Grill mats are one of the most crucial grilling accessories you need to have. It makes the grilling process fun and easy. Grill mats also allow you to grill delicate small foods such as eggs, fish, cheese, and much more without worrying that the food will fall through the grates. But are grill mats beneficial? In this post, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of grill mats.
What exactly are grill mats?
Also referred to as nonstick cooking mats and BBQ grilling mats, Grill mats are the thin rectangular sheet placed on top of grilling grates. Grill mats help to keep your grates clean and prevent small food particles from falling through the grates. Most grills require you to suspend food between grates. Some foods are firm enough to rest on the grates without falling apart while others, such as vegetables and fish, are soft and tender and will come apart and fall between the narrow spaces between grates if not supported. Grill mats help to prevent this.
When you purchase this crucial grilling accessory, you can place soft foods such as eggs on top of the grill without worrying that they will fall through the grates to the bottom. Grill mats are made of heavy-duty coated fabric that can withstand high temperatures without getting damaged. Most grill mats are made of fiberglass material that is lightweight, heat resistant, flexible, and durable. They are also covered with a protective material known as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a synthetic resin that helps to prevent food from sticking on the mat. The material also has excellent flame retardant properties. Grill mats can be used on all types of grills, including charcoal, electric, and gas grills.
When are grill mats used?
Grill mats can be used when grilling any food, including meat steak, chicken breast fish, etc. However, they are particularly important when grilling soft and tender foods like loose vegetables, eggs, and fish that can easily fall through the grates. You can also use grill mats to preserve spices and sauce on your foods when heating them. Additionally, if you want to make cleanup easy once you are done cooking, you need to use grill mats. They act as a barrier and prevents your food from coming into contact with the grates. This makes cleaning easy after grilling because you don’t have to worry about cleaning food particles that have fallen through the grates to the bottom.
Pros and Cons of grill mats
They prevent food from falling through grates
If you love grilling, then you know that not all food can hold firmly on the grates. Soft and tender foods such as eggs, fish, and soft vegetables usually fall through the grates, leaving you with almost nothing to enjoy. Grill mats help to prevent this by acting as a barrier between the food and the grates. If you want your food to remain intact form the start of the grilling process to the end, you need to use grill mats.
They are lightweight and portable.
Grill mats are made of strong but lightweight material. This means that carrying from one point to another will not be a big issue because they are super light. They are also compact and portable, meaning that you can easily carry them to your friend or campsite BBQ party without feeling the weight. Their compact design also makes storage after use easy.
Easy cleaning of the grill
Are you tired of cleaning the grill every time after cooking because small food particles fall through the grates? If yes, then you need to use mat grills. This grilling accessory will help make your post-meal cleaning process easier and stress-free because they prevent food from falling through the grates. As a result, you will have minimal food residue to clean up, making the cleaning process easy and stress-free. You, therefore, channel the effort and time that you would have otherwise spend cleaning the grill to do other productive things.
They help make your food juicy and flavorful.
In addition to making the grill cleaning easy and stress-free, grill mats also help to make your food more flavorful and spicy. Grill mats act as a barrier between the grates and the food. As a result, they help prevent spices and sauces from dripping off when grilling food, thus keeping grilling flavorful and juicy. Additionally, your food will still have those beautiful grill marks. If you use grill mats when preparing food, you will realize that it is more flavorful and spicy than grilling them directly on the grates.
They make the grilling process fun and convenient.
Grilling mats make the grilling process fun and convenient because they eliminate the worry of your food falling through the grates. Grill mats also guarantee you of quick and straightforward cleaning process once you are done grilling. This not only makes the grilling process fun, but it also makes it convenient. You can spend the time you would have used cleaning the grill to explore new recipes or catch up with friends and family.
They guarantee the safety of your food.
Grill mats come in handy when participating in a campsite or communal grilling. One major worry that most individuals have when participating in communal or campsite grilling is that they don’t know how often the grill is cleaned or the general state of cleaning that people who used the grill before them observed. The surest way to safeguard your health is by using your mat. Grill mats will ensure that your food does not come into contact with questionable grates. As a result, you don’t have to worry whether the grill is clean or not or wheatear people who used the grill before observed grilling hygiene. You will have peace of mind grilling and enjoying your food.
They are adaptable
Adaptable means that the grill can easily fit any grilling surface. They are very flexible and can easily be adjusted to suit any space. This means that regardless of your grill’s shape or size, grill mats will fit perfectly and provide a seamless grilling experience.
They are washable
Grill mats are primarily made of Teflon that is easy to clean. Some gill mats are also dishwasher safe, meaning that you can simply toss them atop your dishwasher rack for easy cleaning. The fact grill mats are washable means that you can use them numerous times.
They are versatile
Grill mats are incredibly versatile, thanks to the high quality and durable material they are made of. You can virtually cook anything on a grill mat, including pancakes, soft vegetables, scrambled eggs, chickens wings, and pancakes. A grill mat is technically a pan on its own and can handle anything you throw at it.
They allow you to prepare healthier meals.
Grill mats are made of a heavy-duty nonstick material that requires less oil when grilling food. As a result, you will prepare delicious meals with less oil for your family. Oil is linked to causing deadly diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, among many others. Using grill mats will help reduce fat in your food, meaning that your family will enjoy healthier and delicious meals.
They help to enhance your safety.
Grill mats are made of heavy-duty material that can withstand high temperatures of up to 600 degrees F. the standards grilling temperatures are between 300-450 degrees F. They provide a buffer between the food and the grill, which will protect you from high heat. It will also protect you from accidentally injuring yourself by touching the hot grates.
They allow even heating.
The material that grill mats are made of, combined with their continuous surface, promotes even heating, thus allows your food cooks evenly. When you prepare your food using grill mats, you are guaranteed that your food will cook evenly and have better moisture and flavor.
Grill mats catch fire
One of the cons of using grill mats it that they can catch fire if used over direct flame. They can also melt and catch fire if the temperature in the grill is higher than what the grill mat can withstand, thus putting you at risk of injuries.
They can be damaged with metal utensils.
Grill mats can easily get damaged with metal utensils. You, therefore, need to avoid using a metal utensil to check on food while they are of a grill mat.
They slow down the cooking process.
Grill mats as a barrier between the grate and the food. Although this barrier is beneficial in many ways, as discussed above, it also slows down the cooking process. For instance, a meal that would take 5 minutes to prepare on the grates will take about 7 minutes.
Important things to look for in a grill mat
The quality of grill mats you purchase will determine the quality of results you will get when preparing food on your grill. If you want your grill mat to serve you for a long time and prepare juicy and flavorful meals, you need to buy high-quality grill mats. Below are tips on important factors to consider when purchasing grill mats.
Consider heat capacity
One crucial factor that you need to consider when buying a grill mat is the heating temperature it can withstand before melting. This factor is particularly vital if you are planning to grill at high temperatures. The general rule of thumb is that you should purchase grill mats that can comfortably withstand your average grilling temperatures. For instance, if your grilling temperature ranges between 300-450 degrees F, you should choose grill mats that can withstand temperatures of up to 600 degrees F. This will give you an adequate space in case the temperature in the grill suddenly rise.
This is also an important factor to consider when buying grill mats. Grill mats thickness varies, meaning that some are thicker than others. Avoid grill mats that are too thin or too thick. Very thin mats usually take in heat to fast, which may reduce your meals’ flavor and juiciness, making them less delicious. Thin grill mats also wear out quickly. On the other hand, very thick grill mats will significantly slow down your cooking time. The ideal grill mats to purchase are those that are neither too thin nor too thick. It should be somewhere in the middle (about 0.25mm).
Consider size and shape.
The last thing you want is buying grill mats that don’t fit the grilling surface perfectly. Therefore, it is important to consider the grill mat’s size before you make your final decision. Before you start shopping, measure the size of your grill. This way, you will know the correct size of the grill mat to purchase. It is better to buy oversize grill mats because they can make adjusted than buying undersized grill mats.
It is also important to consider the shape of the mat grill before buying. For instance, if you have a circular grill, then you should purchase circular grill mats. Likewise, if you are a triangular grill, then buy triangular grill mats. Ensure that you purchase grill mats that fit the size and shape of your grill perfectly.
This is an important factor to consider, especially if you plan to grill diverse foods on your grill. A multipurpose grill mat can comfortably handle many types of food that you grill, including chicken breasts, steak, eggs, bacon, and much more without compromising the taste and quality.
Grill Mats General Care: Things to Avoid
Avoid putting the mats over direct flame.
Regardless of the brand or material, they are made off; Grill mats cannot withstand direct heat. They will quickly get damaged, and any food placed under them will not be suitable for consumption
Don’t fold them on each other
If you want to increase your grill mats’ durability, it is advised that you don’t fold them on each other. Each mat should stand on its own.
Avoid using metal utensils on grill mats. It will damage them quickly
Avoid using a stiff brush when cleaning them.
A stiff brush can damage the fabric of the mat, thus lowering their lifespan. Use a soft towel to clean them after use.