Grilling is one of the simple pleasures in life. You get to cook up delicious meals for yourself and your family while spending time outside, and the flavors you get from a grill can’t always be achieved in the kitchen.
One of the drawbacks of grilling, though, is that it can be quite messy. Food might end up getting burnt from the flames, and small pieces of food might end up falling through the grates and into the flames. Plus, you might end up dropping ingredients on the floor accidentally, potentially staining your deck or patio. And let’s not fail to mention the hassle that is the task of cleaning your grill after each use.
If you thought that there wasn’t really anything you could do about these common grilling problems, think again. A grill mat is a simple product that can make a big difference by preventing food from falling through the grates, helping food cook evenly, and making grill cleanup a lot easier.
Grill Mat Basics
What is a grill mat? Well, it’s a small mat that you place right on the grill. Designed to be resistant to high temperatures, this product is also non-stick, so you should find it easy to move, flip, and pick up your ingredients as they cook. Then, when you’re done, you can simply remove the grill mat and clean it, revealing the clean grates that were underneath it because you didn’t need to put any food directly on them.
Whether you’re cooking meats or vegetables on your grill, the right mat can make things easier. You can use this type of mat on a grill that’s powered by gas, and it will also work well on a charcoal grill. Without needing to worry about any food falling through the grates, you can cook with more confidence and without having to use skewers. Plus, you might find yourself grilling a wider variety of foods because a grill mat can provide you with a flat surface that makes it possible to grill foods that you previously wouldn’t have been able to.
In addition to the mats that you can place on your grill, you can also find larger ones that are designed to be placed under your grill. These can help protect the ground from spills and messes that could happen whenever you grill yummy food for friends and family.
What about cleanup? Don’t worry, as grill mats that are non-stick to prevent food from sticking to them are also going to be easy to clean after each use. Of course, you’ll want to be sure the mat has been able to cool completely before you wash it. And it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to how to clean your grill mat so you can get the right results with the least amount of effort. For instance, you might need to take steps to preserve the non-stick coating, or you might be able to toss the grill mat into your dishwasher.
Shopping for the Right Grill Mat Is Easy
Are you ready to give a grill mat a try? That’s great! But because there are so many options on the market, you might find yourself feeling a little confused about which one to go with. To help you out, we’ve put together the list of items below. As you’ll see, there are plenty of great grill mats that are affordably priced and will give you what you need. It’s just a matter of deciding which one has everything you want and will work perfectly with your grill.
1. Editor’s Choice: KONA Best BBQ Grill Mat
With this grill mat, you might find that grilling your favorite foods becomes a lot easier. This mat is non-stick and reusable, and you can roll it up or keep it flat to store it away in between uses. It can withstand temperatures up to 600°F, and it has a thickness of around .39 mm, making it thicker than some other options. Plus, you can choose between hand washing it or putting it in your dishwasher to clean it.
- This grill mat is PFOA free and has a non-stick surface, so it’s easy to use and clean.
- You can clean this grill mat in the dishwasher.
- This grill mat is thick and can withstand high temperatures.
- Some customer reviews state they were disappointed by the durability of this grill mat.
2. Runner Up: Grillaholics Grill Mat – Set of 2
This grill mat is designed to work on any grill. It’s non-stick with a smooth finish, PFOA free, and dishwasher safe for simple cleanup when you’re finished using it. And it’s also a great choice if you want to get creative with the variety of foods you can prepare on the grill. It helps prevent flare-ups while you cook, and because it covers the grill, you won’t have to worry about needing to clean the grates when you’re done. Plus, if you like grill marks on your food, this mat will allow you to have that.
- This grill mat is PFOA free, can withstand temperatures up to 500°F, and is non-stick.
- This product is designed to work with any grill.
- You can clean this product in the dishwasher.
- This grill mat is the right thickness to allow for grill marks on your food.
- Some customer reviews state that they were disappointed with the non-stick performance of this grill mat.
3. Best with Holes: GRILLART Grill Mat with Holes
What makes this grill mat different from some of the others that are available? It’s the fact that it has small holes, which let the smoke from your grill add extra flavor to your food. Plus, the holes can help fat drip away from your food and off the mat so it doesn’t pool on it. And this product is non-stick, PFOA free, dishwasher safe, and 0.4 mm thick. And it can withstand temperatures up to 600°F.
- This grill mat has a non-stick coating and is PFOA free.
- The holes allow grease to drip away while allowing smoke from the grill’s flames through.
- This thick grill mat can resist temperatures up to 600°F.
- This grill mat should be a certain amount of distance from the flames to prevent it from being damaged.
4. Best Multi-Pack: Renook Grill Mat Set of 6-100% Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mats
This is yet another mat that can help you get yummy results with less mess. It’s non-stick and PFOA free, and it’s the right thickness to allow your food to have grill marks too. If its size is too large for your grill, you can just cut it so it will fit just right. And when you need to clean this mat, you can simply pop it in the dishwasher.
- This is a multi-pack, so you get six grill mats.
- This product is PFOA free, non-stick, and easy to clean, so you can use it again and again.
- This grill mat is thin enough to allow for grill marks on your food.
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure you place this grill mat at the proper distance from the flames to avoid damaging it.
- Although this product is heat resistant up to 500°F if you’re grilling for a short amount of time, it’s only resistant to 260°F if you’re grilling for more than 30 minutes.
5. Best Versatile: GRILLING 4 LIFE BBQ Grill Mat
With this option, you get a pack of three grill mats that are PFOA free, BPA free, and non-stick. Each mat is 0.4 mm thick and measures about 15.75 inches by 13 inches, but you can cut it to the right size if it’s too large for your grill. Plus, you can use this mat for grilling, as well as baking, and it’s dishwasher safe.
- This is a set of three grill mats for an affordable price.
- This mat is thick and can withstand temperatures up to 600°F.
- You can use this mat for baking as well as barbecuing, so you can use it in your oven and on your grill.
- Because of the rectangular shape of this mat, it won’t work well on round grills unless you cut it.
6. Best Extra Thick: GrillShield – 3 Heavy Duty 600 Degree Grill and Bake Mats
If you think that you’ll need a few grill mats to meet your needs, you can go with this pack of three. Each mat measures 13 inches by 16 inches, and the thickness is 0.4 mm. The smooth, non-stick surface will help ensure no food sticks to the mat, and will also help make cleanup a breeze. Plus, you can rest assured that this is yet another grill mat that’s PFOA free.
- This is a 3-pack, so you get multiple grill mats for an affordable price.
- This grill mat is thick, and you can cut it easily to fit your grill if it’s too big.
- You can clean this grill mat in your dishwasher.
- If you don’t need too many grill mats, this pack may not be right for you.
7. Best Budget Friendly: AmazonCommercial BBQ Non-Stick Grill Mats
If you’re shopping on a tight budget, this grill mat might give you everything you need at a price that won’t shock you. Place this mat on your grill to cook a variety of foods, from meats to veggies, and rest assured that the non-stick surface will help prevent food from sticking. This grill mat is able to withstand temperatures up to 500°F, and it’s rectangular to fit most grills. Plus, it’s thin enough that you can get grill marks on your food.
- This is a pack of two grill mats for a low price that’s great for those shopping on a budget.
- Although this grill mat resists temperatures up to 500°F, it’s also thin enough to allow you to get grill marks on your food.
- This is a non-stick grill mat that has a smooth surface, and it can be rolled for storage.
- You shouldn’t fold this grill mat when storing it away.
- Some customer reviews state they had trouble getting this grill mat clean.
8. Best for Under the Grill: GRILLTEX Under the Grill Protective Deck and Patio Mat
Are you in search of a grill mat that you can set up underneath your grill to protect the deck or patio? Then check out this one, which measures 39 inches by 72 inches. It’s made of rubber and is easy to clean, as all you have to do is rinse it with water from your garden hose. Plus, it works well with charcoal grills, ceramic grills, smokers, and oil fryers.
- This is a large mat that can protect your deck or patio from spills when you’re grilling outside.
- This mat is heat resistant and easy to clean.
- According to customer reviews, this mat might stain composite decks.
Things to look out for:
As you begin your search for the right grill mat that will suit your needs and make grilling easier and cleaner, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind. By looking at the following features when comparing grill mats, you can narrow down your options more efficiently and increase the odds that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase:
First, figure out whether you want a grill mat that you’ll use on the grill itself or under the grill. Or, you might opt to buy one of each! Either way, you’ll need to take some measurements to be sure you look at mats that will fit your grill. A mat that will go under your grill to keep your patio or deck clean should be large enough to provide plenty of coverage without overdoing it. And for a grill that will go on the grates, you want one that will fit all of the food you plan on cooking on it.
Remember, there might be some ingredients, such as meats, that you’ll still want to prepare directly on the grates, so it isn’t a good idea to go with a mat that will cover the grates completely. And there should be a few inches between the sides of the grill and the mat.
In addition to the size, consider the shape of the grill mat you need. For instance, if you have a circular charcoal grill, getting a circular mat will definitely be worthwhile. But if you can’t find anything that’s just right in terms of size and shape, don’t worry, as there are many products designed to be easy to cut to ensure you get the right fit.
When browsing grill mats, you should also check the designs and the materials that they’re made of. Do you want a solid mat or one that has holes to let the smoke affect the taste of your food? Also, grill mats that feature copper can help ensure your food will cook evenly. And, of course, those with non-stick surfaces are ultra-convenient.
Yet another important thing to look for is the heat resistance of a grill mat. After all, this product will be exposed to the high heat of your grill’s flames, so you’ll want to be sure it’ll be able to withstand it and remain in good shape. Generally, it’s wise to go with a mat that can handle 500°F or higher. But, regardless of the mat you go with, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to be sure you don’t expose the product to temperatures that are too high. By staying within the proper temperature range, you can help ensure the product will be effective and durable.
Finally, grill mats will vary in terms of their thickness, and the thickness might impact how your food will turn out and how easy it will be to cook your ingredients evenly. Mats that are thicker might be able to withstand higher temperatures. However, thicker mats might have some drawbacks. For example, you might find that they don’t heat up as quickly or evenly, making grilling your food to perfection even harder. Put simply, you don’t want to go with a product that’s too thin or too thick, so this is something you should look for as you read through the features of any mat.
Photo credit: Jessica M. Sarnese/Shutterstock