grill mat can withstand 500-600 degrees Celsius.
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Best Overall Grill Mat Grillaholics Grill Mat
These grill mats are super handy to have around.
Would I use it for grilling everything? No, although you could.
Where these grill mats really shin is when you are cooking foods that are prone to sticking to the grill such as fish, grilled chicken breasts, veggies, and food with sauces on them.
I even tried cooking eggs on this mat to see how it would do. It worked just as well as any nonstick pan that I have in my kitchen.
And although I didnt get grill marks using this mat, it does still have the ability to sear/char. My chicken thigh skin got plenty crispy.
Another bonus: Its top rack dishwasher safe! Easy Cleanup
Theyre sized well for most grills and ovens but are easy to cut if they dont fit yours.
What We Like
- Easy to clean/Dishwasher safe These are great for throwing into the dishwasher since they can bend quite easily. This avoids the possibility of them covering other dishes in need of a clean.
- 2 in purchase Theres no doubt that this is great value for money. Having two means youve got a backup in case of an accident and essentially double the lifespan for your grill mat needs.
- Keep sear marks Although you have to grill a few items at first, eventually the mats thinness works to let you keep some grill marks on your meat. Its a nice bonus for aesthetic/flavor reasons.
What We Dont Like:
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Renook 600 Degree Non
What We Liked: Use the RENOOK 600 Degree Non-Stick Grill Mat, Set of 2 to cook thick steaks or thin slices of zucchini. The mat is FDA approved and does not contain any PFOA. Your food will never stick to the surface of the mat, which makes it a cinch to slide the meal off the mat directly on to a decorative serving plate.
Runner Up Kona Xl Best Grill Mat
This grill mat is large enough for the vast majority of grilling surfaces. It usually has enough left over for cutting down to the correct size if necessary.
Its got a great peak temperature and excellent thickness, although this may be a bit too much if your grill has trouble reaching high temperatures.
But the high-temperature range means that you can cook without worrying about damaging the mat at all.
Even flare-ups arent much of a worry due to its durability. Plus, the mat has a textured surface that prevents food from sticking even better than competing mats and which makes cleanup all the easier to accomplish.
The mat is affordable, well-sized, and fantastic to use. Its rated for over 1,000 uses per side and you can use both sizes equally.
Once youve gotten your hands on this mat, you wont likely need a new one for many, many years to come.
What We Like:
What We Dont Like:
- A bit too thick The mat has a thickness of 0.39mm. This is a bit more than the ideal thickness of 0.25mm, so you might see some trouble heating certain foods at lower temperatures.
Get the latest price on Amazon.
Recommended Reading: Temp To Cook Fish On Grill
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Sara Tane has written nearly a dozen buying guides for The Spruce Eats, understanding what consumers and cooks need to consider before making a new purchase for their outdoor culinary adventures. She is a professionally trained chef in addition to an outdoor cooking enthusiast. With many weekends of cooking elaborate, delicious meals outside on a grill, she is no stranger to what it takes to have a successful bout of grilling. After researching different grill mats and their materials, she can help you find the best model for your grilling lifestyle.
Radulovic L, Wojcinski Z. PTFE . Encyclopedia of Toxicology . 2014 1133-1136. doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-386454-3.00970-2
Best Value Set: Dad’s Choice Heavy Duty Grill Mats
Includes black, copper, and mesh mat
Only safe up to 500°F
If youre having trouble deciding which mat you want to go for and you want to give a few different versions a try, this set is a great way to try out multiple versions. It includes a basic mat, a copper mat, and a mesh mat, so you can sample them all and decide which you prefer. At under $15, this is a great deal for what youre getting, especially if youve never tried grilling with a mat and are feeling indecisive. These mats are dishwasher safe so you have nothing to worry about when it comes time to cleanup. Theyre safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and this variety pack would make for a great gift, especially for a young or novice griller.
Material: PTFE-fiberglass coating | Dimensions: 15.75 x 13 inches
Extra wide for added coverage
Can be cut into smaller pieces
Not dishwasher safe
These Teflon mats are on the thinner side, which some cooks prefer because you can get some more intense flavors from the charcoal and smoke. The nonstick surface is ideal for everything from steaks, veggies, and fish to eggs and bacon. The recommended care for these black mats is warm, soapy water, so its probably best to avoid cleaning them in the dishwasher. These sheets can also double as an oven liner or baking sheet.
Material: PTFE-fiberglass coating | Dimensions: 15.7x 13 x 0.08 inches
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