Best Indoor Grill

If you live in an apartment complex or area where outdoor grilling isn’t allowed, worry not. The best indoor grill will let you enjoy your favorite grilled meats and food indoors.

In this article, we take a look at all your indoor grilling options, from those set on the counter top to those used on stovetops.

You’ll be surprised at home many choices you have. What’s great is all of them will let you enjoy grilling steaks, hamburgers and other meats when you can’t go outside.

 

Our Top Choices: Indoor Electric Countertop Grills That Let You Cook Great Meals

 

Types of Indoor Grills

Indoor Grills Based on Style

When it comes to design, there are two main types of indoor grills. These are the open grill and contact grill.

  • Open grill style – These appliances only have one contact surface, at the bottom. This means you’ll need to flip your food to cook both sides. Do note that many open grill style units come with lids. The lid lets you cook faster by keeping heat in. It also keeps smoke from filling your home.
  • Contact grill style – These units come with two cooking surfaces, the top and bottom. By closing the top lid, you are able to cook both sides of your food at the same time. Some of these grills also allow you to leave the unit open. This lets you cook on a bigger surface. Often, they double as a panini or sandwich maker as well. Most contact style grills are smaller. And, they can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Indoor Grills Based on Where You Cook

Under this category, there are two main types. One is the countertop grill. The other is the stovetop grill. Some people also use fireplace grills. So that can be a third option, though not as common as the other two.

A) Countertop Grills

1. Contact Grills & Sandwich Makers & Panini Makers: Small, compact and convenient. They let you quickly food sandwiches as well as hamburgers. They are popular because they don’t take up a lot of space and make quick meals. Plus, they’re cheap. You’ll see a lot of these in kitchens as well as college dorms.

2. Griddles / Electric Griddles: Great for multi-purpose cooking. Griddles are often used for breakfast favorites like eggs, bacon and pancakes. Larger units let you cook entire meals on them including fish, chicken and steaks. Because they don’t have the grates, you aren’t going to get any grill marks.

3. Electric Grills: Probably the most popular of these are the George Foreman grills. They’re similar to griddles in the way they operate. But, they come with ridges on the surface. This lets them make grill marks. And more importantly, allow the fat to drip away from your food. Electric grills come in many forms. Some in contact grill style while others are open like a flat top. The latter will often come with a lid which lets you steam food as well.

4. Korean BBQ Grill: If you’ve been to a Korean BBQ restaurant, you’ll know what these are. Korean BBQ grills are small tabletop units that can be electric, gas or charcoal fueled. They come in different shapes and sizes. They’re mean for communal cooking and eating, where everybody cooks they own food on the grill.
This lets you grill different cuts of raw marinated meat over grill. Some of these delicacies include bulgogi, kalbi and chadolbegi, which is sliced beef brisket.

5. Hibachi Grill: Hibachi type grills are often used outside. But there are electric models that work for indoor cooking as well. They’re compact and placed on the tabletop. Additionally, there’s also the Teppanyaki grill, which many refer to as hibachi. If you’ve ever been to Benihana or some Japanese Steakhouse) you know what these are. Here, chefs cook up your steak, chicken and prawns in front of you. Known for their flair and showmanship, these restaurants use built-in flat top grills that cook anything. Teppanyaki grills, which are essentially flat tops, are a bit more costly.

6. Electric Rotisserie Ovens: Unique in that they’re not your conventional style grill. But, they’re a great way to cook chicken and other small birds.

B) Stovetop Grills

Stovetop grills are the cheapest type of grill you’ll find. Typically, they’re a pan or cooking surface that can be placed over the stove. This allows them to mimic gas grills.

The only difference is that they don’t actually allow the flame to touch your food. Instead, the fire heats the plate or grill which in turn cooks your food.

Besides cost, these are very convenient to use and clean. They also let you control the flame much like you would a gas grill.

1. Stovetop Burner Grill: This type of grill is often made with heavy cast iron. They’re placed over your stovetop’s burners. What makes them unique is their surface is lined with grill ridges. This lets you mimic outdoor grilling.

2. Grill Pans: These are similar to saute pans. But, they’re made from cast iron and lined with ridges at their surface. The cast iron allow the pan to retain and distribute heat better. Meanwhile, the ridges let you get the grill marks. Grill pans will give you less cooking space compared to stovetop grills. But, you can hold and move them around with your hand much like a pan.

 

Indoor vs. Outdoor Grilling: Pros and Cons

In this section we explain the difference between indoor and outdoor grilling. Specifically, we compare each of their advantages and disadvantages.

Indoor Grilling

Pros

  • Quick and convenient. There’s little to no preparation needed. Cleaning is also much simpler. Plus, the appliances involved are much smaller.
  • Less messy, no smoke. Indoor grills are designed to cook cleanly. They have removable drip trays and pans. Heating elements are detachable. Plus, they don’t produce a lot of smoke.
  • Easier to control temperature. Indoor grills and griddles allow you to adjust temperature via a knob. This is true whether for the heating element or stovetop grills.
  • You stay inside your house. There’s no need to go out. This means you can grill even when it’s raining or snowing outside.
  • Lots of types of grills & grilling options. We went through the different types of indoor grills above. This gives you a lot of options from the quick and convenient to those for sit down meals.
  • No open flame to worry about. Also, no flare ups.
  • You can use them if you live in condos or apartments. These types of housing don’t always allow tenants to grill outdoors. This also works if you don’t have a yard or place to put a large standalone grill

Cons

  • Less smoke means less flavor. Without the charcoal or the wood chips, you aren’t going to get authentic BBQ flavor.
  • Searing is different with these grill. So, you aren’t going to get the same nice grill marks. Also not all indoor grills have grates capable of making grill marks.
  • Indoor grills don’t reach as high temperatures as outdoor charcoal grills. Charcoal grills can get up to 700°F. You aren’t going to be able to do so with indoor grills. The only exceptions to this are the high end commercial units found in steakhouses and restaurants.
  • It is easier to slow cook outside.
  • Cooking outside with fire is more fun.

 

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Grills

Now that we’ve discussed the difference between indoor and outdoor grilling, we go into the appliances. A lot of the time, you’ll be able to see the difference between indoor and outdoor grills just by looking at them.

But, there’s more than meets the eye. Here are the differences between indoor and outdoor grills.

Cooking Versatility

This will have to go to outdoor grills. They allow you to do a lot more. A lot of this has to do with the ability to control the fire and rearrange the coals’ configuration.

  • Direct & indirect cooking. This is something that’s difficult to do indoors. You’ll likely use two different appliances to do both.
  • Sear marks. Indoor grills aren’t capable of reaching high temperatures. You may be able to mimic its results using a stovetop grill though.
  • Smoke BBQ. This is something only outdoor grills can do. As its name implies, there’s a lot of smoke involved. That’s not something you want indoors.
  • Cook with lid on. Indoor grills come with lids. But, there’s a difference to closing the lid on an outdoor grill.

Flavor

Outdoor grills are the clear winner here. You get the best flavor when using charcoal and wood. This gives you the authentic smoky flavor.

Indoor grills aren’t really equipped with the ability to impart extra flavor. That’s the drawback with electric grills.

Starting the Fire

Indoor grills are simple and easy to use. That’s their biggest advantage. Among them is lighting the fire. This is as easy as plugging in the heating element, or firing up your stovetop.

Lighting fires on outdoor grills can be easy or hard. Outdoor electric and gas grills come with push button ignition or start. This makes them quick and convenient. That isn’t the case with charcoal grills.

Temperature Control

Similar to starting the fire, temperature control is easy with indoor grills. Most heating elements come with temperature levels. This lets you quickly turn the knob to the temperature you want. At the very least the heating element tells you low, medium or high heat.

Outdoor gas and electric grills similarly make temperature control easy. They come with individual knobs that let you control each burner. Charcoal grills meanwhile, need to be tended to. You’ll need to watch the flame. And, add coal when needed.

Convenience and Time

Indoor grills are the clean winner here. Not only do they cook faster, they also take less preparation and cleaning.

Cost

  • Indoor grills are much cheaper. These range anywhere from $10 to $50. Though high end units can cost upwards of $100.
  • Outdoor grills are more expensive in general. Charcoal grills cost less than gas grills though.

Fuel Source

When it comes to fuel source outdoor grills offer more options. You can use charcoal, wood, gas, and electric. Plus, you can also use your grill to BBQ or smoke meats.

With indoor grills you have less options. There’s the electric grill or the stove top burner grill.

The variety offered by outdoor grills lets you choose based on your preference. It also lets you use different methods of cooking.

Styles of Grills

With both indoor and outdoor grills, you’ll see a wide variety of appliances.

Outdoor grills come in different sizes and shapes. Each of them cook and retain heat differently. These include kettle, portable, standalone on a cart, pellet or even the kamado grills.

Indoor grills likewise offer a wide range of options. We mentioned them above. The difference in cooking and temperature between these varieties though aren’t as significant compared to outdoor grills.

Size

For indoor grills this is both a pro and a con. The pro is they’re small and portable relative to their outdoor counterparts.

This is good in terms of transport and storage. But it isn’t necessarily so for grilling capacity. Because of the latter, you’ll often need to cook a few rounds to serve a large group of guests.

With outdoor grills, sky’s the limit. You’ll find small portable grills and large competition size rigs. Depending on how many people you cook for, you’ll be able to find a grill that fits your needs.

Accessories

Since outdoor grills are designed to be standalone, many come with accessories. Depending on the quality and style of grill you have, it may include a side burner, cabinet, side trays, rotisserie attachment and others.

Indoor grills are small units. Often, they’re meant to sit on the counter or tabletop. This means they aren’t going to come with any accessories most of the time.

 

Choosing an Indoor Grill

1. Type of Grill

Your first step will be to decide whether you want a contact style or open style grill.

Then, decide if you want something that will cook on the tabletop or stove top.

Finally, choose the type of grill, whether it’s a grill, griddle or pan.

2. Cooking Capacity

Like outdoor grills, how much you want to cook will largely determine the type of grill you get. Electric grills offer the largest space. Bigger units gives you over 20” by 15” of space. Of course there are smaller models as well.

Contact grills and personal grills are much smaller. George Foreman grills offer an 11” by 11” model which is enough for a group of 2 or 3 people.

3. Construction

Many of the cheaper indoor grills are flimsy and made of plastic. The good news is these grills in general are cheap. So, you can purchase a higher quality unit and still be spending just over $50 or $60.

Choosing a well-built unit not only means it lasts longer, you’ll also get even heat distribution. Often lower quality units have poor conduction. Their heat element also lack power.

4. Features

If you like being able to cook different things with one device, go for a multi-purpose grill. Many of these indoor grills are 2-in-1, 3-in-1 or 5-in-1 appliances.

These include features like a griddle, grill, panini maker, sandwich maker and others.

Other nice features to have include:

  • Temperature controls are very important. You’ll want to be able to turn the knob to increase or decrease the heat quickly.
  • Cover and lid
  • Drip pans
  • Indicator lights
  • Removable grates/plates

5. Cooking Ability & Temperature Range

This will depend on what you want to cook. Contact grills are great for sandwiches, burgers, fish and steaks. But, they’re often meant for a small group.

If you want to cook an entire meal, you may be better off with a full-sized electric grill or griddle.

Temperature ranges also differ significantly. Electric units aren’t going to be able to match the heat produced by your stovetop. Also, they’ll take longer to heat up.

6. Cleaning

The type of indoor grill you get often determines how you’ll be cleaning it. Most units some with some dishwasher safe parts. That’s always a good thing.

Additionally, you’ll want to find products where the electrical components, including the heating element can be detached from the rest of the device. This lets you easily clean the appliance without fear of damaging any electricals.

Here are some features that make cleaning much easier.

  • Removable plates or grills. This lets you take out the cooking area for washing.
  • Dishwasher safe parts.
  • Detachable heating element.
  • Removable drip trays. Drip trays are a good thing. They separate the grease that can harden
  • from the rest of the appliance. This lets you easily dispose of it.

 

Best Indoor Grill Reviews



Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill

When it comes to indoor grilling, this is our top pick. This electric grill is easy to use and durable. It is constructed with high quality materials.

The unit works similar to electric griddles in that it lays flat on the table and has a detachable power selector. The difference is that it doesn’t come with a flat top. Instead, you get grill grates that are non-stick.

This is a great alternative to outdoor grilling. It’s ideal for those who live in high rises or apartments that don’t allow you to grill outside.

The Zojirushi EB-CC15 comes with a 12.5 inch by 9.25 inch cooking area. Underneath, you’ll find a drip catch tray. Both the non-stick grilling surface and drip trays are easy to remove. This makes it easy to clean the unit.

A removable 1,300 watt heating element is likewise removable. This controller lets you quickly turn up or lower the grill’s temperature. You can bring it down to 176°F to keep the food warm. Or, bring it up to as highs as 410°F for searing.

Overall, we like the indoor electric grill for its performance. It offers accurate temperatures and even cooking. It is also easy to use and clean. Plus, it gives you extra safety features.

George Foreman GRP1060B 4 Serving Removable Plate Grill

Among the different indoor grills around, this is probably the most well-known. The George Foreman grill is named after the legendary boxer. And like the boxer, it packs a winning punch.

The George Foreman line of grills offers many different products. They range from the smaller, personal sized units like this one to the bigger home units like the one below in our reviews.

This product, the George Foreman GRP1060B is designed for 1 to 3 people, depending on how much you eat. It cooks up to 4 servings at one time. That’s about 4 quarter pound burgers.

The 60 square inch grilling surface lets you cook fast with less effort. It takes but 10 minutes to cook meals. The quick heat up also cuts cooking time.

We like that it cooks different foods very well. This includes burgers, steaks, chicken and fish. It’s also very easy to use. All you need to do is open the lid, insert the food and close the lid. The grill does the rest.

The unit is also designed at an angle. You’ll notice it slopes down to the front. This is to let all the excess fat that comes out of the meat to slide down the grill into the drip tray on the front of the device.

In all, we love this George Foreman grill. It’s great for quick cooking. And, it’s something your kids can use in their dorms. There’s little work you need to do because it does the cooking for you. Plus, it does it fast. Cleaning is also much easier than other grills.

Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill

This is a more affordable alternative to the Zojirushi grill above. It has similar features. And, it works the same way.

The unit comes with a flat grilling surface. And you get a detachable heating element that also serves as the temperature control. This indoor grill also comes with a glass cover that lets you see your food as it cooks.

The Delonghi BG24 comes with a good sized 12 inch by 6 inch grill area. This lets you cook steaks, chicken, or fish easily. The grates let you make those nice grill marks as well.

We like that It is lightweight and easy to carry. Cleaning is also fairly convenient. This I thanks to the removable grates, and non-stick drip tray.

Overall, this is an affordable option for indoor grilling. It serves as a good alternative for when you can’t go outside to grill. This can be because of the weather. Or, where you live.

George Foreman GGR50B Indoor/Outdoor Grill

Next in our reviews is an indoor and outdoor grill. The other products above can easily be used outdoors. But, this one gives you more of that grilling outside feeling.

The George Foreman GGR50B in an indoor and outdoor electric grill. This lets you cook inside or outside depending on how you feel.

This product is significantly bigger than the George Foreman GRP1060B we reviewed above. It offers 240 square inches of cooking space. This lets you cook up to 15 hamburgers on the circular grill at once.

This one also has a detachable heating element that serves as temperature control as well. The dial lets you increase or lower the head on the grill surface immediately.

What we like most is the removable stand. This lets you use the grill on the tabletop indoors or outdoors. Then you can attach the stand to let it stand alone when grilling outdoors during the summer.

We also like the nonstick coating on the grilling surface. This makes it easier to cook fish.

Overall, we like the George Foreman GGR50B’s indoor and outdoor grilling ability. It is easy to use and cooks food evenly. The grilling area offers sufficient space for a medium sized group. And, cleaning both the grill plate and drip tray are easy because they’re removable.

Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 MultiGrill Indoor Grill, Griddle & Bacon Cooker (25600)

This is a compact cooking appliance that easily fits in your kitchen counter. What we like most about it is its multipurpose ability.

This Hamilton Beach MultiGrill is just that. It is an indoor electric grill, griddle and bacon cooker all in one. Yep. You read right, bacon cooker. Coz, why not?

Everyone loves bacon.

This compact grill looks something like a contact grill. It flips open to reveal 2 surfaces, one on each side. Each of the sides are different, one with the grill grates. The other a griddle. This lets you cook different ways at the same time.

In total, you get 100 square inches of cooking space. Both plates can be removed for easy cleaning. They are dishwasher safe as well.

Besides its multipurpose cooking ability, we like that it is easy to use. All you need is to open up the grill and place your food. You can close the lid for grilling or keep it open when using it as an electric griddle or bacon cooker.

The unit will tell you when it’s in preheat mode and when it’s ready to cook. You also get to set the temperatures all the way from 250°F to 400°F.

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