Want to cut to the chase? My pick for best grill mat is the Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat.
Grilling is great – it’s always so tasty, and such a convenient way to make food. Cleaning grills though? Never a fun time.
Also, grilling limits your foods. Not every food is compatible with the grill.
With grill mats, you fix both issues. You can use the flat surface to cook impossible-to-grill foods. And the grill mat will contain any food grease and remnants.
In this guide, I’ll look for the best grill mat. Let’s take a look.
Five Top Grill Mats in the Roundup
- Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat
- YRYM HT Nonstick Copper Grill Mat and Bake Mats
- Grillaholics Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Mats
- GrillShield Extra Large Copper Grill and Bake Mats
- Aoocan Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Mats
Grill Mat Buyer’s Guide
Grill mats are flat, heat-resistant and nonstick surfaces you put between a grill’s grates and grilled food. They are made of flexible heat-resistant fabric (often fiberglass) plus a nonstick surface.
Copper grill mats are a newer technology of mat. They weave copper into the mat, which is a great conductor of heat. Copper grill mats have a tendency to cook more evenly than pure fiberglass mats and we have included a couple here. You can also read our best copper grill mat roundup for more.
Why use a Grill Mat?
Grill mats make grilling easier in two main ways:
- They provide a flat surface for grilling so you can cook otherwise difficult food (like small veggies, fish, etc.)
- Since the mats themselves are non-stick, food comes off easily and the mats are cleanable
Now, grill mats are very durable, but even the best mats only withstand up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you do have a recipe which requires open flame or higher temperatures, skip the mat – but they are great for low to medium heat recipes.
Should I get a fiberglass or copper grill mat?
As a quick rule, I find copper grill mats cook a bit more evenly and have somewhat better nonstick surfaces. However, our option with the highest rated temperature– the Kona grill mat – is PTFE coated with a fiber core, not copper.
Remember though, grill mats are reasonably priced. You can try a few options and see which type of mat you like best.
Will you get grill marks?
The odds are good you’ll get grill mats, with either fiberglass core or copper grill mats. While they both spread the heat across their surfaces well, there are still hot spots in the pad which add lines to most foods.
I will note though that some fatty foods might fry more than grill. This is because oil and grease that would normally fall into the grill and burn up stays on the pad. This isn’t universal though and you’ll have to try your favorite grillables to find out.
Features of Grill Mats
Whether you want a copper grill mat or a fiberglass one, there are some features to watch for.
Size and Shape of the Grill Mat
My advice is to get the biggest grill mat that can fit your grill.
Especially if you get a thinner mat, they are easy to cut to size, or cut circular, or cut into strips. So, you really can’t go wrong with a bigger mat.
You can of course use a smaller grill mat too as long as you limit the amount of food on top.
Surface and Temperature
Both fiberglass and copper grill mats come nonstick. The most common nonstick is PTFE, but most mats avoid the use of PFOA when adding the nonstick coating.
PTFE coatings are thought to be safe. However, they do release gas at high temperatures and can give you flu like symptoms called “Polymer Fume Fever”. This is particularly dangerous for birds.
Always follow your manufacturer’s recommended maximum temperature to be safe.
In general, you clean your grill mats using warm water, soap, and a towel or rag. Some manufacturers also claim their mats are dishwasher safe – we’ve listed it below where possible.
Some advice from me though: you should always use a paper towel to mop up grease before you try to clean or wash your grill pads. Do this before lifting it off the grill. If you don’t, sometimes you dump grease and food into the grill even when done cooking.
There is a trade-off with thickness. Thinner mats heat up (and cool down) quicker, and are better able to transmit grill marks to your food. Thicker mats are more durable but might be harder to get grill marks.
You need to decide if ease of grill marks or durability is more important to you.
Best Copper Grill Mats Reviews
The Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat set comes with 2 16” x 13” fiber core grill mats. They have a PTFE center and a maximum temperature rating of 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Kona recommends you limit your temperature to 500 degrees though.
They are a very popular option and it’s easy to see why. They are thicker than average mats at .39mm which helps them last longer, although it can make it a bit harder to get grill marks. They are a very nice design and if you used them your friends or family would be impressed with the look.
Kona recommends you hand wash the mats, but they also say they are dishwasher safe.
- Thick mats are very durable and will last a long time
- Higher temperature rating than most fiber or copper grill mats
- Very easy clean up in the sink with soap and water
- Users had decent success in getting grill marks with many foods
- Noticeably fewer grill marks than direct grilling which is partially because they are thicker
- Some users had issues with pooling grease and flare ups or fires
- A few users had issues with the mats tearing
YRYM HT’s Nonstick Copper Grill and Bake Mats come with 5 13” x 15” copper grill mats and a bonus 2 silicone brushes. The brushes are good to add marinade, oil, and sauce to your food.
They use a PTFE-fiberglass nonstick surface. The manufacturer suggest a 500 degree Fahrenheit top temperature and a 300 – 400 suggested range (and stay 7” from flames). Also, use plastic or wooden utensils so you don’t scratch the nonstick surface.
The mats are a hefty .25mm thick which is .05mm thicker than a typical copper mat. This helps them be more durable and hold up better to the rigors of grilling.
- You can get good grill marks on your food usually, even though it is thicker
- Users like how it contains food and simplifies cooking
- You can grill things that are hard to grill otherwise like fish
- Some users found the thicker mat was harder to get grill marks
- Some owners found oil and grease ran off the mat into the grill
- They were hard to clean for a few people
Grillaholics Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Mats are a set of two premium fiber core grill mats with dimensions 15.75” x 13”. Grillaholics uses a PTFE nonstick coating with no PFOA or silicone. They recommend a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grillaholics mats are thinner but durable, which means it is easier to leave grill marks on food and cut the mats to size. These mats clean up easily with soap and water but Grillaholics also says they are dishwasher safe.
- Clean up is a breeze even for notoriously difficult food like chicken
- A thinner mat means it’s easier to get grill marks
- Some users report food tasted almost as good as directly on that grates, but with no where near the mess
- Some users had issues with the mat sticking to food
- A few owners had problems cleaning the mats after burgers
GrillShield’s Extra Large Copper Grill mats are 17” x 23” copper grill mats that come in a package of two. The pads are a thin .2mm which makes them easier to cut and transmit heat better. This makes it easier to get grill marks on your food.
The surface is nonstick PFOA-free PTFE treated. GrillShield says to not exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit when cooking. GrillShield also mentions they are okay for the dishwasher.
- Excellent large size so you’ll have enough for most any grill
- People enjoyed them for baking too
- Great at containing messes
- Grill marks are relatively easy with these mats
- Sometimes hard to clean
- Could scorch easily and not be cleanable for some users
The Aoocan Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Mats are a set of 5 fiber core barbecue grill mats. They are 13” x 15.75” and have a PTFE nonstick surface. Aoocan says they have “passed FDA and LFGB food-grade certification” for the materials and should be safe under 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
These mats are a slightly thicker .25mm thick, which means they are more durable than the .2mm mats. This is a trade-off though, it is a bit harder to get grill marks with thicker mats (although users had good success with the Aoocans).
Aoocan stresses their versatility and says they can be used for baking and microwaving and not just grilling. They say that you can clean them with soap and water and they can even dry in the sun. They also say they are dishwasher safe.
- Good ability to spread the heat which helps cook food evenly
- Great for cooking veggies and mushrooms that are hard on grill grates
- Very easy to clean if you sop up the grease after cooking then rinse and scrub with soft cloth
- Good value for the price and a convenient 5 pads
- Some users heated them too much and material from the mats stuck to food
- A few owners had mats that fell apart under some cooking conditions
Best Grill Mat: My Choice
If you aren’t yet convinced I think you should try a grill mat for low to medium heat grilling. They really up your grilling game and let you cook all sorts of food on the grill… without the sticky downsides of aluminum foil.
My favorite – and the pick for best grill mat – is the Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat. With the highest temperature rating and the high quality weave and design, it’s durable and the most versatile for dishes. It’s worth a strong look for you to add to your own grill.