Types of Indoor Grills
Outdoor grills are not the only ones that are available in different shapes, sizes, and types. The same thing is with indoor grills and they can be divided into three categories:
This is a grill shaped like a standard outdoor grill that is placed atop your kitchen stove. The heat is generated by the stove using the electric power or gas.
The huge advantage of a stovetop grill is that you can control the cooking temperatures with stove’s knobs. You place the rack atop the heat source of the stove, and the food is placed on the rack.
The biggest problem with this type of indoor grill is that you cannot prevent grease and drippings from going onto your stove. This means you will have lots of smoke.
Open Countertop Grill
It is an electric indoor grill that sits on your countertop. It generates its own heat. It can be described as a hot plate with an integrated grill/griddle.
They have larger cooking surface than the next type of indoor grills. You can cook your food at low or high heat thanks to buttons that control the heat output.
There are two problems with this type. First, since there is no lid, the grease and oils splash and spray around your kitchen. They’re much messier than closed countertop grills. Another downside is that you only grill your meat one side at a time. This means longer cooking time.
Closed Countertop Grill
It also sits on your countertop and generates its own heat. They have a lid that closes on your food. This speeds up grilling time as you can cook the food on both sides at the same time. Besides meat, you can also grill veggies, fruits, paninis and sandwiches.
The only disadvantage is that you cannot cook foods that are too thick. This is because you cannot close the lid properly.
Better option are open or closed countertop grills than a stovetop. They produce very little smoke and they have a more even heating surface for time saving cooking.
Features to Consider When Buying an Indoor Grill
This is dependent on how big your family is.
Open countertop grills generally have 100 to 140 square inches of capacity. This is enough food for 2-4 persons at a time.
Closed countertop grills have 72 to 200 square inches of capacity. This is enough for 2-6 people at a time. They have more capacity because of their dual surfaces (grill and lid).
Open grills are larger in order to offer more surface capacity. Closed grills are smaller and more compact.
Open grills can cook more food but only one side. But then, closed grills can handle less food but both sides are grilled.
Open grills are for those with larger kitchens. If you have a smaller kitchen, a closed grill is better choice.
The grill itself should be cast iron or a non-stick surface. The first one has excellent heat transfer, while the second type is easy to clean.
When it comes to exterior, it should be metal or a combination of metal and hard silicone or plastic.
Metal is can can handle high heat, while plastic and silicone prevent you from burning yourself if you touch the exterior of the grill.
The problem is that plastic and silicone are not that durable. Cracks in the framework can happen or the handles can break off.
It is the part of the appliance that generates heat. You can find it beneath the grill and is electric-powered. It can reach temperatures up to 450 F. These high temperatures are needed for grilling thick steaks.
The most important thing is that the surface of the grill is evenly heated so that all the food cooks at the same speed.
Other Features to Take Into Account
These features will influence your grilling experience, both the cooking process and the clean-up
Almost all indoor grills have temperature controls. You may not need them if you are not going to use the grill on a regular basis. You will need them if you are a grill master so can adjust the settings to your liking.
Closed grills have a cover, but a number of open grills also have a lid but without a cooking surface. A metal lid traps the heat, locking the moisture into the meat. Glass lids allow you to watch the food as it grills.
For closed grills, it collects grease and other liquids safely. Without it, the grease will catch fire. It also makes cleaning simple and fast. Open grills have drip pans that do the same function. You should add water into the pan to prevent the grease from catching fire.
It is integrated into the grill and alerts you when your desired temperature is reached. It is necessary if you are going to cook at specific heat.
You do not want your grill to slip or slide around on your countertop while cooking. Non-skid feet will keep it in place.
You should be able to remove the grease tray from the rest of the grill. If not, it will be very difficult to clean it properly.
It is a drawer or compartment in the grill where you can put wood chips, spices or herbs that will be infused into the food.
In the end, it is a good idea that your grill has it. Some grill turns on when plugged in and turn off when unplugged. So if you forget to unplug it when you’re done, it will stay tuned on. With a power switch, you can turn off the grill while it’s still plugged in.