If you have been around the BBQ community and have been following BBQ trends, you have likely heard of grill mats. Eggs, for instance, cannot be cooked evenly on grill grates, but they can be cooked evenly on grill mats.
Grill mats add great convenience. You can almost transform your grill into a griddle, cook foods such as eggs and vegetables, and even bake cookies.
However, not all grill mats are made from the same materials or share the same construction standards. Some are better than others, so we will discuss the following in this guide:
- What is a grill matt?
- The best grill mats and our top choice.
- Different types of grill mats and build materials
- What to look for when buying.
- Are they safe?
- and much more.
Let’s start with what is a grill mat?
Some of you may already know what grill mats are, but for those who do not, they are versatile, heat-resistant grill liners made from flexible materials. Grilling mats provide a nonstick surface in addition to an even, flat cooking surface.
On a dirty grill, a grilling mat can be used to prevent food from coming into contact with the grates. You can also use these mats to prevent or block flare-ups, but they are most useful for cooking small foods or foods that are liquid or paste-like when uncooked.
Best BBQ Grilling Mats Reviewed
1. Z Grills Grill mat set – Best Overall
You have likely read or heard about Z Grills. This brand is well known for making quality, affordable pellet grills. Their grilling mats are no exception. The Z Grills Mat set is our pick because they can withstand high temperatures of up to 500 degrees and are made of PFOA-free Teflon.
While I like other mats on this list, for daily use I prefer the Z Grills mats because they offer the same performance and quality as other competitors, but they sell them in nice sets of 10 and, for your peace of mind, offer a money back guarantee.
Most grilling mats manufacturers offer the same thing. BBQ mats all offer the same thing, and they all claim to have the best, thickest, best, and so on. The reality is that most mats are the same and made the same. So when I find a brand that gives me a good deal and meets my temperature requirements and manufacturing safety guidelines, I buy it.
Also, these mats are high-heat-resistant and easy to cut to any size.
Heat resistant: up to 500 degrees
- Set of ten
- The nonstick coating surface is easy to clean.
- The mats don’t have or release foul odors while cooking or even when taking them out of the package.
- None that we could find. These mats did their job as stated by the manufacturer.
2. MiTBA Copper Grill Mats – Runner Up
The MiTBA copper mats are strong, durable, and good for those wanting an alternative to Teflon mats. These mats are durable and can handle temperatures hot enough to get grill marks on your food.
I like using copper mats. I get better grill marks, and I’m not concerned about damaging the mat too much if I’m cutting food with a knife.
Kona copper mats are also good, but the reason I chose MiTBA for this list is that the Kona mat stuck to the grill’s grates and was hard to clean. When comparing pricing, the MiTBA delivers the same performance for way less. Still, the Kona Mat is a good product that can handle high temperatures, leaves grill marks, and is easy to clean.
Heat resistant: up to 500 degrees.
- Copper mats do not have any chemical coatings.
- The mats are easy to cut into whatever shape you need.
- can withstand high temperatures without worrying about damaging chemical coatings.
- These mats leave grill marks.
- Copper mats don’t clean as easily as Teflon mats, so marks and stains will remain.
3. The Kona Grill Mat – Highest heat resistance
The Kona BBQ Grilling Mat is thick and durable, and this product has been around for quite some time. Most of these Teflon mats are the same, and what sets them apart from some others is the price.
Kona mats are coated much like other mats on this list and are PTFE coated. Kona claims their mats can withstand temperatures of up to 600 degrees.
PTFE breaks down at about 572 degrees, so Kona’s claims are questionable. However, Kona does offer a 7-year warranty on this product, and their website clearly says, up to 600 degrees.
Heat resistant: up to 600 degrees
- Think mats with nonstick coating help them cook evenly.
- 600-degree maximum temperature rating
- Although Kona states that their proprietary coating can withstand 600 degrees, I didn’t feel comfortable using the mats at those temperatures, but at least you know they are strong and can withstand a few flare-ups well.
4. Aoocan Grilling Mat – Best Copper
The Aoocan grill mat set includes six strong and durable mats. This set is available in different sizes and is made of copper. The material on these mats works great, and I enjoy using them for making eggs or foods that I want to cook at high temperatures.
Heat resistant: up to 500 degrees.
- A set of six
- I got grill marks when using these mats.
- Nothing bad to say; the mats did what they were supposed to.
5. Chef Caron Nonstick BBQ Grill Mats – Good Choice
The Chef Caron Mats are good mats for daily use or camping trips. If you need to dispose of them, they cost less than other mats on this list.
Heat resistant: doesn’t specify
- work as described.
- A money-back guarantee is always welcome.
- A money-testing I had a small grease pool that caused a flare-up. I was not able to clean some of the grease stains.
6. GQC BBQ Grill Mat – Least Expensive
During my research, I wanted to test a “budget” choice, so I went online and grabbed a set of the GQC grill mats. These mats are the least expensive mats I saw and I wanted to know how good or bad these mats perform on a real lie test.
I was surprised to see how well these mats performed considering how cheap they are. They worked!
The GQC mats come in a large roll, allowing you to cut them exactly to whatever shape you need. The grill mat is reusable, so the roll can last a long time. I like to use these mats when I go on trips and want something disposable. You know, to cover those dirty old public park grills.
Heat resistant: up to 500 degrees ( but during my tests I learned they cannot handle that temperature for long )
- very affordable
- large roll
- The mat is one large roll, so you have to make sure you have some scissors to cut them before using them.
- Because the mat is initially “rolled,” the cut piece will not remain flat on the grill grate. This is kind of annoying, but not a huge deal.
7. Kitchen + Home BBQ Mats — Budget
These mats are another budget option and good for those trips to the beach where you might well dispose of them. This set is inexpensive, and you only get two mats.
Heat resistant: up to 500 degrees
- Inexpensive options, great for trips and outdoor use.
- No warranty
Different types of grill mats and build materials
Not all grilling and cooking mats are built the same. Some are safer than others, and some grilling mats can present health risks.
To help you choose a brand that fits your cooking style, we will explain the different types and materials of mats. There are some cheap mats on the Internet that are not necessarily built using the best materials and present health risks, so I will “hammer” this topic to the ground and hopefully help you choose a good grill mat for your cooking needs and budget.
BBQ grill mats are typically made out of materials you likely already have around your kitchen. These materials include silicone, copper, and Teflon.
Teflon is known for being a material that doesn’t stick, but the way it is made has been looked at as recently as 2003. This is because Teflon can be manufactured using two chemicals, one of which can pose higher risks to people if present in high quantities. PTFE (Poly Tetra Fluoro Ethylene) and PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) are two chemicals used in the manufacturing of Teflon.
Teflon is used in frying pans, baking sheets, and all kinds of cookware, including barbecue grill mats. The problem is that before 2002, PFOA was used in the making of Teflon. After the FDA banned the use of PFOA, perfluorooctanoic acid-free PTFE is used instead.
PTFE coating is very common on nonstick cookware and has been in production since the 1940s. However, PFOA, which is also used to make Teflon, PFOA has been marked by the CDC and EPA as toxic and presents health risks. So in short, we want to look for grill mats that “IF” are made out of Teflon because these are traditionally less expensive and are PFOA-free.
Copper, my preference
Copper mats are my choice for many reasons, but let’s just say, I hate ANY kind of man-made chemicals around, near, or above my food. Copper is non-toxic and FDA-approved. Copper and most metals also do better at absorbing and radiating heat, which helps cook food better.
Copper mats are studier and stronger than other types of BBQ grill mats. Because copper transfers heat effectively, sometimes you even get grill marks while using the mat. Some copper mats are made of thin woven copper strands, so there might be small amounts of grease or fluid transfer.
Silicone is another material used to manufacture grill mats. Silicone is used often in mesh mats and works best when cooking at lower temperatures.
Teflon grill mats are the most common type and are all over the Internet. Teflon mats are popular for a few reasons, but mainly because they are affordable, very flexible, and easy to cut into whatever shape you want. Like all other mat types, Teflon mats are washable and reusable but not as durable as copper mats.
These mats are commonly thin fiberglass sheets with a PTFE coating.
Copper vs Teflon mats
Ok, so many wonder what the difference is between copper and Teflon mats, and whether there is a difference between these two types of mats.
Copper mats are made out of just that, actual copper. Fine thin copper strands are woven together and form a large source. There is no coating, chemicals, or sprayed stuff on these mats, just copper.
Copper is a good heat conductor, so these mats get to temperature fast and can deal with high temperatures well. The mats are also more susceptible to accidental cuts from knives or BBQ tools.
Now, here are a few downsides to copper mats. These mats don’t clean as well as Teflon mats. The surface on copper mats is not as “nonstick” as on Teflon mats, so you will have some marks and stains left on these mats. However, if you want something totally chemical-free, consider copper mats.
Teflon mats, on the other hand, are the most common material used on mats because they are easy to cut and clean easier. The PTFE coating makes these mats very smooth and a truly non-stick surface. However, you should know that PTFE starts breaking down above 550 degrees, and Teflon is a chemical. However, if used correctly, Teflon mats are safe.
Are grill mats safe?
Grill mats are safe, but you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be sure to opt for brands that do not use PFOA. In the Buyer’s guide below I’ll go over other things to consider.
Grilling and cooking Mats Buyer’s Guide
Here are some guides and things you should consider when buying a grill mat. These are also factors and attributes we used during our research to find these BBQ cooking mats.
This is the most important aspect that you want to consider when choosing a set. Most mats are available in Teflon and copper. There are pros and cons to everything in life, and that includes most grill mats.
For example, copper mats are durable, hard, stiffer, better at transferring heat, and washable. Teflon mats, on the other hand, can be damaged by heat if not used properly, but are reusable, washable, and can be cut into different shapes easily.
The biggest takeaway is to avoid mats made out of PFOA, which most grill mats don’t use anymore. But some mats still use PTFE coating, Teflon.
These mats come in different shapes and sizes. I recommend you measure your grill grates and see what size mat will work best for you. If you only want a small area of your grates covered, then smaller mats will work, but if you want a large mat for a small or portable grill you might end up cutting the grill mat set, and well, that defeats the point.
Circular grill mats are also available for those with round grill grates or kamado grills.
Different brands will boast different thickness specs and sometimes just to get your attention, but here is what I have learned from years of experience using these mats. A thicker mat will do better when cooking at high temperatures and will withstand grease fires better. The mat will be able to withstand higher temperatures better and therefore last longer.
The thickness of a BBQ grill mat is directly related to how long it will last, but that doesn’t mean it will cook better.
However, thicker grill mats are not always better. I know I just told you the positive, but hear me out. Some folks are selling cheap mats, claiming they are the best because their mats are thick. Well, let me give a piece of good advice, not only from research but from my years of using this mat. One of the best indicators of the mat’s quality is what temperatures it can withstand.
Good mats can withstand temperatures in the 500-degree Fahrenheit range and remain intact. All these mats are heat resistant, but the best can withstand temperatures high enough to even get grill marks on your food.
What will you use it For
Grill mats are often used as a means of keeping foods from getting stuck to the grill. Sometimes grill mats are great for those camping or beach trips where you might have to use a public grill and the grates are, well, not that clean. Great addition to a camping gear kit.
If you’re looking for something to use on trips to the beach or camping, or if you intend to throw it away after a few uses, go for the less expensive generic brands. If you are planning on cooking at high temperatures, go for a more durable or more expensive copper mat.
Nonstick mats are also great for grilling vegetables, small food items like shrimp, and even eggs. If you want a daily BBQ grill mat, then opt for a heavy-duty mat.
Most grilling mats can handle temperatures ranging between 250 and 500 degrees. Higher temperatures call for thicker or tougher materials.
Consider the temperature resistance of your choice of grill mat. In this article, I included the heat resistance of each brand on the list. This might not be too much of an issue if you need a smoke mat, but on charcoal grills and gas grills, things can get hot.
Why use a grill mat?
There are numerous benefits to using grill mats. The two biggest advantages are converting dirty grill grates and flare-ups. They also turn your grill virtually into a griddle, making it easy to grill meals like fish, shrimp, scallops, eggs, and even pancakes.
Some want to keep their grill clean; others want to cook food evenly with no loose vegetables. With that being said, the best grill mat set is the Z Grills mat. It does everything well, cooks well, and comes at a good price.