(WMC) - ANDY, WILL IT WORK? Yoshi Grill & Bake Mat = WISE BUY (with reservations)
The Yoshi Grill & Bake Mat, $9.99 for two (one is both a grilling and a baking mat), is fine for vegetables, fish, pizza -- anything you want to grill or bake evenly that would normally slip through your grates.
Its non-stick surface: effective.
"Perfect" grill marks, as advertised: no.
Nor would I grill any good meat on it.
Chef Terry Taylor, owner of Gourmet Grillers food truck, cooked on my home grill to test the Yoshi mats. Since he cooks professionally on a flat grill inside his food truck, he had high expectations.
"[The food's] staying on the flat top. They're not dripping through the grate," he said. "They retain their juices."
We grilled peppers, squash, asparagus, tilapia, burgers, a rib eye and a pizza on the Yoshi Grill & Bake Mat.
The veggies, fish and pizza were wonderful, much better than if cooked directly on the grates. Nice, even cooking -- with just the right amount of char and tenderness.
But it took twice as long to cook the rib eye, even at medium-rare. No significant grill marks, either.
Burgers: same thing. Twice as long, no grill marks -- although they did retain their juices, and they tasted terrific.
The drawback with the mat is its instructions say you cannot put it over a direct flame. That's a problem.
Steaks, burgers, boneless chicken, smaller meat cuts -- they all require direct, high heat for a good sear. Beef's juices and fat need to be able to drip and burn under the grates in order to smoke and add flavor to the meat.
That's just not going to happen with the Yoshi Grill & Bake Mat.
"But if you want to grill vegetables, fish, anything like that that flakes or is going to fall apart, this works great," Taylor said.
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