How to buy an indoor grill

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up the joy of grilling or that you have to limit it to those rare days when it’s not raining or freezing.  There are many high-quality indoor grills that will allow you to grill your chicken, burgers and steaks all year long.

The great thing about indoor grills is that you get the flexibility of multiple uses, even cooking surfaces and easy clean up.

Indoor grills come in many shapes and sizes.  With a little bit of shopping you can find just the right grill for your needs.  You can shop for a small, personal serving size or a larger, family-style size.  Extras can include a grease catcher, griddle or a food warmer.  Many elements are also dishwasher-safe.

There are two basic types of indoor grills.  Contact grills have two plates that close over the food.  You place the food on one place to cook from beneath and fold the other plate over the top.  An open grill is just that, the heat rises from below and cooks the food simultaneously.  A contact grill can be great for cooking paninis or other pressed sandwiches like grilled cheese.  You can also find contact grills in more compact sizes which are great if you’re using only for one or two people or if kitchen space is limited.

An open grill will take up more space than a contact grill. Open grills are more like outdoor grills and can be used to cook a variety of different foods.  You can use the open grill to create the traditional grill marks on your cuts of meat.  Plus the open area allows you to prepare foods that might be difficult to prepare in contact grills.  Generally you’ll find a larger surface on an open grill and will be able to prepare larger quantities.

The best grills will have settings that allow you to adjust the heat.  A lot of standard indoor grills don’t provide heat control so you’re cooking with a single temperature.  But if you plan to cook a variety of foods, having a variable temperature control will be beneficial.

As with anything, the more features you look for, the more you can expect to spend.  So spend some time checking out models in the store, or reading up on the Internet and choose a model that has the features you need, but not a lot of extras that will raise your purchase price, but won’t add to your cooking convenience or enjoyment.

You can choose from a gas or electric model.   That can be a personal preference depending on your safety concerns and cooking style.

While the size and general features may vary there are some other features you’ll want to consider.

You need a manufacturer’s warranty.  Even the best of products can have flaws.  So make sure you have the warranty and keep the receipt.  That’s just a good practice with any appliance you purchase.

Look for grills where the components are dishwasher safe.   Aluminum or stainless steel surfaces will be more durable and…

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