6 Best Indoor Grills in 2020
Grilling food is arguably one of the healthiest methods of cooking known to man, and grill parties are always massive fun. However, even if summer is the best time for grilling, it’s not always possible to enjoy a backyard barbecue, hence today’s article is about the best indoor grills money can buy. Indoor grills may sound boring to some, but sometimes you will have to settle for less if you want to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal, whether we’re talking about a tasty burger or something more complicated.
The best thing about indoor grills is that they are fairly easy to use and to clean, plus they can be used in any season, which is their main advantage after all’s said and done. As the general rule of thumb, there are 3 main types of indoor grills: the fireplace indoor grill, which is very much alike as the regular outdoor variant, and it’s the only choice for people who don’t have access to electricity or gas, then there’s the gas-operated indoor grill, and finally, the electric grill, which incidentally is the most popular nowadays and our topic for today.
Here are a few buying tips for our readers, before we proceed with our top picks.
How to Choose the Best Indoor Grill
The first thing to contemplate is the size or the design of the grill. The point being, a smaller grill is cheaper, more portable and easier to use indoors, plus it doesn’t make sense to buy a big grill if you’re only cooking for 2-3 persons at a time. If you love to party or you have a big family, then you must look for a larger grill, just make sure there’s enough space in your kitchen for such a big boy.
The material comes into play, and there are 2 main varieties: metal/plastic combos and silicon-based indoor grills. The latter are more expensive and easier to clean, while the former are cheaper and they’ll last you for a lifetime (the metal parts anyway). Another thing to contemplate is the grill type, and here you have 2 choices: contact grill or open grill. The open grill works similarly to an outdoor grill, in such it comes with one grilling surface that is heated using electricity.
On the other hand, the contact variety has 2 plates for the grill, just like a sandwich maker. Open grills are usually larger and they’re ideal for cooking traditional foods (stakes, burgers, what have you), while contact grills are great for specialties like paninis. Temperature is another metric to look after, and to make it real easy, the higher the voltage specs, the hotter your grill will get. While we’re at it, keep in mind that low voltage grills are not the best choice for cooking cuts of meat.
It’s important to learn that most electrically operated indoor grills have a heat adjustment feature (thermostat) and a temperature gauge, and these are must-have gimmicks if you’re looking to cook a wide variety of food. If you have total control over temperature, you’ll be able to cook virtually anything, ranging from meat to veggies. Grates with non-stick coating and removable cooking plates are excellent for easier cleaning, but hardly a deal-breaker in our view; however, the price can make or break an indoor grill, so look at your budget before anything.
The thing is, a high-end indoor grill may cost up to $2000, but most of them retail for something like $100 or less; after all’s said and done, you can always settle for a grill pan, right? All jokes aside, let’s take a look at some of the best indoor grills money can buy in the current year, right after a short commercial break.
Best Indoor Grills
George Foreman GGR50B Electric Grill
The Best Indoor Electric Grill Overall
We’ll start with one of the most popular indoor grills, the George Foreman GGR50B, an electric gizmo that can be used to feed a family of 15 with ease. We’re only kidding, but this indoor/outdoor electric grill that features 240 square inches of grilling surface is basically the only grill that you’ll ever need, and it ticks all the important boxes in our “buying guide”, starting with the price tag.
Yes indeed, the George Foreman GGR50B retails for under $100, it’s big enough to feed everybody and their dog in one sitting, the grilling surface is generous and features a non-stick coating, i.e. the grill is easy to clean, built to last and doesn’t require oil and butter (health bar goes up). The dome-shaped grill has a smartly designed cooking area that measures 22.20 inches by 20.51 inches by 12.99 inches, which means the grill doesn’t take much space despite its generous size.
Cooking is very easy with the George Foreman GGR50B, whether indoors or outdoors, as the grill sits on a (removable) pedestal in outdoors scenarios, or it can be used as a tabletop grill inside. The 240 square inches cooking area can be used for cooking a wide variety of foods, as it allows you to fit comfortably up to 16 chicken breasts or four regular London broils at a time, and we must mention the non-stick coated aluminum surface that permits you to cook fat free. The grill plate is removable for easy maintenance and/or cleaning, as the grill goes easily into the dishwasher, while the adjustable heat control feature is great for grilling anything, ranging from sandwiches to steaks and what not.
- Apartment approved electric grill with adjustable temp control and removable stand
- Comes with dip tray to collect grease, works great, easy to use, generous cooking space
- Amazing value for money, compact and lightweight, works both indoors and outdoors
- Relatively difficult to clean
- The cord could be longer
Great Indoor Grill For Panini
The art of cooking also known as Cuisinart GR-4N is our next pick. This is another great choice if you’re on a tight budget, as the griddler retails for less than $100 and offers an excellent all-round indoor grilling experience. The design is similar to a sandwich maker, and this indoor grill cooks meat well and rapidly, and it’s also incredibly easy to use and, most importantly, to clean.
Tender and juicy steaks will soon become the new normal with the Cuisinart GR-4N, and besides providing you with the best grilled red meat in the world, this baby is also panini compatible and features a non-stick coating. Power is not a problem with the Cuisinart GR-4N, as the burner element has 1500 watts. The grill offers 200 square inches of grilling, but even if it’s not as big as the George Forman, due to its compact design and lightness (weighs less than 10 lbs.), it’s a great choice for college students, bachelors or apartment dwellers.
Provided you allow your grill to build up heat, you’ll have your steak ready in 5 minutes flat, which is great if you’re on the run, while frozen burger patties are ready in 8 minutes. Hot dogs take 4 minutes, and if you’re cooking using riveted plates, you’ll have your steak coming out with black sears marks, which is kind of cool optics wise (you can pretend you used a charcoal grill when you’re eating your burger at work for example).
In the design department, the Cuisinart GR-4N has a brushed stainless steel case, so this griddler definitely looks the part in a modern kitchen, while the floating cover allows you to cook any type of food, with thickness being a non-issue. The 5 in 1 countertop unit is designed to operate in different ways: as a contact grill, full grill, panini press, full griddle, and finally, half grill/half griddle, so if you’re into multitasking, the Cuisinart GR-4N will not disappoint you.
- Compact design, good value for money, great for making waffles and sandwiches
- Comes with Panini press function, temperature control, can cook red meats easily
- 200 square inches of non-stick cooking space, easy to operate and to clean
- Not suited for heavy use
- Build quality is not great
Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill AG301
Feature-rich Indoor Grill
The ninja of grill food aka Ninja Foodi is a more expensive choice for an indoor grill, but for something like two hundred bucks give or take, you’ll get a cool electric grill that actually sears, sizzles and air fry crisps. Yes, you got that right, the Ninja Foodi is an indoor grill and an air fryer, two for the price of one so to speak, and the latter works by circulating hot air (literally, 500F) via Surround Searing technology, while the high-density grill grate cooks food perfectly on the inside, and leaves chargrilled marks on the outside.
We know, this sounds like the best of both worlds, both inside and out, via Cyclonic Grilling Technology, and 1760 watts of sheer power. Tech specs/tech talk aside, the Ninja Foodi really plays in a league of its own, as it comes with grill, air crisp, roast, bake and dehydrate functions, and has a cooking pot, a crisper basket and a grill grate. Besides the five modes mentioned earlier, there are four heat levels to choose from, and operating the grill is pretty straightforward and simple: just select the mode and the time, and that’s about it. When you press the Start button, the grill will start the pre-heating sequence, and when it gets hot enough, the display will read Add Food.
Just add your stuff, close the lid and the rest will be taken care of automatically. The nonstick surface is easy to clean, and due to Ninja Foodi’s wide cooking range, i.e. 105-500°F (40-260° C), you’ll be able to cook basically anything, plus you’ll get a recipe book with your grill.
- Very easy to use and to clean, offers tons of cooking options
- Smartly engineered and designed, makes awesome steaks
- Zero smoke operation if used properly, excellent for daily use in small apartments
- None really
T-fal GC70 OptiGrill Electric Grill
Smart Indoor Grill
The T-Fal OptiGrill is a great electric grill designed for indoor use, featuring removable nonstick dishwasher-safe plates and enough cooking surface for 4 servings at a time. Nonstick grilling surfaces are hardly breaking news in the current year, but it’s worth mentioning that the T-fal uses high quality materials in this department, i.e. it’s built to last, and on top of that, you’ll get advanced settings, like smart heat up and adaptive temperature.
Moreover, the T-fal GC70 is smartly designed, so it’s a dream to clean, which is a very important metric in our book: all you have to do is to wait for it to cool down, and then put the grill plate in the dishwasher. The dishwasher-safe removable grill plates are a huge plus, and there are also six different grill settings, which allow you to cook a wide range of foods, from fish to chicken etc. The adaptive temperature thing is great as it allows you to set the temperature to the thickness of the food you’re cooking, and in terms of grilling power, the T-fal GC70 boasts 1800 watts, i.e. it’s more than enough to handle virtually anything you throw at it.
The grill weighs 11.6 pounds and measures 14 x 13 x 6 inches, and due to the combination of quality, price and performance, it is one of the best indoor grills out there, being a life-saver for folks who are not experienced in the kitchen, especially due to its unique feature: this baby literally tells you when the food is done, as it automatically adjusts grilling time and senses its internal temperature. Yes, we know, this sounds like magic, but it really works.
- Automatically adapts grilling cycles to the thickness of the food, looks great on your countertop
- Has six automated cooking programs for poultry, burger, sausage, sandwich, fish and red meat
- Features cooking indicator light/sound, 1800 watts, impressive overall performance
- Some issues with build-quality reported by users
Hamilton Beach 25361 Indoor Grill
Great Indoor Grill For Steaks
Our next pick is the Hamilton Beach grill, another affordable electric grill with removable nonstick plates for easy cleaning, and a generous 118 square inch grilling surface. Before you ask, that’s enough cooking “real estate” for up to six servings at a time. However, one of the main selling points of the Hamilton Beach grill is its viewing window that allows you to keep an eye on your food.
If you’re not too whimsical about kitchen appliances, the Hamilton Beach 25361 grills is almost perfect in every way: it’s well designed, compact, has enough cooking space for up to 6 servings at a time, comes with a temperature selector for multiple cuts of meat, there’s also a temperature adjuster which allows you to select between 200 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and the grill works great for cooking virtually anything: burgers, sausages, steaks, veggies, chops, what have you.
In the “look at me I’m gorgeous” department, things are doing great, as the Hamilton Beach has a stainless steel outside shell, which is also very easy to clean, so yeah, everything’s on the up and up with this budget indoor electric grill for the masses.
- Looks great, easy to clean, has all the essential features, large enough to feed a small family
- Has a very large drip tray to catch grease and juices, adjustable temp dial
- Comes with viewing window, small foot-print fits any kitchen, good value for money
- None really except from the short cord, but we’re pushing it at this price
Philips Smoke-less Indoor BBQ Grill
The Best Smokeless Indoor Grill
Finally, we have a very interesting indoor grill made by Philips, from the Avance collection; unlike other indoor grills running on electricity, this state of the art kitchen appliance uses infrared technology to cook your food. Yes, you got that right, this is next-level technology, and one of the main advantages of using infrared tech is that you end up with a 100% smokeless grill, as the drip tray stays cool all the time, i.e. there’s virtually zero smoke.
Another advantage of infrared tech is that it doesn’t require you to adjust the heat; the grill features a smartly designed reflector system to deliver 400 F + heat to the cooking surface (the grill plate basically) in less than 7 minutes with minimal heat loss and incredible efficiency. Due to its smart and minimalist design, the grill is easy to clean and sets up in one minute. However, it’s worth mentioning that the HD6371/94 (this is the official name) measures 21.85×7.48×16.93 inches, i.e. it’s relatively big for an indoor grill; another peculiar thing is that the grill will only cook at exactly 446 Fahrenheit, which according to the company, is the sweet spot for sear steaks, yet some people enjoy tinkering around with their grill.
If you want more “temp-freedom”, this is not the grill for you. Despite this shortcoming, the Philips HD6371/94 is very efficient, as it will reach the cooking- temperature from a “cold start” in approximately 6 minutes, and it can cook a burger in less than 5 minutes. Keep in mind that the thicker the food (the cut of meat), the longer the cooking time if you want a well-done consistency, but once you get used to it, it works great.
- Affordable, portable and lightweight, heats up quickly
- Uses infrared convection technology for smoke-free operation
- Smart design, cooks fast and thorough, excellent choice for small apartments
- The buttons and plastic clips are flimsy, people report the upper side panel melts
Even if we all love a good steak, finding the ideal indoor grill is not as easy as it sounds. But we hope that our guide will help you find the best grill to suit your needs; just read the pros and cons carefully, check your budget and happy grilling!