Grill mats have become very popular among backyard pitmasters and other home cooks, who are looking for ways to optimize the grilling and cooking process and decrease the time and effort needed for cleaning up after that.
Good quality grill mats will help keep the food on the rack without it falling through and causing flare-ups. It will also hold the fat and other juices from the meat and food being grilled so that the mess is minimized. By keeping the juices under the food, the barbecue mat can help intensify the flavors of some foods.
A grill mat may be utilized on both sides and even serves as a drip tray underneath the cooking rack in the oven. On an outdoor grill, you may prepare meals that you would typically cook in an oven or on the stovetop.
Using a barbeque mat, you can effortlessly and mess-free prepare breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks while grilling a variety of delicacies.
Learn how to use grill mats, how they function, if they are safe, how to care for them, and what foods to cook on them.
How to use grill mats?
A grill mat is an affordable and nifty tool that can be used on grills and ovens. It is a thin sheet that retains and spreads the heat evenly and can prevent the falling of small pieces of food and the dripping of juices and fat through the grates, avoiding making a mess and dangerous flare-ups.
It works similarly to aluminum foil, but can be reused, easily cleaned, and will not rip as easily as the foil.
The barbecue mat just needs to be placed flat directly on the grill’s grates, and then the food is placed on top, and you can start the cooking.
Mats like these are perfect for preparing all types of grilled food but can be used for making pizza, breakfast, and many other types of meals and snacks.
Using a barbecue mat is easy and includes:
- Lay the grill mat flat on top of the grill grate, or use two or more barbecue mats if you are cooking on a larger grill.
- Avoid layering one mat over the other so that the layer is single and even throughout the cooking surface.
- Place the food you will be cooking on top of the barbecue mat.
- When the cooking is over, let the mat cool down and then wash it and dry it with a soft cloth.
- Always store the grill mat flat when you are not using it.
What to cook on a grill mat?
You can use a grill mat for cooking all types of food, as well as for different purposes, including:
- To cover a rusty and dirty grill grate and prevent your food from touching its surface
- To prevent contamination when using a public or another outdoor grill that is not yours
- For preparing juicier and more flavorful steaks and other meat cuts due to the juices remaining on the mat rather than dripping away
- Cooking unconventional meals on your grill, including small items, making stir-fries, and even sautéing food
- You can use it to prepare vegetable-based side dishes, such as grilled asparagus and more with a more intense flavor because the juices remain on the mat instead of dripping off of the grate
- You can also prepare fish and other delicate seafood without it falling to pieces and falling through the grates
- You can prepare sticky and saucy dishes directly on the grill without the need for a pan and without making a mess
- The mat can be used for frying fries and other foods on your grill
- You can make homemade pizza on the grill or on the stove
- It is an excellent way to prepare quesadillas, sandwiches, and other snacks and meals
- A BBQ mat is perfect for making delicious breakfast such as pancakes, eggs, bacon, and others outdoors, but you will need to use some fat such as non-stick spray or other
What are grill mats made of?
The majority of grill mats are made of fiberglass cloth which is coated with PTFE which is heat resistant and non-stick. These mats can be used on all types of grills, including charcoal, gas, and electric ones.
The coating makes the mats easy to clean even in the dishwasher after use as well.
Is using grill mats safe?
If you are worried about the safety of barbecue mats, then you shouldn’t. If they are used and maintained according to the instructions of the manufacturer, they are completely safe.
In fact, the non-stick PTFE coating has been FDA approved and is commonly used for many of other non-stick pans, trays, sheets, and other cookware.
But always follow the instructions for safety and avoid using the barbecue mat at temperatures higher than recommended to avoid the mat burning and fusing into your food.
The FDA has declared PTFE as safe for use for cooking at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
These mats provide additional safety during grilling as they can prevent dangerous flare-ups or coal spitting while grilling.
And they can safely be washed both by hand or in a dishwasher.
How to take care of your grill mat?
Here are some useful tips to ensure that your grill mat lasts longer and is safe to use:
- Invest in a high-quality barbecue mat made of safe materials and produced by a reputable manufacturer
- Avoid using the mat at cooking temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Do not use any soft plastic or metal utensils when cooking on the mat, and use silicone-tipped tongs or hard plastic spatulas instead
- Try not to scrub and scrape the surface and the coating of the barbecue mat too excessively, and abstain from using abrasives when cleaning them
- Soak them in warm water, and use liquid soap and a soft cloth when washing them by hand
- Make sure that you wash the mat thoroughly before its first use to remove any factory residue
- Avoid cooking overly sticky foods or sauces on the mat
- Use non-stick oil or other fat when cooking eggs, pancakes, and other similar foods which can stick to the grill mat
- When washing the mat in the dishwasher – use the top rack only
- Store them flat when they are not in use