• Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe

  • George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill

  • How We Tested

  • Differences Between Open and Contact Grills

  • Other Indoor Grills We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Indoor Grills of 2020

  1. Best Overall

    Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe

    Pros

    • Browns quickly and evenly

    • Lots of special features

    • Reversible grills easy to pop on and off

    Cons

    • Large

    • Expensive

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    George Foreman GRP1060B 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill

    Pros

    • Easy to operate

    • Easy to clean

    Cons

    • Despite name, only cooks two burgers at a time

    Skip to the full review below
Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe is the best indoor grill we tested.

Best Overall
Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe

Although large and pricey, the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe offers a lot of cooking options for your money. In addition to being used as a closed grill, the two sides open up to form two separate surfaces for those times when you want to increase the number of burgers you can grill at once from six to 12. The plates are reversible with a grill pattern on one side and a flat surface on the other. With both sides open and the flat surface in place, the Griddler Deluxe turns into a griddle, although there is a gap between the two halves that limits the number of pancakes you can cook at once. But, all in all, this is a very versatile product.

The Griddler browns quickly and evenly. Longer cooking items like paninis and chicken breasts came out crispy with beautiful grill marks. Using the high heat sear function, burgers were grilled perfectly.

In addition, this Cuisinart has lots of special features. You can select different temperatures for each plate, which is particularly helpful when it’s in the open position. You can cook the bacon on medium on one side and scramble the eggs on low on the other. During preheating, the knobs glow red, then change to green when the selected temperature is reached. An innovative lever on the side of the machine allows you to adjust the distance between the two plates so that you can avoid crushing your burgers as well as press down on a grilled cheese sandwich, but not so hard that all the cheese oozes out. The plates are particularly easy to snap in and out and they can be washed in the dishwasher. In the back of the grill, a drip tray slides into place. Not only is the manual thorough, it contains recipes that you actually want to prepare.

Pros

  • Browns quickly and evenly

  • Lots of special features

  • Reversible grills easy to pop on and off

Cons

  • Large

  • Expensive

Best Value
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

If you're looking to spend less, but get a quality indoor grill, the George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill is our Best Value winner.

Best Value
George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill

You can thank George Foreman (or whoever licensed his name) for first putting the contact grill on the map. This inexpensive black plastic model isn’t particularly sexy looking but it’s relatively small and offers a no-fuss method of cooking a couple of burgers or grilled cheese sandwiches. Yes, we know it’s called a four-serving grill, but it could only hold two 4-inch patties. While paninis weren’t quite as crusty as from some of the more expensive grills, burgers, chicken, and salmon completed cooking with gorgeous grill marks. This model has only one heat setting so it’s a no-brainer to operate. With grill plates that pop out for thorough cleaning in the dishwasher, it’s an improvement over the original Foreman grill which required that you wipe down the plates. It comes with a simple removable drip tray that sits in front to catch the drippings as they fall from the slanted surface.

Pros

  • Easy to operate

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Despite name, only cooks two burgers at a time

How We Tested

Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been reviewing kitchen equipment for more than 30 years. Before that, I womanned the grill in New York City restaurants for seven years. It’s been a long time since I lived in a house with a backyard, so an electric grill is my best bet for burgers. And as those of you who have read my other reviews know, I’m a pushover for anything crispy. If there’s one on the menu, I’ll always order a grilled cheese sandwich.

We tested nine grills including those with wide open surfaces and others with lids that close down and cook the food from two sides at once. In each, we toasted bread to see the evenness of the grill’s heating pattern and then grilled hamburgers to see how long it took to cook, if it left distinct grill marks, and how evenly it browned. In the closed grills, which are often called contact grills or panini presses, we cooked a thick ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich on sourdough bread. At that point, we eliminated grills that we thought had serious drawbacks. In the remaining five grills, we made chicken breasts and salmon filets.

Related content

Testing
Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

Testing included grilling up burgers, chicken, and salmon.

As we grilled, we considered the ease of use of each appliance. We looked at how easy it was to use the controls, determine when the surfaces were preheated, and clean the various parts as well as whether or not there were any safety concerns. Because we know space is at a premium for most of us, we noted how much room they required on the countertop and in a cabinet.

Differences Between Open and Contact Grills

An open grill definitely gives more of the illusion that you’re actually grilling. It has a fairly wide grate that sits over a drip pan and you flip food over just as you would on an outdoor grill. While they hold more food at once than a contact grill, they take about twice as long to cook. Plus, they require more countertop and storage space, and their larger grill surfaces and drip pans take up more room in the sink or the dishwasher. In our tests, open grills didn’t give us much better results than a closed grill and they can’t be used to make a pressed sandwich. For this reason, we didn’t select any of the open grills we tested as a top pick.


Other Indoor Grills We Tested

Hamilton Beach Searing Grill

If you’re dead set on an open grill, our first choice is the Hamilton Beach Searing Grill with Lid Window which is big enough to cook six hamburgers at a time. Burgers, chicken, and fish came out with deep grill marks closely resembling the ones you get from your outdoor grill. The lid doesn’t press down on food but rather, it helps to hold in heat to speed up cooking a little and also contain smoke and cooking odors. The grill grate and the drip pan go in the dishwasher and the lid comes off for hand washing.

Pros

  • Food resembles outdoor cooking

  • Fast cooking times

  • Contains odors and smoke well

Cons

  • None that we could find

All-Clad Electric Grill w/ AutoSense

If you’re looking for a status symbol for your countertop and are willing to pay top dollar for it, consider the All-Clad Electric Grill with Autosense. It stamped impressive grill marks on chicken and salmon and cooked up crunchy gooey paninis. But its claim to fame is that it has preprogrammed settings that automatically select the time and temperature for six categories of food; the grill then signals with a lighted bar and beeps as your food progresses through five cooking levels from rare to well done. There’s also a frozen button to use if you’re using the presets with frozen food. If you prefer, you can select your own time and temperature by pressing the Custom Temp button. However, as you would expect, all these special settings, that are designed to make life easier, can wind up complicating things.

The All-Clad only has grill plates, cannot be used as an open grill, and is big enough for just four burgers so it’s not as versatile as the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe, yet costs $100 more. Still, we can’t fault its cooking performance and it is a solidly built machine. The plates come out and along with the drip pan can be machine washed. A recipe booklet is included.

Pros

  • Automated cooking times and temperatures

  • Great cooking performance

Cons

  • Can't be used as an open grill

  • Small cooking surface

  • Expensive

Breville The Perfect Press

The Breville the Perfect Press is small, beautiful, and with no temperature settings, uncomplicated to operate. Although it’s primarily intended for panini, it can easily handle three burgers or chicken breasts. The plates have a flat surface so you don’t get any grill marks and you can’t remove them for cleaning. While not being able to rinse them under running water may bother you if you’re a cleaning fanatic, they wipe clean easily and removing and reinstalling the plates is one less thing to worry about. But my biggest gripe is with Breville’s "crush control" feature, which is supposed to prevent you from pressing down too hard on sandwiches, but it couldn’t adjust to evenly rest on a thick panini and as a result, the paninis I made didn’t come out evenly browned. As the plates lock together, the unit can stand up vertically when it’s not being used and there’s cord storage in the bottom which makes this product handy to store.

Pros

  • Uncomplicated to operate

  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Paninis difficult to evenly brown

Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill

While you’ll ultimately get beautiful results from this grill, you do have to flip foods over and have a little patience. In our tests, it took 10 minutes to cook six burgers and 20 minutes to grill salmon. That may not sound long, but it’s more than twice the time most of the closed grills needed. Even though it doesn’t have a lid, we didn’t notice much smoking during grilling. The Zojirushi model is large and will take up quite a bit of space on the countertop, in the dishwasher, and in a cabinet or closet if you’re going to stash it away between uses.

Pros

  • Great cooking results

Cons

  • Large

  • Long cooking times

Cuisinart Griddler Five

Like the Griddler Deluxe, the Cuisinart Griddle Five is handsome and versatile. It too can be used in an open or closed position and has both grill and griddle surfaces. Smaller than the Deluxe, it can only hold four patties at once when closed or eight when open. We found it really excelled when it came to chicken and salmon, which came out looking bronzed.

This grill has an LCD screen which shows the temperature choices, lighted bars to show you the progress of preheating, and a timer that can count down or count up. However, the functions on the display are controlled by turning and pressing a knob so many options lead to some confusion. The drip pan slides into the grill but it took us a little bit of experimentation to figure out how to position it.

What holds us back from recommending this model wholeheartedly, is that at higher temperatures and longer cooking times, the edges of its handle gets quite hot. Although it wasn’t hot enough to burn us, it was a cause for some concern.

Pros

  • Removable plates

  • Folding lid

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Doesn't lie flat

  • Inconsistent heating

Philips Indoor Smoke-less Grill

This grill is solidly built and cooks evenly. It’s also large, heavy, and very pricey, yet it will only cook six burgers at once. As claimed, it didn’t smoke, but then neither did the open Zojirushi. It has only two settings, high and warm, which make it easy to use but also makes it seem like you’re not getting much for your money. Although you do get a recipe book, the use and care leaflet is skimpy on details. You can clean the grate and drip pan in the dishwasher.

Pros

  • Cooks evenly

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Heavy

  • Expensive

Black & Decker G48TD

On the Black and Decker 3-in-1 Grill Griddle and Waffle Maker you get cooking plates that can be reversed from a flat side to a waffle side so it really is like getting two appliances in one. It does a nice job of browning burgers and grilling cheese sandwiches, but we didn’t test it with chicken and fish because the small handle becomes too hot to touch after cooking. With the Black and Decker, you don’t get a drip pan and have to put a small bowl underneath the drip spout at one corner to prevent a messy countertop. Dishwasher cleaning isn’t recommended. On the upside, Black and Decker hardware can be found almost everywhere, so there's a good chance that, should you prefer to shop in local stores over online outlets, you'll be able to pick one up without too much trouble.

Pros

  • Even browning

  • Reversible plates include flat and waffle sides

Cons

  • Handle gets too hot after cooking

Meet the tester

Sharon Franke

Sharon Franke

Contributor

Sharon has been testing kitchen equipment for the past 30 years. Before becoming a cooking tools maven, she worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years.

See all of Sharon Franke's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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