Best Grill Mats for All Types of Grills

Photograph: https://www.grillaholics.com/
Photograph: https://www.grillaholics.com/

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Anyone who grills frequently knows how irritating it can be to drop food between the grates.

Or not being able to cook tender or soft or delicate food like eggs, fish, and small veggies.

If you don’t want to buy a stand-alone outdoor griddle, grill mats are an ideal solution.

They are flat, durable surfaces that have the flexibility to be rolled for storage or cut into the ideal shape for your grill or oven.

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to find the best grill mat for your cookout needs. Let’s get started.

At a Glance: Our Top Choices For Best Grill Mat

The Best Grill Mats Reviewed

1. Best Overall Grill Mat – Kona XL Best Grill Mat

Kona XL Best Grill Mat - BBQ Grill Mat Covers The Entire Grill - Premium Non-Stick 25'x17'

This grill mat is large enough for the vast majority of grilling surfaces. It usually has enough left over for cutting down to the correct size if necessary.

It’s got a great peak temperature and excellent thickness, although this may be a bit too much if your grill has trouble reaching high temperatures.

But the high-temperature range means that you can cook without worrying about damaging the mat at all.

Even flare-ups aren’t much of a worry due to its durability. Plus, the mat has a textured surface that prevents food from sticking even better than competing mats and which makes cleanup all the easier to accomplish.

The mat is affordable, well-sized, and fantastic to use. It’s rated for over 1,000 uses per side and you can use both sizes equally.

Once you’ve gotten your hands on this mat, you won’t likely need a new one for many, many years to come.

What We Like:

  • High Peak Temperature – This grill mat has a maximum temperature of 600°F. This is excellent for safety reasons and lets you cook most foods quickly at higher temperatures. In addition, higher temperatures allow you to cook food more easily despite its larger-than-average thickness.
  • 7 year guarantee – The manufacturer guarantees that the mat will work for 7 years. They will replace it for free if it’s damaged, even if damaged occurred due to overheating. Great value for money.
  • EZ clean surface – The mat has a great surface that is easy to scrub clean. It’s patterned to prevent food from sticking or clumping together so it all falls away during cleanup time.

What We Don’t Like:

  • A bit too thick – The mat has a thickness of 0.39mm. This is a bit more than the ideal thickness of 0.25mm, so you might see some trouble heating certain foods at lower temperatures.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

2. Runner Up – Grillaholics Grill Mat- Set of 2

Grillaholics Grill Mat - Set of 2 Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Mats - Non Stick, Reusable, and Easy to Clean Barbecue Grilling Accessories - Lifetime Manufacturers Warranty

This 2-pack of grill mats are dishwasher-safe and thin enough to leave sear marks on steaks and other foods. They’re sized well for most grills and ovens but are easy to cut if they don’t fit yours.

What We Like

  • Easy to clean/Dishwasher safe – These are great for throwing into the dishwasher since they can bend quite easily. This avoids the possibility of them covering other dishes in need of a clean.
  • 2 in purchase – There’s no doubt that this is great value for money. Having two means you’ve got a backup in case of an accident and essentially double the lifespan for your grill mat needs.
  • Keep sear marks – Although you have to grill a few items at first, eventually the mat’s thinness works to let you keep some grill marks on your meat. It’s a nice bonus for aesthetic/flavor reasons.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Maximum temperature low – It has a maximum temperature of around 500 degrees. This can be too close for comfort when grilling at high heat levels. Flare ups, in particular, can be an issue for mats with this maximum temperature.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

Alternative Options to Consider

If you can’t get your hands on either of the above options, there are a few other decent mats out there to consider.

3. Chef Caron Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mats

Chef Caron Non Stick BBQ Grill mats - Set of 2 - for Gas, Charcoal, Pellet Grills - Magic mat as seen on tv - Large Professional Cooking mat - Keep Your Barbecue Grate Clean

This grill mat set of two has a temperature maximum of 500 degrees and the ideal, perfect thickness of around 0.25mm. This is great for all kinds of foods at most temperatures.

In addition, these mats use a second layer of PTFE to ensure that nothing sticks to the surface whatsoever, no matter how greasy or sticky it is normally. The mat surface is just slightly textured to help keep food from clumping together.

The second coating also has the added bonus of increasing the lifespan of a grill mat, so it’s a fantastic bonus for the already-affordable set. Even with the coating, it’s flexible enough to be placed in a dishwasher or stored in a cramped spot for convenience.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

4. Kitchen-Home BBQ Grill Mats Set of 2

Kitchen + Home - BBQ Grill Mats -100% Non-Stick, Heavy Duty, Reusable, BPA and PFOA Free BBQ Grilling Accessories - 15.75 x 13 - (Set of 2)

This durable set of two mats is thicker than most other competitors. That does mean that lower temperatures will have difficulty cooking various foods. Add that to the fact that it has a maximum temperature rating of 500 degrees. Still, it can be an ideal choice if you’re worried about the mats degrading in your oven or atop your grill over time.

The durability would come in handy if you plan to use the mats in the oven more than on a traditional grill. The heat will come from all around the food rather than just the bottom. Cutting these mats is still easy enough with normal scissors even if they are a bit thicker than average.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

5. Apocan Grill Mat

Aoocan Grill Mat - Set of 5 Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Mats - Non Stick, BBQ Grill & Baking Mats - Reusable, Easy to Clean Barbecue Grilling Accessories - Work on Gas Charcoal Electric - Extended Warranty

This set of grill mats includes five with your purchase. The price marks this set as a great budget option. To make things better, the mats come with an extended warranty, applicable if you don’t like the performance of the mats.

The downside to this set is that each mat has a lifespan of around 100 uses, whereas many higher-quality mats have lifespans of around 1000 uses or more.

You get what you pay for here and the value comes from having cheap, effective mats that you can dispose of once they’re through. Each mat can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees and has a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

What are grill mats and how do they work

Traditional grills have you place food suspended between grates. In most cases, food is firm enough to rest on these grates without falling apart.

But some foods are soft and tender and will come apart and fall through the narrow spaces between grates.

Grill mats are thin sheets or heat-able material that you place atop regular grates on a grill or inside an oven.

You can then place softer foods like eggs or fish atop a grill mat and cook them without any risk for those foods falling through to the bottom.

You can see how they work at around the 1:07 mark in this video.

Grill mats can withstand hot cooking temperatures without becoming damaged. They’re usually made from a heavy-duty coated fabric. The material is flexible and lightweight, yet durable at the same time.

A grill mat is so protective since it’s covered in PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene. That’s a mouthful, but essentially PTFE is a synthetic resin that prevents stuff from sticking to the mat, as well as providing some flame-retardant qualities.

You can use grill mats on electric, gas or charcoal grills.

Because they’re a flat, even surface, they don’t have the same risk for soft or tender foods falling through as traditional grilling grates do.

When to use grill mats

The design makes them perfect for food like fish, eggs or loose vegetables.

Even if you’d like to cook steak with sear marks, you can simply turn the grill mat and make some room for hardier food that benefits from the grates and cook softer stuff on the mat beside them.

A grill mat really opens up your cooking opportunities. Use them to preserve sauces and spices while heating them up to be really creative.

You can also use grill mats to make your end-of-cookout cleanup that much easier.

Scrubbing down a grill mat in the sink is a lot easier than scraping the grease and gunk off thin grilling grates.

You’ll also save the mess you might have made if some of your food fell to the bottom.

Another great benefit to grilling mats is that they’re extremely portable. You can bring them anywhere, even camping sites, and use them as sanitized, clean cooking surfaces.

You might not be able to trust a random campsite grill, but you can definitely trust your grill mat.

Despite all the advantages, grill mats have two downsides to be aware of:

  1. Grill mats can catch fire, so avoid using them over open flames or exceeding the heat limit
  2. Grill mats can be easily damaged with metal utensils, so you need to be careful when spearing meet or cutting it open to check.

There aren’t any real flavor differences between a grill mat and a griddle.

You will miss out on a bit of smoky flavor since the food won’t be directly exposed to a flame.

In fact, meat that exudes juices will end up cooking inside them, improving flavor in many cases.

How to Use Grill Mats

When you first buy the grill mat, be sure to give it a good wash in hot, soapy water. This will remove any excess dirt or debris from the manufacturing center before you place food on its surface.

Using your grill mat is easy as long as you avoid damaging it and being risky with higher temperatures.

For starters, you should never let your grill mat be exposed to temperatures exceeding 500°F.

Most mats are rated for temperatures between 300 and 450°F.

Even with the PTFE coating, many mats will break down once you start hitting temperatures of around 570 degrees.

However, this is far hotter than you ever need to be to cook food safely.

When maneuvering food, you should always use plastic utensils to avoid cutting into the material.

Silicone-tipped tools can work as well; just avoid stuff with sharp edges.

After you’ve finished cooking, you’ll want to clean your grill mat soon after.

Hand wash it with a mild soap that isn’t too corrosive and you’ll avoid wearing down the PTFE layer over time. You can use it in the dishwasher if you like but you’ll risk the mat covering other dishes during cleaning.

Don’t use a scrubbing brush, either. This, too, can eliminate the PTFE coating if you’re not careful.

What to Look For in a Grill Mat

These are the top things to look for in the ideal grill mat. Keep them in mind when browsing to identify great grill mats from mediocre ones.

Size

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.

Thickness

The thickness of your grill mat is important as well. You should be able to feel this difference easily with your finger.

Avoid mats that are too thin since they’ll heat too quickly. In addition, these mats are really susceptible to being burned through or degrading too fast. At the same time, mats that are too thick will not heat effectively and won’t cook your food evenly.

Ideally, you’ll want to find a grill mat that has a thickness of about 0.25mm. This is perfect for achieving optimal heating speed and evenness across its surface without compromising its integrity or safety.

Temperature Capacity

The temperature capacities of most mats don’t vary too much. Of course, ones with higher maximum temperatures means they’re less likely to accidentally break down in an accident. Try to find a grill mat with a maximum temperature rating of 500 degrees or so.

This should give you some good leeway in case flames suddenly jump up or someone accidentally pours too much charcoal into the pit.

Wrapping it up

The best grill mat is the one that suits your needs. While the Kona XL Best Grill Mat is our favorite, any of the above mats should be excellent choices for a variety of grilling endeavors. 

Just remember to find a grill mat that has a temperature rating that’s high enough for your average cookout temperatures and you’ll be all set.

Last update on 2019-08-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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