You may think of an indoor grill when you’re craving a grilled steak and don’t have access to an outdoor grill. It can either have wide, open grates like an outdoor grill, or a cover that presses down on a burger or chicken breast to cook both sides at the same time.
By the mid-1990s, George Foreman’s contact grills became popular for healthy cooking, and they’re great for making diner-quality crunchy grilled cheese sandwiches.
Grilling up a burger and cooking meat that tastes like summer is the best of both types. Even if you can cook a delicious hamburger or sirloin with the equipment you already own-a skillet and stove-you’ll appreciate the versatility of an electric grill.
We tested the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe (available at Amazon for $159.95) as the best electric grill. The griddle is packed with features and can be used as a contact grill or an open grill. We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose griddler by Cuisinart, if you are looking for the best one.
Would there be any alternative to this Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe, however?
To help you spend wisely, we chose highly-rated products and toasted bread, grilled hamburgers, and pressed paninis with each one. As we determined our favorite, we grilled chicken breasts and salmon filets made from the top performers.
Alternatives to the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe
George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill
George Foreman (or whoever licensed his name) is responsible for first popularizing the contact grill. Although it’s not particularly sexy looking, the black plastic model is convenient and offers a simple way to cook a few burgers or grilled cheese sandwiches. It is called a four-serving grill, but in reality it can only hold two patties of 4 inches each.
The paninis weren’t quite as crusty as some of the more expensive products, but the burgers, chicken, and salmon finished cooking with beautiful grill marks. There is only one heat setting on this model, so operating it is straightforward. With grill plates that can be completely cleaned in the dishwasher, it’s an improvement over the original Foreman grill, which required you to wipe down the plates. There is a simple removable drip tray that sits in front to catch the drippings as they fall from the slanted surface.
Hamilton Beach Searing Grill with Window
The Hamilton Beach Searing Grill with Lid Window is our first choice if you’re set on an open grill. It’s big enough to cook six hamburgers at once. There were deep grill marks on the burgers, chicken, and fish, similar to those on your outdoor grill. Instead of pressing down on food, the lid helps hold in heat to speed up cooking a little and contain smoke and odors. The grill grate and drip pan go in the dishwasher and the lid is removed for hand washing.
All-Clad Electric Grill w/ AutoSense
Consider the All-Clad Electric Grill with Autosense if you want a status symbol for your counter and are willing to pay top dollar for it. Grill marks appeared on chicken and salmon, and the paninis were crispy and gooey. In addition, it has preprogrammed settings that automatically select time and temperature for six types of food; the grill then displays a lighted bar and beeps as the food progresses through five cooking stages, from rare to well done. Additionally, there is a frozen button if you want to use the presets with frozen food. Alternatively, you can select your own time and temperature by pressing the Custom Temp button. As you might expect, all these special settings, which are supposed to make life easier, can in fact complicate matters.It only has grill plates, can’t be used as an open grill, and can cook only four burgers, so it’s not as versatile as the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe, yet it costs $100 more. Even so, we can’t fault its cooking performance, and it is a well-made machine. Along with the drip pan, the plates can be machine washed. Included is a recipe booklet.
Breville The Perfect Press
Breville’s Perfect Press is small, beautiful, and easy to use with no temperature settings. Even though it’s intended for panini, it can easily accommodate three burgers or chicken breasts. The plates have a flat surface, so you won’t get grill marks and they can’t be removed for cleaning. Despite not being able to rinse them under running water, they wipe clean easily, and removing and replacing the plates is easier than you might think. Breville’s “crush control” feature, which is supposed to prevent you from pressing too hard on sandwiches, wasn’t able to adjust to rest evenly on a thick panini and, as a result, the paninis I made weren’t evenly browned. The plates lock together, which means the unit can stand upright when not in use, and the bottom of the unit has cord storage, making it easy to store.
Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill
Although you’ll get beautiful results from this grill, you do have to flip the food over and be patient. Six burgers cooked in 10 minutes and salmon grilled in 20 minutes according to our tests. It may not seem like a long time, but most closed grills take more than twice as long. Even though it doesn’t have a lid, we didn’t notice much smoking during grilling. In addition to taking up a lot of space on the countertop and in the dishwasher, the Zojirushi model will also take up a lot of room in a cabinet or closet if you store it between uses.