Grill mats are fast becoming the must have BBQ accessory and from what I have ascertained through my own personal experience, I can say that it is more than justifiable.
Let’s be honest, cooking is the best part of the whole BBQ experience. Slapping some perfectly marinated meat onto the grill and nursing it through the cooking process to ensure it’s delivered in pristine condition is fundamentally what owning a grill is all about. The part that sucks is the part that always sucks – cleaning. That marinade sure does love to stick to the grill and although our cleaning know-how has matured greatly in a relatively short space of time, there is still often a time that you will find yourself scrubbing away furiously on that burnt-in piece of marinated chicken.
Grill mats allow you to bypass this whole infuriating process by offering a non-stick solution for your grill. As well as this they allow you to do other stuff such as cook things that were once thought of as a risky proposition on your grill. Items like onions, mushrooms, asparagus and bell peppers were previously consigned to some foil in the corner of your grill which was far from an ideal situation. The problem has always been that these vegetables could easily slip through the spaces in the grill and end up on the scorching coals.
Fish is also made a much more viable option on your BBQ now thanks to grill mats. I love a bit of tuna steak or bass on the BBQ but for the life of me I could never grill it without leaving half the fish behind. No amount of oil on the fish itself or on the grill would stop the delicate meat from permanently attaching itself. With the aid of grill mats though, this problem is wiped out decisively. The fish cooks beautifully evenly and (as with all other meats and veg) leave behind the grill marks that are so sought after.
- 1 4 Best Grill Mats
- 2 Grill Mat FAQs
- 3 What is a Grill Mat?
- 4 It sounds like there are a lot of chemicals involved. Are they safe?
- 5 All these mats seem the same. Are there any differences?
- 6 How do you use a grill mat?
- 7 Can you reuse a grill mat?
- 8 What utensils can I use on the grill mat?
- 9 How do you clean a grill mat?
- 10 Are there any alternative uses for grill mats?
4 Best Grill Mats
We will talk a little later of how similar BBQ mats are to each other and what, if anything, to look out for but for now we would like to show you the 4 best grill mats in our opinion.
Kona Grill Mat
The Kona grill mat is the thickest mat you will see here at 0.39mm. This is not to say that thicker is better (as we shall suggest later on) but it does help with the product’s durability. To supplement this notion of longevity you will find that this non-stick grill mat comes with a 7 year guarantee, which looks on paper to cover almost all accidental occurrences.
With this purchase you get two BBQ grill mats that measure 16in x 13in and come with the claim of 1000 uses of each and every side, although this has not been verified by anyone that I know. 1000 uses is a lot of BBQ though so I’m sure we will be able to verify these claims sometime in the near future.
These grill mats also offer the highest cooking temperature limits at 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This, I can confirm is a true statement. Although I have personally not achieved these temperatures a very good friend has whilst searing his steak.
Grillaholics Grill Mat
Grillaholics offer their extremely well selling grilling mats which come with an outstanding lifetime replacement guarantee. In theory, that suggests that all you will ever need to buy is one set of these grill mats and that is you set for life. From what I can see they are basically the same T&Cs as the kona guarantee, but if this is a deal breaker I would dig down a little deeper.
These particular grill mats measure 15.75in x 13in and are 0.10mm thick. This is considerably thinner than the Kona grill mat but again, I wouldn’t let that worry you. There’s more to a grill mat than the thickness it has. The highest recommended cooking temperature for these mats is 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which whilst being less than the Kona mats is still more than plenty for any BBQ needs.
LauKingdom Round BBQ Grill Mat
LauKingdom offer this round BBQ grill mat that obviously favors grills such as the Big Green Egg or other Kamodo or a kettle grill. It’s actually a set of 5, 15in in diameter mats, so assuming you don’t have 5 grills you can set these mats to other uses such as using them as a cookie tray or having them serve as on oven protector.
As with all the mats you are shown, the LauKingdom mats are FDA approved and are dishwasher safe. These mats will go up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and although there is no bona fide guarantee that I noticed, there is a 100% money back option if you are not completely satisfied.
Aoocan Grill Mat
These set of 5 BBQ grill mats from Aoocan are certainly striking at first glance. There’s definitely something about gold which makes you stop and notice but as far as I can see, these grill mats are just like all the others that I have suggested here. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing – it means they are good, functional mats that can easily be used on your grill.
What I like about these mats though is that they are different to the standard black mats that are widely prevalent. This means we can put them to some kind of use and my use for these Gold or copper mats that you can buy is to have them as a food separator. By this I mean I can eliminate any kind of cross contamination between foods so if someone is a vegan or if someone has allergies to something that might be in one of my marinades, I can use these different colored mats to easily identify which food should be kept separate.
Grill Mat FAQs
What is a Grill Mat?
A grill that is a non-stick mat made primarily from fiberglass cloth and PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene). The PTFE is the non-stick material which is commonly confused with Teflon. Whereas Teflon is by far the best known brand of PTFE, that is ultimately all it is – a brand.
It sounds like there are a lot of chemicals involved. Are they safe?
Always check to see if your product is FDA approved. The vast majority of grill mats are FDA approved and are totally safe to cook on but there will always be some rogue companies out there looking to cash in with an inferior product. The melting point of PTFE is 623 degrees Fahrenheit so if you feel you have exceeded this temperature or have come extremely close I would think about purchasing some new mats.
All these mats seem the same. Are there any differences?
There are differences between all mats. Some have been addressed on this page already such as size and thickness and some haven’t been mentioned yet such as layers of PTFE used.
- Thickness – In my experience the thickness isn’t a massive issue. I have cooked with both the thinner and thicker mats and although there are small differences such as the prominence of grill marks and time to heat up to temperature, I found no real discernible difference in the BBQ grill mat’s performance.
- Size – Grill mats come in all shapes and sizes. The best thing I could advise is to buy as big a mat as you can. The differences in price are negligible and the mats are easy to cut to size if so required.
- Layers of PTFE – This relates directly to the quality of product that you have purchased. Obviously the more layers of PTFE that are in your grill mat then the better quality product you will have. This is not information that is standardized in ways such as size and thickness are however. Instead you will need a good eye, a good touch and a bit of experience. Knowing what good quality PTFE products look and feel like is a must so I would suggest acquainting yourself with a high-quality Teflon pan and transferring that knowledge over. Ideally the surface should be almost slick with just a hint of the minute squares that make up the coating.
How do you use a grill mat?
Grill mats are extremely easy to use. Think of them as hot plates or griddle pans that can fit on your grill or in your oven, only non-stick. Grill mats can be used on any kind of grill as long as they are placed ideally around 7in away from the heat source.
Can you reuse a grill mat?
Grill mats can be used hundreds to thousands of times each. As long as they are maintained well you should have no problems and even if you do, many manufacturers offer some kind of guarantee.
What utensils can I use on the grill mat?
Treat your grill mat in exactly the same way you would your non-stick pans. This means using plastic based utensils and not metal ones as these can scratch the coating of the grill and render it ineffective over time.
How do you clean a grill mat?
Grill mats are super easy to clean. After use on your grill, wipe the mats with a paper towel to remove excess grease and fat and place them in the dishwasher or hand wash them immediately with soapy water. Always place grill mats on the upper shelf of your dishwasher.
Are there any alternative uses for grill mats?
Grill mats can prove to be very versatile. They are excellent when used for cooking pizzas or making cookies, they can be used as a drip catcher for the bottom of your oven and they can also be used as pan liners to help cut down the cleaning required after using your casserole dishes and other such items.