If you live in areas where lawn grills aren’t always practical or even allowed, an indoor grill can get you the same or similar results.
The beauty of indoor grills is that most of the time they can fit right on your countertop. Some are just as wide as toaster ovens. They don’t have nearly the same capabilities as the big Weber and Char-Broil outdoor grills, but unless you cook for large quantities of people regularly, there’s really no need for one.
Let’s take a look at the best indoor grills available, then we’ll discuss what you should pay attention to before you purchase one.
George Foreman is one of the namesakes in the small, electric grill industry. The GRP360R is as simple as it gets. It has two lights near the top, one to indicate it is heating up, and one to signal its reached its designated temperature.
Because the grill plate can become very hot, there are two small tabs you can use to lift the press.
The drip tray is completely separate from the grill, so it’s easy to wash. All in all, the GRP360R is an excellent appliance to use if you’re on a budget. It can only cook 2-4 items at once, but its set temperature usually gets the job done.
At first, it looks like the grill plates are bolted into the press. But what I really like about the GRP360R is that the plates are removable and dishwasher safe. Consider the GRP360R for your next purchase if you want some quick and easy meals.
The Oster press may look like your ordinary electric grill but sports some small features to diversify your experience.
The most prominent feature is the temperature dial, giving you the ability to cook everything from steaks to panini’s and avoid burning or undercooking them.
Like the George Forman, it has two lights to signal when it is warming and when it is ready.
While slightly more sophisticated than the George Foreman, it’s around the same price and has a larger cooking area. Looking to have a little more control over the quality of your food but still want to stay cheap? The Oster grill is the one for you.
The T-fal Optigrill is a unique press in that its temperature settings are specialized for certain foods. It’s not a multi-function grill like the ones below but its version of cooking settings are bound to make a difference in your kitchen.
Good for: Burger, Poultry, Sandwich, Sausage, Red Meat and Fish
On top of the six different cooking modes, you have options on the level of cooking including rare, medium, well-done, etc. This level of diversity has proven to be its most popular selling point among customers.
For a truly unique grilling experience, choose the Optigrill the next time you’re looking to save time and money on steaks and patties.
Similar to the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 grill, the
Cuisinart GR-4N is another multi-function grill. This time it is labeled as a 5-in-1 grill, including a half/griddle, half/grill system and panini press.
The inclusion of dials for the appliance makes the grill compatible for paninis.
The grill and griddle plates are reversible, reducing the amount of space used. Apart from being machine washable, there is also a drip tray to catch grease. Perhaps the most appealing feature on the GR-4N is the temperature setting, enabling you to get more accurate results when using any of the functions.
For all you can get done with the GR-4N, it’s pretty cheap compared to some the fancier types of grills out there. The ability to change temperature according to one’s needs is probably the
If you thought the GR-4N was the pinnacle of multi-functioning grills, Cuisinart is prepared to surprise you with the GR-300WS.
This appliance is a self-described 6-in-1 grill that can turn into a panini press, full griddle, full grill, half grill/half griddle, and a top melt.
The GR-300WS is one of the most customizable grills on our list and on the market. Apart from having temperature dials, you can designate which grill/griddle panel you want to heat. You can also set them to different temperatures.
If you’re a perfectionist when it comes to meal prep, the GR-300WS is the device for you. Its a little on the pricer side, but well worth it for the six different ways you can make food.
Best Flat Tops
The Philips grill is designed for maximum heat retention. The electric grill uses smoke-less infrared heaters to circulate heat underneath the food.
There isn’t as much focus on the grill plate as opposed to the heating system. The grill plate is easily removable by the handles.
The grill heats to a comfortable 446° F (no temperature settings), enough to tenderize slabs of meat in a short per amount of time.
The only drawback we could see for the Philips grill is the price, far more than any other grill on our list. Though Philips as a company is heavily invested in new and innovative technology, some people might not see it feasible to spend nearly $300 on an indoor grill.
Nevertheless, the Philips grill has proven to be a reliable grill with many customers complementing the convenience of the smokeless feature. The Philips grill would be a great investment if you’re looking for your foods to be cooked thoroughly on a consistent basis.
The Delonghi Perfecto may not be a true flat top like a griddle but its close enough. Its glass cover allows you to check the status of your food while it cooks, something you can’t do with a press. The temperature gauge also gives you control over how well you want food cooked.
Instead of a completely flat top, the Perfecto has a single large grill plate similar to the ones in outdoor grills. This design allows for more even heat distribution through the food you place on the grill.
If you want an experience similar to the one you’d get with a full-size outdoor grill, then consider the Perfecto for your next purchase.
The Tayama TG-868 is a true flat top grill with a traditional grill plate and
underlying heater. The heater runs along the entire 15″x10″ grilling plate, so every bit of food on the surface will be cooked to perfection.
Without any type of cover, you will lose some of that flavoring smoke, but as an electric grill, its purpose is to eliminate fumes and smoke and keep everything on the plate.
The 15″x10″ grilling plate is one of the largest among indoor grills and even griddles. Take advantage of this larger than normal plate to include various foods on the plate at once. A temperature gauge also gives you better control over the quality of your food.
What to Consider
Indoor grills can come in a handful of constructions (press, flat-top, etc.). Are you interested in purchasing an outdoor grill? Head over to Outdoorsman Time and check out their buying guide for the best propane, electric, and smoker grills!
Many people like the press version of a grill/griddle because you get an even distribution of heat on both sides of your food. Plus, you can control the level of cooking by pressing down with different amounts of force.
A majority of grill presses are being produced with temperature dials, a significant improvement over earlier models. These models of presses appear to be the most popular on the market today.
With flat-tops, you can watch your food as it cooks and ensures you can efficiently flip things without burning. You’ll lose some circulation to the open air but people appear to get by just fine with open top grills anyway.
There aren’t as abundant of these types in the indoor grill industry. If you do come across one that you like, you can almost be guaranteed you’ll get a complete cooking of your foods (mainly meats), due to the circulation of heat.
George Foreman grills dominate the indoor grill market, there’s no secret to that. However, we discovered that companies like Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and even Philips are making statements with their own versions of indoor grills.
What indoor grill do you have? Does it work well for you or are you considering an upgrade? Let us know!