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Buyers Guide


When you are looking at purchasing an indoor grill, there are a few things you will want to consider first. Here's a look at the major factors we've found, all put together in a handy chart below. They will quickly help you in making the right decision on the type of grill that best suits your individual tastes and needs. Print off this page for future use when browsing the reviews, models and various options.

Factor 

Guide

Open Or Contact

Deciding on the type of indoor electric grill you want is going to be one of the first things you'll need to do. They come in three distinct styles; an open grill, contact grill, or multi-functional grill.

Open Grills - This type of grill is similar to what you have in a traditional outdoor barbeque grill. It features a single-sided grilling surface that you flip your foods over to cook both sides. This style of indoor grill works very well for cooking steaks, chicken, pork chops, fish and other kinds of meats, as well as vegetables. It does not 'squash' thicker cuts of foods together, and makes it much easier to cook them at your desired doneness level. 

Contact Grills - This style of grill features two grilling plates that close and cooks foods on both sides simultaneously. The benefits here are much faster cooking times and little to no splatter or mess outside of the grill. This type of grill works well for preparing grilled sandwiches, hamburgers and other breakfast type foods.    

Multi-functional Grills - If you are looking at the first two types of grills and saying to yourself, hey, I plan on using my grill for BOTH styles of cooking, then you have another option. You can get a grill that is both an open grill as well as a contact grill. It will give you the best of both worlds so to speak.

Quality

Getting a quality indoor electric grill not only makes sense, but it will save you money along the way. Unfortunately, not all of today's grills are designed for years of trouble free use.

Regardless of the budget you have set for your new grill, you will want to choose one that is of the highest quality for the money being spent. Avoid cheaply made grills that look great, but are flimsy and do not cook your foods properly. Neither you or your family will be too happy about that.

Power/Watts

Having enough heat to cook all types of food is priority number one with any indoor grill. It can look nice and have all the bells and whistles, but if it will not get hot enough to cook foods all the way through, then what is it really worth? 

Look for grills with at least 1,000 watts of cooking power, preferably more. Ideally, you want any grill to have the capability of reaching temperatures of around 450 degrees. Lower wattage grills will be ok for grilling sandwiches and smaller foods, but if you are looking for a grill to use in preparing thicker cuts of meats and family meals, go with one that has more watts.

You will also notice a higher wattage grill will give you more of the "outdoor barbeque" flavor, as well as searing abilities and the grill marks on meats.

Cooking Area

The size of the grilling area is another important factor to consider. What can be the ideal size for a single person or couple can be much smaller than the needs of a family of four. Take a moment to think about how many people you will be cooking foods for on your grill. Use that to help you decide on the right size model to purchase.

The key point to keep in mind is that you want to get a grill that has plenty of room because you can cook on one that is big, but you can't fit it all on one that is too small.

The benefits of a smaller grill is that it is lighter and takes up less counter and cabinet space in your kitchen. But a larger grill can cook all of your meal at the same time.

Grill Plates

Grill plates on contact grills will have a big effect on how well your food turns out. I would recommend only looking at a grill that has a non-stick surface and floating hinges that adjust according to the height of the foods you are cooking. This is the only way you can get your food to cook evenly over the entire surface. The key is to look for grills that have quality hinges that will not fall off or wear out quickly.  

In addition, having removable grill plates is a nice feature that not all indoor grills have. They come off to allow you to wash them in the sink or dishwasher, making cleanup much easier.

Cleaning

Easy cleaning indoor grills is something to consider as well. If you are using your grill on a regular basis and it is extremely difficult to clean, you are less likely to continue using it as often because of it.

Look for grills that are dishwasher safe and have non-stick coatings for easier cleanup. This is where having removable grill plates offer a big advantage over those that can not be removed. Also, accessories like the grease drip pan and scraper should also be dishwasher safe.

Features

Features on indoor grills can vary greatly between one model to another. But the important tip here is to find the features you need in a grill, but not pay for the ones you don't. For example, a feature like a built-in timer can be useful, but you can always use your own watch or set the microwave timer to go off just as easily.

Some features, such as an on/off power switch is good to have so that you are not automatically turning on and off the grill by plugging it into the wall switch. Other features such as a warming mode can be useful as well.

Price Indoor grills can vary in price from under $50 to more than $400 and above for models that do it all. And some of the lower priced models will do just as good of a job as those costing hundreds more. I would recommend setting a budget, look over the models that fit your needs, and then look at the reviews and the experiences that other users have had with the grill before making a final decision.
Warranty A good warranty can be priceless when you need it. Who wants to spend good money on a new appliance, only to see it break down after a few uses? Now imagine finding out that you have no warranty to replace it as well. Most manufacturers provide for one-year warranties and above. Watch out for those who only have a 90-day warranty.

 

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