Hello and welcome to the blog!
I have to quit watching all those infomercials. Once again I saw a product on TV that seemed to good to be true – the Yoshi Grill Mat. Seduced by the commercial showing a steak with “grill marks”, I was practically drooling. Living in Iowa, we have fantastic corn-fed beef… but I also wanted to try one of the supposedly upgraded steaks now sold at Wal-Mart. The results were surprising!
One side was grilled on the gas grill at home. I needed to make sure the heat was sufficient to leave grill marks.
Oh, the smell was intoxicating and the cats watched anxiously through the screen door. Then it was time to lay the mat down and get ready to flip the meat over.
The other side (cooked with the mat) was disgusting to look at. There were no discernible lines… nor was there really any color. The T-bone looked more like a pork chop, not a $9 steak!
I guess this should not be a surprise. Much of the color on a grilled steak comes from the contact with flames and smoke. Using the Yoshi mat was more like cooking in a skillet. All was not lost. I removed the mat and grilled the ugly side, lacing it salt and pepper.
The Wal-Mart steak was incredibly delicious – rivaling the taste and tenderness of the steaks I often buy at local butchers. It exceeded my expectations and those of the cats. Jesse normally doesn’t like steak but he sure enjoyed this one… Wal-mart’s beef is much better now than I remembered in the past.
Despite the poor results cooking steak, preparing fish was a different story. The Yoshi mat did a nice job. I used non-stick spray (which I do not recommend) and a piece of Swai fish. The fillet itself cooked quickly and uniformly. As it finished, I sprinkled on a little lemon pepper seasoning and the Swai was tasty. (2 enthusiastic paws up from Kitty Jesse). I would strongly recommend using a little oil, margarine, butter, etc. on the mat. Cooking spray can leave a nasty residue that is a little difficult to scrub off.
So how did the non-stick aspect work? It worked well for beef. The steak slid right off. Cleanup was easy for the beef test. Unfortunately, the fish stuck very badly – possibly related to the cooking spray used. Nevertheless, cleaning the mat took less than a minute – even with that crusty fish stuck on. A non-scratch type pad (the yellow / green sponge type) worked great on the durable little Yoshi mat.
So will I take the Yoshi mat along in the van? Yes! The set contains two – a large and a small one. The small mat will stay in the house for tasks such as lining a baking pan of cornbread. But the large one will go on camping trips. I liked the way that the fish cooked. The mat also has great potential for veggies, grilling pizzas, or perhaps a pepper / onion / ham / egg /cheese breakfast meal. Watch for more uses in the future!
Overall rating: 3/5 (It’s okay)
- Non-stick aspect works pretty well
- Lays very flat on the heating surface
- Resistant to heat
- Does a decent job on fish – with some oil or butter
- Fast, easy clean-up with soap and water
- Rolls up and comes with a clip to keep mat secure
- Pretty durable
- Should do a fine job on grilled pizzas and cooked veggies
- No grill marks when using out door (gas) barbecue grill
- Appearance (color) of cooked beef is unappealing
- Fish might stick (likely because it is delicate)
- If cooking eggs, mat must be perfectly level (I tried one and it ran away!)
Well there ya go! I only paid $10 for this mat set (Wal-Mart clearance) and it works okay… knowing what it can and cannot do! I’d definitely say the Yoshi Grill and Bake Mats are a better investment than that plastic hamburger stuffing doohickey previously reviewed. 😀
Take care and thanks for stopping by. If things work out, I’m hoping to visit a special event on Friday the 13th… and it’s something totally nuts. I guarantee the next post will be unusual!
Bradford, Serena, and Jesse James
Jones County, Iowa