|Grape Grill Buddy Mats for the BBQ |
or Parchment Paper substitute for baking
Great for kosher use in public.
Much to my delight, this is a product I can highly recommend. When I received this product in the mail, I was skeptical. First, as many of you know, we are trying to eat healthier. Currently, I eat no grain and no sugar. Levi is now gluten-free and lactose-free. The rest of the family is eating healthier overall, but have hardly given up all junk food.
I was concerned about what toxic ingredients might come from these mats, so I looked into that first. As we try to avoid using aluminum or plastic too much (yet, I confess...still more often than I wish). So here are the highlights about the mats.
*Set of 2 mats (15 3/4" x 13") prevents food from falling through (cut to fit any grill)
*Nonstick/made from heavy duty PTFE (PFOA Free) coated fabric. Shredded chicken breasts are a thing of the past!
*Easy to transport (store flat or rolled up) Always have a clean surface to cook for your family
*When the party's over, clean up is a breeze! Just wash in warm soapy water or put in the dishwasher & you're ready for your next grilling adventure!
*Never worry about burned food, grill evenly every time
*Reusable! Strong enough to last for 100s of cookouts
*Works on any grill: gas, electric or charcoal
*Great for all types of food; Chicken, ribs, fish, veggies, steaks, burgers, kabobs, shrimp & seafood, bacon, grilled cheese, pizza, even eggs!
*Can be used as a cookie sheet liner too!
(As per their description on Amazon.)
What does all of this mean to you? First let me be honest. PTFE stands for Polytetrafluoroethylene, which is the same thing as teflon. So these are basically teflon covered fabric mats. RED FLAG for me. I try not to cook too much with teflon, choosing instead to use cast iron, stainless steel, and glass and I pay attention to country of manufacture, as well. However, in 2013 Gore-tex eliminated the use of PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) from their teflon applications. PFOA was the chemical in teflon that was found to be toxic and cancerous in animal research. So these mats are PFOA free which is important to mention. Otherwise, I would not have even tried them.
As for my tests, we tried them on the grill and in the oven. First thing that came to mind, I was expecting them to give off an odor the first few uses. We did wash and dry them first before using, but we did not pick up any fumes when they heated up on the grill or in the oven. Yay!
I did appreciate that on the grill they still permitted the meat to char and get grill marks. We did not lose the BBQ flavor. They did keep the grill clean, so long as the meat was not excessively fatty and didn't leak off them. If so, then when the fat hits the flame it can rear up and hit the mats which is not recommended. So it depends on what one is grilling...but for things that might normally fall through the grill, these are awesome. No loss of veges. Hot dogs and sausages did not leak too much fat either. However, just as with teflon pans, one must be careful of which utensil you use and be gentle while turning.
Next, I tried them for baking in the oven. Now this is an application I really liked. I go through so many rolls of parchment paper a year. I love how nothing sticks in my pans when I use it. So we made Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Brownie cookies. Again, no problems. The cookies baked beautifully and easily were removed from the mats. These mats were comparable to using parchment paper on cookie sheets. Now I am not sure they would work in 13X9 pans for brownies, etc. But it could greatly lessen how much parchment paper we go through in a year.
Last, but not least I was curious how easy they would be to clean after use. I mean the upside to parchment, is no clean up. These mats cleaned up with ease. The crumbs and residue wiped right off. I dried them off, rolled them up, and used a clean, coated hair band to keep them in place. Slid them in the drawer next to my parchment paper.
I really do like the idea of taking these with us when we go camping or on a picnic so we don't have to be grossed out by an overly dirty grill. I always try to justify in my mind how the flames are burning away any germs, but not knowing what was grilled last is a concern. I can see that these could be very important to those holding to a kosher way of eating, as well. No worries that unclean food is touching one's clean food when using a public grill.
In conclusion, I like these mats and will be putting them to use often. If you give them a try, I hope you will let me know what you think!
(Disclosure: I was sent these mats in exchange for my honest review. As you can see, I have tried to give you the pros and cons to let you decide for yourself.)