CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The weather is warming up and that means many folks will start taking dinner outdoors.
The makers of a product called the Miracle Grill Mat claim their non-stick mat can even make your breakfast on the grill, but does it work?
To test the claims of the Miracle Grill Mat, we tapped the talents of backyard barbecue aficionado Zac Caldwell of Cape Girardeau.
Caldwell said he typically grills pork, beef and chicken. He said he had never attempted to make bacon, eggs or pancakes on the grill.
"I haven't, but I can see if you were camping maybe that's something you might do," said Caldwell.
The Miracle Grill Mat's television commercial claims it can turn any grill into a non-stick surface that can cook almost anything.
At first glance, Caldwell wasn't sure it would work.
"It feels like a piece of plastic," said Caldwell.
The product's packaging states the grill mat can withstand up to 500 degrees, so Caldwell fired up the grill and placed the thin black mat on the grill grates.
To test the mat's performance with the usual grillable items, Caldwell puts one hamburger, pork chop and half of a Kielbasa sausage on the grill mat, and one of each directly on the grill grate.
The meat quickly started to cook on the grill mat, keeping pace with the meat directly on the grill.
As the meat was cooking, Caldwell added two slices of bacon to the grill mat.
A few minutes later, Caldwell flipped the pieces of meat and the bacon.
"You can see some grill marks there," said Caldwell. "The bacon looks good, and you can see some grill marks on the kielbasa as well, so the grill marks are coming through… I think it cooks bacon probably as good as the pan or the oven."
Once the first round of grilled meat finished cooking, Caldwell took stock of the finished products.
"I think our hamburgers cooked up pretty good, and our pork chops, and our kielbasa so I'm impressed," said Caldwell.
Next, Caldwell wanted to try cooking some of the items shown on the product's commercial: eggs, cheese, pancakes and vegetables.
"You definitely wouldn't be able to do that on the grill," Caldwell said.
Early on in this round of cooking, Caldwell came to appreciate the Miracle Grill Mat's non-stick quality. The pancake flipped easily, revealing grill lines browned into the flap-jack.
"The pancake looks good," said Caldwell.
The egg stuck to Caldwell's spatula which broke the yolk, but the egg didn't stick to the grill mat. The vegetables also grilled evenly to tender.
After all of the food was grilled, Caldwell found that the mat wiped clean easily and cooled down much quicker than a skillet would.
"I like the fact that you can cook pancakes on that, you couldn't do that on a regular grill. Vegetables, definitely a plus," said Caldwell. "The fact that it cools down quick, one minute later you could just roll it up and put it away."
Caldwell gave the Miracle Grill Mat 5 stars on this does it work test. We purchased our package of one Miracle Grill Mat at Walgreens for $9.99.