Hardly any pitmaster likes the fact that sometimes food drops in between the grill grates, causing a mess that needs to be cleaned up and a risk of flare-ups and food loss.
The good news is that there are inexpensive grill mats that can help prevent this from happening. With a good grill mat, you will be able to grill even small pieces of foods and delicate ones like fish and eggs without ruining their shape and texture.
Grill mats are durable and flat and can be cut into shape to fit your grill’s cooking surface and then cleaned and rolled up for neat storage.
Here are our top picks for the best grill mats for 2021.
These grill mats come in packs of two and are backed with a lifetime replacement warranty. This means that you only need to buy them once and then enjoy using them forever. With these Grillaholics mats, you don’t need to worry about making a mess, about dangerous flare-ups, and about food stuck on the grates.
- They are super durable and yet are thin enough to allow the food to get beautiful grill marks and sear steaks through them
- There are no harmful chemicals, silicone or PFOA used for making them
- They are made of PTFE coated Fiberglass, which is flexible, heat resistant, and can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Thanks to their shin, these mats are perfect for cooking food which will usually stick to the grill grates and can easily replace a nonstick pan
- The pack of two mats is backed by a lifetime replacement warranty
- Each mat can be used up to 1,000 times per side, which means a total of 4,000 times for both
- They are compatible with all types of grills
- Each mat is 15.75 x 3 x 0.01 inches in size and can be cut to custom fit your cooking space
- You can safely wash them in a dishwasher and reuse them over and over again
- The maximum heat resistance of these mats is 500 degrees Fahrenheit which may not be enough if you prefer grilling and cooking at higher heat levels
- They can be scratched by sharp metal tools and utensils
This grill mat is extra-large, and with a size of 25 x 17 inches, will cover even the largest cooking surfaces. It can resist temperatures of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit and act like a space-saving and inexpensive pizza stone and grill plate.
- A large size of 25 x 17 inches, which can be cut down to fit smaller surfaces as well
- The mat has the longevity of up to 1,000 uses per side
- It is 0.39mm thick and can endure a peak temperature of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
- The mat is made of heavy-duty PFOA free material
- You can use this mat on any grill, grill top, sandwich grill, or other cookware and cooking surfaces
- It has a textured surface which prevents the foods from sticking and makes lifting or flipping the food a breeze
- The surface is EZ clean and dishwasher safe
- The grill mat is backed by a 7-year warranty
- Since it is thicker than most other grill mats, you may find it hard to cook food at lower temperatures on this mat
The rest of the top picks
This budget-friendly set of two grill mats will make grilling and especially cleaning up afterward a much more enjoyable experience.
You can use each of these mats on grills, like baking sheets, pan liners, baking mats, dehydrator sheets, and as a nonstick pan.
- The set includes two mats, and it costs a fraction of what other grill mats cost
- Each mat is 13 x 17 inches in size and is 25mm thick
- They are made of heat resistant, nonstick fiberglass cloth coated with PTFE
- You can use them as cooking sheets, pan or microwave liners, pizza stones, drip catchers, baking sheets, and more
- Their surfaces are textured, preventing the food on them from getting clumped together
- They are durable, reusable, and dishwasher safe
- They can be cut to the size you want, and when you are done, you can roll them up and store them away easily
- The set of two grill mats is backed by a complete money-back guarantee
- Each of the grill mats are heat resistant and safe to use with temperatures of up to 500 degrees FahrenheitCons
- They can hold too much juice from the meat and moisture from the food on them during the cooking
This is one of the most affordable sets of grill mats on the market. In fact, you can buy this 2-piece set for under $10.
- A very inexpensive set of two grill mats
- They are PFOA and BPA-free
- Each mat is 15.75 x 13 and can be cut down to the size you want
- The mats can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Each mat is 100% nonstick, top-rack dishwasher safe, and can be reused over and over again
- You can use each one on either side safely
- They are cheap and easy to store alternatives to pizza stones
- Some pitmasters find them unsuitable for grilling meat as the juices and moisture gets trapped on them, causing the meat to steam rather than grill
This set of 5 grill mats is among the best deals you can find on the market. The inexpensive grill mat pack is one of the top-rated products. Each of the mats is nonstick, durable, reusable, and easy to clean.
- The affordable set includes five grill mats which will last you for years
- They will resist temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and will prevent food falling, grease dripping, and causing a mess in between the grates or dangerous flare-ups
- Each mat can be reused up to 100 times
- They are sold with a money-back satisfaction guarantee
- Each mat is 15.75 x 13 inches in size and can be cut to a size you need
- Their lifespan is shorter than that of other grill mats on this list
Related: Essential Grill and Smoker Accessories
When is using a grill mat necessary?
A grill mat can help eliminate or minimize the need to scrub the grates of your grill and clean up from the fallen and stuck food.
Grill mats are useful for cooking on an old and rusty grill, in order to prevent the rust and other debris from getting into contact with your food. The same goes for using a public grill. You can ensure that your food is safe to use without the need of using dangerous or unsafe tin foil on public grills.
These useful accessories can also help prevent the grease from dripping and causing flare-ups.
They are indispensable when cooking small pieces of veggies and other foods, as well as saucy foods.
Grill mats can easily replace baking sheets, pizza stones, nonstick pans, cooking sheets, pan or microwave liners, and more expensive cooking cookware. You can use them when cooking sauté dishes, stir fries, pancakes, eggs and other unconventional foods on your grill.
You can even use the grill mat for frying foods without the need of using the oven.
Grill mats are excellent for holding delicate foods like fish, veggies, and eggs together without falling apart or sticking to the grill.
You can also place a grill mat on the bottom of your oven or microwave to catch any grease and drips and keep the oven clean during the cooking.
How do grill mats work?
Grill mats are pretty simple and yet ingenious grill accessories. They are made of heat-resistant and flexible fabric material with nonstick coating and can be placed on top of the grill grates, in ovens, microwaves, pans, and other cooking surfaces.
They will act as liners or sheets, which will prevent the food from falling apart and falling in between the grates of the grill.
Most of the good grill mats are very durable and can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and even more.
Most are dishwasher safe, easy to clean and store, and can be reused hundreds and even thousands of times.
These mats are coated with PTFE which is used for coating nonstick pans and which will help prevent the food from sticking on the grill or pan, and also has flame retardant properties.
The mats are pretty universal and can be used on most types of grills, ovens, stovetops, microwaves, and other cooking appliances.
They are an affordable and useful accessory to have, especially when cooking eggs, fish, and other delicate foods on the grill. They will also prevent making a mess when cooking marinated food or food with sauces on the grill.
After use, all you need to do is wash them with some dishwashing soap and pop them into the dishwasher. Then you can roll them up and store them away until next time.
Since they are light and portable, you can take them camping, fishing, hunting, or any outdoor cooking event so that you have a clean and safe cooking surface to work on, even in the wilderness.
Still, before buying a grill mat, you should know that there are some downsides to using them. Here are some of the main cons of using a grill mat:
- They should not be used on or near open flame, or they can catch fire
- The mats have maximum temperature limits, which you need to keep in mind, and be careful not to exceed
- You can easily scratch or damage the mat if you use forks, knives, and other sharp utensils when grilling or cooking
- They are similar to griddles, so some pitmasters do not appreciate the results, especially when grilling meat on them
- Searing and high heat grilling is almost impossible on these mats as they should not be exposed to an open flame
- Some people do not like the fact that the juices from the meat or other food get trapped, which can cause the food to boil and steam instead of grilling
What is the right way to use a grill mat?
Here are some tips for using a grill mat properly, safely and so that you get the best results for long from your purchase:
Make sure you wash the grill mat thoroughly before using it for the first time. Use dishwashing liquid and hot water to remove any debris or dirt from the surface to ensure that it is safe and sanitary to place food on the mat.
Never place the mat directly over an open flame, or allow the grill surface covered by it to exceed the maximum heat it can resist.
Even though they are advertised as resistant to high heat, to stay on the safe side, try not to exceed the cooking temperatures to over 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid using sharp metal knives, forks, and other utensils, which can easily scratch the nonstick coating of the mat. Instead, use silicone, wood, or other safe-to-use grill tongs and utensils when cooking on the mat.
Always make sure that you rinse off and wash the mat after use, but remember to let it cool down first. You can rinse it off with some warm soapy water and then place it on the top rack of your washing machine. Leaving the mat dirty can make it hard to clean and unusable next time.
Avoid using a scrubbing abrasive brush or tool when washing the mat.
Most mats should be rolled and not folded for storage, so read the instructions of the manufacturer.
Things to consider when choosing a grill mat
While grill mats are simple and may look the same, there are some features that we recommend that you keep in mind when picking the most suitable one for your needs.
Is it nonstick?
First, check whether it has a reliable and durable nonstick coating like PTFE, preventing the food from sticking on the surface during cooking. At the same time, it is recommended that you make sure that there are no harmful chemicals like PFOA or BPA used because this can make the food cooked on it unsafe to eat.
The grill mats come in different sizes, but the good news is that you can cut them safely to fit the cooking area you want to cover. Just make sure to measure your grilling area, your oven, or other cooking appliance you will be using to ensure that the grill mat will cover it sufficiently.
Opt for one close to the size you need instead of paying for a huge one and then cutting it out and throwing away the rest.
If you can find a mat that fits the exact surface and shape of your grill, pan, or other, then go for it – this will save you the time and effort of having to cut it at all.
Thicker grill mats are usually more durable than thinner ones. This, of course, is an advantage, but thicken ones also make heating and cooking foods at lower temperatures more difficult.
The optimal thickness for the longest durability and the best cooking results is about 0.25mm.
This will ensure that your food cooks evenly, without hot and cold spots, and to the doneness, you want it to. At the same time, a mat this thick can be reused for hundreds and sometimes thousands of times, which will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Most grill mats can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Some can resist temperatures of up to 600 degrees.
The rule of the thumb is to opt for a mat that can resist higher temperatures in order to stay on the safe side when using it during your grilling sessions.
Grill mats are inexpensive, easy to use, and perfect for those of you who like low-maintenance cooking.
They will save you time and effort for cleaning the grill, pans, oven, or other. They will also help prevent you from losing your food to the grill by letting it fall in between the grates or sticking to them.
While many traditional pitmasters are not fans of the grill mats for searing, smoking, or barbecuing, these affordable kitchen utensils are great to have around the kitchen. They can come in handy for all types of cooking needs, replacing some much more expensive appliances and tools such as griddles, pizza stones, nonstick pans, and others.