Grill mats are fast becoming the must-have BBQ accessory. And from what I have ascertained through my own personal experience, I can say that it is more than justifiable.
Let’s be honest, cooking is the best part of the whole BBQ experience. Slapping some perfectly marinated meat onto the grill and nursing it through the cooking process to ensure it’s delivered in pristine condition is fundamentally what owning a grill is all about. The part that sucks is the part that always sucks – cleaning. That marinade sure does love to stick to the grill. And although our cleaning know-how has matured greatly in a relatively short space of time, there is still often a time that you will find yourself scrubbing away furiously on that burnt-in piece of marinated chicken.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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