Stands out for its 1800 watt heating element, which promises fast and even cooking for burgers, sandwiches, red meat, fish, and more.
A relatively small surface makes it hard to fit more than one or two burgers or similar-sized pieces of meat at once.
A top choice for consumers seeking a no-frills indoor grill that can quickly cook multiple servings at once.
Several users complain that the power cord is too short, making it impossible to move the grill away from the power outlet.
Earns rave reviews for its highly durable nonstick grill surface that heats up evenly every time.
This grill can be tough to clean, as excess fat and oils tend to collect in the slats on the sides.
Distances itself from competitors due to its tempered glass lid: keeps juices locked inside food and gives you a juicy end result.
This grill can take a bit longer to heat up due to its embedded heating element.
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No matter how much you enjoy grilling, the weather isn't always on your side. Plus, sometimes you don't have the energy or the inclination to mess around with the charcoal, woodchips, or gas canisters you need for a standard outdoor grill. With an indoor grill, you can just plug in and go, whatever the weather.
There are two main types of grills available — open grills, which are much like a standard outdoor grill but electric, and contact grills, which have plates top and bottom to cook both sides of your food at once. You'll also need to consider factors such as the size of the grill, what controls and preset programs it has, and the temperature range at which you can cook.
To find that perfect indoor grill, read our full guide below. When you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.
Open indoor grills are flat electric grills that give you a fairly similar experience to cooking on an outdoor grill. Since you cook your food on just one bottom plate, you have to flip it, just like you would on a regular grill. Some open grills are slightly sloped to let fat run off, whereas some have gaps between the ridges to let the fat drip into a tray below.
Check the size of any indoor grills you're considering. The main concern for the majority of buyers is the size of the cooking area. This should be large enough to cook for your whole household, otherwise you'll need to cook in batches, which can be frustrating.
You might also want to check the overall size of the unit to make sure you have room for it in your cupboard. Average indoor grills are sized so that they'll fit in a standard cabinet, but there are some exceptions. Any models that are too large will be awkward to store or take up too much counter space.
Extremely basic indoor grills may only have an on/off switch, with no other kind of control over the cooking process. The most complex models, on the other hand, can feature a range of presets for grilling particular foods. You'll also find models that let you manually adjust the temperature, cooking duration, and other settings. The kind of controls you require will depend on how you like to cook. If you want to be able to press a button and get decent results, a model with preset programs might be for you. Manual controls are better for people who like to fine-tune their cooking experience and have complete control over the outcome.
Some indoor grills have a single maximum temperature, which it will cook at once fully heated. This is generally around 450°F, which is considered the optimal temperature for searing. Other models allow you to control the heat of your grill across a temperature range, for instance between 200°F and 500°F. Indoor grills with a wide temperature range are more versatile, as some foods are better cooked low and slow rather than at the highest temperature possible.
Not all indoor grills feature removable cooking plates, but we'd highly recommend choosing a model that does. Grills with removable plates are far easier to clean, especially if you get any food stuck on. If they're not removable, you'll only be able to wipe them down, rather than putting them in the dishwasher or giving them a good scrub by hand.
The majority of indoor grills feature heating elements that sit below the bottom grill plate (and above the top grill plate in contact models). However, some high-end models feature embedded heating elements. This means the heating elements are embedded into the grill plate itself, so it can get extremely hot and heat more evenly.
You can find some high-end indoor grills with an LCD display, which shows the temperature or lets you select between preset programs. While it certainly isn't essential to the performance of your indoor grill, it's a nice feature to have.
While we wouldn't recommend leaving your indoor grill completely unattended, you might want to undertake other kitchen tasks while your food is cooking, such as cutting bread or making sauce. Indoor grills with a built-in timer will remind you when your food is ready, so you won't end up with a burned dinner.
Some indoor grills are sloped downward to let excess fat drip out. If yours is, be sure to use a drip tray (which should be included) to catch it.
Be cautious when using your indoor grill, as it's easy to scald yourself. Always wait for the grill plates to cool fully before you wipe them or remove them for cleaning.
Some people choose to use foil packages of wood chips on their indoor grill to give that authentic smoky taste that you usually only get with outdoor grills.
Inexpensive: Basic indoor grills start at around $20 to $50. These are generally fairly compact in size and may not have a wide range of settings or the ability to control temperature.
Mid-range: In the $50 to $100 price range, you can find some excellent models, though they might not be as large or feature-rich as top-of-the-line grills.
Expensive: High-end indoor grills are priced from $100 to $300. These are the best indoor grills on the market. They tend to have a range of presets or give you complete control over the cooking parameters.
Find out whether your chosen indoor grill is dishwasher-safe. Obviously, you can't wash the whole grill because of the electrics, but if your model has removable plates, you might be able to put them in the dishwasher.
Avoid using cooking spray on your indoor grill. The propellants and other additives can build up on the plates and leave an unpleasant residue.
Use plastic or silicone tools on nonstick indoor grills. Metal spatulas, tongs, and other grilling tools can scratch nonstick coatings on the grill plate.
The Breville Smart Grill is one of the pricier indoor grills available, but its extensive features make it worth the cash. We love the LCD display, embedded heating elements, and the fact you can use it either open or shut. The Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill gives you results extremely close to an outdoor grill at an affordable price. The cooking area is large and it's designed to smoke less than standard models. If you're looking for an inexpensive open grill, consider the Tayama Electric Grill. It might be simple but it's great for occasional use. At the other end of the price spectrum is the highly durable Philips Smoke-Less Indoor BBQ Grill. The infrared technology and carefully designed drip tray means it hardly smokes at all.
Q. Can I use my indoor grill outside in dry weather?
A. Although indoor grills are designed for indoor use — as the name suggests — there's no reason you can't use them in an outdoor area, as long as the weather is dry and you have access to a power outlet.
Q. Are there any grills that can be used in both open and contact forms?
A. Yes, some contact grills let you fold them out completely flat, so they can also be used as open grills, giving you twice the cooking area.
Q. Will an indoor grill replace my outdoor grill?
A. Indoor grills are a quick and convenient way to grill food, but they'll never completely replicate the results or the experience of grilling outdoors.
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