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Grill Mats Reviewed

Grilling is a living and a way of life for me. I love every aspect of barbecuing, mostly because of the challenges and the unforeseen obstacles that can occur on a regular basis. One of the biggest challenges everyone encounters is trying to not lose those smaller items your grilling through your grill grates. Luckily for us there are products to help us with this very challenge.

I was sent a sample to review called Frogmats that’s designed to prevent smaller food items from falling through your grill grates. Here’s some background information & benefits for the Frogmats:

Frogmats

We have all experienced the frustration of grilling delicate foods on the BBQ. The food immediately sticks to the grates and tears or crumbles when you try to turn it. The food falls through the openings in the grate and you have one big mess. Frogmats solve this problem. Food will not stick to the Frogmats and is easy to turn without crumbing. Frogmats are great for preparing fish and Ka Bobs. Fish will lift off the Frogmats with ease as does the vegetables in Ka Bobs. The open matrix of the Frogmats will eliminate to a large degree any food from falling through the grates. The Frogmats will not pick up odors from fish; therefore each time it is used there will be no leftover taste. Frogmats are designed to perform in indirect cooking methods. Do not expose the Frogmats to direct flame. Our Frogmats are FDA compliant for direct food contact. These are easy to clean with a warm water spray by the outdoor hose or in the kitchen with sink sprayer. The Frogmats will last for years.

After receiving the Frogmats, a few days later, I found another product called Grill-O-Sheet at one of those big hardware box stores that was similar to the Frogmats. Here’s some background info & benefits for the Grill-O-Sheet:

Grill-O-Sheet

With the Grill-O-Sheet you’ll always have a clean cooking surface. It will keep food from falling through your grill grates. You can eat healthy fish and veggies delicious from the grill. The Grill-O-Sheet will cook your food evenly. It’s reusable and can be used several times over. It’s also dishwasher safe.

 

So as you can see, both products pretty much claim to give you the same benefits so I was eager to try these two grill mats to see which one would be the better of the two products. I purchased the Grill-O-Sheet and decided that I’d do a head-to-head comparison test on both grill mats.

The meat, equipment and settings to be used:

Testing Procedure

Both mats were loaded into the smoker at the same time with the internal smoker temperature at 238 degrees. As I checked on the progress, the Grill O-Sheet appeared to be cooking the food faster, though it was unevenly cooking the food. However, the Frogmats were lagging behind in the cooking department though that allowed the food to cook more evenly.

Grill-O-Sheet

The wings on the Grill-O-Sheet finished in approximately 75 minutes with an internal temperature of 165 degrees. I attribute the fast cooking time due to the fact the Grill-O-Sheets are made out of aluminum which is a heat conductor.

Frogmats

The wings on the Frogmats were a little more than halfway cooked at the time I removed the test wings on the Grill-O-Sheet. After just under 2½ hours, I removed the wings that were on the Frogmats so you can see the discrepancy in cooking time for these grill mats.

Here’s what I learned from this head-to-head comparison testing:

Frogmats

Frogmats Pros Rating: ★★★★½

  • It is 10”x13” in size and only costs $8.99 + shipping & handling.
  • The wings were evenly covered with color and took on a nice smoke flavor.
  • It was easy to clean & could do so in a matter of a minute or less.
  • It’s very durable and should last you for many uses.
  • The holes in the mat are smaller totally eliminating loss of food between the grill grates.
  • It’s able to be rolled up for butts or roasts.
  • It can be cut to size with standard scissors.

Frogmats Cons

  • It has a smaller cooking surface, although they’re possibly available in different sizes.
  • It’s for indirect cooking only.
  • Its cooking time was longer, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Grill-O-Sheet

Grill-O-Sheet Pros Rating: ★★★½☆

  • You get 2 sheets that are 12”x20” in size and only cost $6.99.
  • It can be used for both direct and indirect cooking.
  • It’s able to be rolled up for butts or roasts.
  • It can be cut to size with standard scissors.

Grill-O-Sheet Cons

  • The cooking time was too fast, compromising quality in color, smoke and tenderness.
  • It doesn’t clean as easily as the company claims. It took some hard scrubbing to get all the skin off of it.
  • It’s actually only good for a couple of uses and then you have to dispose of them.

Our Conclusion

If you’re a every once-in-a-while backyard griller or just need a grill mat that you can just throw out afterwards, Grill-O-Sheet would get the vote for which one to choose ONLY due to its cheaper price. However, if it were me, I would still use Frogmats no matter what due to how superior they were to the Grill-O-Sheet based on our tests.

We rated the Frogmats hands down the better buy than Grill-O-Sheet as it is far superior in all categories. Even the extra time the wings on the Frogmats spent on the smoker was well worth the wait. They had great color, incredible smoke flavor and by far those wings were the tenderest to the bite.

Happy Queing,

The Que Dude

BBQ Grilling For One

My wife and kids recently went out of town for the weekend and in doing so I was afforded some well deserved me time. The first thing that came to my mind was dinner, but what would I have exactly? I felt like a grilled rib eye, but didn’t want to fire up the Weber for just me.

I didn’t let that stop me from having my grilled steak dinner, I simply pulled out my chimney starter, threw about 7 or 8 briquettes in it and lit it like you would for any other BBQ. Second, I grabbed a rack to put on my chimney starter. Keep in mind that it doesn’t really matter what size as long as it covers the chimney plus a little room to move your food around in the event of flare-ups.

The Dinner Menu
Rib Eye Steak
Corn on the Cob
Potato Wedges

I quartered the potatoes length wise, oiled them up with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste and placed it on the chimney grill.

While waiting for my coals to get to the proper temperature so that I could cook my steak properly (about 500°), I took my corn on the cob peeled back the husk without removing it all the way. I then cleaned the silk from the corn and re-covered the stalk of corn completely with the husk and soaked the corn in water making sure it’s completely submerged for about 15 minutes.

I drained the corn of most of its moisture and set on the grill next to the potatoes, rotating frequently both the corn and potatoes to prevent any burning. Potatoes take longer to cook so I left them on while I pulled the corn off to the side to keep it warm, while yet stopping the cooking process.

Meanwhile, the star of the dinner would be my rib eye and I seasoned it then put the steak directly on the center of the chimney grill for about 4 minutes on one side and 2-3 minutes on the other side leaving me with a perfect medium-rare steak.

Overall, my dinner cost me less than $6.00 and if you don’t already have a chimney starter, this little set-up would only cost you between $20 and $25 at your local hardware or BBQ store. It’s great for college students, going to the park; I’ve even used it at work. Anyone can grill whether you’re on a full size grill or find yourself alone when you can just pull out a trusty chimney grill.

Note: All chimneys are bottomless, thus creating a major fire hazard. To prevent any kind of fire hazard problems, make sure you place a baking sheet or something metal underneath your chimney starter and be aware of where you place it as the baking sheet will get hot.

Happy Queing,

The Que Dude

GrillGrates – Upgrate Your Grill With GrillGrate

When it comes to grilling there’s one common challenge every professional and backyarder alike must learn to overcome and that’s flare-ups. There’s nothing worse than ruining a perfectly good piece of meat no matter how expensive or inexpensive may be and thus ruining your meal.

In my constant search for that perfect grilling experience, I ran across this unique grill grate from GrillGrates. Here’s an introduction about them:

“Simply lay GrillGrates on top of any existing grill, gas, charcoal or electric. GrillGrates are modular plates that interlock to cover all or part of your grill. GrillGrates are a new cooking surface that sears in juices while controlling flare-ups and removing unwanted fat. GrillGrates make it easy to cook lean meat, fish, grilled pizzas, vegetables, and pasta on your grill without worry of burning, drying out or charring. Put away the spray bottle and pick up the GrateTool™ to lift, turn and serve succulent lean meat, fish, vegetables and crispy grilled pizza.”

No flare-ups huh? No more dried out meat? No more charred meat? No more embarrassment from your bad grilling experience? Okay, you’ve got my attention! After seeing the advertisements & reviewing the site, I wondered if the GrillGrate was as good as advertised.

I decided to order a set of GrillGrates and it arrived at my house within the week and I could not wait to try this bad boy out. As timing would have it, I had a catering job for a private party the very next day and decided why not give them a test try at my catering event.

GrillGrate Tri-Tips

The featured meat was Tri-Tip Steak and anyone who has cooked Tri-Tip knows that between the marinade and the natural fats rendering out of the meat, it’s a cause for alarm, a three alarm fire if you know what I mean.

So I anxiously put three of the GrillGrates on our commercial grill and threw on a couple of Tri-Tips on the GrillGrates and placed a couple of Tri-Tips to the right-hand side on the normal grill surface. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next! Nothing at all….on the GrillGrate side that is! All I heard was a nice sizzle and I saw no flare-ups whatsoever. Just like they advertise! However, the Tri-Tips that were on the right-hand side of the GrillGrates had nothing, but massive flare-ups happening which was to be expected with this type of meat.

GrillGrate Tri-Tips

I immediately went into my fire management techniques with these Tri-Tips. When I tended to the flare-ups coming through the regular grate that were burning the Tri-Tips, I was cooking on a two zone fire meaning there were coals on both the right and the left sides of the grill leaving the middle as a safety zone. When dealing with flare-ups, it’s a matter of moving the meat to the safety zone (the middle) to tame the fire and then returning the meat to the hot side if necessary. Even while I was managing these flare-ups on the normal grill surface, the Tri-Tips on the GrillGrate never once flared up at all and that definitely impressed me.

GrillGrate Burgers

So after how successful the GrillGrates were with the Tri-Tips, I decided to see if I could get the same type of results with a much fattier type of meat, 73% ground beef burgers. The only exception to this test is that I would be grilling them on my 22’ Weber Kettle Grill while still using the same grill testing methods as we used on our commercial grill. The reason? Not everyone has a commercial grill so we thought it would be best to show you how well they’ll perform on a grill that most backyard BBQers might use.

GrillGrate Burgers

And to no surprise, the end result was the same! In fact, it was even more obvious with this test just how well the GrillGrates did compare to the normal grilling surface on my Weber Kettle Grill. You can see in the picture below that the GrillGrate didn’t have problems with flare-ups at all while the same can’t be said for the burgers on the right-hand side of the grill. I don’t know about you, but I know which burgers I’d want to eat based on their appearance.

GrillGrate Burgers

On my Weber Kettle Grill, I used the same fire management techniques in regards to managing your flare-ups as the commercial grill. I was cooking on a two zone fire while leaving the middle as a safety zone. Quite a few times, I had to move the burgers on the normal grilling surface to the safety zone. Yet, never once did I have to move the burgers that were being grilled on the GrillGrates to the safety zone. I think I’m in love with these GrillGrates. Ever since I tested them, I’ve been using the GrillGrates for all of my BBQ catering jobs. Even with my 25+ years of experience in the restaurant & catering industry, they make the plating presentation of your meat that much better!

Here’s some more information on the GrillGrate:

  • No flare-ups
  • Nice looking grill marks on the meat
  • Great color and caramelization of the meat
  • Juicier and tenderer meat
  • Great for open flame & camp fire grilling (Grill Temps 1000F+)
  • Easy clean up
  • Will never rust

We rate this BBQ accessory product a must buy for everyone no matter your BBQ skill level! If you want to grill the perfect meat every time you grill, we suggest you get the GrillGrate! With these unique GrillGrates and your grill, soon you’ll be able to BBQ Like A Pro!

The Que’ Dude