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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top 10 Best Contact Grills Reviewed In 2018Last Updated May 1, 2018
№1 – George Foreman GRP4800R 4-in-1 Multi-Plate Evolve Grill
This is a versatile grill designed to bring out the best in your cooking. The grill plates are coated with ceramic to guarantee maximum durability. The plates are removable for easy cleaning. They can be tilted at different angles to match your grilling and baking needs. The temperature is adjustable from 325 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to enable you to cook a wide range of foods. You also have a searing option of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The grill comes with a digital timer to enable you to program the cooking time.
№2 – George Foreman GR136B 2-Serving Classic Plate Grill
George Foreman GR136B is specially designed to provide 2 servings. The cooking surface measures 36 square inches. The classic plate has a tough, non-stick coating. This prevents food from getting stuck on the plate and makes it much easier to clean. The grill has an LED power indicator light for added convenience. A drip tray is included to collect excess fats and oils. The tray is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
№3 – T-fal GC702 OptiGrill Stainless Steel Indoor Electric Grill
This grill takes your cooking experience a notch higher. It provides the convenience of advanced sensors that automatically adjust the cooking time in accordance with the thickness of the food. The grill provides up to 6 cooking programs. It has a frozen function that serves to defrost any type of food. The 1,800-watt heating element allows you to achieve searing temperatures ideal for steak and other meats. The plates are made of die-cast aluminum. They have a non-stick coating to provide an easy time during cleaning.
№4 – George Foreman GRP472P 5 Serving Removable Plate Grill
If you desire more servings, then this is the grill to opt for. It has a large cooking surface that provides up to 5 servings. This makes it an ideal choice for a small family. It has both top and bottom grill plates. The plates can be tilted to a sloped position so as to remove more fat from your food. Unlike conventional grill plates, they are coated with ceramic to provide extended life. The non-stick surface eliminates the need to use any oils or butter when cooking.
№5 – Presto 07046 Tilt ‘n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle
This is an extra-large griddle that has the capacity to accommodate 50-percent more food than other standard models. It can cook up to 12 slices of french toast at a go. It has a master heat control that functions to adjust the temperature automatically. It provides the correct temperature that matches the type of food being cooked. The griddle can be tilted at an angle to enable you to drain excess oil with ease. It has a heavy aluminum base for maximum stability.
№6 – George Foreman GRP360R 4 Serving Removable Plate 360 Grill
Save more time spend in your cooking with this advanced grill from George Foreman. It has a heat-up rate that is 35-percent much faster compared to other models. The grill heats up in just 10 minutes. Its 80 square inches of the cooking surface is designed to provide 4 servings. The plates feature a non-stick surface coated with bronze for easy draining and clean up. The bronze coating makes them two times more durable than other conventional grill plates.
№7 – Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill
Improve your cooking with Delonghi BG24 Grill. This indoor grill features a user-friendly design that makes it easier and safe to operate. It has an embedded heating element that provides uniform cooking. The grill has an adjustable thermostat to ensure that your food cooks at the correct temperature. It has a lid made of tempered glass. The lid traps in moisture and flavor so that you can get the most out of your meats and vegetables. The grill has an extra-large cooking surface measuring 72 square inches to serve a whole family.
№8 – BLACK+DECKER G48TD 3-in-1 Waffle Maker & Indoor Grill/Griddle
This indoor grill from Black & Decker lets you cook in style. Its 3-in-1 design allows it to function as a grill, griddle, and waffle maker. It has a variable heat setting that lets you select the ideal temperature that matches the type of food being cooked. The temperature is generated by a 900-watt heating element. The grill plates are coated with a non-stick material that makes them much easier to clean. A series of channels is included in the grill for easy draining of oils and fats. The cool-touch handles make the grill safe to handle when hot.
№9 – Cuisinart GR-4NR 5-in-1 Griddler
This grill is more than just a multi-functional cooking appliance. It provides a whopping 5 cooking options to select from. Regardless of whether it is pancakes, sausages, steak or panini, this grill will handle it all. It has an advanced floating cover that automatically adjusts to the thickness of the food. The grill makes use of reversible plates coated with a non-stick material for hassle-free cleaning. There is a selector knob that lets you switch between grilling and griddle function.
№10 – George Foreman GRP1060B 4 Serving Removable Plate Grill
George Foreman GRP1060B is one of the most efficient plate grills on the market. The grill is designed to provide up to 4 serving at ago, which makes it a wise option for a small family of four. It has 60 square inches of cooking surface and heats up 35-percent faster. It cooks your food in 10 minutes so you won’t have to wait for long. The ceramic-coated plates last 2 times longer and are non-stick for easy cleaning.
Finding the right wattage
The wattage is a huge factor in deciding what is the best indoor grill for you. You don’t want one with low wattage since it will take longer to cook your food. Indoor grills can vary in the wattage.
If you want one with a short cooking time, you will want to look for grills with over 1200 watts. They will cook faster than a regular grill and a lower wattage grill. When you are looking at the wattages, the prices can vary as well. It is something to keep in mind when you are looking at purchasing an indoor grill.
Finding the right design
You will want to consider how you are going to be grilling. If you are grilling for a family, you will want a grill that can accommodate them. Grills have a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles for you to find the right one.
You can find one that will fit away when you’re not using it or a larger one that looks right in your kitchen.
The design is important because of the functions it provides. It doesn’t make sense to buy a large grill for a single person. The different models should assist you to make the right decision.
Finding the right temperature
The right grill for you will depend on if you want to change the temperature. Some grills allow you to modify the temperature with a dial. Others have fixed temperatures, so you will have to pay closer attention to them. You can find indoor grills that will shut-off automatically. They prevent overcooking and keep your food from burning. It is a convenience factor, but it will enhance your grilling experience.
If you are a skilled griller, a fixed temperature will work for you. You will want to consider the type of foods you will be grilling before making a decision.
Finding the right features
A lot of indoor grills have features available for you. You can find indoor grills with bun warmers. Others have the option to flip the grill side over and become a griddle. Any extra features that can enhance your experience should be considered.
The demand to include the features has led to manufacturers including the extra features. You should know what you want to do with the extra features before purchasing one. The available features are useful for anyone who wants to broaden their grilling experience.
Consider what you can do with them, and you will be able to find the best indoor grill for your needs.
You will want to decide if you want an open or a foldable grill. Understanding your grilling needs can make it easier to find the right grill for you.
It is important to know what you need and work a budget into your decision. You don’t want to spend too much money on features you won’t use. You will need to consider the food you will cook on the grill as well.
Element IQ Technology
Each burner in this grill comes with embedded heat sensors. These detect any heat drops that occur when cold food is placed on the grill. When it detects this temperature change, it will automatically adjust it to warm it back up again. This benefit allows you to cook your food faster and evenly. It also keeps you from suffering from food-borne illnesses.
Even better, it creates a great sear and sizzle quality that cooks your food more quickly and with a richer diversity of flavors. We particularly love the way that it automatically causes your meat or veggies to sizzle and enjoy hearing the sound it makes as it cooks.
Multiple Grilling Modes
Each model of this grill can be adjusted to two different modes: panini and barbecue mode. The first choice lets you create high-quality panini sandwiches quickly and efficiently. The other opens up the grill to let in a wider variety of foods. As a result, you can save money by avoiding having to buy multiple grills to serve these same two purposes.
Dual-Zone Temperature Control
As a result, you can cook different types of food at the same time. For example, you could set one side for the light heat level needed to fry most eggs. Then, you could set the other half for a higher-temperature fry for sausage or bacon. The possibilities are almost endless with this option.
The main thing that sets this George Foreman grill apart from the others on this list is the use of the Evolve Grill system. This system requires the use of multiple different interchangeable plates. Each of these plates has been designed for a specific type of food, such as eggs, sausage, burgers, or even many types of delicious vegetables.
While this might seem like a pain in the butt, it is actually a major boon. Instead of relying on one single set of plates, you can create a more specific and exact grilling experience. As a result, your food will be cooked more fully and have an overall better taste.
Multiple Grilling Angles
Good grills typically allow you to adjust the angle at which they grill. Why? This action allows you to cook in multiple different ways. For example, laying it flatter allows you to bake your food in a manner that is different from frying. To fry food, you will need a slightly different angle, one that this grill can achieve with just a few simple tweaks.
Automatic Thickness Adjustment
When you insert your meat or other foods into this grill, it will automatically detect its thickness. Once it has decided on this aspect of your food, it will adjust the amount of heat needed to cook it. Those levels will go up and down, depending on the type of meat or food you use, but will be pretty consistent from one type to the next.
The major benefit of the George Foreman Grill is the way that it separates unhealthy fats from the rest of your meat. When you grill with this model, it automatically presses fat from your foods and collects it in a grease trap. As a result, you can get a reduced fat burger or steak that retain the natural tastiness and texture of the meat.
When the George Foreman grill was originally released, it touted the use of a non-stick coating. Fans of the grill loved the way it prevented their meat from sticking to the grill and becoming inedible. That non-stick surface is available on this grill, but it has been enhanced by doubling the dose of the coating applied to the grill.
Simple Control Scheme
For example, it is labeled with simple temperature controls that can be adjusted to a precise and accurate heat level. On the front, it has a variety of light indicators that let you know when it is time to add or remove your food from the grill. This streamlined approach makes it a grill that is easier to understand and reliable for many cooking situations.
Multiple Grilling Options
Each model of this Cuisinart grill gives you the chance to adjust its grilling method. For example, you can use it as a contact grill to cook burgers, meat, vegetables, and much more. This option makes it a great choice for indoor or camp grilling. However, you can also close its sides to create a powerful panini grill that is among the best on the market.
Grill plates on contact grills will have a big effect on how well your food turns out. I would recommend only looking at a grill that has a non-stick surface and floating hinges that adjust according to the height of the foods you are cooking. This is the only way you can get your food to cook evenly over the entire surface. The key is to look for grills that have quality hinges that will not fall off or wear out quickly.
In addition, having removable grill plates is a nice feature that not all indoor grills have.
They come off to allow you to wash them in the sink or dishwasher, making cleanup much easier.
Contact grill position – This position is especially suitable for quick high-temperature grilling on both sides (rump steaks, hamburgers etc.) and for making toasted sandwiches or paninis.
Height adjustment of upper plate is useful to prevent too much pressure by the weight of the upper plate on your food. This is especially evident when grilling baguette or tender meat / fish.
Oven position – This is the ideal position to grill and cook au gratin at the same time. The oven grill position is also suitable for the preparation of all kinds of ‘open’ toasts, e.g. with egg, tomato, peppers and/or onion rings, covered with cheese.
Height adjustment of upper plate can make a difference since it allows you to fine tune the closeness of the upper plate to the food and therefore adjust the speed of gratination.
Barbecue position – In this position, the grill offers a large grilling surface for the preparation of all kinds of snacks, such as satay, vegetables, fruits etc.
Removable grilling plates
Removable grilling plates are much easier to clean than fixed plates. You can detach them and soak them in water. On fixed plates you need to use wet paper towel and cleaning upper plate is especially not simple if the grill has no Barbecue position. However having removable plates does usually mean that there will be greater loss of heat, so the time to warmup will be longer and more electricity will be needed to maintain the heat. The mechanism for detaching plates can also wear out depending on the quality of build.
Upper plate dripping into a container
A lot of grills when opened from contact grill position drip onto the table. This is messy and not wanted. Some grills have this solved by either dripping onto the lower plate or dripping into the container even when the upper plate is opened. It is a good thing to check before buying a grill.
Most of the grills you can purchase will have add-ons, and when it’s the electric grill, the extras include a lot of things that simulate smoke grilling. There are special trays you can buy that simulate grill charring and hot stones that you can use for grilling pizza.
You will also need safety equipment, such as heat-resistant mitts and a bucket for charcoal if you use a traditional BBQ grill. When you’re grilling with fire, it’s important to have safety gear around you at all times, including a fire extinguisher.
What other gear do you need to get started? Get a good, large metal spatula for your hamburgers and hot dogs. Make sure you have tongs as well. Keep a stash of kabob sticks in your kitchen, and collect your herbs obsessively so that you have a rich supply of them all.
Grilling on Electric and Gas Grills
Once you’ve grilled for a while on a charcoal BBQ grill, you may want to try an indoor electric grill during the off-seasons or a screaming hot summer. When you grill on a small electric grill, you’re not taking up space and you’re also cutting the fat from the meat. This is much healthier than fried food, which is why people who grill have much more diet success. There’s a lot of flavor that is still preserved by grilling on an indoor electric grill.
The gas grill really offers the best of both worlds; it can cook indoors or outdoors, wherever there is a proper gas source. It can create that smoky flavor but you can control the temperature of the heat, making it easier to judge when it’s time to flip burgers. Gas grills often have a griddle component, which makes it easier to cook multiple types of food on a wide surface.
Getting More Advice
Indoor Grill Features to Look Out For
Built-in Temperature Gauge: Should your electric grill have a cover, then there will be a temperature gauge built into the lid and this will tell you when it’s ready to cook. When you have a contact-style grill, there may just simply be a ‘go’ light that will indicate when your grill has reached its desired temperature.
Heat Recovery: Some models are built so that they recover heat quickly once you lift the lid. This is an important feature because you sometimes lift the lid of a covered grill to turn the meat or check on the readiness, and then some heat escapes. When you have enough power in the grill to return the heat to the desired level, then you’re going to experience faster cooking times.
Up to 600° Fahrenheit: You ideally want to find an indoor grill that will reach this temperature. You are safely able to cook meat at lower temperatures, but this gold standard allows you to properly sear steaks and other substantial meats.
Adjustable Thermostat: It doesn’t matter what you’re grilling, you want to achieve consistent, even, accurate temperatures so that you can get the best results. But it’s going to require a different temperature for cooking a grilled sandwich and to properly cook a steak. That means that an adjustable thermostat is key for being able to cook many different kinds of dishes. Even if you have a little panini maker, it’s a nice touch to have a thermostat that will allow you adjust for the size and contents of your sandwich.
Removable Cooking Plates: When you have a model with removable cooking plates and grates, it makes it much easier to clean the grill. It’s challenging to clean a large grill without removable plates. It can be done, but it’s much easier to remove the plates and throw them into the dishwasher or just wash them by hand in the sink. This makes clean-up so much faster and simpler, and is going to save you a lot of time in the long run.
Floating Hinge: This is a great feature, but isn’t always necessary when you have an indoor grill that is more like a conventional grill. However, if it’s a contact grill, the kind that you press down and cook on top of your food, then a floating hinge is going to help to ensure that you get even cooking on both sides. This is also very important when you have a sandwich grill, because when the lid doesn’t sit evenly on the top layer of bread, you may press some of the melted filling out on the side of the sandwich and the whole thing can turn into a flat pancake.
Getting an Eminent Impression
George Foreman grill collection is a genuine stunner. The trademark clamped shell design of the manufacturer is undoubtedly a charmer. It can impress you as early as the first time you laid your eyes on it. In particular, grill units come in a sleek blush of attractive hues that add up to its captivating form such as the luscious red GRP90WGR. Variants also appear in different sizes such as the Big George and Baby George selections. No wonder, any of these can be a perfect appliance centerpiece either in the kitchen or party table.
The Cuisinart GR-4NR 5-in-Griddler
With several grills brands in the market today, it can be hard knowing the best grill for you. The Cuisinart brand is one that most people trust and respect the reason why most of their products become best sellers. The Cuisinart GR-4NR 5-in-Griddler is one of the best grills from this brand that promises to handle any type of food. It is equipped with sensors that automatically adapt cooking time depending with the food type, comes with convenient six cooking programs, and a cooking indicator to alert you when the food is ready. With the five separate cooking options, it can handle almost everything from slabs of raw meat to pancakes and Panini.
Dual Temperature Controls
One of the most common problems with many grills is that they are unable to generate enough heat to cook red meat safely. However, with the Cuisinart GR-4NR, this problem is solved thanks to the adjustable temperature controls. This helps you set the correct temperature and transfer the heat evenly throughout the cooking surface. This not only makes your meals cook faster, but also ensure that the food is not burned. -The waffle plates are sold separate -It has no timer -It requires more power to griddle pancakes
Pros and Cons
The GGR50B heats up quickly, and provide a very even cooking surface (unlike charcoal grills). The grill comes with a stand, which can be easily removed if you want to use it indoors. The grill is relatively easy to clean as it can easily be removed and washed in the sink with some soap and a sponge. The grill is easy to put together and very portable, except for the stand.
The feature that really sold the original George Foreman grills was the slanted design that allowed the fat increase from food to fall off and collect into a cup. Not only did this make the grilled food healthier, but also much better tasting. Another popular feature of many Foreman grills is the even disbursement of heat. The heating element has been upgraded over and over through the years and models out on the market right now heat food evenly and quickly. There are other safety features like automatic shut-off and unique lid shapes that keep your grilling experience safe and convenient.
What Makes This Special
Coming from the house of George Foreman there is no doubt that this could be a good buy for those who are looking for a portable and lightweight hot plate. It is ergonomically designed and looks stylish and sophisticated. Additionally it also has some of the best features and functionalities which find favor with many customers. Here are a few interesting points as far as the features of this portable grill is concerned.
It comes with two indicator lights which help to keep in total control of the device. One power light indicates that power is ready available in the grill and the other indicates whether the device has been pre-heated and ready for cooking. It also comes with a floating hinge of inch size. The hinge is suitable for accommodating a variety of foods and ensures that the thickness and other taste attributes are maintained properly. It also has a trip dray which is dishwasher safe and the excess oils and fats get collected in the drip tray which can be easily cleaned and makes it possible to clean the grill easily.
There are a number of advantages as far as this grill is concerned. Here are a few of them:
It is perfectly suitable for a family of four especially when outdoors.
It grills the best of chicken burgers and other such dishes.
It is known to remove 42% of fat from the cooking making it quite healthy and nutritious.
It is easy to use and the digital controls will redefine the way you cook food.
The plate hinges according to a few customers develops defects and it has unhooked and fallen off.
It has caused minor injuries to some users which must be addressed.
T-fal GC70OptiGrill Stainless Steel Indoor Grill
T-Fal created one of the best grills on the market: the OptiGrill, and now you can roast from the comfort of your kitchen, and you will get the same or better results than a conventional grill.
This ingenious device automatically adapts to the thickness of almost any food, including hamburgers, poultry, sandwiches, sausages, red meat and even fish cooking time. The indicator shows the precise level of cooking: yellow for rare, medium orange and red for well done. It even sounds when the food has reached its preferred level for cooking.
Cooking chicken breasts on my T-fal OptiGrill for the first time. This grill is amazing. Chicken was perfect!
Ideal for large families of up to PEOPLE
With up to 7square inches, the GRP4800R gives you the option of as many sandwiches per cooking time you want to make. With its quick heat method you can be assured of nothing more than an hour on the grill for at least servings.
Introducing heat searing capability, Hamilton electric grill is yet another incredible option available on the market. An indoor grill designed to deliver outdoor results; it’s built to offer unparalleled grilling results. With an adjustable temperature control, you are given the power to control the amount of heat required to grill your food to perfection.
Its non-stick plate gives easy washing and also ensures that food retains its natural flavor and taste while the indicator lights enable you to keep track of the entire grilling process ensuring that you make zero mistakes.
Throwing an extra-large drip tray into the bargain, you never have to worry about spill-outs or a messy working environment. And yes, it also comes with a removable hood and a plate which is dishwasher safe for easy and quick cleaning.
Boasting an adjustable 1650 watt cooking element, Masterbuilt is a compact electric grill with a top-tier performance. Quick and easy to assemble, it gives an easy operating process allowing you to grill your food like a pro. Its removable drip pan facilitates quick and easy cleaning.
The stainless steel temperature gauge not only gives accurate and precise temperature control but also stays good as new for a long time. With a thermostat fully equipped to facilitate variable temperature control, you can never go wrong with this electric grill.
Boasting a 1560-watt heating element and a 280 sq. an inch of the cooking area, Weber electric grill gives any cooking enthusiast an opportunity to grill their food with unrivaled precision. Its porcelain –enameled cooking grates which are beefed up with a cast-iron for unmatched durability give nothing short of your expectations.
The cast aluminum body also adds to its unique design and attractive construction making it pretty awesome. Fully assembled and fitted with infinite burner valve settings, this electric grill is a must-have.
What’s more, its dimensions make it ideal and convenient for both outdoor and indoor use. To spice up the experience, it comes with a 6ft grounded cord which facilitates effective grilling.
Delonghi is another option available on the market for you. If you want to make mouth-watering grilled dishes, you can give it a shot. It distributes heat evenly across the cooking surface giving excellent results. With its embedded grill plate for heating, you can never be wrong about this grill.
It not only gives tasty foods but also keeps the food juicy and warm thanks to its tempered glass lid. Its large cooking surface lets you prepare food for the whole family with much ease while the adjustable and detachable thermostat gives a perfect finish. Its easy to clean non-stick plate makes the entire grilling process even more enjoyable. In a jiffy, it’s an awesome product.
Brand: Grill Magic
If you want to get quality electric grill without having to spend a fortune, BBQ electric grill is an option you can explore. Its excellently positioned grates prevent falling of food thus giving a mess-free working environment while the oil drip feature lets you cooking oil-free foods for healthy living.
Its versatile construction gives an array of cooking options for vegetables, meat, and eggs ensuring that you never run out of ideas. Its non-stick and easy to clean construction ensures that you don’t worry about cleaning issues. If you want to have a mess-free grilling process, grab it!
How they work
Central to all pellet cookers is a digital controller similar to the controllers on modern indoor ovens. You select a temp you want, and there is an LED display that tells you the actual temp. Some of the controllers also are programmable so you can cook at a certain temp for a determined time. Some have leave-in meat probes that can dial back the ovento a holding temp when the meat hits its mark.
Pellet cookers usually have an auger or another feed mechanism that pushes the pellets into a burn pot typically about the size of a beer can ripped in half. An igniter rod sits in the bottom of the pot and when you turn on the grill it glows like the element on an electric stove. As the pellets ignite, a fan blows to feed them oxygen, and the igniter shuts off. The Traeger L’il Tex, an inexpensive model, draws 300 watts an hour while the igniter rod is on in the first four minutes, then it drops down to 50 watts an hour for the duration of the cook session, less than a standard light bulb.
Because the burn pot is small, there is usually a hot spot directly over it. Some units have an optional perforated section above the burn pot so you can put the meat over direct flame, but the ones I’ve tested still do not sear properly. And there is no way to set up a 2-zone cooking system with a cool zone. As with most other grills and smokers, the differences between lower and upper racks is not huge, so think of it as one heckuva indirect heat convection smoker with precision temperature control.
On the better models, a temperature probe in the oven area tells the controller what the temperature is and if it is below the target it tells the controller to feed more pellets and air. The best manufacturers, like MAK and Memphis, have designed their own versatile custom controllers that are easy to use and can hold a temperature within 5°F, tighter than many indoor ovens.
The MAK Pellet Boss will increase or decrease with the press of a button in 5°F increments and has a probe in the oven that keeps the temp pretty solid. As with any thermostatically controlled oven, even your indoor oven, the thermostat cycles heat on or off as needed. So it you set it for 225°F it cycles on til it hits 225°F, then off until it drops to 220°F, then on to 225°F. There are three meat probes and the Boss can be programmed to change the cooker temp when the meat hits a target. I’ve had one for several years outdoors in the Chicago winters and summers without a cover and no problems.
You may need an extension cord and not any cord will do. Read this article to calculate the size and capacity of the cord you will need.
Beware of the LMH controllers
Some cheaper models, such as the Brinkmann, have a controller with only three settings, Low, Medium, High (LMH), and there is no temperature probe in the oven to create a feedback loop. We do not recommend these units. You actually have less control over temp than you do on a gas or charcoal smoker. The whole reason to buy a pellet grill is because it is set-it-forget-it and it hits a temp and holds it regardless of the ambient air temp outside, winter or summer. On these LMH controllers, the temp fluctuates widely and it cannot correct itself for the weather. They just aren’t as smart as a digital device. Whether you’re smoking a few slabs of ribs on a scorching summer day, or six pork butts during a blizzard, the three position controller only knows auger on and off times for Low, Medium, and High. It has no information on the temperature inside the cook chamber.
The good news is that if you are stuck with one of these dogs, Ortech makes a controller that can be used to upgrade Brinkmann and Traeger controllers. If you own another brand and are interested in upgrading to a digital controller, contact the manufacturer of your smoker or Ortech.
A few words of caution
Before you buy, remember, pellet smokers need access to electricity. Maintenance is also an issue. There are moving parts on these grills. Moving parts eventually break. There is an auger with a motor, and a fan with a motor. There are proprietary electronics systems on these babies. Augers clog. Motors burn out. Electronics have bugs or fail. Especially when exposed to rain, snow, hot, and cold. When they fail, will the manufacturer have a replacement part?
In 200there were only two consumer pellet grill manufacturers. Today there are more than a dozen. The market for these relatively expensive devices is small but growing fast. Not all of these small manufacturers will survive. Forget the warranty and ask “When it breaks will the manufacturer still be in business?” They do not have repair shops near you. When it breaks will they be able to diagnose the problem over the phone? They may be able to figure it out, but then you have to buy the replacement parts and do the repair work yourself. Are you up to the task?
The built-in cords on outdoor cooking devices are often not long enough, and although regular household extension cords will work for rotisserie kits, they will not carry enough juice to keep you pellet smoker or electric smoker going. They could become a fire hazard as they heat up trying to deliver power to the unit. To extend the cord you need a large capacity cable as measured in amps. Here’s how to figure out what you need:
Watts ÷ Voltage = Amps
If your smoker needs 500 watts, and typical household voltage is 1to 120 volts,
500 ÷ 1= 4.5, so you need a cable that has a capacity of 4.amps.
For home models, get at least a amp, 1gauge, three prong cord (oddly, 1gauge is higher capacity than 1gauge). That’s more than you need, but better safe than sorry. Commercial models may have different requirements.
The best solution: Have an electrician custom make a cord the proper length for you. Don’t buy a cable much longer than you need it because the longer the cable, the higher the resistance and the power diminishes. You don’t want to see the equations for that.
Open grills typically offer the largest cooking surface. These are similar to traditional grills. As the name implies, these type of grills are open and usually contain with a plastic cover in order to prevent splattering. The cooking element in the grill is heated using electricity which cooks the food evenly. Once the cooking process starts, grease runs down into a small pan that is situated below the grill.
Two sided grills or contact grills are more popular today than ever before. Due to the success of the George Foreman grill, everyone knows what these look like. They have dual cooking surfaces that allow for food to cook on both sides. This helps to promote even cooking as well as drastically reduce cooking time. These units also come with a grease basin and the unit itself is usually built at an angle in order so that the grease can run down more easily and be caught.
So what are the difference between these two types of grills? Well, here are some things to consider:
When thinking to buy a contact grill, there are important features you should consider. Think of ease of use and whether the grill is easy to clean. Manufacturers today are jostling to provide the grill that is the easiest to use. There are grills that come with adjustable hinged covers that will make it easier to grill thicker cuts of meat.
Additionally, grills have temperature settings that let you know exactly when items are done grilling. Furthermore, there are a wide number of other features including led lights, adjustable cooking angle, and digital control panel, as well as removable non-stick grill plates that are dishwasher safe as well as dedicated phone and tablet apps.
Ready to Buy?
Panini Plates are produced from basic types of material. First, the less expensive and least durable are aluminium plates with non-stick coating. Aluminium plates tend to peel-off after some time. You will need to replace them then or buy new products since it may prove difficult to obtain spare parts.
Second types are ceramic plates. These are better than aluminium one with up to times better durability. Main advantage of ceramic plates is that they don’t contain any harmful substances like PFOA or PTFE that are typical for standard non-stick coatings.
Another advantage of ceramic plates is that they cook about 20% faster than other types of plates. We would prefer ceramic plates; unfortunately there are not many models that come with it. Our Review features just one such model.
The last types are cast-iron plates. These come usually only with the most expensive professional Panini makers. They require seasoning, but will last perhaps a lifetime. If you prefer high quality products then cast-iron is definitely the way to go.
Some offer just general descriptions like low, medium or high temperature. Other that include clock-style scales with degrees will let you control the heat more precisely.
Few models come even with the dual temperature control. This will enable you to control the temperature of the bottom and upper baking plates separately.
These are the usual features of the more advanced products:
More expensive models can also be used as a grill. You can achieve that by flipping the top plate by 180 degrees. It will essentially double the surface area – you will be using both the bottom and top plate to grill your food.
Few Others Things
There are some more features worth considering which will also speak about the product quality and its usability.
Among those are the indicators. First type is a temperature indicator that will let you know when the plates reach desired temperature. Other type is a power indicator. It may be a simple one, but can serve as a warning sign that the device is under power, thus sparing you any accidental burns.
Another thing to consider is a country where the product was produced. Products made in the USA or Europe (countries like Germany, France or Switzerland) are usually of higher quality than those made in China.
Two years ago
We tested 5different grill tools to find the best equipment for hassle-free outdoor cooking, which we recommend buying piecemeal to get the best value. So we’ve made this guide to the best tongs, spatula, thermometer, grilling brush, gloves, basting brush, and charcoal chimney to use the next time you’re out grilling.
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In a new round of testing in the spring of 2018, we gathered the following food and cooking experts from The Sweethome and The New York Times (parent company of The Wirecutter and The Sweethome) to combine forces at a backyard-grilling boot camp:
Over the course of four days, we tested these tools while cooking more than 100 burgers, 20 chickens, and pounds of vegetables on nine different grills. We discussed the usability, quality, durability, and price of every tool, and we are confident that our picks will be top performers throughout grilling season.
We tested these tools while cooking more than 100 burgers, 20 chickens, and pounds of vegetables on nine different grills.
You might notice the absence of grilling sets in this guide. They’re popular, but we’ve found that the tools in such sets are usually of substandard quality and poorly designed. We think the smart money is on buying only what you need, choosing tools of top quality, instead of paying for low-quality extras that inevitably turn into clutter.
The Great Scrape Woody Shovel
The beveled edge of this wooden grill paddle takes on the pattern of your grill, becoming a custom scraper that hugs the grates.
An upside to using the Woody Shovel instead of a wire brush is the pleasant smell of burnt hardwood every time you use it. The Woody Shovel is good if you have only one grill, as the grooves form to a specific grate shape; multiple grills would require a dedicated Great Scrape tool for each, and that can get costly. We haven’t seen any reviews of diminished scraping abilities with use, so we’ll be long-term testing the Woody Shovel this summer to see how it holds up to frequent use.
This affordably priced instant-read thermometer impressed us with its speed and accuracy, generous temperature range, easy-to-read display, and splash-proof body. from ThermoWorks
To ensure you’re consuming meat and poultry cooked to safe internal temperatures, we recommend adding the ThermoWorks ThermoPop instant-read thermometer to your grilling arsenal. In our tests, the ThermoPop was quick at reading temperatures, and very accurate. The easy-to-read display is backlit with digits that automatically rotate in four directions depending on the thermometer’s orientation, so it’s convenient to read at almost any angle. The ThermoPop also has a generous reading range (–5to 572 °F) and a splash-proof body. It can switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius at the push of a button, too. Although the ThermoPop wasn’t the fastest thermometer we tested—we’re talking a difference of just a few seconds—it covers all the basics for home cooks at an affordable price. from ThermoWorks
ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4
The thermometer the pros prefer is pricey, but it’s the fastest, most accurate one we’ve tested, and it has a rotating, backlit screen and an impressive temperature range.
If you want the fastest instant-read thermometer, one beloved by the pros, we recommend getting the ThermoWorks Thermapen MkLike the ThermoPop, the Thermapen has a reading range of -5to 572 °F and a backlit, rotating digital screen; it also comes with a two-year warranty. The Thermapen, however, is unmatched due to its unparalleled accuracy and waterproof casing. Barbecue and grilling expert Rick Browne, creator, host, and executive producer of PBS’s
The silicone bristles on the OXO Good Grips basting brush did the best job creating a smooth, even layer of sauce on barbecued ribs. Photo: Michael Hession
Whether you’re grilling chicken pieces or multiple racks of ribs, a basting brush that can generously apply barbecue sauce without deteriorating over high heat is a necessary tool for the job. After testing four models, we recommend the OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Basting Brush. The silicone bristles on the OXO brush are heat resistant to 600 °F, so they won’t melt or leave stray bristles on your food (as most natural-fiber pastry brushes will). The brush is also dishwasher safe.
The brush has two types of bristles: silicone outer bristles, and a set of flat perforated bristles in the core of the brush. Between them, in our tests they held enough sauce that we didn’t have to continuously reapply. The full bristle set on the OXO brush had just the right amount of flexibility—neither too stiff nor too wobbly—for creating a smooth, even layer of barbecue sauce over the surface of the meat. Among all the silicone brushes we considered, we didn’t find any others with this kind of combination-bristle design.
Though the handle was shorter than those of some other brushes we tested, we found that it still provided enough distance from the grill to keep our hands safe. Also, the slight bend at the base of the large OXO handle provided a convenient angle for scooping generous amounts of sauce and easy basting.
Le Creuset Revolution Basting Brush
The long wooden handle on the Le Creuset basting brush keeps your hands farther from the grill, but the silicone head is heat resistant only to 480 °F.
If you prefer a brush with a longer handle, we also recommend the Le Creuset Revolution Basting Brush. In our tests, the bristles of the Le Creuset brush held a good amount of barbecue sauce and created an even coating over the meat. The removable silicone head is heat resistant up to 480 °F (compared with our main pick’s resistance of up to 600 °F) and dishwasher safe. If you care about the aesthetics of your grill tools, we think the Le Creuset brush is nicer looking than the OXO, due to its wooden handle and silicone bristles, which come in a variety of colors (six in all).
The Dot probe thermometer quickly responds to temperature changes with unparalleled accuracy. It’s affordably priced, easy to use, and equipped with a strong magnet that keeps it securely attached to the side of a grill. from ThermoWorks
The experts we spoke with recommended an instant-read thermometer over a probe thermometer: Instant-read models are faster, and without exposed cables that deteriorate in heat, they last longer. But if you prefer a probe thermometer—the advantage is that it remains in the meat, so you can monitor the temperature as the meat cooks without having to open the grill lid—we recommend the ThermoWorks Dot. In our tests, the Dot probe thermometer was the fastest and most accurate at reading temperatures. Its simple design and straightforward controls made it easier to use than the competition. Also, we liked the strong magnet on the back of the unit that kept it securely attached to the side of a grill.
The probe has a temperature range of -5to 572 °F and a cable that’s heat resistant to 700 °F, considerably higher than the 400 °F resistance that other models offer. Since it can withstand higher temperatures, the Dot can also monitor the ambient temperature of grills and smokers (ThermoWorks sells affordably priced grate clips and air probes separately). If you’re looking for probe thermometers with more features (such as timers, backlit screens, and volume adjustment), you might also consider the ThermoWorks ChefAlarm and the ThermoWorks Smoke. For more recommendations, see our full guide to probe thermometers.
Split-leather welding gloves are comfortable and protect hands in high-heat situations. Photo: Michael Hession
Natural gas or propane
Space requirement Can be used indoors or outdoors; Not much space required.
Preferably outdoors; Most gas grills require plenty of space and can not be placed too close to any material which can catch fire.
Size Small, counter top or table top ones are available that feed to people at a time. Large ones, for outdoor or patio are also available that feed 1to 1people at a time.
Gas grills are available in sizes ranging from small, single steak grills up to large. Industrial sized restaurant grills can feed a hundred or more people.
Popularity Electric grills are not very popular.
Gas grills are very popular and a lot more variety is on offer.
Flavor Electric grills do not offer the same authenticity of flavor that gas or charcoal grills offer.
Gas grills provide better flavor to the food than electric grills, although not as good as charcoal.
Heating The electric grill generates intense radiant heat and then powers off and re-energizes its heat coils intermittently on a timer or if the temperature drops. Searing foods may not be possible as it requires intense heat for long duration.
In a gas grill you can control the heat at a continuous temperature. Gas grills are difficult to maintain at the low temperatures (~225-250F), especially for extended periods.
Maintenance The heating element of an electric grill cannot be submersed in water and should be unplugged when being cleaned. All removable parts can be cleaned.
Electric grills use electricity as their heat source while gas grills use natural gas or propane. Electric grills, whether indoor or outdoor, can be plugged directly into an electrical outlet. Gas grills get fuel either from a natural gas line or from a propane tank.
Both electric and gas grills come in various sizes. Small, compact electric grills can be placed on counter tops or tables. Larger electric grills for outdoors or the patio are also available, that can feed a party of twelve to fifteen people.
An electric grill has low, medium and high temperature settings. It generates intense radiant heat and then powers off and re-energizes its heat coils intermittently on a timer or if the temperature drops. Searing foods may not be possible as it requires intense heat for long duration
Gas controls on many units are calibrated in degrees. In a gas grill you can control the heat at a continuous temperature. Gas grills are difficult to maintain at the low temperatures (~225-250F), especially for extended periods.
The heating element of an electric grill cannot be submersed in water and should be unplugged when being cleaned. Wire and casings need to be checked regularly. Storage is easy as it just needs to be unplugged and put away.
All washable parts of a gas grill, including any removable heating plates, grates and any grease trays, can be thoroughly washed with hot water after every use. Gas connections, flavor bars, ignitions and grill need to be checked regularly and replaced on wear While storing it away the gas jet has to be properly sealed.
How to choose
Whether you choose a gas or electric grill depends upon factors such as:
Space: Most gas grills need a lot of space and cannot be placed too close to any structure. So if an adequately large area is not available, you probably cannot use a gas grill.
Flavor: Electric grills offer the least authentic grill flavor. So if flavor is an important criteria, you should not choose an electric grill. Charcoal grills offer better flavor than even gas grills and also cost less. However, charcoal is a more expensive fuel than gas.
Local laws: Some local laws, combined with space constraints like a small balcony, may force you to use electric grills.
In the following video, Consumer Reports offers tips on what to look for when buying a gas grill.
Charcoal grills provide the most authentic barbeque experience and taste, and are typically the least expensive to purchase of all the grills. They will require a fuel of some kind such as charcoal briquettes. They can take some time to get up to temperature and offer less temperature control than electric and gas models. Typically, they are quite portable due to their smaller size, and some models are tabletop or come with a stand.
Electric grills run the middle-of-the-road in terms of cost, and require only a standard electrical outlet to operate. They allow for precise control of heat and are available in tabletop or freestanding models. Some electric grills can even be used indoors, but be sure to check your user manual first.
Gas models are typically the most expensive, but offer more features than charcoal and electric models. They require a fuel source such as natural gas or liquid propane in order to cook foods. They typically heat up fairly quickly, and can often be purchased with a side burner for cooking with pots and pans. They are available in both tabletop and freestanding varieties.
With the above information in mind, in no particular order here are 4of the grills that we consider the best, based on available features and average customer ratings and reviews.
Weber 74100Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
This original kettle-style charcoal grill boasts a 22-inch diameter that provides 36square inches of total cooking space. The cooking grate is made of durable plated-steel and the vents are rust-resistant for years of reliable use.
Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
This charcoal grill boasts a compact size that makes it ideal for on-the-go cookouts and family get-togethers. It boasts 160 square inches of cooking surface and features a triple nickel-plated cooking grate for years of reliable use.
Char-Griller 2-242Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
This tabletop charcoal grill doubles as both a cooking grill or a smoker depending on your needs, and features a compact design that’s easy to set up nearly anywhere. It is compatible for use as a smoker with the Chargriller Pro Deluxe, Wrangler, Outlaw and Duo.
Weber 44100Original Kettle 18-Inch Charcoal Grill
This original kettle-style charcoal grill boasts an 18-inch diameter that provides 240 square inches of total cooking space. The cooking grate is made of durable plated-steel and the vents are rust-resistant for years of reliable use.
Cuisinart GR-4N Griddler
Make burgers, grilled chicken and fish, fantastic panini sandwiches, and much more with the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-griddler, and enjoy the convenience of removable, reversible nonstick cooking plates that make cleanup a snap while draining grease away for healthier food. Cook your favorite foods to perfection with adjustable temperature controls, and discard drippings with ease thanks to an integrated drip tray. The Cuisinart 5-in-countertop grill is versatile enough to use as a contact grill, full griddle, half grill or griddle, or panini press. Offering a compact profile and fitted with a floating cover that adjusts to food thickness, the 5-in-countertop grill is easy to set up, simple to clean with the included scraping tool, and easy to store. Love waffles? Waffle plates are available separately, making this handy kitchen grill even more versatile.
Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe
Enjoy quick convenience while preparing delicious favorites at the touch of a button. The Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe works six ways, with a total of 240 square inches of cooking surface that makes prepping must-have breakfast goodies like pancakes, eggs, and bacon simple. Use it closed as a contact grill or panini press, and grill open-faced sandwiches, pizza, and classic melts using the top-melt position. With a dual control heating feature that lets you make two different foods at once, reversible non-stick grill plates for extraordinary versatility and simple cleanup, the Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe has an elegant brushed stainless housing for a look you’ll appreciate. This handy appliance will bring new life to your kitchen, allowing you to enjoy a wide range of foods with astonishing ease, and feel great about the healthy, restaurant-quality meals you create.
T-fal GC702D OptiGrill
Enjoy all the convenience of an electric grill and much, much more with the T-Fal GC702D OptiGrill. Featuring sensors that automatically adapt cooking time to accommodate food of varying thickness plus six unique cooking programs for burgers, red meat, poultry, sausage, fish, and sandwiches, it also has a special frozen food function that defrosts and cooks all types of food. Set the OptiGrill on manual to cook vegetables or make unique personal recipes. Detachable angled plates allow excess fat to drip away from food, and the plates and drip tray are dishwasher safe for quick, simple cleanup. Feel great about the foods you prepare and enjoy the versatility this exciting countertop grill adds to your cooking repertoire.
Breville BSG520XL Panini Press Maker
Transform an ordinary sandwich into a tasty, gourmet treat with the Breville Panini Duo nonstick panini press. Just close the press, allow it to preheat, then let it works its magic. You can also set the height control to use the panini press as an open toaster, which is ideal for creating delicious open-face sandwiches and classic melts. Fitted with a floating hinge that allows the top plate to rest lightly atop paninis for even grilling, the Breville Panini Duo has a smooth lower plate that lets you cook eggs, pancakes, and other breakfast favorites, and a ridged upper plate that leaves signature grill marks behind. Simple to clean up and small enough to store in a kitchen cabinet, the Breville panini press has a smooth, attractive stainless steel housing. This fantastic appliance expands your cooking options, bringing excitement back to the kitchen.
Cuisinart GR-Griddler Panini Press
Make delicious toasted paninis, grill chops, and create sweet dessert sandwiches without any fuss. The Cuisinart GR-Griddler Panini and Sandwich press features dual grill plates for signature grill marks on the sandwiches you make, and its generous 1inch by inch plates allow you to make two large panini sandwiches at a time. The floating hinge adjusts to accommodate thin and thick sandwiches alike. The unit’s temperature is preset to make cooking easy while ensuring that fillings are heated to perfection. Nonstick plates mean easy cleanup, and a special grill cleaning tool is included to make it simple to clear spilled ingredients from the grill plates. This simple but useful appliance is compact for easy storage and makes a wonderful addition to your kitchen.
De’Longhi CGH800 Panini Press
Enjoy the superior taste and texture of healthy grilled foods all year without ever setting foot outdoors. The De’Longhi CGH800 Contact Grill and Panini Press lets you make marvelous burgers, chops, chicken, and veggies, plus it helps you create sumptuous toasted panini-style sandwiches brimming with your favorite fillings. With fully embedded plates for even heating and consistent cooking, the De’Longhi contact grill has an adjustable hinge that accommodates food of varying thickness. Its slanted design encourages excess fat to drain away from food for healthier cooking, and the drain cup is simple to detach and empty. Cleanup is a snap thanks to nonstick grill plates that can be wiped clean with minimal effort, and a safety locking system lets you save space by storing the unit vertically. An adjustable thermostat and on/off indicator light make operating the De’Longhi Contact Grill and Panini Press nearly foolproof, making it a marvelous appliance to add to your kitchen.
Hamilton Beach 25360
This one is known as a combo flavor or searing grill that is the best answer if you are too fed up with a bland food. It is being advertised as a great indoor grill which will deliver results that you might not expect from an outdoor grill.
There are also several features that will indeed make this possible like the high heat searing capability up to 450 degrees and the adjustable temperature control.
Aside from that, the convenient indicator lights will let you know once the grill is on and when it already reached the desired temperature. There are also unique hooded design locks in flavors that would give you outdoor grilled flavor.
This indoor grill has discovered how moist as well as tender meat could be once grilled right away. This will quickly ramp up to the high heat which is indeed ideal when it comes to searing in flavor and juices then cool it down to the proper grilling temperature in order to finish cooking. There is indeed an assurance of tender results in every bite.
This one is called as griddler. You will indeed love this grill once serving up waffles. But, it does much more than that. You might also use this griddler as the contact grill, full grill, Panini press, full griddle, half griddle or half grill.
In addition, this indoor grill could also accommodate easily any food thickness because of the floating cover. And the durable Panini-style handle will cater to sandwich lovers.
There could be some grills that will offer inconsistent results but this one will definitely not. This one is being equipped with a fully embedded grill plate that will make sure of even heat distribution within the grilling process.
Once you enjoy keeping track of the food during cooking, you will indeed appreciate the featured tempered glass lid that also keeps the food warm.
T-fal GC70OptiGrill Stainless Steel
Once looking for an indoor grill that could take the guesswork out of cooking then this one is the best choice.
This one is more than ready in terms of handling just about the type of food because it is being equipped with sensors which adapt the cooking time automatically based on a certain kind of food.
It also features 1800 watts of cooking power as well as six convenient cooking programs and could handle everything effortlessly.
Some models that are built in order for them to quickly recover heat the moment you lift the lid. This is considered to be an important feature since there are cases wherein you lift the lid of the covered grill as for turning the meat or checking on the readiness and so some heat escapes. Once you have enough power in the grill as for returning the heat to its desired level, then you are to experience faster cooking times.
Adequate Cord Length
An electric grill is great and would lead you to lower fuel costs and would give you fast warm-up times once compared with charcoal. But, the downside is that you will be leashed into the nearest electrical outlet for you to make sure that the cord of the unit is long enough allowing you to work with ease and comfort.
This is considered to be a great feature but might not always be needed if you have an indoor grill that is like a conventional grill. But, if it is a contact grill then a floating hinge would help in making sure that get an even cooking on both sides.
This is as well very important once you have a sandwich grill since the lid will not evenly sit on the top layer of the bread so you might press some of the melted filling out on the side of the sandwich as well as the whole thing could turn into a flat pancake.
These are the important features that must always be considered as you shop for an indoor grill.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Contact Grills wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP10 of Contact Grills
- №1 — George Foreman GRP4800R 4-in-1 Multi-Plate Evolve Grill
- №2 — George Foreman GR136B 2-Serving Classic Plate Grill
- №3 — T-fal GC702 OptiGrill Stainless Steel Indoor Electric Grill
- №4 — George Foreman GRP472P 5 Serving Removable Plate Grill
- №5 — Presto 07046 Tilt ‘n Drain Big Griddle Cool-Touch Electric Griddle
- №6 — George Foreman GRP360R 4 Serving Removable Plate 360 Grill
- №7 — Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill
- №8 — BLACK+DECKER G48TD 3-in-1 Waffle Maker & Indoor Grill/Griddle
- №9 — Cuisinart GR-4NR 5-in-1 Griddler
- №10 — George Foreman GRP1060B 4 Serving Removable Plate Grill