Indoor Grills vs. Outdoor Grills
Charcoal provides a distinctive flavor that is not easily reproduced and pits the convenience of a gas grill against the flavor of charcoal. The majority of gas grills use metal tanks full of liquid propane. One disadvantage of outdoor cooking, depending on where you live, is trying to grill in the cold or bad weather.
An indoor grill is often the best solution for those who prefer not to have the weather dictate their grilling schedule. Indoor grilling technology is designed for ease in both cooking and cleanup and can produce the same delicious results as your outdoor barbecue.
There are basically two types, the open grill and the folding contact grill. The open grill is much like you would think of an outdoor grill and the closest thing to a real outdoor taste. Instead of using coals or propane to heat up the food, these electric appliances have a heating element and a grill like cooking surface. The heating element heats the cooking grid so the surface where the food is lying is the heat source and can give your food those famous grill marks.
Generally, open grills have a larger cooking surface than contact grills and has the ability to prepare a huge variety of foods. While you need to flip foods to cook evenly the experience of grilling is much more authentic and the flavor is closer to the real thing. Just like outdoor grilling, indoor grilling requires attention from the cook. Don't walk away from the grill.
A contact grill works in a similar fashion except these units employ two cooking surfaces - one underneath the food and one on top of it. The top cooking surface resembles a lid that can lie on top of the food being prepared. An example would be the ever-popular George Forman grill. Contact grills are heavier because of the two surfaces that they use so manufacturers have opted to use smaller surfaces.
While a contact grill can cook the top and the bottom of food simultaneously, it is nearly impossible to prepare vegetables and beans on this type of appliance because of the top cooking surface. But, a contact grill is not without its own advantages and the biggest is cooking time. Your food will be heated on both sides and will cook almost twice as fast.
Overall, an open grill is more appropriate for someone who would like to recreate a traditional grilling experience or prepare a larger variety of foods. Either way, customers agree on one thing - they love having the ability to bring grilling into the comfort of their own kitchens.