Indoor grills are different from outdoor grills mainly because of their smaller size and their need to cook in a safe manner without causing any additional risks. Because of this reality, indoor grills are designed with a focus on healthier cooking methods like a sloping non-fat grill that lets the fat run off the meat as it gets cooked, rather than stay within the cut of meat. The cooking process with a sloped design helps to make indoor grilling a healthy alternative, especially for people who live in apartments and don’t have access to either a patio, deck or roof space to grill outdoors.
Grills for cooking indoors take up much less space in the kitchen than the footprint of the outdoor variety with their need for a stand and space to cook meats and vegetables. These types of grills are only slightly larger than toasted sandwich makers or waffle makers, are easy to clean, and run off electricity instead of burning charcoal.
Each brand takes a different approach to the design of their grilling products. Many have trays fitted that catch fat runoff, which can sometimes be removed to clean them later. The removable trays are usually dishwasher safe too.
The size of the indoor grills determines the number of servings that is cooked in a single session. A typical size is around 36 square inches which are a large enough grill to serve two people. When needing more servings, just cook more food while enjoying the first meal.
Anyone on a diet will find an indoor grill with a design that helps fat run off from meat is an excellent way to benefit from quality proteins while reducing fat consumption by up to 40%. Grease runoff channels on either side of some grills are the key to keeping healthy. Even leaner cuts of meat benefit from being cooked in this way, while retaining all the taste.
The non-stick coating applied to indoor grills makes them much easier to manage. Wooden utensils are best to avoid damaging the non-stick surface of the grilling area.
Some grilling models have a 3-in-1 function serving as a grill, a griddle, and a waffle maker. It is possible to purchase a separate dedicated waffle maker, but buying a 3-in-1 model saves precious counter space which is limited in many kitchens. The flexibility of this type of product means it is easy to switch from frying eggs and bacon, to toasting some tasty ham and cheese sandwiches, and then serving up some waffles. To make the switch between functions, swapping over the grill plates converts the 3-in-1 model to another type of use. Everyone in the family eats what they want for breakfast which avoids unnecessary squabbles.
More sophisticated indoor grills enjoy variable temperature controls to cook different types of food appropriately for just the right culinary results. After all, cooking a cheddar cheese filling at too higher of a temperature will create a real mess.
Cleaning after grilling some meats is easy to do. The grilling plates get removed and can be cleaned easily. The non-stick inner surface of the grill is also simple to wipe down.
An LED light on the front of most indoor grills confirms when the grill has power and also when it is cooking.
What’s Included with The Best Indoor Grill
For standard indoor grills, they come with the grilling unit and removable grilling plates.
The top of the grill should have an LED light that provides a power indicator to the person in charge of the cooking.
Some models come with a useful cooking book with recipes and tips on how to get the best results from the grill.
What to Know Before Making a Purchase
The latest indoor grills usually have the best non-stick coating which works better with meats and is even easier to clean than before. Progress on protective layer technologies continues to be made, and this is evident with the latest models.
Choosing the right size grill for personal use is important. It would be a shame to order a two serving unit and then decide later that a four serving unit would have been a better choice. Ultimately, it would be better to have the option to make a larger portion to share, than have to make two smaller pieces and need to cook them separately.
Indoor grills are not only good for cooking meats. They can also cook a range of vegetables, eggs, and mixed kebabs.
George Foreman Cooking makes a successful line of George Foreman grills for indoor and outdoor grilling with a specialization in low-fat cooking methods.
Presto makes grills, griddles, and pressure cookers.
Delonghi has an extensive line of consumer-focused cookware including rice cookers, blenders, and indoor grills.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Curved vs. Flat surface: Some grills come with a curved cooking area to help fats run off to the side efficiently. It is possible to cook toasted sandwiches with these kinds of grills, but they shouldn’t be overstuffed because cheese and other fillings can escape the sandwich during the cooking process.
Cleaning grilling surfaces: While the grilling plates may be removed for cleaning, the interior of the grill cannot. These need to be wiped with a damp cloth and dried off once clean.
Size differences: Often indoor grills are smaller than one would expect. Also, with meats like beef patties used in hamburgers, the patty is quite a bit larger in the initial cooking phase and shrinks once fully cooked. Therefore, smaller grills may not fit two patties cooking side-by-side. For two or more people, buying a larger indoor grill tailored for four servings at a time is recommended.
Simple settings: Some grills are very simply designed and don’t come with temperature controls, while other grills have a set of controls. With the more basic indoor grill models, these are switched on as soon as they are plugged in, rather than waiting to be powered up by the chef.