If you want to know how to choose an indoor grill, look no further. There’s nothing as good as popping a few steaks on the grill on a lazy Sunday afternoon. A good chargrilled fillet hits all the right places. While the outdoors provides an excellent backdrop for your barbecue-and-chill sessions, there’s nothing that will rain on your parade like bad weather.
Fortunately, an indoor grill is a perfect alternative. Not only does it make grilling easy, but you can also pop in anything from hot dogs to corn all year round. No more waiting for summer to roll by! And if you stay in an apartment with no backyard, then an indoor grill will be a perfect option for you. They are lightweight, affordable, and take up way less space than most of the outdoor grills on the market today.
Indoor electric grills are great for many things; one of them is they help you get healthier. Grilling automatically removes all the unhealthy fat and collects it in a tray. Most of the grills you’ll find on the market have removable trays that you can empty and easily clean after every use. This is one of the many advantages of using an indoor grill.
That said, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which indoor grill to choose when there are so many options and so many features. Luckily we’ve put together some tips and tricks on how to choose the best indoor grill for you.
Let’s get this grilling party started, shall we?
The first thing you need to figure out is which grill type would suit your needs. There are several options, but many of the grills you are likely to come across are either open or contact grills.
What’s the difference?
Well, for starters, the open grill more closely resembles an outdoor grill, for example, this Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 electric indoor grill and griddle. A contact grill, on the other hand, has two grilling surfaces that work alternatively. The bottom one cooks the underside while the top one focuses on the top. A great example of a contact grill is the George Foreman grill, which was one of the first electric indoor grills to hit the market.
Additionally, an open grill is more suited for traditional barbecue foods. In contrast, contact grills can cook a wide range of foods.
Another difference to watch out for is the type of power that the grill uses. Under this category, there are three common types of indoor grills. However, only two out of the three are widely available today:
Fireplace Indoor Grill
If you don’t want to use electricity, then an indoor fireplace grill is a great alternative. Although it might be hard to quickly come across one. These indoor fireplace grills offer an authentic smokey taste that you will mostly get from outdoor grills.
One major downfall of an indoor fireplace grill is that it requires you to revamp your kitchen to accommodate it. Why? Because the grill produces smoke and needs proper ventilation. Most houses and apartments are not built with these types of indoor grills. That’s why they are very hard to come by and almost impossible to use in most modern homes.
Gas Indoor Grill
Thinking of going green? An indoor gas grill is an excellent option if you want to save energy. It uses gas as an energy source, and it’s the closest to giving you that authentic grill flavor. Check out this indoor gas grill by Cuisinart so you can get a clear picture of what we’re talking about.
The biggest challenge with the indoor gas grill is that it needs space and some ventilation. You also need to ensure that it does not come into contact with flammable materials. Additionally, some regulations prohibit indoor gas grills because of the risk of gas leaks.
Another flaw is that indoor gas grills are pricey and can set you back a couple of dollars. So you will have to weigh your options. Be aware that you need to have proper ventilation in order to use an indoor grill because it produces a harmful amount of smoke.
Electric Indoor Grill
This is the most popular and functional indoor grill. They don’t require much space to operate, which is why they are the most common type of indoor grill you will come across. They are sold in different sizes, accommodating as many as 15 servings at once, like this George Foreman indoor outdoor grill.
The only disadvantage we’ve discovered is that most electric grills lack the original flavor that you would get from outdoor grills. There is an option to use liquid ingredients to add flavor when using an indoor electric grill.
So now, let’s look at the factors you should consider when choosing an indoor grill.
How to Choose an Indoor Grill
While it may seem like a simple task, there are many subtle and not-so-subtle differences between grills. If you live in an apartment, you might have different needs and requirements than someone who has a house. Others may need a grill with temperature control, indoor airing, or other such factors.
Of course, the first thing you need to decide on is the design you are going for. This means looking at the color and sizes. If you always host large parties, then you will need a bigger grill. If you are looking for a regular family-size grill, then a smaller size will be more suitable.
However, one thing to keep in mind is where you are going to keep your grill; this will determine the size. Always avoid placing your grill near flammable material.
Temperature Control and Voltage
Once you’re clear on the design, you will need to look at other features like temperature control and voltage.
Generally, voltage is one of the most important features you should look for. A lower voltage is extremely cost-effective but takes a longer time to cook your food. The higher the voltage on your grill, the hotter the temperature. This means that you can grill your meat faster.
Typically, experts recommend buying a low voltage grill if you will primarily be using it for cooking meat. You can settle for a 1200 wattage indoor grill. It should perform perfectly and cook the meat through without taking forever.
Another thing to take note of is the temperature control feature. If you want to use your indoor grill on other types of foods, then you will definitely need to adjust the heat. Newer models have automatic temperature control features that will turn the system on and off. This helps you avoid burning food, and you can relax knowing that your new grill is doing all the heavy lifting for you.
If you are new to grilling, it might be a good idea to set yourself up with one of these automatic babies. It will help you steer clear of any barbecue disasters. After all, who doesn’t want to hold the master griller title?
Quality is essential. The last thing you need is for your indoor grill to stop working just after you purchase it. You will come across some grills made from silicone, metal, plastic, or a combination of all three.
When we consider the price, silicone-based grills are pretty expensive, although they are the easiest to clean. If you can afford it, you might consider going with a silicone indoor grill. They are more suited for indoor grilling than the other types.
If you are looking for something simple and durable, then opt for metal and plastic indoor grills. The combination of both materials ensures longevity but be aware of the quality of the materials. There have been some reports of plastic parts melting when the temperature gets too high.
There is no point in buying a big grill that you constantly use for a small number of people. To get the best value for your money, choose something that will fulfill your specific needs. You also don’t want to slave away at a small grill for hours cooking for large crowds. Be practical about your requirements.
While an indoor grill does provide convenience, you can never be too careful. Whether you choose a gas or indoor electric grill, you need to make sure you read all the safety precautions. This will ensure that you don’t damage the grill when you clean and keep you safe from burns and gas leaks. Try to look for an indoor grill that is easy to assemble, disassemble, and clean.
Look for extra features.
There are so many extra features available today. For example, you can pick one with an indicator that shows the cooking state of your food. Advanced electric indoor grills come with this unique feature that is very useful for newbies and busy adults.
Another great extra feature that you might want include:
- An aroma compartment where you can place certain spices and wood chips for that smokey flavor and scent.
- A tempered glass cover that will prevent your countertop indoor grill from splattering food particles all over your kitchen.
- Sensors that measure the weight of the food and predict the total cooking time.
- Easily removable parts that will make cleaning an easy and quick job.
- A smokeless feature that will prevent your home from becoming filled with smoke. It will also keep your neighbors happy who won’t appreciate smoke penetrating their living space.
- A power-off button so you won’t have to completely unplug it every time.
We saved the best for last. Always consider the price of your indoor grill. Ensure that you don’t overspend on something that you might not use frequently. You need great value for your hard-earned money. Remember that the bigger the size of the grill, the more you’ll have to fork out. If you need something simple and functional, then look for more affordable indoor grills. There are so many options so expect to spend from as little as $25 to $2000.
Now you know how to choose an indoor grill. The bottom line is that regardless of what type of indoor grill you get, you are guaranteed to enjoy some smokey steaks in any season. These beautiful inventions have made it possible for people who live in an apartment or in homes without backyards to have relaxing barbecues.
You never have to fiddle with messy charcoal and wood chips when you get yourself an indoor grill. So, don’t miss the opportunity to have a bit of summer in your home regardless of the season or weather.