Brooklyn Grill’s Guide to Smoking with Grill Mats

A grill mat is essential in any outdoor cooking station. It turns your grill into a full-on kitchen. Here’s a simple guide that was done by the Brooklyn Grill team for the first-time griller to smoke with grill mats!

how to cook with grill mats
Grill mats

What Are Grill Mats?

A grill mat is a non-stick heat mat that is placed over any type of grills, such as gas, charcoal, pellet, or electric grills. It allows you to cook small and delicate food without making a big mess, which also prevents the food from falling into the grill gates.

Grill mats can be used at the bottom of your grill to protect your deck from damage and discoloration. There are so many reasons why you should use a grill mat.

They can make great oven liners. Grill mats are made from non-stick fiberglass with a coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is heat-resistant. They’re also dishwasher safe, so you can cook anything without worrying about cleaning!

How to Cook with Grill Mats

It’s pretty simple to cook with grill mats. Follow these steps to cook with grill mats safely:

  • Step 1- Before putting the grill on, remove the mats and wash them with some soap and water. This won’t apply to those who are using their grill mat for the first time. After it’s dry, apply some olive oil to it to prevent the sticking of food.
  • Step 2- Now, put your grill on. Place the grill mat on the cooking rack, and don’t limit your choices of food! Keep the temperature below 500 degrees F.
  • Step 3- Put your food on the mat and begin grilling as usual. Don’t use metal utensils on your mat as they can cause damage to the mat. You should only use silicone or plastic accessories.
  • Step 4- When you’re done grilling, wait for the grill to cool, then take out the mat. Clean it with mild soapy water, or simply pop it into your dishwasher. Cleaning your grill mat is important to ensure the best results every time.

What Are BBQ Grill Mats Used For?

BBQ grill mats are made from heat-resistant materials that are used as a non-stick barrier between the grill grates and food. They are usually placed on the top of your grill grates to make clean-up less painful and prevent the occurrence of flare-ups.

You can make anything from eggs to burgers with lots of sauces and cheese without it going into the grill grate. BBQ grill mats can be used with any type of grill, from charcoal to gas grills, and are useful to have in any outdoor deck area.

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Best Selling BBQ grill mats on Amazon

Now that I have given you an overview of BBQ grill mats, if you have decided to buy one, below are the 5 best-selling BBQ grill mats on Amazon.

Alternatively, you may also read our review of the Top 10 best copper grill mats of 2022

[amazon bestseller=”grill mats” items=”5″ template=”table” link_id=”3989″]

BBQ Grill Mats Safety

brooklyngrill safe meat

Generally speaking, BBQ grill mats are safe when used correctly.

You should follow all the directions that come with your grill mat, which may include how far it should be above the flames to avoid extreme exposure to high temperatures.

Since grill mats are made from PTFE, this material breaks down at about 570 degrees F, which releases harmful chemicals into the air and into the food you’re grilling. To keep your grill mats and your food safe, you shouldn’t exceed this temperature.

Your grill mats should also be washed according to the instructions. Don’t scrape or scrub the grill mats with rough sponges or use very strong chemical cleaners. Mild dishwashing liquid with a soft sponge or washcloth is enough to clean the grill mat. Most grill mats should be dishwasher safe, however, read the manual to make sure.

Never leave your grill mats near very extreme high or low temperatures. After use, they should be brought inside and stored flat or rolled into a loose cylinder. Don’t fold them!

Finally, try to control flare-ups while you’re grilling. This is unavoidable, but constant blasts of heat, over time, can damage your mats and cause them to release harmful chemicals. However, grill mats prevent grease from entering the charcoal or burners, so flare-ups are minimal anyway. Don’t let it spill off the sides, though.

Following proper instructions with your grill mat can ensure your safety and food!

Are Grill Mats Good to Use?

Yes, BBQ grill mats are good to use! They provide a range of benefits to your grilling experience, such as:
Grill mats don’t absorb the sauces, grease, and oil, which gives you tastier food.
Grill mats are super versatile, as you can cook basically anything on it.
The mats ensure that meat and burgers don’t get stuck on the grill, making cleaning convenient.
They reduce flare-ups by catching sauces and oils.
They are easy to wash after wiping up the leftovers.
Grill mats can be used many times.
Many people who use grill mats notice that their food is much tastier with the use of the mats.

Grill mats are necessary because cooking off the grill can cause tiny fibers of metal to go into the food. Copper grill mats do not leave any metal fragments in the food, so the people eating them are safe.  

Copper grill mats can also withstand high temperatures of 500 degrees F, which is higher than other grill mats. This allows you to grill without worrying about the mat damaging or burning your food.

Do Grill Mats Cause Cancer?

PFOA is the catalyst in the composition of PTFE which is in grill mats. This means that it spends up the chemical reaction, and manufacturers claim that most of the PFOA are burned away during the many processes. However, trace amounts can remain.
Prolonged exposure to PFOA can cause cancer, however, a grill mat cannot directly cause cancer. If you’re concerned about these chemicals, you can opt for copper grill mats instead, which do not contain these chemicals.

Can Grill Mats Be Cut to Size?

Yes, you can adapt BBQ grill mats to whatever size your grill is.
To cut your grill mat down to size, measure the width and depth of your grill. Then cut the mat to the size that allows at least 2 to 3 inches of coverage around the perimeter of the grill.

Grill Mats Pros and Cons

Pros of using BBQ grill matsCons of using BBQ grill mats
Grill mats make your food flavorful and juicy. The mat prevents sauces and spices from dripping off, which retains flavor. Don’t worry, your food will still have lovely grill marks!Grill mats can catch fire. If you use it over direct flame, it can catch on fire. They can also melt and catch fire if your grill temperature is too high.
Grill mats make your food safe. If you are in a campsite or communal grilling, grill mats come in handy for grills where everyone uses them. This will make sure your food is safe without it coming into contact with the grill grates.They slow down cooking. Grill mats are a barrier between the food and the grate. This barrier is beneficial, however, it can slow down the cooking process.
Dishwasher safe! Since grill mats are usually made from Teflon, it’s easy to clean. Some mats are also dishwasher safe so that you can use them numerous times.
Grill mats can be damaged if you use metal utensils. The mats can be scraped and poked with metal utensils. It would be best if you only used silicone utensils.
Grill mats give you even cooking. These mats, especially copper grill mats, promote even heating which lets your food cook evenly. This will allow it to have more moisture and flavor.Not using BBQ grill mats properly may pose health risks
Pros and cons of using BBQ grill mats

How to Know Grill Mats That Won’t Discolor Deck

PVC grill mats will protect your deck from grease without causing any damage. You should avoid grill mats with rubber backing, such as ‘welcome mat’ because they can discolor the deck and cause marks.

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You’d want to look for a grill mat to keep your grill firm and yourself on your feet. A grill mat that is large enough to fit under the grill with some room to spare. This is best for catching excess splatter or grease. Your deck will be protected in this way.

The grill mat should be absorbent or non-porous, which will either soak up the splatter or collect it like a tray. Most people usually prefer the non-porous one as it does not soak up rainwater.

Grill Mats Cleaning

It’s very easy to clean your grill mats after use, and you do not need any strong or special cleaners. However, how you use your grill mat will determine how you go about cleaning it.

  • These are simple instructions on how to clean grill mats in the sink:
  • Allow the mat to cool and wipe leftovers with a damp cloth.
  • Soak the mat in some soapy water for one hour and rinse under running water.
  • If you have stubborn stains, use a soft scrub to gently get them off. Make sure you get the stain off, as it will stick to the mat and make it hard to remove.

You can have a look at our other post, how to clean grill mats, for other great ways to clean your grill mats.

Can You Put Grill Mats in Dishwasher?

Yes, most grill mats made from fiberglass cloth, PTFE, and copper are dishwasher safe. It would be best to always look for the dishwasher safe label or stamp on it before popping it into the dishwasher.

You must be sure to prewash your grill mats, especially if they are heavily stained. The dishwasher will not be able to remove stubborn food residue, which can damage your dishwasher in the long run.

If your mat is not that stained, you can skip this step and put it straight on the top rack of your dishwasher.

Can You Use Grill Mats in Air Fryer?

Yes, grill mats can go in an air fryer safely.
You can use the grill mat to keep the basket clean, making clean-up easier. It can also be used to promote even cooking of food, however, the mat should not touch the heating component.
This is better than using aluminum foil, which can cause your food to have a metallic taste or smell.

Can You Use Grill Mats in a Smoker?

Yes. Most smokers go to 275 degrees F, which most grill mats can withstand. Don’t use the grill mats for temperatures beyond 500 degrees F. Any hotter than 275 can burn and shrink your food, so it’s not only affecting the grill mat!

Can BBQ Grill Mats Be Used in the Oven?

Most grill mats can withstand oven temperatures going up to 500 degrees F. You can use the grill mats under your stove or to line baking pans. It can also be used under the oven to catch messy foods and sauces. The grill mat can easily be washed or wiped down.

Are Grill Mats Reusable?

You can use your BBQ grill mat more than 100 times on both sides. However, the way you care for and use the grill mats will decide how long they last, but they are reusable for about 2 to 3 years. Grill mats are durable and long-lasting, you can either use them for certain situations or every time you grill.

Paul Goral

Paul Goral

I am the founder of Brooklyn Grill and I have a master’s degree in Engineering Acoustics. I love cooking, grilling, and trying new recipes. I also love camping and high-quality knives. I wanted to start this blog and share my passion with others.