Indoor Electric Countertop Grills Overview
Weather no longer has to come in the way of you having a grilled dinner. Thanks to the invention (and rapid improvement) of electric countertop grills, there is now another safe and capable option for putting a meal on your table. First off, the countertop grills we’re looking at are electric. All you have to do is plug the grill in, and voila, you’re cooking at temperatures in the 400s. No fumes, no flames, no problems.
Types of Grills: Electric vs. Propane and Charcoal
Have you ever been cooking outside on your grill and ran out of propane? I’d honestly be impressed if your answer was no. Either way, running out of propane starts a mad dash to replace the tank or bring the food inside to finish in the oven. The same problem doubles with charcoal grills. You spend all day mentally preparing yourself for a sweet char-grilled dinner, only to remember you finished your bag the last time you cooked. Now you can’t use either of those fuel sources inside anyway—if you do, a dangerous disaster awaits. By utilizing electricity, it’s as if you have a renewable resource of cooking fuel right at your fingertips.
Traditional vs. Electric Grill Sizes
I’ll go ahead and state the obvious, conventional outdoor grills take up space. Besides being physically large, most people set these up on small back patios, consuming what little space is available. Even grill surface is wasteful. How many times have you had to light up a full-size grill just to cook a single hamburger? Any answer above zero is too high and flat out wasteful. Indoor electric countertop grills are compact, yet provide enough cooking surface area for you to quickly cook a meal for you and another person. Once you’re done cooking, it can be stored out of sight and mind. If you plan to cook for a dozen people—well maybe there’s a better option for you somewhere.
Outdoor grills end up costing far beyond their original price tag due to regular purchases of propane or charcoal. Don’t even get me started on how much it costs to run a natural gas line to a built-in grill. Yeah those look awesome, but unless you have an unlimited budget don’t even think about it. When you buy an indoor electric countertop grill, the price you pay is all-inclusive. Your electric bill may increase slightly, but this cost is pennies on the dollar compared to additional costs incurred with an outdoor grill.
Best Indoor Electric Countertop Grills Reviewed
Our guide is far from a slam piece on traditional grilling, but it is our mission to spread awareness of alternative forms. There is no one correct way to grill, and a lot comes down to personal preference. As a lesser heralded form of food prep, we’ve found that those who make the switch to an indoor electric countertop grill sing their praises from the rooftops. Below, we take a look at five top models on the market today and what makes each of them special. By highlighting the finer aspects of each, we’re hoping that we put you on the path to purchasing a product that will improve your life dramatically.
1. Best Overall: Cuisinart GR-5BP1 Electric Griddler
Cuisinart GR-5BP1 Stainless Steel Electric Griddler Review
The number in this countertop grills name does not refer to the generation or model, but the variety of functions it offers. You guessed it, the Cuisinart Griddle 5 has five unique functions so that you can prepare a wide variety of meals. Having the ability to be used as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle sets you up for limitless culinary creations.
Besides the “official” functions, you also have the ability to sear meats, further adding to this countertop grill’s reputation as one of the most versatile options out there. An LCD display allows you to monitor and set the grill up as easily as your stove. Having the ability to see function and temperature helps alleviate any guesswork and as an added bonus, there’s a timer. With just a twist of a dial, you can set the temperature to anywhere between 175 and 450 degrees.
A sophisticated design and stainless steel finish is sure to extend the life of this product—as long as you take care of it. Lucky for you, the cooking plates are removable and dishwasher safe. There is a drip tray, however, it is made of plastic and its “dishwashability” is questionable. Regardless of whether you have to wash it by hand or not, proper care is easily achievable.
I know everyone reading this is an expert chef and doesn’t need help from anyone, but Cuisinart has been gracious enough to provide an instruction manual that includes several recipes that can be cooked using this grill. If you do it alone, we’re sure that you can pull off passing the recipe off as your own—no one has to know.
Feedback from Customers
Overall customer feedback has led to a 4.5-star rating. With advanced technology and a variety of functions, usability is always a concern. Fear not as the Cuisinart Griddler 5’s top feature is Easy to Use, at 4.8 stars. Sitting just below is a trio of must-have features with Easy to Clean, Versatility, and Heat Distribution all rated 4.6 stars.
Original Retail $100
2. Best On A Budget: Presto 09020 Cool-touch Electric Indoor Grill
Presto Cool-touch Electric Indoor Grill Review
When breaking into a new cooking style, sometimes a simple design is exactly what you need to build confidence and know-how. Indoor grilling is an art unto itself, and having a bare-bones introductory device sets you up for future success with more advanced indoor grills. Presto delivers a flat cooking surface straight to your kitchen countertop (and cabinet when not in use) that gets the job done.
This grill can cook as high as 400 degrees. Older indoor grill technology gave you very little power in regards to temperature maintenance, but the Presto Cool-touch Electric Indoor Grill features a control unit with six temperature settings so that you can tailor your cooking for precise results. Once you disconnect the temperature dial, you can throw the tray in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Maybe this is from years of watching those addicting videos online where things precisely connecting and breaking apart, but the surface design lining up exactly with the grooves on the spatula is an ASMR-like visual delight. The raised grooves also serve a practical benefit in that fat and grease drip away as you cook. Because of its shape, the spatula doubles as a scraper that can clean the non-stick surface with ease. Another feature that we love is that the drip tray easily slides out to be emptied. I mean, who doesn’t like when everything lines up perfectly?
Feedback from Customers
On average, customers have rated the Presto Cool-touch Electric Indoor Grill 4.6 stars. Digging a little deeper into what consumers had to say, we learned that Easy to Use was rated the highest, coming in at a near-perfect 4.8 stars. Just a touch below, at 4.7 stars, are Temperature Control and Flavor. These top features are a trifecta of desirable attributes for a cook-friendly grill.Original Retail $60
3. Best Grill Experience: Hamilton Beach 25361 Electric Indoor Searing Grill
Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill Review
Providing the most grill-like experience, the Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill with Viewing Window is as close to the embodiment of an outdoor grill that can be used inside that we could find. Bottom line, if it’s an authentic grilling experience that you’re after, look no further.
Just as the window of your oven allows you to glimpse in at your cooking progress, the viewing panel on this grill does the same, but with the added benefit of sealing in heat. Even though this happens with an oven as well, opening the smaller countertop grill allows heat to escape far quicker and will take longer to recover.
In line with industry standards, the grill plate is removable. What elevates this grill’s ability to be cleaned is that the cover also comes off. Given that meats and other foods spray as they cook, it is imperative that you are able to wash all parts of the grill. Having one of the most difficult to wash pieces easily detach makes your job that much easier. Let’s not forget the drip pan, which also comes apart from the main body to be emptied or cleaned. All three of these components are dishwasher safe.
As high tech as most things are with this Hamilton Beach grill, they’ve kept it basic with the controls and indicators. To set the temperature, you turn a knob. Once the grill reaches your targeted temperature, a light turns on to let you know it is time to drop tonight’s dinner onto the grill. Temperature can be set as low as 200 degrees or as high as 450 degrees.
Feedback from Customers
On average, customers have graded the Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill with Viewing Window at 4.5 stars. To our delight, the top-rated features exceed the total. Easy to Assemble stands at 4.8 stars with Easy to Use a tick away at 4.7 stars. If you notice, “easy” is at the forefront of customer feedback, and who doesn’t like easy, especially when upgrading or learning new technology.Original Retail $70
Brand Hamilton Beach
4. Best Value: Megachef MCG-106 Reversible Indoor Grill and Griddle
Megachef MCG-106 Reversible Indoor Grill and Griddle Review
Dinner with a view. Well, not quite—but cooking dinner with a view, that’s what we have here. With a complete view of what’s going on under the hood, timing your meal with the MegaChef Dual Surface Heavy Gauge Aluminum Reversible Indoor Grill and Griddle with Removable Glass Lid is about the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen.
You can use this countertop cooker as a grill or griddle. Better yet, you can even change surfaces without turning the device off. To put this luxury in an example that speaks to most of our hearts, you can transition from cooking an egg and bacon to a hamburger without skipping a beat. If you want to eat them separately or together is a personal choice, but in my mind, the choice has already been made.
At its maximum, this grill heats to 450 degrees. As if you needed another reason to want this grill, each surface is non-stick and can easily be cleaned. Considering this is a countertop unit, you aren’t going to want it to spend any more time than it needs out in the open. A quick and easy cleaning process helps you on that front, as well as the sanity front—no one likes cleaning surfaces that you’ve grilled on.
Feedback from Customers
The average overall rating for the Megachef Reversible Indoor Grill and Griddle with Removable Glass Lid stands strong at 4.6 stars. Bargain buyers rejoice, the top-rated aspect of this grill is its Value for Money at 4.9 stars—about as close to perfect as you’ll find in today’s age of consumerism. Other top features include Easy to Use at 4.8 stars and Temperature Control at 4.7 stars further proving its value as a grill for the people.Original Retail $60
5. Best For Beginners: George Foreman 4-Serving Grill and Panini Press GRP360B
George Foreman GRP360B Grill and Panini Press Review
Ah, the old George Foreman grill. For me, this was my first glimpse into electric countertop grilling and sparked an interest in a type of cooking that added so much more flavor to my college cheeseburgers than using a stovetop pan. There’s a story about forgetting to put out the drip tray the first time I used it, but that’s for another day. The modern George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press comes in three colors: Black, Platinum, and Red.
Two heated surfaces, a top and bottom, make this an ideal choice for those who like sandwiches, but love them warmed. The dual surfaces warm your sandwich evenly, allowing you to skip that mid-heating flip where you somehow always burn your fingertips. Even when grilling this benefit helps as you do not have to flip meats—just put them on, figure out your duration, and remove when the timer hits zero.
Not only does the grooved surface prevent your food from sitting in fat as it cooks, but the sloped design actively removes it minimizing contact entirely. Speaking of removable, the cooking plates are removable and dishwasher safe. One area that doesn’t allow for user control is temperature. Once you plug the grill in, it begins to heat and you are ready to go.
Feedback from Customers
What you see is what you get with the George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press. It is a simple solution for at-home, indoor grilling, and has been rated an average of 4.4 stars overall. Outside of its simplicity praise, Easy to Clean and Easy to Use are what people liked the most at 4.7 and 4.6 stars respectively.Original Retail $50
Brand George Foreman
Electric Indoor Countertop Grill Buying Guide
Even just from the small sample of indoor electric countertop grills that we’ve given you, it’s clear that there is a wide variety of options available. If you’re like me and shopping on a budget, there is very little room for buying something and then realizing it can’t do half of what you wanted it to. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you have to consider a large set of variables. We’ve chosen our three favorites to get you started.
How do you plan to use the countertop cooker?
We’re not talking good or evil here, but literally what type of things are you going to cook? If you’re just looking to taking your grilling experience indoors, that’s perfectly fine—everything in our guide can do that.
What you need to acknowledge is that some electric grills are more versatile than any other appliance in your kitchen and can be used as griddles, and panini presses as well. The most knowledgeable and experienced chefs are in a position to do so much with so little, even with just a small countertop grill. Getting back to the main point, if you plan on expanding your horizons as you go, you might want to opt for a more advanced grill.
A countertop grill isn’t like the rest of your dishes, you can’t just let it fester in its own filth in the depths of your sink. You shouldn’t be doing that with any of your kitchenware, but who am I to judge. My point with the pieces to your countertop grill is that it’s supposed to be put away after use and it being dirty puts a major wrinkle in that.
If you’re someone that hates to wash things by hand, look for a countertop grill with removable pieces that are dishwasher safe. Given the heavy-duty nature of grill pieces, most will be dishwasher-friendly, but always look for that company endorsement to be sure. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty post-meal, this little section doesn’t matter too much.
Temperature and Controls
Every cook likes to have control over their kitchen. Unfortunately, our inability to do anything without some type of technology forces us to rely on appliances to work with us if we want to put great food on our plates.
In the early stages of electric countertop grilling, we had very little control over things like temperature, cooking time, and even on/off. As companies began to produce more advanced grills, we started to get some of that control back. Some grills today have superior displays and control systems. If that’s something that piques your interest, or is a necessity, make sure that your electric grill will provide the real-time feedback you need to be comfortable.
“Electric Countertop Grills”
People also search for:
countertop grill walmart
indoor countertop grill
countertop grill with removable plates
countertop grill amazon
indoor electric grill
countertop grill reviews
built in countertop electric grill
commercial countertop grill
Tags: electric countertop grills, as seen on tv product testing, smokeless grill, gotham steel smokeless grill, gotham steel smokeless grill review, smokeless grill review, philips indoor grill, top review Indoor Grills 2018, 2017, hands on review Indoor Grills 2018, GEORGE, FORMAN, INDOOR, OUTDOOR, GRILL, Countertop (Organization Sector), countertop griddles, avantco griddles, star griddles, star max griddles