An indoor grill may not offer that smoky flavor that we love from a traditional propane or charcoal grill, but they still evenly cook and heat meat to safe temperatures without drying them out. Even better, they leave your cuts of meat with beautiful char marks and can be used any time of the year without requiring you to brave the harsh elements.
They're also the perfect option for apartments, dorms, or condos, considering most leases won't allow you to have an outdoor grill - even if you have a patio, because of potential fire hazards. We put a handful of these indoor electric grills to the test to help you discover which one is best for your space, grilling needs, and budget. Be sure to check out our sister site Delish's indoor-grilling hacks, so you can make the most of a rainy day and still get that barbecue you crave!
Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:
1. Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Indoor Grill - Check Price
Pros: Heats up quickly, works as a griddle too, nonstick plates make for easy cleanup
Con: Has a short cord
After grilling steaks, pressing sandwiches, and making pancakes and eggs with this offering from Cuisinart, we have determined that it is the best indoor grill money can buy. Its extreme versatility gives it a leg up over the competition. Not only does it allow you to grill meat indoors with an open-faced design, but it can fold up clamshell-style and be used as a panini press. Plus, its removable plates are reversible and allow you to use it as a griddle, too.
You'll also love the adjustable dual-zone temperature-controls, its built-in timer, and searing functionality. During our tests, the grill took less than 5 minutes to heat up. Its offers a full 240 square inches of cooking surface, making it an excellent option for families. We found that it was incredibly easy to clean - its nonstick grill plates are removable and wiped clean with warm water and a soapy wash cloth, but they're also dishwasher-safe for times when they're severely sticky and saturated with barbecue sauce.
2. Hamilton Beach Searing Grill (25360) - Check Price
Best Budget Buy
Pros: Dishwasher-safe parts, extremely affordable
Con: Takes longer than other models to preheat
If all you need is a basic grill that's available at a very affordable price, this Hamilton Beach indoor grill is solid choice (whether or not you're on a tiny budget). It has a 118-square-inch cooking surface that can tackle six good-sized hamburger patties, and it sports a durable stainless steel design that's easy to wipe down to keep it looking pristine. During our tests with the grill, we found that the Hamilton Beach actually cooked our two steaks the fastest. It took just over 20 minutes, for medium doneness levels. The steak was juicy, tender, and flavorful - however, after cooking, the plates didn't wipe clean as easily as other models. They had to soak in order for the proteins to break down.
The grill comes in two variants - one that features a glass window on its lid, and another that's just solid stainless steel. We tested the variant with the glass viewing lid. The feature is nice to have for checking doneness levels, but you can just as easily open the lid to check on your meat. Besides, you should use a meat thermometer to accurately check internal temperature to ensure your meat is safe to eat and cooked correctly, anyway.
3. Philips Avance Collection HD6371/94 Smoke-less Indoor Grill - Check Price
Pro: Doesn't emit any smoke
Con: Cooks meat slower than other indoor grills
If you're a fan of the Netflix reboot of the show Queer Eye, chances are you've already seen this grill. Antoni Porowski, the show's resident food-and-wine expert, gifted the grill on two separate episodes. It’s unlike any other indoor grill we tested, since it uses infrared lighting to cook your food. The grill heats up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit quickly, and is ready for cooking in just minutes.
We found the Philips grill the easiest to use of any grill that we tested. That's because it doesn't require you to adjust temperatures or fumble with any knobs. There are two settings: full-power and keep-warm. We think that the Philips is the best option for apartment dwellers who don't want to deal with any smoke. It has a convenient drop pan underneath that keeps cool to minimize smoke and grease splatters. The grill has heat reflectors that Philips says help ensure all sides of your meat are evenly grilled. We found that the grill effectively cooked a 10-ounce T-Bone steak in 35 minutes. Cleaning the plates themselves was simple, but the reflectors and body of the grill get messy from splattering, making overall cleanup slightly harder than other indoor grills.
4. T-fal OptiGrill Electric Indoor Grill - Check Price
Best for its Automatic Cooking Presets
Pro: Heats up quickly
Con: Smaller cooking surface than most other models
This small but mighty indoor grill is equipped with an 1800-watt heating element, which helps ensure zippy cooking times. It was named the best overall indoor grill pick by Best Reviews, for its accuracy, temperature controls, and its detachable dishwasher-safe plates that provide a quick cleanup. Our biggest complaint about the grill is that it only offers a cooking surface of 93 square inches, so it is not well-suited for parties. or large families.
What makes the grill shine, though, are its six integrated cooking programs. You can choose from burger-, poultry-, sandwich-, sausage-, red meat-, and fish-cooking modes. The grill even has a specific preset for cooking frozen meats. It also uses sensors to detect the number of items on its surface, and automatically adjusts to the right temperature based on the size and thickness of the meat that way you can get your meat cooked just the way you like it - whether it'd be rare, well-done, or anything in between.
5. George Foreman Evolve Grill System - Check Price
Best for its Versatile Plates
Pros: Has a high-heat searing option that raises the grill temperature up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, easily drains fat and grease
Con: Features a mostly plastic build
In the '90s, the George Foreman grill was a must-have kitchen gadget. Now almost a quarter of a century later, more than 100 million George Foreman grills have been sold worldwide. If you want an upgrade to the classic '90s appliance, we recommend the aptly named Evolve Grill System.
You have a choice of black, platinum, or red for the exterior of the grill. All models include various ceramic plates that are completely removable, so you can swap them out for another one depending on what you're cooking. The black and silver models come with a standard grill plate and separate plate for making waffles. The red model includes the basic grilling plates, a deep-dish bake pan, and a muffin pan. You can purchase additional plates for making burger sliders, brownies, and omelets, too.
We recognize the Foreman's versatility, but feel as though it isn't as durable as other models, mostly because of its plastic build. Other indoor grills have stainless steel exteriors, which look and feel better. We do appreciate that the grill's ceramic plates are extremely easy to wipe clean. They won't even require a soaking, and if you're in a hurry, they're also dishwasher-safe.
The Evolve grill offers 75 square inches of cooking surface, so you can serve four to five people. It features a digital control panel for easily adjusting the temperature and setting timers. There's also a high-heat searing option which raises the grill temperature to 500-degrees Fahrenheit. As you'd expect from a Foreman grill, the Evolve has a sloped design, which drains excess fat and grease to an included drip tray. If you want a convenient and easy-to-use electric indoor grill, and don't mind its plastic build, we think you'll enjoy cooking with the Evolve.
More of Our Top Picks:
Just because they didn't make our top five doesn't mean they're not worth shopping for! These next two indoor grills offer open-faced designs with large surface areas, so you can cook even more for your family and friends.
6. Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill - Check Price
Best for Families
Pro: Has a glass lid, which helps retain moisture and reduce splatter
Con: Can't be used as a griddle
The problem with most open-faced grills compared to their clamshell counterparts is that you have to deal with lots of splatter and occasional smoke. This indoor grill has a convenient tempered-glass lid, which helps alleviate those issues. The lid also keeps juices locked inside your food, resulting in tender and delicious meals.
The Delonghi Perfecto costs under $50 and features a 21-by-14-inch cooking surface, making it an excellent party companion or a great choice for large families. You can easily grill several burgers, veggies, or cuts of steak simultaneously.
Although the grill features a detachable thermostat for easy adjusting of temperatures, the main reason we didn't name the Perfecto as our best budget pick was because it doesn't heat up as quickly as the Hamilton Beach indoor grill we previously mentioned. This results in slightly longer cooking times. If you can get past that, you'll love this grill for its large cooking surface, easy cleanup, and ability to cook flavorful and juicy meals.
7. Zojirushi EB-DLC10 Indoor Electric Grill - Check Price
Best for its High-Powered Heating Element
Pro: Offers chefs increased control on charring
Con: Its open-faced design may result in splatters
If you take cooking seriously and want to set the cast iron aside to experiment with an indoor electric grill, we think you'll enjoy this option from Zojirushi. It's the perfect option for making Korean barbecue at home. It boasts a high-powered, 1,500-watt heating element and a large 15-by-10-inch surface that heats up evenly every time.
The grill provides perfect char marks, but unfortunately, its open-faced design results in expected splatter. This makes for a longer cleanup - because not only will you have to wipe down the grill, but surrounding surfaces as well. None of its parts are dishwasher-safe, either. Regardless, it’s a powerful and easy-to-use grill worth considering.
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