Copper Grill Mats – Chef Caron tests them out with surprising results

copper grill matsThere’s a new kid on the block. Suddenly copper grill mats are showing up everywhere. Many of the top sellers of the original black grill mats are adding  copper grill mats to their line, and some of them are switching over to the “copper,” and discontinuing the black mat altogether. Companies such as Yoshi, Kona Best, Kitchen and Home have jumped on the  copper grill mat band wagon in the last couple of months. Others are selling the same mat only referring to it as a “gold grill mat.”

So what’s the deal with these copper grill mats? I ordered several different brands and the first thing I did was test them for copper content. We started with a coffee can forge, which gives us temperature in excess of 2,000 degrees. This is hot enough to melt copper and incinerate the other ingredients in a mat. We incinerated several copper grill mats with the forge, and there was not so much as a drop of copper in any of them.

That’s right, there is no copper in a copper grill mat. So, when they refer to a “copper” grill mat, they’re NOT talking about copper, the element – they’re talking about copper, the color. In other words they’re copper-colored grill mats, not actually copper grill mats. In defense of the companies selling the copper grill mat, as far as I know, they aren’t claiming that the mats contain copper. They just call them “copper grill mats” in reference to the color and leave the rest to the customer’s imagination.

copper chef copper grill matsThat being said, it’s pretty clear why someone would want you to believe they contained copper. Copper is the best metal for conducting heat; plus it’s extremely durable and corrosion resistant. You’re probably familiar with Revere Ware pots and pans that have a copper bottom and a stainless steel top? That copper on the bottom of the pan quickly absorbs and distributes the heat. In fact, copper conducts heat five times more effectively than cast iron and over 20 times better than stainless steel. So it’s a common practice to use copper for many culinary applications.

But, once again, that is immaterial in this case, since the copper grill mats don’t contain any copper. Compositionally, they are identical in every way to the traditional black grill mat. They are constructed the same way with the same nonstick coatings of PTFE. The only difference is that the PTFE coatings are colored gold instead of black.

Just the same, I went ahead and did a side by side comparison on the grill – copper next to black.  The results were identical on both mats. This was no surprise, since before I started the comparison tests I had already ascertained there was no difference in physical characteristics between the mats. Still, I had to run the tests on the grill just for physical proof.

bbq mat from chef caronSo what this all boils down to, is that you have a choice between a black grill mat and a copper colored grill mat, and it is simply a choice of color, nothing else.

if you want to know how a copper grill mat is made you can read my post on how black grill mats are produced, as it’s the exact same process.  So in conclusion, when buying a grill mat, focus on size, coefficient of friction, and thickness, same as before,  and then pick the color you want.

Happy grilling,

Chef Caron

Are Grill Mats Safe?

non-stick-cookware-are grill mats safeAre Grill Mats Safe?

Before we examine the question, “are grill mats safe?” consider this: The desire to figure out how to cook food without creating a big cleanup problem is something of an ancient endeavor. There has been speculation that an aggressive cultural movement toward nonstick cookware began right around the time men had to start doing dishes, but many historians contradict that theory. The fact is, nonstick pans took a rather Continue reading

Nonstick BBQ Grill Mat Review

safe nonstick-cookwareNonstick BBQ Grill Mat Review

There has been a debate for years now over the safety of Teflon cookware, specifically the polytetrafluoroethylene coatings that are applied to nonstick pans, and the PTFE fabric used to make the popular BBQ grill mat and baking mat. Some people even question whether there is such a thing as safe nonstick cookware at all. So we’ll take a closer look in this nonstick bbq grill mat review. Continue reading

Miracle Grill Mat Reviews

Read the Miracle Grill Mat Reviews before purchasing.

Miracle Grill Mat Reviews

The Miracle Grill Mat was one of the first widely advertised BBQ grill mats, and first showed up as part of the “as seen on TV phenomena.”  Most people had never heard of a BBQ grill mat prior to this massive television advertising campaign. For a short time, it became the most familiar barbecue product of its type in the world. It’s a clever name, too. Anything with the word “miracle” in it is an attention-grabber. Why do you think this post is titled “Miracle Grill Mat Reviews?” Because it gets your attention. Well, and also because that’s what it is.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at how this As-Seen-On-TV thing works, since Continue reading

Selecting a Grill Mat

Selecting a BBQ Grill Mat

These days there are literally hundreds of possibilities you are faced Chef Caron BBQ Grill Mat on Grillwith when you go shopping online for a BBQ grill mat. This can be a good thing but the question is, how do you sort through all that information without wasting a lot of time and then buying the wrong one in the end? Well, the answer is simple, really. You need help. So today we’re going to take a look at a short video that will help you shop online for a BBQ Grill Mat with complete confidence.

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BBQ Rub Recipe for Mexican Style Corn on the Cob

bbq rub recipe Mexican Style Corn on the CobBBQ RUB RECIPE FOR CORN ON THE COB

This is the best way to serve corn on the cob, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with chili powder, cotija cheese and lime juice! This makes a great bbq spice rub with a distinct Mexican flavor. It’s probably the best bbq rub recipe I’ve found for Mexican style corn. Very authentic. Thanks to The Seaside Baker for this one.

But you can use the same idea to create any style of corn you want by using

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Cedar Plank – Barbecue Roasted Salmon – Add Spice to Your Summer

Cedar Plank Salmon

Using a Cedar Plank is such a simple and elegant technique for cooking salmon.  If you’re not interested in the recipe below, scroll down farther and check out the cedar plank purchase options.  But definitely consider this recipe – it’s a great one. The heat of the grill will gently steam the fish and, unlike cooking directly on the grate, the fish will retain a tender moist flavor.  The cedar wood imparts a variety of pleasant woodsy flavors and the grill adds that great bbq smokey taste.  You can impart additional tastes by soaking the cedar planks in advance in your favorite flavor.
barbecue roasted salmon cedar plank

This is salmon like you’ve never tasted before. Excruciatingly delicious. Just be sure to use a fresh (important) wild caught salmon and cook it using a cedar plank. Continue reading

Grill Mat – Tips and Tricks from Chef Caron

Hi, Chef Caron here, with an update or two on how to make the best use of your bbq grill mat so you don’t run into any frustrating difficulties or problems.

How You Use Your Grill Affects How You Use Your Grill Mat

Keep in mind that every type of food you barbecue will react with the mats differently. I point this out because everyone’s use of the grill is pretty much unique. For example, you might use a specific type of marinade that you make yourself. It’s possible that no one else on the planet is using that exact combination of ingredients on a bbq grill mat.

Sticky Situation

I had a customer call me the other day because his grill mat had gotten a sticky residue on it Continue reading

Copper Grill Mat – Are They Better Than the Black Ones?

Copper Grill Mat and CheeseburgersAs of this writing, there’s a new kid on the block in the world of grilling accessories and grill tools – it’s the Copper Grill Mat. I’ve been watching the development of this new option with interest. From my observations, it appeared that the Yoshi Copper Grill Mat was the first on the market and, as always happens, there were numerous imitations that quickly followed.

Yoshi Copper Grill MatA quick search on Amazon earlier today (July 3, 2017) revealed multiple options for purchasing a copper grill mat, which included products from Atiyok, Aoocan, Netcat, Smaid, RVZHI, BestGreen, Looch, Yoshi, and Copper Chef, to name just a few. There aren’t a lot of reviews yet for any of these, since they are a relatively new product.

I ordered several of these and will be testing them once they arrive. The concept of a bbq grill mat is not new, but the copper grill mat certainly is, though it remains to be seen they are going to be viewed with the same enthusiasm that the original mats have been.

Chef Caron BBQ Grill Mats PackagingI have a series of questions about the copper grill mats that I will be answering in a future post, once I have had the opportunity to test them. If they prove to be an improvement on the original black mats and if they perform as well or better we’ll be creating a Chef Caron version of the copper grill mat.

The questions regarding the copper grill mat that I will be answering through the testing and research phase:

  • Is it possible to manufacture the copper grill mat with the same or better coeffecient of friction that the original bbq grill mats? This is the feature that gives a mat its slickness and makes it easy to use and simple to clean (in most instances).
  • Does a copper grill mat actually contain copper? Or is that an advertising gimmick because of their copper color?
  • If they do contain copper, are they safe to cook on? Even copper pots and pans normally have a copper colored interior coating. You’re usually not actually cooking on a copper surface. I’ll get into more detail on the copper ingestion issue in my next post on the subject.
  • Are they easier or harder to clean than the original bbq grill mats? There are certain foods and sauces, I’ve found, that will stick to a grill mat with a vengeance, particularly when the mats have been subjected to higher heat. So clearly, bbq grill mats do have their limitations in that regard. I’ll be doing tests with the same foods and the same temperatures cooked on a black grill mat and a copper grill mat at the same time. I’ll be videoing this process so those who are interested can see the actual results for themselves.

I’m sure once I receive the copper grill mats and start working with them I will discover other aspects and features that need to be tested and verified. Expect to see the results shortly after the Fourth of July. And have a happy and safe 4th.

Grilled Eggplant – Vegetarian But Still Tastes Great

Grilled Eggplant

grilled eggplant vegetarian bbq recipesGrilled Eggplant with cheese

Eggplant is a fun looking thing but most people find it to be rather dull tasting. This will definitely change your mind on that issue. This is a sort of lasagna-ish dish that’s put together with some real magical ingredients, including cheese, tomatoes, basil and grilled eggplant. This is really fast and easy and is probably the most popular grilled eggplant recipe out there – I made that up.  Continue reading