At Grillaholics, there’s nothing we love more than hearing about how much you guys love our grilling products. We are absolutely blessed to have some of the greatest customers in the world, and because of that, customer satisfaction and safety are our top priorities.
One of the most common safety questions we hear from you guys is concerning the pooling of grease on the surface of Grillaholics grill mats. By design, the Grillaholics grill mat is a flat surface with no holes, which not only saves your food from falling through the grates, but also prevents flare-ups.
Flare-ups while grilling are caused when the oils and fats from your meats drip onto the flames or coals below, causing a burst of flames to shoot up and scorch your food. Essentially, you’re creating a small grease fire. Flare-ups can not only ruin what you’re cooking (by intensely searing foods that do not require searing), it can also be a safety concern. A grill mat prevents flare-ups by holding those oils and fats on the surface of the mat, preventing them from ever reaching the flames.
While this usually isn’t an issue, the pooling of grease can be a potential safety risk, depending on what and how much you are grilling on the surface of your grill mat. For example, if you’re in the mood to grill up an entire pack of bacon for breakfast (we’ve all been there), and you try to grill the entire pack at once, the amount of grease that accumulates on the surface of your grill mat will be much higher than if you’re just grilling a few burgers.
In rare cases, if large amounts of grease are allowed to pool up on the surface, the grease can spill over the side of the mat and into the flames/coals below, causing large flare ups. These flames can not only damage the mat, but if the grease on the top of the mat also ignites, you can have a serious grease fire on your hands.
Because safety is a top priority for us, we wanted to pass along a few tips for making sure something like this never happens. Today we’re going to show you how to handle grease on a grill mat.
Tip 1: Know what you’re grilling.
One of the most important steps you can take in preventing grease from pooling on the surface of your grill mat is to be aware of what you are grilling and how much fat/oil to expect from it. As we mentioned above, something like bacon is notoriously high in fat, and therefore, is much more likely to cause grease pooling than other meats. Similarly, meats like hamburger, steak, and chicken (with the skin still on) should also be given extra attention, as their high fat content will lead to grease pooling.
Tip 2: Grill patiently.
Grilling is a labor of love, and because of that, patience can sometimes be the most important factor, especially when grilling something particularly. Instead of grilling the entire pack of bacon, which will lead to large amounts of grease, grill only a handful of strips at a time. While that may mean that you have to spend a few more minutes of your day grilling (is that really a bad thing?), it’s the best strategy to avoid potential safety concerns.
Tip 3: Pay attention to your food.
Whenever we hear about the issue of grease pooling on the grill mat from our customers, there is typically a common theme in their stories. “I put my food onto the grill mat, closed the lid, went to do something else, and when I came back, the mat was covered in grease.” In order to prevent this from happening, especially if you are grilling particularly fatty foods, it’s important to pay close attention to your food. This doesn’t mean you have to stare at your food for the entire time it’s cooking, but checking on it every few minutes can help ensure that grease cannot build up.
Tip 4: Keep paper towels and tongs handy.
If whatever you are cooking begins to pool grease on your grill mat, it’s important to know what to do to keep it under control. The easiest method is to keep a wadded up paper towel and a pair of tongs handy. Grab the wadded up paper towel with the tongs, and as you see small pools of grease forming, simply dab them up with the paper towel.
Tip 5: Scrape excess grease off of mat, away from flames.
The paper towel and tongs method works when there a few smalls pools of grease here and there, but in the case that a large amount of grease is allowed to pool up, the easiest method is to scrape the majority of the liquid off of the edge of the mat using a spatula. It’s VERY important that you scrape the grease away from the flames, as to avoid ignition. It is also important to use a silicone spatula, as scraping with a metal spatula can damage your grill mat (as shown in the picture below). Once a majority of the grease has been taken care of, use the paper towel and tongs once again to take care of any small, remaining spots.
In the event of a worst-case scenario, and a grease fire does start on your grill, it’s equally important to know how to handle it. First and foremost, NEVER attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Rather than extinguishing the flames, water just allows the grease to spread further, increasing the size of the fire. Instead, use something like baking soda, salt, or sand, to smother the fire. A fire extinguisher will also work perfectly in a worse-case scenario. If you are cooking on a gas grill, immediately turn off the burners to stop feeding gas to the flames. Close the lid and make sure all vents are sealed. You want to starve the fire of oxygen.
We hope these tips were helpful! As we said before, customer satisfaction and safety are our top priorities, and we want to make your grilling experience as enjoyable and safe as possible.