The Best Grill Mats To Get The Most Out Of Your Summer Barbecue

grill mat

Featured Photo by Thimo van Leeuwen on Unsplash

If you don't even know what they are, finding the best grill mats may not be on your mind. If you love grilling, you know that nothing says summer like burgers sizzling over the coals. But, why limit yourself to only burgers?

There's nothing better than being outside in the summer, and there's just something about grilling outdoors in the early evening to turn dinner into a real feast. Grilling can become a chore for a weekday dinner, but not with a grill mat. You won't have to cook half in the kitchen and half in the backyard, because a grill mat lets you cook anything from corn on the cob and fresh summer squash right there on the grill.

Best of all, clean up is so much easier with the best grill mats. You won't have to spend an hour scrubbing down the grill, and you won't have to clean after messy grease fires, either.

Comparison Table

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The Best Grill Mats, And How To Use Them

If you're an avid griller, one of the more frustrating parts of the process is how much food can fall between the grill grates. All of those delicious juices from burgers, chicken, and other meat drips down between the grate onto the coals. It's flavor lost to the fire.

Plus, it's all too easy to drop a piece of food right onto the coals and lose it. If these frustrations are common in your grilling experience, or if you want to see how you can make grilling more manageable, you should start looking for the best grill mats.

A grill mat is nothing more than a highly heat-resistant mat that rests on top of your grill grate, transferring all the heat while catching everything that may end up on the coals below. The best grill mats transfer heat effectively and work consistently over repeated use.

“Grilling means good times, good friends, and hopefully, great food.”

Bobby Flay, celebrity chef, restaurateur

What Makes A Grill Mat The Best?

So what makes the best grill mats stand out from the others? A big part of this is how durable the grill mat is, although a lot of this durability also comes from care.

The best grill mats are on the same level as nonstick cooking pans and contain some of the same material. If you want your grill mats to last, you should treat them with the same care. Even the best grill mats contain with polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, which is the nonstick coating for these mats.

When heated beyond 500 degrees, PTFE gives off emissions that can be toxic. So, make sure you're always keeping your grill mat below that threshold, whether it's the highest quality or not.

The best grill mats will neither be too thick or too thin so that they will neither burn up on the grill or disperse heat too slowly. Also, look for a grill mat that will fit your grill. Some come already cut into circle shapes, but if you've got a large grill, you may need to look harder to find the right size grill mat for you.

With any grill mat, make sure to keep it clean between uses. Don't use metal tools on it, just like with nonstick pans, because this can damage the nonstick coating. Silicone tools easily resist the heat and easily protect your grill mats from scratching.

Trial By Fire: Picking The Best Grill Mats

grilling food

Photo by Evan Wise on Unsplash

When it comes to choosing the best grill mats, it can seem challenging to narrow down the best choices from the average. To help us pick the best of the best, we rely on two sources: professional reviews and customer feedback.

While there aren't many professional reviews of the best grill mats yet, there are still a few from such reputable sites as Business Insider and the Kitchn. We love expert reviews because they have a certain degree of resources and expertise that you can't find elsewhere.

For example, when the Kitchn releases a review, we know that they have done their due diligence to research every aspect of the best grill mats. A grill mat tested by this site or one like it will have gone through a series of tests meant to give you the best idea of how the grill mat works.

However, there are limits to professional reviews. One of the most significant weak spots for these reviews is that often only one person performs them. With customer reviews, there is strength in numbers. Instead of just getting one opinion, you can quickly see the consensus of many users, sometimes in the hundreds.

One debatable benefit of customer reviews is that everyday users will often make mistakes when using the product. This lack of expertise lets you see how the product holds up during daily use and how easy it is for the average person to use. Professionals can come up with a lot of scenarios, but they rarely put their products through the same level of wear and tear.

Since customer reviews are so important to us, we make sure that every product we recommend has at least 4.0 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon or a similar retail website.

Our Choices For The Best Grill Mats

We've organized our top picks for the best grill mats in alphabetical order for your convenience.

1

Aoocan Grill Mat

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This grill mat from Aoocan comes in a set of five mats that are 13 inches by 15.75 inches. These mats are made from fiberglass and Teflon, using PTFE as we mentioned earlier. As long as you don't use these mats at temperatures above 500 degrees, they're FDA approved for food safety.

That PTFE coating makes these mats nonstick and easy to clean, which is helpful because regular cleaning will keep these mats working for longer. With proper use, these mats can be used at least 100 times.

Aoocan recommends you use these mats at least 4 inches away from open flame. If your grill is not the right size for these mats, you can easily cut them to fit. 

2

Cook Time BBQ Grill Mesh Mat

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The Cook Time BBQ Grill Mesh Mat is a bit different from other grill mats that we recommend. The most significant difference is that these mats are mesh rather than solid material.

This mesh cuts down on the amount of grease that is captured during cooking but otherwise has all of the same benefits as a solid sheet. Another major draw for the Cook Time BBQ Grill Mesh Mat is that they are dishwasher safe. They're not just easy to clean, you can pop them in the top rack of your machine and let it run.

3

Grillaholics Grill Mat

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The Grillaholics Grill Mat is one of the more expensive mats that we recommend, coming only in sets of two and still costing more than most of the other mats here. However, they are also one of the most popular brands.

However, their main claim to fame is that they are the only grill mats you'll need. They are heavy duty, machine-washable mats that are supposed to last a lifetime. Not only do these grill mats leave grill marks, they still offer a high degree of heat resistance and durability.

Like the other mats we've recommended, Grillaholics is a PTFE grill mat with a temperature threshold of 500 degrees.

4

Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat

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The Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat is one of the more expensive grill mats on this list and only comes in sets of two. But it backs up this higher price point with bold claims of durability and longevity.

For example, these mats are some of the thickest grill mats that we recommend here. According to Kona, this helps them last as long as 1,000 uses on each side, which is likely longer than many people will ever use them. They also withstand hotter temperatures, going up to 600 degrees safely.

If this additional sturdy engineering doesn't attract you, you may be interested in the seven-year guarantee that even protects these mats from accidental overheating. 

5

LauKingdom Grill Mat

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While Kona's BBQ Grill Mats advertise lifelong quality for their mats, they are also significantly thicker and more expensive than other mats on the market. The LauKingdom Grill Mat is not only thinner, which results in better heat transference, but quite a bit cheaper than Kona's mats.

The reason this is important is that LauKingdom also advertises over 1,000 uses for each of their grill mats. Rather than a set of two, these grill mats come in sets of five. As long as you keep your mats clean and never heat them over 500 degrees, you'll be using just one set of LauKingdom grill mats for years to come.

The main drawback is that LauKingdom only guarantees their grill mats for two years, rather than seven like the Kona mats are.

6

Looch Grill Mat

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Looch's set of six grill mats may not last 1,000 uses on each side like other mats claim to do. But at six for such a low price, you could get a lot fewer than 1,000 and still get your money's worth.

Like other mats that we've discussed here, the Looch Grill Mat is a PTFE-coated nonstick mat that can withstand heat up to 500 degrees. It is also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, and can even go into the oven as a nonstick protector to go under particularly messy bakes.

These mats are 15.75 inches by 13 inches. You can cut them down to size to make them fit any size grill you have.

7

PhatMat Non-Stick Grill Mesh Mats XL

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PhatMat's Non-Stick Grill Mesh Mats may be the most expensive set of two mats that we recommend, but it's for a good reason. These are the only mats to offer a size that covers the largest grills.

At 19 inches by 11 inches, these grill mats earn their XL name. These mats are also made of mesh, much like the Cook Time mats farther up the list. These mats have a solid border to reinforce the mesh and give you a cooler zone to place cooked food. If you have an especially large grill and love cooking for a crowd, consider the PhatMat.

This grill mat's mesh construction doesn't harm its usefulness and longevity. However, they should be kept 6 to 8 inches from open flames to make sure they don't burn.

8

Renook Grill Mat

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This set of six grill mats from Renook might not have the most reviews or the most advanced technology. However, it does have the benefit of being inexpensive, and being Amazon's Choice among all grill mats on the site.

One weakness of the Renook Grill Mat is that they have a lower heat threshold than other mats on the list, and are less durable. They can only go to 400 degrees, rather than 500, for a short time. If you use them for more than 30 minutes, you should not heat them above 260 degrees.

These mats can also only be used about 100 times on each side. While this is still a lot by anyone's standards, it's possible you'll need new grill mats much sooner. A sturdier, longer-lasting alternative would prevent that from happening.

The Hottest Grill Mats Around

The best grill mats for your backyard barbecues will last long, clean quickly, and make your life much easier. Now, small food like shrimp and chopped vegetables won't need a skewer to keep them from falling into the coals.

If you were only going to buy one grill mat, our pick would be the LauKingdom grill mat. They have the same long lifespan as other mats on the list. But with one of the lowest price tags, they're a reliable investment. Ultimately, any of these can be the best grill mats if you give them proper care.

If you're on the fence about grill mats, remember they're just a tool to add to your grilling arsenal. We all still want juicy burgers with dark grill marks. But the best grill mats make everything else less of a hassle.

Do you use grill mats? What's your favorite thing to throw on the barbecue? Give us a comment and let us know below!

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