Indoor Grills - Size Does Matter
Like all grill lovers, I'm sure that you're excited about the prospect of bringing the grill indoors. But, before you rush out and buy the biggest indoor grill that can fit through your door, you need to realize that size does matter. Since your grill will be used inside of your home, there are several factors to consider when deciding on the best size.
Most small indoor grills have a surface large enough to prepare two large hamburgers or two small chicken breasts at the same time. They are usually around 1 square foot, with a grilling surface of about 100 square inches, a good example would be the the Hamilton Beach Super Sear. For a couple or an individual preparing food for themselves, a smaller grill might be ideal. But, many families will get a lot of use out of smaller grills when they consider other factors.
Larger indoor grills can give you a grilling surface of around 200 square inches or more. For instance, the Sanyo HPS-SG4 has a 200 square inch cooking surface, with 1/3 of that area devoted to a griddle surface. You will probably be able to prepare several hamburgers, shish kabobs, and a few hot dogs all at one time. A larger family almost needs a larger grill. Of course, before you make a solid decision, you need to consider other factors...
1. Bigger Isn't Always Better
Indoor grills are great because of the even and constant heat that they produce. This allows you to prepare a number of different foods at the same time, and get consistent results. However, as the grilling surface increases in size, the dispersion of heat usually gets more and more uneven. You should also consider the amount of time that you want to wait for your grill to heat up. Since these appliances use a heating element to heat the surface, a larger surface will take longer to reach the proper cooking temperature.
2. Small Has Its Drawbacks As Well
The biggest drawback to a smaller cooking surface is the amount of food that you can prepare at one time. A larger cooking area (around 200 square inches) gives you plenty of room to prepare several chicken breasts, and some hamburgers with room left over to grill veggies. This gives you more room to make a variety of food to please everyone's tastes, even the picky eaters in your family.
3. What Style Of Grill Do You Like The Best
In the world of indoor grilling, there are two basic styles - the contact grill and the open grill. The open style works much like a traditional grill. It uses a large flat cooking surface that can prepare most kinds of food that your outside grill can. A contact grill uses two cooking surfaces - one on top of the food and one on the bottom. These are sometimes able to prepare your food faster because it is cooking on both sides. Contact grills can also be used to make pressed sandwiches or paninis.
4. Considering Cleanup
Since your grill will be stored indoors, chances are good that you plan on cleaning it after each use. Larger grills will take longer to cool down before you can begin to clean them - then once you begin, there is more surface area to clean. Cleanup time isn't extremely different between larger and smaller models. The big difference in cleanup time is between open vs. contact grills, with contact grills taking longer to clean because of the two surfaces.
5. Where Will You Store It?
You probably don't want to leave your grill on the counter all day long. Therefore, you must consider your storage situation. A larger grill may sound nice, but if you have no cabinet space to store it in, you might need to choose a different option. On the other hand, if you have ample storage room it may be a waste to buy a smaller model.
Take these factors into consideration before you make a final purchase. There are high quality models of varying sizes, so if you do your homework you will certainly be able to find the best model to fit your needs and your budget.