Best Indoor Grills for 2019 – A Buyer’s Guide

People mostly associate grilling with cooking outside, but there are grills that make it possible to grill food indoors. Remember that you can’t use a typical charcoal or gas grill at home, it might lead to many dangerous consequences.

Plenty of times the weather outside makes grilling impossible, especially in the winter when it’s very cold. Which makes it a good idea to have an indoor grill that makes it possible to grill in indoor conditions. If you wish to start grilling at home as soon as possible, you need to buy an indoor electric grill, which has been growing in popularity recently.

Sadly, the amount of different models makes it difficult to choose, the stores offer a really broad selection. How to choose the best indoor grill ? It is not easy, it takes a lot of time and experience.

That’s why I have prepared a guide for you where you will find all the necessary information that will help you pick the perfect model for yourself. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read it all, you can take a look at the table below that includes all of my suggestions for you.

Thanks to many manufacturers having this type of grill in their offer, I was able to pick many different models for you, available at very different prices. If you have a limited budget or prefer something better then no problem, I’m sure you will find something for yourself.

Best Indoor Grills 2019 - Comparison Table

MODEL

COOKING SPACE

PRICE

Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Grill

Best Overall

Hamilton Beach Indoor Grill

118 sq. in.

Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler Five

Runner Up

Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler

200+ sq. in.

George Foreman 15-Serving

Also Great

George Foreman 15-Serving

240 sq. in.

Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill

Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill

260 sq. in.

T-fal GC70 OptiGrill

T-fal GC70 OptiGrill

93 sq. in.

How did I pick the best ones?

pick the indoor grill

It was a very time-consuming task for me, as you may know that there’s a whole lot of indoor grills at stores. More or less popular brands manufacture their “best” models which is why I had to slowly analyze the whole offer at the stores.

The first step was to divide all the models into price ranges so that it is easier at a further stage to pick better models. Then in each category I started comparing parameters, features, dimensions, prices and consumer reviews.

Once I was done with the final selection, I ended up with the initial list of the indoor grills that I approved, which then have to pass the practical tests described below.

How did I test?

testing indoor grills

Practical tests consist of grilling food on indoor grills. That way I get a chance to find out for real how it all actually works as well as get to test different advanced solutions utilized by the manufacturers.

What does it all look like? I collect all the grills ( I already own some of them ) and if it’s necessary I commence with assembling them completely and get ready for cooking. At this stage you can already learn a lot by evaluating the quality of workmanship for elements as well as what materials they were made of.

I start the finished grills and measure how fast they can reach the right temperature for cooking. Then I commence with grilling classic meat ( steaks, hamburgers, wieners, chicken wings etc ), or even vegetables. I watch the whole cooking process, especially the systems responsible for grease draining.

Once I’m done cooking, I analyze the results and start cleaning up. Based on such tests, I make the final choices that I then put in a guide like this one and describe them.

1. Best Overall Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Grill

I love to grill, which is why I have to evaluate an indoor grill in terms of grilling. That’s why this model takes the first place on my list and I find it to be the best choice in this category. This model is very well built, easy to use and to clean.

I love the temperature control feature, most of competitive models have standard settings ( low, medium and high ). In this model, however, you can choose a specific temperature at 50 degree intervals starting from 200 and going through 250, 300 and all the way to 400.

On top of that, there’s also one more temperature setting that all grilling enthusiasts are going to love. I’m talking about the “sear” setting ( 450 degrees ) that makes it possible to grill food while giving it the characteristic sear marks.

So as you can see, this model already has two huge advantages for people like myself ( temperature adjustment and “sear” setting ), but that’s not all.

After each cooking comes the time to clean up, the annoying grease and food remains usually cause a lot of problems when cleaning. In this model, it is possible to pull out the griddles and clean them up in a dishwasher or simply manually over a sink. That way, you can reach every spot on the griddles much more easily and conveniently, removing even the toughest stains.

Another significant advantage is considerable height under the lid that allows to grill very thick chunks of steaks, hamburgers or even chicken breasts ( the meat won’t be touching the lid ). Many other competitive models sadly came with the height under the lid being too low which is a huge downside to me.

The griddles are made in a way that allows to effectively drain the grease so there is no risk of the meat drowning in grease.

PROS

  • Price
  • Quality & Features
  • Height under the lid

CONS

  • Hard to clean glass ( version with window )

I recommend picking the version with a window so that you can take a peak at how the meat looks without lifting the lid ( by lifting the lid often you lose a lot of heat ).

In conclusion, Hamilton Beach Indoor Grill is number one for me when it comes to grilling. What I really liked is the ability to change the temperature settings, especially the “sear” setting that is important to everyone who loves a real grill. The whole construction is very well thought-out, which makes the grill easy to use and to clean, and most of all efficient, and all of it is available at a very affordable price – it is really worth it.

2. Runner Up Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler Five

One of the best ones in this category, this time in a new take on the latest version. Equipped with an LCD display as well as easy and user friendly digital controllers. The new version not only looks great but also retains the same efficiency as its previous, legendary version.

It is a versatile indoor grill ( 5 in 1 ), full grill, full griddle and half grill/half griddle, panini press and contact grill. Such functionality allows to really prepare a whole lot of different food and is something that everyone would love to have in their kitchen.

It is possible to take out or rotate the nonstick cooking plates, they can also be safely washed in a dishwasher.

This model comes with an option to adjust the temperature within a range of 175 to 450 degrees F. Another neat little gadget is undoubtedly the ability to set the timer that will remind us when to pay attention to the food when we have a lot of things to do.

I really like this model as it allows to prepare truly diverse food. It is not a regular indoor grill, but a versatile device that can really do a lot.

PROS

  • Modern Design & LCD display
  • Versatile ( 5 in 1 )
  • Features

CONS

  • Small problem with grease system

It is one of the most advanced indoor grills of our days. Sleek and modern design plus functional LCD display with functional digital controllers. Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler Five is an efficient, versatile device that I recommend to those who value not only quality but also versatility which this model definitely has.

When it comes to the quality of workmanship, I am very pleased with everything I got at this price and can say with full awareness that it is a great, versatile indoor grill.

3. Also Great George Foreman 15-Serving

I present this model because it was designed for Indoor/Outdoor grilling.

I know that it is not a typical indoor grill, its main purpose is grilling outside in places such as a balcony or patio in an apartment.

Not many people notice, though, that this model also works great as an indoor grill, just separate the upper part from the stand and you can grill at home.

I think there will be a lot of people who will love this kind of versatility.

Personally, this model has grown on me a lot, I had gotten a chance to test it long before and while I was getting prepared for this guide the memories came back instantly.

Its upside compared to other typical competitive models is a large cooking area. It warms up fast, is efficient and very easy to use – it comes with a 5 level temperature adjustment.

PROS

  • Big Cooking Space
  • Designed for Indoor/Outdoor grilling
  • Price & Quality

CONS

  • Grease system in the middle of the plate

The main downside to me is the chute responsible for grease drainage. It is located in the middle of the plate and I had a situation where the chute got clogged which caused grease to accumulate in the middle, right below the food. A solution to this is regular thorough cleaning or simply not putting meat in the middle right above the grease drainage chute.

I know that it is not a typical indoor grill, but I like the Indoor/Outdoor combination. In practice, all works great, the cooking results and efficiency are very good. And all of that is still at an affordable price for everyone’s budget.

4. Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill

This time it’s something I have always looked for in each of my guides which is a high quality choice for more demanding people. I usually place such model lower on my list mostly because a small number of people is willing to spend a lot of money.

Seeing the price of this indoor grill, one can get scared away, especially compared to competitive models that are several times cheaper.

I think that it’s a choice for those who really value high-quality full-sized grills. The Breville model is actually such type of a grill, high quality workmanship and functionality as well as efficiency of the top kind.

It is equipped with a digital display as well as several interesting features ( timer and temperature drop detection system ). The controllers make it possible to adjust the temperature within a range of 310- 450F complete with several settings ( Panini, Low or Sear Modes ). On top of that, you can adjust the height, there are as many as 6 settings to choose from.

The trays as well as the grease container can be removed and cleaned ( the tray can be washed in a dishwasher ).

It is a non-stick grill, it means that the cleaning process is very easy. In practice, however, after about a year of intense use the “non-stick” surface starts losing its properties no matter how much you took care of it.

PROS

  • Quality & Features
  • LCD display
  • Versatile ( 6 settings to choose from )

CONS

  • Price
  • Low quality of the "non-stick" surface

It is sad news for an indoor grill for this kind of money, especially since everything besides this problem works at the top level. One simple solution to this problem is buying new griddles few years down the road but it entails large costs. If it’s not a problem to you then you will certainly be pleased with this model, the grilling results are really great but you have to get prepared for additional high costs of “repairs” in the future.

Therefore as a whole this model is great and the results of grilling are marvelous, sadly the greatest problem are the griddles that lose their “non-stick” surface as early as one year down the road and simply become abrasive. If you agree to replacing the trays once in a while then choose this model, otherwise you’re going to be disappointed with this frequent flaw.

5. T-fal GC70 OptiGrill

The next suggestion stands out among others with its advanced technology that obviously costs a lot more than most of the available indoor grills.

In its offer, T-fal GC70 boasts 6 different automatic programs for cooking things like Sausage, Burger, Poultry, Red Meat, Sandwich and Fish.

There are also two more programs available, first of them is dedicated to frozen food whereas the other “manual mode” was made for those who want to control the whole cooking process by themselves.

In order to make the whole cooking process even easier, the manufacturers have added different types of alarms. First of them informs when the grill is properly warmed up whereas the other informs about the level of meat being done ( useful with steaks ).

The drip tray and the griddles can be removed and safely washed ( even in a dishwasher ).

All the above features successfully caught my attention right from the moment I saw this model at the store. You’re probably thinking how all those programs work out in practice? Well, to my and possibly your surprise, I have to say that as long as everything’s fine with the grill, the results of cooking are good, the meat turns out nice, tasty and well done.

But – I have registered information from many users that sometimes there’s a problem with modes not working. In such situation, it is the best to look for the solution online, as in many cases reseting or other operations help solve this problem.

PROS

  • Versatile
  • Technology
  • 6 automatic programs for cooking

CONS

  • Quality
  • Complicated Settings

The whole idea of automatic programs for particular types of meat is very appealing to me. What I find to be a problem, though, is my doubts as for the durability of this device. The experience has taught me that systems of this kind are great as long as they work, electrics tend to often cause problems. That’s why, taking other people’s reviews and my own experience into account, I can say that it is a good model for you to test.

The results of cooking are of very good quality, making use of the available settings, although the durability and the technology have succeeded at making me ask the question – is it an investment for years to come? Sadly, I am afraid it’s not.

Buyers Guide

indoor grilling

These days, an indoor grill is very often a versatile device that, on top of grilling, can do much more. If you’re a grilling enthusiast, though, check out the models I mentioned that are mostly designed with grilling in mind. I’m talking about models with the adequate construction and a large temperature range together with such settings as a “sear” mode.

When the weather outside is not good for grilling or you simply don’t feel like cooking outside, you can always start an indoor electric grill. I like this device for its simplicity and speed, it allows me to prepare different meals or sides for my breakfast, lunch or dinner in as fast as about a dozen minutes. Such grill also works great for urban spaces where technical and legal limitations don’t allow to grill on a full-sized grill.

Indoor grills are popular, which might make buying a new one a problematic task for many. I really recommend having such device at home and if you don’t know what to pay attention to before making a purchase, check out the array of my tips below.

What to pay attention to ?

There’s plenty of such things and there’s no way to list them all as everyone has different expectations, but I tried to prepare several points that will work out in majority of situations.

  • Budget – Most models are available at relatively low prices affordable to everyone. If you expect something better equipped or with several additional features then you’re going to have to prepare more money. A decent indoor grill, on the other hand, can be bought even for a very low price.
  • Size – Most models have been designed with interior conditions in mind which means that reducing the size was a priority. Think about how much space you have in your kitchen/house/balcony because that’s what impacts what will be the right size of a grill for you.
  • What you’re going to cook – Think about if you’re looking for a typical indoor grill or maybe something versatile that not only will be able to cook but also do many different things. If you’re looking for something more than just a grill then take a look at versatile models I described above.
  • Features – I think that most of us like gadgets that increase the convenience and functionality. If it matters to you then check out if your model comes with such features as a timer or different types of systems to control the cooking process. Some models come with several automatic cooking systems that might make a very interesting solution.
  • Power & temperature range – The power of the heating element impacts what temperatures your grill is going to be able to reach and how fast. It is the best when your grill allows to adjust the temperature within a range of at least 200-450~ degrees F as well as such feature as “sear” which is very well known among grilling enthusiasts.
  • Removable parts – Why am I mentioning this? Every grill has to be cleaned after cooking, and removable griddles and dripping tray are much more convenient to clean once removed. It is also a good idea to pay attention to whether these elements can be washed in a dishwasher, which is another great convenience.

Why an indoor grill ?

Grilling indoors – It is not just the ability to grill at home, but also in places where regulations forbid grilling with traditional grills ( charcoal grill etc ). An electric indoor grill makes it possible to even cook on balconies or terraces in the city without any problems.

Speed and simplicity – It warms up very fast to the adequate temperature, which is undoubtedly a huge advantage. On top of that, once you’re done cooking it’s easy to clean it, all you really have to remove is grease and food remains.

Easy temperature control – Depending on the model, there’s plenty of programs and settings. You can pick automatic cooking programs for a dedicated type of meat or simply choose the right temperature yourself according to your liking.

Versatility – An indoor electric grill is more than just grilling etc it is also the ability to prepare many other meals depending on what the model you’re interested in can do. There are indoor grills that, on top of grilling, also make it possible to prepare delicious sandwiches, panini etc.

Several flaws

Lack of the Classical Smoky Flavor – In theory, everyone should know this, but in case you don’t I’d like to remind that an electric grill doesn’t generate smoke just like a charcoal or other wood-based grill does. For that reason, therefore, your food will be devoid of this smoky flavor characteristic to classic grilling.

Lack of real BBQ / fun – An indoor grill is not the same thing as a traditional grill, it is a device that is easy to use and can forgive many mistakes by beginners. Just pick the right temperature and then grill simple food. Once you’re done, just clean up and that’s it, you don’t need to follow the whole cooking process, spend a lot of time controlling the temperature, preparing everything A to Z. It is basically a simple device that makes it possible to grill at home.

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