How to Pick the Right Grill Mat for Charcoal Grills
Grill mats are mats that are specifically designed for grills. You get a grill and you place it on the mat to hold it in place. A lot of people have many questions regarding the design of grill mats and whether they're safe or not. This article steps you through these fundamental questions so you can get all the information you need to make a truly informed choice.
Are Grill Mats Safe?
The answer to this question really depends on many different factors. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of whether the particular grill mat you picked is safe or not, you need to revisit why people need a grill mat in the first place.
First of all, grill mats provide even grounding. You may have a well-designed backyard, but if you have a lot of soil or your grill is primarily located in an area that has soil, you know full well that soil can erode. This is especially true if you live in a part of the country where it rains a lot. Soil can erode over time. What started out as an even surface area can become very uneven and rough. Provided this reality, you need a mat that would ensure that even grounding remains stable. At the very least, if you have grill mats for charcoal grills, the mat can deflect the water so that the water does less damage in terms of erosion.
Furthermore, grill mats are great because they prevent slicks. If enough oil accumulates on a surface, you know perfectly well that people would slip and fall. You know very well that somehow some way their foot might get on the slick, and this can cause all sorts of headaches. Who wants that drama? This is a completely unnecessary drama and grill mats for charcoal grills go a long way in preventing superfluous slick buildup as well as other safety risks.
Finally, when it comes to debating the safety of this type of grill material or equipment, we have to deal with misconceptions regarding debris being trapped. A lot of people are still on the fence regarding buying mats because they automatically assume that if they put a mat under their grill, then this would necessarily attract all sorts of debris or otherwise trap a lot of grease. This is a very valid concern because as mentioned above, you don't want slicks to form. You don't want oil to get stuck on the surface. This can lead to you slipping and sliding while you're trying to grill.
However, if your grill mat is properly designed or has the right texture surface, this is a non-issue. The debris would remain stuck at the bottom, and it would not facilitate the buildup of any sticky material. At the very least, there would be no sticky surface on your girl.
Key Considerations for Grill Mats for Charcoal Grills
If you are convinced that grill mats make sense for your backyard, the next step is to determine which kind of grill mat to get. There are many different makes and models out there. There are many distinct designs intended for a wide variety of uses. It can get easily confusing trying to make heads or tails of all the designs available in the market. Well, to make things easier for yourself, pay attention to the following key considerations. They should guide your selection process.
First, you need to pay attention to the size of the mat. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to look at the practical working area. Is your grill very big but you only need a relatively small size area around it? Keep this in mind because if you need an actual large square area underneath your grill, then this necessarily means you need to buy larger grill mats for charcoal grills.
You also need to pay attention to nonstick grill mats versus regular surfaces. A lot of people would automatically think that the nonstick surface is the way to go. It's not always a good idea. The great thing about regular surfaces is that they're textured. This means that even if there is some debris or oil that accumulates on the top, the texturing still provides some sort of braking function. Just because there is oil or a slick developing at the top doesn't mean that you're going to slip automatically on your mat because of the texturing.
You might think that nonstick grill mats are automatically safer; nonetheless, this is not necessarily true. Sure, the mat itself is nonstick; however, since it essentially floats or allows the slick to float on top of it so it can slide off, what if you were to step on the slick? You end up with a higher chance of slipping and falling because of the nonstick surface.
Another key factor you need to consider is whether it's easy to remove or replace the mat. This is a big deal. Why? This all speaks to how easy it is to clean up the mat in the first place. You want something that is very simple to manage. You want something that is easy to take out, dunk into the grease-cutting chemicals and eventually dry. You want something that is designed to prevent nasty buildups that would actually psychologically discourage you from regular cleanups.
The moment you feel it's a chore or a hassle to clean up your mat, you're going to be in trouble because this ensures that debris and all sorts of nasty stuff would pile up there and will not only turn grill mats for charcoal grills into an eyesore, but it can actually pose a serious threat to your safety and well-being. Make sure that debris pile-up is a non-issue.
If you take care of this, then this also takes care of the final issue that you need to be mindful of possible smell issues. Let's put it this way. You won't have to worry about a stinky mat because if you selected it properly, debris won't pile up. Without debris, there's nothing that will rot and create a funky smell.
Keep these in mind because it's too easy to get taken in by a slick brand. It's very tempting to get taken by a glossy brochure or catalogue. While it's true that a lot of friends almost certainly are buying grill mats for charcoal grills, this doesn't necessarily mean you have to buy the exact make and model they're buying. Whatever the decisions they make probably make sense only as far as their particular set of circumstances are concerned.
Your needs may be different. Your particular situation may be distinctive enough for you to follow the selection criteria listed in this article so you can make a truly informed decision. You wouldn't want to overpay for products. You wouldn't want to regret your decision later on.
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