If you’re one of those who dread cleaning cooking grates, grill mats is the solution for you. These are flexible non-stick cooking surfaces that make it easier to grill any type of food irrespective of the quantity. They also bring a solution to problems we often encounter when you want to grill foods in small bits like vegetables, because such usually slip in between the cooking grates, ruining everything.
Using these mats sounds simpler, because actually, that’s how it’s supposed to be. However, it’s not all about placing it on the cooking grate because there’s a certain way which you’re supposed to use grill mats. Failure to which, your mat may not last long enough, and may become ineffective. For those who are still wondering about how to use grill mats, this article is for you.
The Best Ways on how to use grill mats
Observe general care for grill mats
The rule of the thumb for any household item is that how well you take care of it dictates how durable it will be. When going through online reviews, you’ll often see different comments on a product’s performance, and sometimes the difference comes in with maintenance.
So as you strive to find something durable, remember that it will take your efforts to achieve that durability. Grill mats are made with materials that make them usable recurrently with proper care. For grill mats, it’s all about cooking under the right temperatures and proper cleaning.
Different mats can withstand different levels of heat, with an average of 500 degree Fahrenheit, and that’s why it’s advisable to maintain low or medium heat when cooking on a grill mat. Higher temperatures might have your meals ready in shorter periods of time, but it’s also believed to cause possible food contamination because of the materials used on the mats.
These mats are easy to wash, and that’s one of the best things I love them. You can comfortably throw them in the dishwasher without having to do a lot of soaking and scrubbing, as you would with cooking grates. Regular washing should be observed because it not only keeps the mats in a good shape, but also ensures the safety of the food you’re preparing.
Grill with the right tools
You definitely now understand that these mats function the same way with non-stick cookware. We know that cooking with utensils made of materials that can easily scratch the surfaces of such cookware will ruin your precious items before you know it. This also means that whatever grilling tool you use should be friendly to the surface, especially if your cooking requires a lot of turning and flipping, like in the case of sautéed vegetables.
When buying grill mats, you should also invest in safer tools like silicone-tipped tongs, in addition to the regular spatula that you directly use on the cooking grates. The saddest part is that you cannot use the two interchangeably, prompting the need for extra expenses. However, all these don’t stop at getting the perfect tool because still, you’ll have to be careful not to excessively scrape your mats because with that they’ll still get ruined.
Choose whatever you grill
We mentioned earlier that these mats make it easy to prepare grilled meals of any kind, but continuous preparation of certain foods will bring in extra work. If you’re wondering what these foods might be, we’re talking about sticky foods. After grilling, these will stick on your mats which will in turn give you difficult times when cleaning.
So, use alternative ways to prepare any foods that will have you scrubbing the mat, because with that, it can get ruined easily. Similarly, for a perfect turnout, you might need to re-think about cooking foods that require high heat over these mats. This is because when grilling, you’re supposed to place them further from direct heat and so things like steak might end up uncooked or rather, you’ll need extra time with them.
However, this still depends on how you prefer your food done because there are those who prefer to have their meals slowly-cooked in order to retain the moisture and flavour. In that case, you can still count on the magic of grill mats. Either way, ensure that you don’t get mat extremely messy.
Other uses of grill mats
One amazing thing about kitchenware is that you can use most of them for one or more purposes, and grill mats are no exemption. If you follow the above mentioned instructions, nothing can hinder you from using these mats for something else. What makes this possible is the fact that they’re quite flexible and can therefore be re-sized by cutting with a sharp object to fit a number of surfaces. They literally fit in any category that calls for non-stick applications.
Apart from laying over the cooking grates, the non-stick surfaces also work best when used as baking sheets, drip catcher in an oven, on cookie sheets or in stovetop wells. All you have to do is ensure that the temperature you’re subjecting them doesn’t fall above what’s required as stated by the manufacturer.
The mats also come in handy when you need something to cover rust and dirt from touching the food, especially when you have to use public grills.
What else do you need to know about grill mats?
Using grill mats the wrong way may have you ruining their durability and to some extent how perfectly your grilled food will turnout. The much you put into consideration when buying your grill and any other kitchen appliances should be the same as that when buying grill mats. They may look all the same, but not all of them guarantee quality. Therefore, ensure that you invest in value for money and having known how to use grill mats, you’ll live to have memorable grilling sessions. For quality and affordable grill mats, you can sample a number of these products.
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