Who doesn’t love to host open-air BBQ parties?
But grilling without a grilling mat is pretty incomplete, you see. A grillaholics can be a great addition to your kitchen and make your grilling experience less of a headache and more fun. There are many straight cut benefits of grilling mats but, which one to buy? We know it can be quite a task to discern the differences and buy the best one available. Hence, we have jotted down all the positive points in this quick guide to buying the grill mat for you.
What is a grill mat?
A grill mat is just like any other mat that will cover the grill grates so that your food doesn’t fall off into the fire. Even the flames cannot directly affect the meat or fish, whatever you are grilling. Yes, the mat is pretty thin yet, it remains unharmed by the high temperature.
It is because of the fiberglass covered in layers of PTFE that makes a grilling mat serve its purpose correctly. PTFE is a type of synthetic resin that is non-reactive. The grilling mat, owing to its constituents, is so flexible, portable, lightweight yet sturdy, heat-resistant, and durable. These are super easy to clean, plus no question of creating a mess.
How to choose a grilling mat?
As stated earlier, buying a grilling mat can be a little confusing because the questions that haunt buyers are; which one to buy? Which one is the better one? Should I get a bigger one or a smaller one? And so on. To help you do away with all the dilemmas and confusion, we will share some vital points you must check before buying a grilling mat that will best suit your purpose.
- Check the thickness – The market is full of grilling mats, but you have to be smart while buying one. So, it is advisable to avoid grilling mats that are too thick else it will hamper the even heat transfer, in turn making your dish improperly-cooked. A certain amount of heat is necessary for the dish to be tender. Now, if you get a very thin mat, it will not serve its purpose for too long, which means the longevity of the mat will be impacted as a lot of heat will get transferred unevenly. Mats that have a thickness of about 0.25mm are best for making BBQs and grilling stuff nicely.
- Check the size – Check the size of your grill or BBQ oven and then buy a mat. If you purchase a bigger one accidentally, you can still manage it plus, the bigger the mat, the greater the workspace. In the case of a smaller one, you might have problems so, check the size properly.
- Range of temperature that the mat can withstand – Fish or vegetables do not require high temperature to get grilled, but if you are planning to prepare beef steak or barbecued pork chops, then the high temperature is a must. Hence, check the range of temperature your mat will be able to endure. You can opt for heavy-duty grilling mats that work too well in the lowest and highest temperatures alike.
Now we will go through the similarities and dissimilarities between the grilling mats to keep false claims at bay. This will clear all the doubts that we might have while buying a grilling mat.
Are all grill mats the same?
- Grill mats are made of the same material mostly. These have fiberglass cloth covered with layers of PTFE or polytetrafluoroethylene.
- These grill mats are usually flexible and sleek. If you wish to, you can cut these mats or even roll them and contain them in your backpack easily.
- The FDA regulations restrict them to be used at temperatures, not more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason is simple, above 500 degrees the PTFE starts to degrade, which is toxic for health.
- Generally, a non-stick film is added on the surface of the mat to make it as useful and easy to clean as non-stick utensils.
How do grill mats differ?
- These mats are available in different sizes.
- Usually, the PTFE layering is of different degrees for different grilling mats.
- The thicknesses of these mats vary pretty much. Some mats have a thickness of around 0.1mm, while some are 0.25mm and even 0.3mm thick. The quality of grilling depends a lot on the thickness of the mat. Usually, mats having 0.25mm thickness perform quite well than the others.
Why use grilling mats?
If you love to grill, then it is impossible for you to ignore the benefits of grilling mats:
- Grill mats are sleek and easy to carry anywhere; they are flexible, foldable, sturdy, and durable. You can also store these anywhere you want.
- The flat surface will allow you to try cooking new stuff such as fried fish or stir-fried veggies or fried eggs, and so on. You will be able to use the grilling oven in many innovative ways to prepare exciting dishes.
- 100% non-stick surface is approved by the FDA, which means there is no detrimental effect on health. Plus, it is incredibly easy to clean the mat with a sponge, soap, and lukewarm water.
- The mat heats up and cools down very fast, which is quite convenient.
- If you cook food on grilling mats, the food will absorb more flavors and will turn out to be more succulent.
- If you are worried about the sear marks on the surface of the food, then don’t be because sear marks appear quite well to make the grilled food look attractive even when you cook on grilling mats.
- The range of temperatures these mats can endure is not only perfect for cooking multiple dishes but also safe.
- These mats are usually pretty affordable, which means there is no question of burning a hole in your pocket.
In a nutshell, if you want to make exceptionally delicious grilled dishes maintaining hygiene, then grill mats are ideal for making your experience hassle-free and safe.