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This Grill Accessory Will Make Cleaning Up So Much Easier, Without Sacrificing Taste

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Whether you use propane or charcoal, food grilled over an open flame takes on a smoky, deep flavor that’s impossible to attain otherwise. But if you’ve ever grilled vegetables or shrimp, you know that certain items can easily slip through your grill’s grates, wasting food and causing a mess. The best grill mats create a heat-resistant barrier so you can successfully grill all types of food, without sacrificing flavor. They also protect grill grates from built-up grease, marinades, and food particles — which makes for much easier clean-up. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for this innovative accessory.

Since grills are available in different sizes, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all grill mat. The best grill mat for you can be cut to fit your grilling area and is made from tightly-woven, flexible material, like a heat-resistant nylon or metal mesh. Look for a mat with food-safe nonstick coatings for the easiest time cleaning up.

Grills can reach very high temperatures (especially those with lids), so opt for a mat that can withstand at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper use and care of your grill mat is important, and in general, they should be stored flat or rolled, never folded, to prevent tears and cracks.

The best grill mats below will protect your grill’s surface and contain runaway ingredients, so you get the benefits of grilling without the clean-up!

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The Best Grill Mat: Kona Heavy Duty 600-Degree Nonstick Grill Mats

Available as a set of two, these nonstick grill mats from Kona have a durable 0.39-millimeter thickness, which the brand claims is at least twice as thick as many competitors’ mats. Generously sized at 16 by 13 inches, the mats can fit on large grill tops or be trimmed to work on any shape or dimension grill. Of all of the grill mats here, these have the highest heat tolerance and can be used on grills as hot as 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Many other grill mats will deteriorate when exposed to these higher temperatures, so if you’re someone who likes to get an extra char on your food, a Kona grill mat is a smart choice. They also come with an impressive seven-year warranty, so you’ll have plenty of time to test their durability and performance.

According to one reviewer: “These grill mats are for real. They leave grill marks just like on your grates, it eliminates the mess all over your grill, you can cook small items without them falling through the grill grates, its nonstick, so you don't loose any meat that sticks to the grates and its super easy to clean. I can't believe I didn't know about these wonderful but simple mats in all my years of grilling. I don't think I will ever grill without them from now on! I've tried other mats with similar results but these are heavy duty, thicker and feel like they will last a long time with many uses. Worth every penny.”

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The Runner-Up: Grillaholics Heavy-Duty BBQ Grill Mats

Grillaholics’ grill mats are sized similarly to the ones offered by Kona, but they have a slightly lower temperature threshold of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. They're made with an FDA-approved nonstick fiberglass coating that allows for easy cleanup. And, once you're done, the set of two mats can be hand-washed or run through the dishwasher on the top rack. Though Grillaholics offers a lifetime warranty, to maintain the performance and safety of their grill mats, Grillaholics recommends customers closely adhere to the 500 degree temperature guidelines. Due to the material of these grill mats (and most grill mats, in general), it’s best to use non-metal utensils to prevent scratching or tears when flipping or moving food.

According to one reviewer: “These mats are perfect. They are large and cover what they should. They cook evenly with the grill marks in the finished product and clean even easier. I struggle for a half hour cleaning my grill without the grill mat. With it, the job is minimized to seconds. And my grill looks like new!”

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The Best Value: Alto Fresh Premium Large Copper Grill & Bake Mats

Also heat-resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, this set of four grill mats from Alto Fresh is affordably priced at $15. Made from woven copper with a PFOA-free nonstick coating, the mats can be cut to size to fit your grill top and are also great for use in the oven (they're sized similarly to the above grill mats). The set of four allows you to use a different grill mat for specific food loads like veggies, fish, meats, or baking in the oven. As a bonus, a flexible brush is included for easily applying oil, sauce, or marinades to foods.

According to one reviewer: “I had a steak grilled on one of these at a friend's house and it turned out so well that I had to try it for myself. I've prepared burgers (both beef and turkey), steaks, salmon and chicken. The meat is so tender and not dried out. The mats really help even out the heat inside the grill and keeps the drippings from going into the burners so no flare ups and grill clean up is a breeze because everything stays on the mat. You even get the grill lines on the meat through the mats. The mess on the mats cleans up very easily and I've reused them several times. I highly recommend this product.”

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The Best Mat For Smoking: PhatMat Nonstick Extra-Large Grill Mesh Mats

If you like to smoke foods in addition to grilling them, the wide mesh design of these grill mats from PhatMat makes them a great option. Though they’re rated for temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, recipes cooked at low-temperatures, such as smoked meats, cheeses, and nuts, can benefit from the additional air flow afforded by the breathable mesh surface. Each mat's extra-large 19-by-11-inch design means it fits on even the largest grill or smoking surfaces, but is still narrow enough to be placed on its side in the dishwasher (and it can be trimmed down, for smaller grills). PhatMat recommends keeping their grill mats at least 6 inches away from open flames to avoid any damage, and they’ve included a bonus meat smoking guide so you can get the very most from your purchase.

According to one reviewer: “Very nice product! We have used them for a couple 20 lb. turkeys, roasting hens and 8 lb. pork butts all cooked on a smoker grill utilizing the smoke, grill, and sear modes. They are sturdy, yet flexible. And they clean up without much effort. I would buy these again.”