By John Carruthers
So last time around, I filled you in on my quest to ruin Luke Gelman’s life with a curated selection of Amazon kitchen gadgets. Then it was a pair of flimsy scissors that claimed you could “throw away your knives and cutting boards” but was in reality closer to “mush your chicken up real good!” This time, I sent him Chef Remi’s BBQ Grill Mats.
The first reason I sent these mats: according to the Amazon back-and-forth with either Chef Remi or whatever branding team created him (see below), the nonstick coating used is Teflon. You know what doesn’t play well with high heat? Teflon. It begins to break down at temperatures over 500 and seriously deteriorates at 660. So fire up that grill, crack a beer, then wait for the grill to cool down. And wait. And wait.
The second reason: that “grill flavor” you get is in large part a result of fat atomizing on the coals, then wafting upward. Not the fire source, not the grill marks, and certainly not a warm Teflon mat. So take that key dripping-on-coals reaction away and you’ve got … what? Let’s find out:
So if you love to grill but hate to clean up, then … find a new hobby or something. Especially if you’re the kind of delicate soul who can’t handle 30 seconds of grill brushing the next time you light up the grill. Everyone knows you don’t scrub the grill right after cooking. Except the French, I guess. These mats just turn your grill into a harder-to-control oven. Condolences in advance to all you fathers who have to smile and nod at a pack of these next June 18.
Here’s a question I asked myself during the making of this video: who is Chef Remi? This dude, apparently. But his Twitter account sure SOUNDED like something written by a bloodless team of new media marketers. This Tweet in particular made me wonder. I’m no linguist, but I reasoned there aren’t a ton of French transplants dropping “ain’t” in Minnesota. So I channeled my inner Columbo and, guess what?
“Chef Remi” isn’t a chef at all. Or a real person. He’s a fucking stock photography model. I knew I couldn’t trust that handsome Gallic face. I must apologize to the lid, which has been BLOWN OFF this whole sordid business. Hang your head in shame, Chef Remi Marketing Team. Was it that you couldn’t find a semi-notable cook who would endorse your stuff for a few bucks? Or was it that you underestimated my keen detective skills and expert reverse-Google-image-search hacking? I just Mr. Robot-ed you over half a bagel and some black coffee. Took me like six minutes. If ManBQue outsmarted you, something is terribly wrong.
See you next week, when Luke again cooks using terrible things and I blow the lid off another global conspiracy.