The Twisted Chef Grill Mats are another piece of camp cooking gear that I never thought I needed … until I used them. Now, there will always be at least one rolled up with my camping stuff, ready to cook.
Twisted Chef Grill Mat is a long name for a rectangular piece of fiberglass fabric coated with Teflon. It’s heat resistant to more than 500 F. It weighs next to nothing, and it can be used to cover the grate of any gas, propane, or charcoal grill as long as you keep it at least a few inches above the heat source. The mat actually disperses heat so you get cooking results that would normally require higher heat at medium heat settings. Between 350 and 400 degrees seems to be the sweet spot for the mat.
Twisted Chef says you can cook oil free on the mat, but I like to hit it up with a light spray of cooking oil. When you do, foods that would normally stick to the grate itself, literally slide across the surface of the mat. The greatest beauty of these mats? Think about some of the disgusting grills at the campsites you’ve stayed and cooked at! Lay down a Twisted Chef Grill Mat and your food will never touch that black crud again. And it won’t stick to become the next layer of black crud either.
You might think that food won’t brown and you won’t get those nice charring marks across the meat. Actually, food browns very well and in most cases the grate will leave char marks through the mat! If it doesn’t, just slide whatever you’re cooking directly onto the grate for the last minute or so on the heat. That’s after the likelihood of sticking is greatly reduced. The food will look as good as it tastes.
Cooking cooking marinated shrimp, I had a lot of juice build up on the mat. I used it to keep the shrimp moist, then just channeled in off where I wanted it by lifting the corner of the mat with tongs. Be sure to use nylon utensils like spatulas and tongs with the mat. They say that steel may damage it especially when hot. It is not to be used as a cutting surface!
When you buy these grill mats from Twisted Chef, they come with a lifetime guarantee. They run about $15 for three of them.