Barbecue grill mats, for all intents and purposes, were created in the name of convenience.
But many people are unaware that these mats may be utilized for much more than just the grilling season.
Grill mats may be used for a multitude of things. Simply using them for barbecues is just the tip of the iceberg.
However, can grill mats be used in the oven?
Grill mats can be used in the oven. In fact, one of the most common uses for these mats is to use them in the oven, even if they are designed for the grill.
We’ll also be discussing the necessary details you need when buying your own mat, so keep on reading.
What Is A Grill Mat?
A grill mat is made of a non-stick material, and is usually made out of fiberglass, silicone, or copper.
This material is then coated in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) which makes the mats heat resistant and safe to use when put on top of cooking grates and in turn provides you with a smooth and uniform base to cook food on.
Every grill mat comes with its own list of benefits. The silicone mats are oil resistant and are recommended if you prefer cooking food on low heat.
Copper mats are popular mainly because of the fact that copper is known to be a great heat conductor and ensures an even spread of heat.
The black, non-stick mats, known as Teflon grill mats, are coated with PTFE and come with the same advantage of an even heat spread.
General Information on Grill Mats
Using these grill mats inside the oven is as easy as it seems. The only thing to be mindful of is the sizing of the mats when placing them inside.
When using them inside the oven, check out the size of the oven or microwave bowl.
Also be mindful of the type of oven you are using your mats in. For a gas oven, it’s advised to keep the mats on the shelf, or on top of the flame for a grill, instead of keeping them underneath or on top of the flame directly.
This will ensure that your grill mat does not melt or catch fire.
Grill mats, being a smooth plain surface, are also bound to spread heat evenly instead of directing it in just one place.
For example, if you plan on baking cookies or cupcakes directly over the burner, the heat will be directed towards the center instead of spreading across evenly throughout the batter, which is what usually happens and results in an unevenly baked dessert.
With using grill mats inside the oven, save up on buying cupcake or muffin pans, and instead lay down your dessert directly onto the mat to bake it.
From baking delicious pizza and pies to meat, veggies, and cookies, you can use them to prepare some of your favourite meals.
These non-stick mats do not require you to use excess oil, which will also help you save money and live a healthier lifestyle with nutritious food.
A key concern for many people is the fact that some grill mats are toxic.
While these grill mats are generally safe to use, some of them might emit toxic materials when used or burned, which may cause health problems.
When buying Teflon grill mats, do not confuse a PTFE coating with a coating of Per Fluoro Octanoic Acid (PFOA).
PFOA is known to be hazardous in nature and a problematic chemical, which is why companies today use PTFE instead.
Do not neglect this aspect when deciding on which mat to buy.
Care And Maintenance of Grill Mats
If you are someone who is prone to making a mess while baking or using the oven and are likely to spill something inside, you will find the grill mat to be the most convenient tool and one of the easiest to clean products.
Since a grill mat has non-stick material, you won’t have to worry about it ruining the surface.
So anything from fat, excess oil, or meat falling down on your mat will be easier to clean as compared to wiping down your oven after each meal prep and scrubbing it out.
More often than not, the mat will come clean after being dipped in hot water and wiped with a scrubbing pad. The most convenient way, though, is to put it in the dishwasher.
The majority of the grill mats are dishwasher friendly, so be sure to check that on the label before buying your at.
To remove any residue, load the mat on the top rack of the dishwasher with hot water.
Though, regardless of how you choose to clean your mat, at the end you should always be sure to dry it with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
To make it last longer, also be careful to not roll up your grill mats too tightly.
Following this proper care, you should be able to use your mat over and over again instead of having to buy or use a new one each time.
There is nothing more dangerous than overheating your non-stick grill pan!
To make it even clearer, this applies to all non-stick appliances, whether it be your cookware or irons which are bound to emit fumes when used on high temperatures.
Before purchasing your grill mat, make sure to take a look at the label. This is where the specified maximum temperature of the grill mat can be found, stating the highest setting and the lowest setting.
Generally, grill mats can withstand up to 500F.
If you prefer to use a low heat setting, you will also find a mat that can withstand 200F to 300F as well.
Another point to keep in mind when buying your mats is to be cautious of the thickness. If a mat is too thick, it will take longer to heat up and you may find your food being cooked unevenly or maybe not at all.
The same problem is seen when you start using thin mats, which tend to heat up faster and are more susceptible to heat so you may risk burning your food along with wearing out your mat quicker than usual.
Your aim should be to look for a mat with an ideal thickness of 0.2mm and you’re good to go.
Final Thoughts on Grill Mats Being Used in the Oven
As long as you follow instructions and use the grill mats inside the oven without overheating them, you will have nothing to worry about.
By buying the correct type of grill mat and maintaining it the way it should be, you diminish the chances of your mat emitting fumes as well.
For a product like a grill mat which can be used in the oven as well, we’d say these small responsibilities are worth it in the end.