I was researching on the topic of electric grills (healthy eating equipment), when I came across an article published by Choice Magazine which did a review of several grills outlining their features and shortcomings.
You may recall in the first part of this article that electric grills fall into 2 categories:Grill Presses and Open Grills.
I also told you that I prefer grill presses because they cook your food quicker than open grills, and because of their versatility (you can use them to toast sandwiches, Turkish bread sandwiches, etc). Some grill presses also have an "open grill option".
Choice magazine tested the following models:
To test them, the researchers cooked hamburgers, fillet steaks, sausages, lamb chops, tomatoes and bacon, and Turkish bread sandwiches.
At the end of the test, the top grill presses were the Delonghi and the Breville in terms of cooking performance and ease of use. This is how they fared at the end of the test:
This was the top of the electric grills: the best option if you want to add an grill press to your healthy eating equipment. It has 3 cooking positions (grill, lock-raisable top plate, temperature control, removable grill plates, and you can chuck it into the dishwasher with no worries at all.
But despite being the top of the range, the model can be improved by adding a drip tray, and it can be just a tad difficult to clean at the front. Apart from that, you would need significant space (W = 410 mm, D = 310 mm, and H= 140 mm). But if storage is not a problem for you in the kitchen, this model will be your best choice.
Also called the Professional Grill and Sandwich press, the Breville performed well in all the cooking tests, and you can also use it as an open grill with adjustable temperature. It is also scratch resistant, and it stores its electric cord.
Size-wise, it almost as awkward to store as the Delonghi (W= 380 mm, D= 350 mm, H= 150 mm), and its grill plates are fixed.
The Breville electric grill is also difficult to clean (because of the fixed grill plates), and is not dishwasher safe.
With all the hype you see on TV, I would have thought the George Foreman grills would do well in the tests. In terms of cooking they did very well (excellent, actually), but in terms of ease of use, they both scored the lowest.
One design fault detected in the test was its handle, which heated to much (ouch!). Another design fault was that the electric cord can melt depending on the position of the cord in relation to the grill base.
Hmmm... I would stay away from the GF electric grill.
This model did not cook well at all, was difficult to clean, and was not dish washable.
Remember: An electric grill is not better than a gas barbecue or your stove broiler. It may be more convenient, yes. But you also ought to consider storage, safety and performance.