For that delicious BBQ effect all year round, the indoor grill is a fast and healthy way to prepare food. We test a few grills in this relatively niche of the booming small-appliance market.
The size you choose depends on how many people you normally cook for, and how many types of food you want to be cooking. (e.g. just meat, or meat and vegetables.)
The heating coils should be evenly-spaced to ensure even heating and cooking.
Variable temperature controls allow you to cook a broad range of foods at different temperatures. (Many less expensive grills simply plug in and cook at a fixed temperature.)
Go for at least 1200 watts of power, unless you’re buying a double-sided grill (e.g. the George Foreman grill), which don’t need as much since they cook from both sides.
Look for thermostatically controlled indicator lights that tell you when the grill has reached a desired temperature.
- Any grill with lots of small spaces and ridges is going to be harder to clean. (When cleaning, wipe the grill down while it’s still warm, which makes the job much easier.)
We tested these grills for several weeks cooking a variety of different meats and vegetables:
- Betty Crocker: $59
- Hamilton-Beach: $79
- George Foreman: $99
- TFAL: $119
The George Foreman, which dominates the indoor grill market, maintained its top reputation in our tests.
The least expensive Betty Crocker is an open grill that comes with a lid and actually performed almost like a two-sided grill, cooking the food faster than other open grills.
The George Foreman grill made for a quick and easy clean up.
The others were a little more labour intensive.
OUR TOP PICK
The George Foreman grill knocked out the competition. We like double-sided grills for their speed and efficiency, and because you don’t have to use cooking oils or sprays to get great grilling results.