Best Indoor Grills

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

77 Models Considered
11 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
125 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for the best indoor grills

Last Updated October 2019

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.

Indoor grills might be synonymous with meat, but there are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan foods you can cook on them, from vegetable kabobs to veggie burgers.

Key considerations

Open vs. contact

  • 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.

  • Contact indoor grills have both a top and a bottom plate, which you press your food in between. The food cooks on both sides at the same time, which makes the cooking process quicker. However, it's more far-removed from a standard outdoor grilling experience, which puts some users off.

Size

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.

Controls

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.

Temperature range

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.

Features

Removable plates

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.

Embedded heating elements

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.

LCD display

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.

Timer

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.

EXPERT TIP

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.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

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.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

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.


Staff  | BestReviews

Indoor grill prices

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.

Tips

  • 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.

  • Wash your indoor grill thoroughly before first using it. This will get rid of any dust, grime, and other contaminants that may have come into contact with the plates during the manufacturing and shipping process.

Other products we considered

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.

Indoor grills with both top and bottom grilling plates can double up as panini presses.

FAQ

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.

The team that worked on this review
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    Alvina
    Photographer
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    Director of Photography
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    Angela
    Editor
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    Videographer
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    Production Assistant
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    Devangana
    Web Producer
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    Eliza
    Production Manager
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    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
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    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

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