The grill mat is an accessory that makes life a little easier and also unlocks new ways to use your grill. It’s essentially a reusable, safe to use thin with no gap that sits on top of your grates while you cook. Food stays off your grates, doesn’t fall through to the flame, and the barrier between your flame and food prevents flare ups and scorched food.
Considerations when choosing grill mats
Grill mats are available in a range of thicknesses. With a thinner mat, you may get those coveted grill marks on your food. Thicker mats are sturdier but may take slightly longer to heat up. It all depends on whether you'll feel more in control while you cook on a stiffer surface that's more stable or a thinner surface that has a little give to it when you're flipping food.
A quality nonstick coating on a grill mat will be slick and nearly seam-free, and a mat with more layers of nonstick material will tend to be of a higher quality.
Most mats are rectangular and can be cut down to a specific size for smaller grills. There are circular versions to fit kettle grills.
You should measure your grill or any other surface you plan to use before buying. This way, you can already know the dimensions you’re aiming for.
Keep in mind that you can and probably will cut your grill mat to size it perfectly for your cooking surface. You’ll save money if you get a grill mat that’s around the perfect size instead of paying for one that’s huge. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting a big chunk of it during resizing.
If you have a circular grill, buy a circular mat. No need to test your scissoring skills while you try to cut a circle out of a rectangle or square.
Grill mats range in price between $5 and $20. Less expensive mats under $10 are thinner with low heat tolerances of around 300°, and often found in packs of two to three. Mats between $10 and $15 have a higher heat resistance up to about 500°. You'll begin finding copper mats in this range. For $20, you'll find top-quality grill mats that are thicker, have higher heat tolerances and longer lifespans.
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