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Grill mats are a nice product to have on hand. For most grilling, they’re not the greatest, admittedly. At best they don’t help much, and at worst they just get in the way.
But when cooking certain foods, like jumbles of vegetables, seafood (which can be crumbly, or in small pieces like shrimp or scallops), or hamburgers they can be of incredible use.
Grill mats can be a life saver sometimes, aiding cleanup or preventing grease fires from happening, as well as a range of other uses. The problem is finding a good one. Most grill mats seem much the same as any other, right?
To an extent that’s true; all are (or should be) made of the same material, leaving the differences as much more subtle and harder to distinguish. That’s why this is here, to break down what makes each grill mat unique and whether or not it’s worth buying for the price.
Here are the best BBQ grill mats you can buy:
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
Top 9 Best BBQ Grill Mats Reviews
Kona takes the “thicker is better” approach to grill mat design, and that’s this mat’s claim to fame. It comes in at a very thick .39 mm, a whole 50% thicker than what I’d consider the minimum for a good, thick mat.
The material is of course a non-stick (generic Teflon-alike) coating over the standard fiberglass cloth construction, but the thickness gives this one a much higher rated temperature than the average, being safe all the way up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (around 315 degrees Celsius), though it’s recommended to really only use it up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (or 260 degrees Celsius; the perfect temperature for searing steaks).
Many grill mats are only truly safe to use up to around 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (148 to 204 degrees Celsius) or they wear out quickly. Not so with this mat which is rated for 1000 uses per side; another excellent function of its thicker construction.
This is a top of the line grill mat, and for the price can’t be beat. It’s very inexpensive all things considered, especially when factoring in that you get two of them in the same bundle and they’re covered by a 7 year warranty that covers replacements for pretty much anything (including accidental burning).
Superior thickly constructed grill mat.
Rated for prolonged use over very high temperatures.
Very reasonable price.
Excellent 7 year warranty.
Two mats per package.
A thicker mat, as always, will heat up for use much more slowly than a thinner one.
This Grillaholics grill mat claims to be the “100% perfect size”, in this case referring to the thickness, not the actual surface area of the mat. No exact measurement is given (and it’s hard to measure by hand) but this seems to be a .25 mm mat, which is to be true in many ways a “best of both worlds” kind of mat.
A 25 mm thickness allows the mat to heat up fairly quickly while still retaining a fair amount of temperature resistance, this one clocking in at being able to withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) though I do not recommend testing that. A more comfortable heat range would be somewhere in the ballpark of 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (148 to 204 degrees Celsius). This is fine for many purposes, but will mean if you intend to do searing you’d be best off removing the grill mat from the grill before doing so.
These mats come in a set of 2, and are well backed up by an excellent lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. They should last you a good while, and have enough material to be cut to any shape or size you need for your grill, oven, or other purposes.
My main issue is the price; they are the same price as the Kona mats above. I believe those are better, but it may come down to personal preference. A thinner mat will allow for faster heating and some grill lines to still come through, so that’s always nice if nothing else.
Heats up fast.
Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
Less heat resistant than the Kona grill mats.
These grill mats live up to their name, being satisfyingly large in every one of their dimensions.
The surface area deserves a special shoutout, with a 20 inch x 17 inch area (a total 340 square inch surface area). This is the perfect size for the average grill, and combined the two cover all but the hugest traditional grills, and can be cut to fit anything with an odd shape (like the Big Green Egg or others with relatively small round surfaces).
The thickness is likewise great, with a very durable .4 mm thickness. It can withstand temperatures up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (315 degrees Celsius) though like the similarly thick Kona, is still probably better used at most at 500 degrees, to hedge your bets against unexpected temperature flareups or uneven heating.
Still, this means it’s perfect for almost any grilling purpose, including searing steaks. It won’t leave those satisfying grill lines, sadly, but will cook food evenly and to whatever desired temperature you choose.
These are a great purchase, especially for a set of two that cost a bit less than the Kona.
Extremely thick mat gives increased durability, longevity, and heat resistance, allowing for hotter temperatures when cooking.
Large size increases cooking surface area and makes it compatible with more grills.
Relatively inexpensive price makes this a tempting purchase.
Thicker construction makes it harder to heat up, making it longer before you can grill.
These grill mats are cheap, and I’m not just talking about their price.
The thickness is the main issue, coming in at a mere .2 mm. They heat up fast, and not in a good way. They have a fairly low temperature threshold compared to other grill mats (low enough it’s hard to gauge exact numbers, but impractically low temperatures) and are easily burnt or destroyed.
The surface area is also disappointingly low, giving you only 13 inches by 16 inches (208 square inches total of cooking space) of surface area to cut and work with. Combined between the two this is enough for a decent sized grill, but given how quickly they wear out, you’ll need the second one on hand for when the first falls apart.
I can’t recommend these grill mats for anyone; they’re too thin, too small, and overall too cheaply made to be anywhere near decent.
Thin grill mats heat up incredibly fast.
Small surface area.
Wear out fast.
Very low usable temperature range; almost unsuitable for use.
I’m not sure where these mats give their information, but at least by my metrics a mere .2 mm thick is not 40% thicker than the standard; it is in fact the opposite. It’s about 25% thinner than what I expect the average to be.
As mentioned above, .2 mm thick is just too thin for most purposes. While it boasts about having 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) as its maximum operating temperature, the truth is that it’s far lower, probably somewhere in the 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit range (93 to 148 degrees Celsius). I don’t doubt that it could survive 500 degrees temperatures for some length of time, but that time is liable to be much shorter than you would prefer when cooking, and doing so for long periods is likely to make these wear out incredibly quickly.
Despite the very cheap price, much like the Homeve mats above it is difficult to recommend this when the price point for the best models is so low to begin with. There’s no reason to skimp in the first place, especially when you take into consideration that these cheaper grill mats are going to wear out and need replacing much faster than the better models (hence why this comes in a pack of 6 rather than the usual 2 or 3).
Heats up quickly.
Cheaply made and likely to wear out quickly.
Very thin and with little sustained heat resistance.
Small surface area to work with.
These are close to being pretty good, but fall a little short. The thickness is close to being up to snuff at .22 mm, but that extra .03 mm still makes a surprising amount of difference.
The heat resistance is better than our last two offerings, but still comes nowhere close to the Grillaholics mats or especially the Kona and Renook extra thick mats.
The size also leaves much to be desired, giving you a set of two mats that are 15.7 inches by 13 inches, for a total of 204 square inches of cooking area.
This makes them good for small baking pans, but not so good for grills, only giving you a tiny bit of space to work with. This is fine for shrimp or scallops, maybe a couple of burgers, but anything bigger is iffy.
These are in a weird spot where they’re certainly better than the average (which is frankly terrible) but unfortunately not good enough to justify purchasing them over the top few models I’ve found.
Thicker than some of the worst mats.
Still a bit thinner than they should be.
Small surface area to work with.
These grill mats are pretty solid for what they are. You get a pack of 5 with this one, and all are relatively high quality. You get a good .25 mm thickness combined with a nice reflective copper surface. It’s not actually copper but you still get a bit of benefit over the darker surfaces; namely being able to see what you’re doing a bit better.
The very thick and large mats have this covered already (both the Kona and Renook are textured to make it a little grippier and easy to see) but the thinner mats can often be hard to distinguish between stains (which will accumulate over time) and actual pooling grease, which needs to be cleaned up quickly. That problem is sidestepped by the much brighter surface of these grill mats.
The heat resistance is good, with a maximum of 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) translating into a good effective range of 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (148 to 204 degrees Celsius).
The size leaves much to be desired, each clocking in at 15.7 inches by 13 inches (a grand total of 204 square inches of cooking area per each of the 5 sheets). They make good baking pan liners but you’ll need multiple to cover a whole grill for sure.
Still, for what they offer they’re a pretty good price all things considered, and I can recommend them as a great bulk buy if you want the .25 mm mats.
Lighter color increases visibility; it’s easier to tell when grease pools or the mat is wearing thin.
Decent .25 mm thickness.
5 mats per set for a good price.
Could stand to be a bit thicker so each mat lasts longer.
These are like the Chefmos mats above…except worse in every conceivable way.
They are thinner, coming in at .22 mm of thickness. Not terrible, but not great either. The size of each individual mat is the same roughly 16 inches by 13 inches (around 204 square inches total for each of the mats). The mats only come in a set of 3, not 5, and the copper coloring is darker and muddier, making it much harder to see than the Chefmos option (though not as bad as the black mats from the others).
The main thing they have going for them is expense, being incredibly cheap, but given the low durability, unimpressive heat resistance and optimal use temperature.
Even the warranty is worse, giving you only 60 days rather than a year with options for extended warranties, though that’s a minor factor for such cheap mats.
Overall the main issue with these is that there’s no reason to buy them over other mats; there is absolutely nothing unique to recommend them.
Nice copper color.
Too thin to be good.
Muddy copper coloring is worse than other copper mats.
Simply nothing unique to recommend these over better options for the same price.
One the plus side of these mats, they look quite nice. The price is hard to beat as well, coming in a little over half the price of the above two sets of mats.
Despite the name these grill mats appear to have no actual copper in them; it’s just coloring. The material is the same standard heat resistant PTFE, with a 100% non-PFOA coating, which is always nice to see. The coatings aren’t dangerous, but they can sometimes flake; these should do so much less.
The main issue is how thin these are. They say they’re rated for up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit ( 260 degrees Celsius) but appear to be a little bit thinner than the Grillaholics mat which has the same heat resistance. I don’t doubt that their maximum heat resistance is similar, but their actual usable temperature range may be much lower. They are also obviously intended to wear out quickly, coming in a set of 5 for around half the price a set of 2 of the other brands we’ve looked at today are on offer for.
They definitely make a good budget set, I’d just be wary of needing to replace them quicker than you might have needed to for a better initial buy.
They look nice.
Decent temperature resistance.
Wear out fast.
The former two are nice, double thick and very durable mats with a huge surface area to work with; perfect for intense grilling and boasting a high heat resistance.
The Grillaholics mats are by far the best of the .25 mm mats, what I would consider to be the standard size for a good mat; not too thin and not too thick, the perfect middle ground.
The others are simply too thin, to cheaply made, or too expensive for what they provide to be a true consideration for purchase.
What Do I Look For In a Grill Mat?
Grill mats are fairly simple.
All grill mats are made of the same material. It’s essentially a fiberglass cloth coated in Teflon (or more accurately a generic brand equivalent to Teflon). Both are safe to use if your grill mat is FDA approved, which most should be.
The main differentiating feature between grill mats is the thickness of the mat. .25 mm is the average I’d consider for a good mat, while some are almost twice as thick (and I usually think they’re much better when thicker).
That’s really all you need to look for, that it’s optimal thickness and not too expensive. $10 per mat is the max I’d consider reasonable for buying the best on the market.
Why Use a Grill Mat?
Grill mats are great for several reasons. Especially greasy foods in particular; cooking hamburgers on a grill mat is excellent as it keep the grease from falling to the coals, causing nasty flareups.
It’s also great for any food that could fall through the grill’s grates. This includes a lot of great grilled food like fish (which tends to crumble), shrimp, scallops, vegetables, and anything else that makes a jumbled pile that needs to be cooked. Grill basket is another accessories that you can use for smaller food like this.
Are Grill Mats Safe?
Yes. While they are made of a fiberglass cloth, the non-stick coating protects the food from contact with such a material. The non-stick coating itself is completely safe. Even were it to flake it would be annoying rather than harmful.
Why Are Thicker Mats Better?
In short, they’re more durable.
A thicker mat lasts longer without deteriorating and can survive much hotter heats safely. Thinner mats say they’re rated for about 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) but that’s only really a technicality. They can’t survive those temperatures for prolonged periods of time and will quickly deteriorate if the temperature flares beyond that point.
.25 mm mats can survive those temperatures longer and are suitable for searing meat like steaks. Other, even thicker mats (like .4 mm mats) are better for that and can be rated for even higher temperatures.
In short, thicker is better: to a point. It can be overdone, and there are some drawbacks (primarily, thicker mats take longer to heat up so you can’t just jump into cooking as quickly), but for the most part a relatively thick mat is a far better purchase.
For your convenience here are the complete list of barbecue and grilling accessories.