Grilling outside is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do. It lets you enjoy outdoor life without having to leave your house. It also gets the entire family together to enjoy their time.
However, like everything else, grilling too comes with its own downsides. Grease can escape the grill and leave undesired burn marks on the deck. This is exactly why you need a grill mat for your deck.
So, what is the best grill mat? An ideal grill mat should have various excellent properties. It should be easy to clean, offer versatile uses, be durable, and have excellent oil absorption capabilities too. Absorbent mats generally tend to be the best. Make sure to also find mats that are able to withstand temperatures up to 500°F
With endless choices in the market, you could find it difficult to choose the most suitable grill mat for your deck. So, we have done our bit to make it easier for you by compiling this comprehensive guide. Make sure to read on till the end!
What Are Grill Mats?
Grill mats are your answer if you’re a neat freak who enjoys endless grilling sessions. Even otherwise, if you’re into grilling, a suitable grill mat is a must-have.
A deck mat (or a grill mat) would serve as a protective separation layer between the grill and your deck. It does so by preventing any splattering liquids like grease and sauce from falling onto the floor and damaging it.
There are two main kinds of grill mats – the first, traps grease inside itself (due to the presence of absorptive material), while the other allows the grease to sit on top. You can clean this up later.
Benefits Of Using Grill Mats
When you use grill mats for decks, you get a variety of benefits. These include:
1. Easy Cleaning
Do you remember the time when you had to clean all the oil and burn stains after your lovely barbecue session? Well, that’s definitely not a good memory!
With grill mats, you can easily avoid this happening. You can place grill mats over your deck and let the grill rest on it. So, if there are any oil leaks, you won’t damage your deck!
When you’re grilling out in a public place, you may have to abide by the rules of not dirtying the surroundings.
So, here also, you can place the grill mat. Moreover, as most grill mats are quite lightweight, you can carry them wherever you want!
Getting your decks cleaned or repolished is very expensive. On the other hand, you have grill mats that can lower that cost easily.
You can get some of the best grill mats for under $30. So, save yourself from big expenses by investing in grill mats.
Things To Consider Before Buying Grill Mats
There are many grill mats available in the market today. How do you know which one to buy? Many factors come into play before buying a grill mat. So, make sure you consider these:
Absorbent mats are usually safer for the deck and the people around. This is an easier way to prevent all the mess from splattering, too.
On the other hand, repellent mats can prove to be dangerous with small children and/or pets around the deck.
It’s important to measure the size of your grilling area for obvious reasons. It is a general rule of thumb to choose a slightly larger mat than your grilling area. You can always cut the mat to fit your grill later.
Most mats are safe to be used up to 500°F, but some are limited to 300°F. If that’s the case, the mat can melt or degrade.
It’s preferable to use a thicker mat if you want a mat that would withstand higher temperatures.
Most mats in the market are made of a material coated with non-stick (heavy-duty PTFE). However, the thickness of these mats can vary and are direct indicators of their temperature capacity.
Grill mats are usually made from a PTFE (fiberglass) material and may have a copper coating too. This is great for grilling as it helps with the visibility of the food.
Additionally, there are also mats with mesh or holes available, giving the food more smoke exposure.
The price range for the mats is fairly affordable — they range between $20 and $45. Of course, we suggest opting for a higher-quality mat. It’d have thicker material and can withstand higher temperatures as well.
However, don’t just depend entirely on the price. Make sure you double-check all the features and material.
This plays a very important role. You can use most grill mats multiple times after rewashing.
However, you cannot reuse or rewash some mats after using them more than 2 or 3 times. The thickness of such mats can decrease with every use. So, look into this feature before buying any mat.
The 3 Best Grill Mats For Wood Decks
It’s extremely harmful to use grills on wood decks as wood is susceptible to fires. So, even a small mishap can cause big accidents.
If you want to avoid that from happening, make sure that you choose the right type of grill mat. We’ve listed three of the best grill mats below specifically for wood decks.
1. CONVELIFE Under The Grill Mat
Convelife has a very basic yet reliable mat to offer. The rectangular shape has dimensions of 36 inches by 60 inches.
Thus, it provides enough area to use with the largest of grills. If you want smaller or larger, you can get more options as well.
You need to place this mat directly under your grill. Thus, it offers the best protection to your wood deck below.
It is made of recycled polyester fiber and hence, it serves as an eco-friendly option, too. This also helps as it seamlessly absorbs all the liquids and grease.
The mat is leak-proof, and thus, it enhances the protection, too. It has a good grip due to being coated with a PVC film and a hole for a handle. It is convenient and handy.
Its cleaning process is even easier as it just needs a simple hosing or scrubbing in warm water. The best part? It’s lightweight and easy to carry!
2. The Gas Grill Splatter Mat
The Gas Grill Splatter Mat has a highly effective no-frill mat to offer.
This is rectangular mat too and has dimensions of 48 inches x 30 inches. This can easily add confidence to the protection it has to offer.
It is designed with non-woven fiber and so, it’s easy to maintain. Also, there would be no compromise in its absorption ability or its surface protection.
It is made in a low-profile black color, thereby making sure it matches well with any combination.
Moreover, many users commend this grill mat for its durability as it lasts for more than five years too!
But, note that the material of this mat may attract debris and leaves. So, you may have to clean it quite regularly.
3. FirePad Deck Protector
If you have got a circular grill and a wood deck, then we highly recommend the FirePad Deck Protector.
It’s available in three sizes such as 24 inches, 30 inches, and 36 inches. So, you can choose accordingly.
The aluminized material is simply excellent for smokers, small grills, and even firepits. This material radiates near about 95% of heat and is cool to touch.
Additionally, the bottom layer of the grill is thick and impenetrable and so, it reduces the risk of oil stains or burn marks.
The price is slightly more but for the quality, it’s definitely worth it!
The 3 Best Grill Mats For Composite And Trex Decks
Just like wood decks, composite and Trex decks also require a lot of care. So, to protect them, you can go for these mats:
1. Tuffy Outdoor BBQ Decking Grill Mat
This grill mat is highly resistant to any grease spilling or escaping from your grill. It has a very impressive reputation.
Tuffy’s mats are highly eco-friendly, durable, and made from recycled tires.
The mat has managed to pass strenuous fire safety trials, thereby making it ideal for all kinds of grills. It can withstand temperatures up to 550°F.
It is very easy to clean with just warm water and soap. While the price might be a bit expensive, they are very durable and will last for a very long time.
2. Napoleon Grills Commercial Grill Mats For Decking
If you’re looking for grill mats for smaller grills, then go for this one.
The commercial grill mats are a healthy contender. They’re ideal for charcoal grills, with high fire resistance.
This is a heavy-duty repellent mat and is extremely easy to clean. It responds well to extreme conditions.
It has dimensions of 47 inches by 32 inches, ideal for standard-sized grills. The higher price is worth it, owing to the excellent design, durability, and build.
There’s one slight problem with this mat. The silver color may get distracting at night due to its brightness.
3. Drymate Grill Mat
The Drymate Grill Mat is an excellent option if you’re looking for a spacious mat at a budgeted rate.
It’s around 36 inches x 60 inches and performs efficiently with various grills on a composite deck.
It has a commendable fabric that absorbs horrible stains and any other liquid stains, such as marinades or sauces. Moreover, it has moisture-wicking properties too. This fabric is easy to clean and doesn’t require any special attention.
Even though the mat is quite big, it’s easy to carry due to its lightweight and flexible properties. It’s extremely durable as well and hence, offers value for money.
However, keep in mind that the mat may have wrinkles at first. It’s also not very suitable for rainy areas.
The 3 Best Grill Mats For Concrete
If you want to protect your concrete areas from developing oil and burn stains, then opt for these grill mats:
1. GRILLTEX Protective Deck and Patio Mat
The GrillTex mat is considered to be the best grill mat for concrete patios.
This mat, measuring 39 inches by 72 inches, can accommodate most kinds of grills.
It is made of 100% recycled rubber and is highly heat resistant.
Cleanliness is the best part of the mat – it can easily be rinsed with soap and water. Additionally, the mat comes with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
Another great thing about this mat is how spacious and nice it looks. Yes, it may not be that important to have a good-looking mat but if you’ve guests over, it can make a good impression.
However, we found that the overall thickness of the mat is less than required.
2. RESILIA Under Grill Mat
This grill mat, with its impressive durability and slip resistance, is ideal to place on your patio.
It is made of durable PVC and is highly durable. It is also waterproof, hence allowing continued outdoor use.
Moreover, this mat is available in a variety of colors. So, you can opt for the one you think would suit your grill.
When it comes to maintenance, it is also easy to clean, with its grooved texture. This helps channel dirt and spillage. However, if used in the rain, the edges might curl up a bit. But, they straighten the moment the mat dries up!
3. Fasmov Grill Mat
This 36 inches by 48 inches flexible grill mat is ideal for a concrete patio.
With its waterproof quality on board, you can grill irrespective of the weather!
Moreover, cleaning is a breeze with this mat – all you have to do is hose it down with water.
The quality material of this grill prevents any dirty oil or grease stains on your concrete floor. Thus, saving you a lot of cleaning efforts and maintenance too.
It is great value-for-money and offers good protection. However, it could’ve been slightly thicker, though the current thickness serves the purpose well.
Grill mats go a long way to help prevent deck/patio repairs. They’re great yet small purchases that help save a lot down the line. Every grilling enthusiast should own a grill mat to save the flooring from a mess while enjoying sizzlers.
We hope this guide helped you to choose the grill mat most suited for your needs. Happy grilling!