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3.9 out of 5 stars
Bodum Electric Indoor Table Grill and Griddle, Black
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2011
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The distinguishing feature of this unit, the Bodum Bistro 11133 electric table grill, is that the big plate that heats up is smooth on one side and "ribbed" on the other. The smooth, or griddle, side is for items such as eggs and pancakes and hash browns, whereas the the ribbed, or grill, side is for, say, burgers or steaks or chops, where you want to sear in those pretty and ever-flavorful grill marks that result from the ever-wonderful Maillard Reaction. You choose which side to use by simply flipping the plate over. It's designed so you can't flip it without unplugging the controller. Also, there's a simple mechanical device that prevents you from using the device unless the drip tray is installed.

Both sides of the plate are covered in a non-stick coating, and both sides measure 14-5/8 inches by 9-1/8 inches, or 133.45 square inches, which is on the small side if you're cooking for six. A similar product I own, made by Presto, measures 14-1/4 by 18-3/4, or 267.19 square inches, or, as near as matters, 100% bigger.

The outside dimensions of the Bodum 11133 are 20 inches by 12-5/16 by 3-1/8. The housing sports four rubber feet that have a gratifyingly high coefficient of friction relative to Formica. The grill plate is substantial, weighing in at 5 pounds 11 ounces when you add in the weight of the handles and their hardware. Those handles do a fine job; even when the plate is at its highest heat the handles are room-temp to the touch.

The two-sided grill plate itself is dishwasher safe, but the drip tray, which of course got gunky after I fried bacon and skinned the grill, according to the instructions "must be washed by hand." It's a stamped sheet of what I'm guessing is aluminum, and I can't quite figure out what would happen if you put it in the dishwasher anyway.

The package comes with a scraper which you use to scrape detritus to the far left side (there's noplace else to scrape to) and into 14 drain holes that drop grease and crud onto the drip tray. Those 14 drain holes are quite small, approximately 1/8 inch by 1/4 inch, and they can clog up easily, which I think is a design defect. The scraper can be used to poke ino the drain holes to unclog them, but it's tedious.

That nylon, non-heat-proof scraper is also designed in such a way that it is impossible, when you're using the grill side of the plate, to scrape up against the near and far edges, which are the two long ones. You can see what I mean by finding the photograph I added to this product's description on Amazon that shows the scraper in position as far left as it will go. Again, I think this is a design defect. On the griddle side of the plate the other side of the scraper, which is straight, does get right up against the edges.

The instruction manual is light on details, such as almost all of the ones I provided above. Except for knowing you can put the plate in the dishwasher and that you can't put the drip tray therein (which seems backwards to me), the manual contains no information you need.

Oddly, nowhere does it say not to use metal tools on the two non-stick surfaces. I don't know about you, but I'm not about to start skinning a non-stick grill with a sharp steel scraper even if the manual doesn't warn me not to. If the coating really is designed to be impervious to the sort of scraping a cast-iron griddle can tolerate for decades then I'm surprised the manufacturer doesn't brag on that remarkable fact. If it is not designed to abide such rough treatment I'm surprised the manual doesn't admit it and warn against it.

And it's not like the manual fails to warn against the obvious. For instance, it does warn against using the grill to light charcoal, and elsewhere it does say, "You will achieve the best results if you use meat of . . . good quality." That's like saying, "You will enjoy your three-week cruise more if you choose a luxury ocean liner and not a rowboat" or "You will achieve the best results if you choose a surgeon for your appendectomy and not a seamstress."

Here's the most disappointing feature of this particular example of an electric griddle. At one point the manual says, "Set the desired temperature." That's all it says. You might think it would say, "Set the temperature to 375 for pancakes" or "Set the temperature to medium for scrambled eggs" or "Set the temperature to 9 for searing a Kobe steak." But there's a reason the manual does not get that specific about temperatures. The reason is that that dial you turn to set the temperature has no useful marks on it. There is only a semi-circular swoosh like the Nike swoosh that tapers from skinny near where it says "OFF" to wide for the highest setting.

I don't understand this design decision.

The Presto griddle I mentioned shows actual numerical temperatures in degrees on the dial, from Warm and then 200 through 400 in 50-degree increments, including the ever-popular 350. A similar type of product I own, a GE electric skillet (higher sides, no drainage, and a lid), shows on its dial Warm, Simmer and then 300 through 450 degrees, also in 50-degree increments.

And even if those two products' temperature numbers are inaccurate, at least they can be used as a substitute for the numbers 1 through 9 that we're used to on stoves. But a swoosh is almost completely useless, especially when there are no obvious noon or three-o'clock or six-o'clock or 9-o'clock positions. If you have learned through experimentation (you do experiment when you're cooking, don't you?) that slider-sized hamburgers should be cooked at 400, or even if all you know is that they should be cooked at number 7, you can use that information to dial in that temperature every time. But with a swoosh you have to guess every time. Take a look at the photograph I took, on the Amazon page desribing the product, to see what I mean.

As a service to anyone who buys this product, as well as a service to me henceforth, I conducted some tests at two temperature settings, the minimum and the maximum. For the minimum I set the dial to the skinniest end of the swoosh, as shown in that photo. For the maximum obviously I cranked it all the way up. In both cases the room temperature was around 71 degrees Fahrenheit. All I did was record the temperature of the surface of the griddle at one-minute intervals, using an infrared thermometer. I also recorded when the indicator light turned off (meaning the thermostat thought it had risen above the right temperature) and back on (meaning the thermostat thought it had dropped below the right temperature).

Set at the minimum, the recorded temperature rose from room temp of 72.1 degrees to 170 degrees in one minute. The light went off 30 seconds later, at a temperature of 175. The griddle's plate's temp rose to 190 at 2:00 and peaked at 203 at 3:00. Thereafter it dropped at a slightly falling rate of 92 degrees in 21 minutes, or approximately 4.38 degrees per minute, till it dropped to 109 at the 24th minute. At 24:30 the thermostat finally turned back on, and the temp had risen to 130 by 25:00. This is a temperature range from 203 to 109, or 94 degrees, before the thermostat kicks back on again.

Set to the maximum, the recorded temperatures rose from 70 to 96 in 30 seconds, reached a maximum of 515 by 7:00, and ended up at 379 degrees at 31:00. Here is a table showing certain temperatures over that period of 31 minutes:

MIN:SEC --- TEMP
00:00 ------- 70
00:30 ------- 96
01:00 ------ 140
01:30 ------ 181
02:00 ------ 238
03:00 ------ 295
04:00 ------ 366
05:00 ------ 411
06:00 ------ 466
07:00 ------ 515
07:45 ------ 515 thermostat OFF
08:00 ------ 515
09:00 ------ 470
10:00 ------ 433
10:20 ------ 425 thermostat ON
11:00 ------ 440
11:30 ------ 436 OFF
12:00 ------ 440
13:00 ------ 415
13:15 ------ 415 ON
14:00 ------ 426
14:30 ------ 430 OFF
15:00 ------ 419
16:00 ------ 397 ON
17:00 ------ 430 OFF
18:00 ------ 408
19:00 ------ 380 ON
19:50 ------ 420 OFF
20:00 ------ 425
21:00 ------ 400
21:42 ------ 375 ON
22:00 ------ 383
22:41 ------ 416 OFF
23:00 ------ 421
24:00 ------ 397
24:38 ------ 375 ON
25:00 ------ 382
25:35 ------ 420 OFF
26:00 ------ 393
27:00 ------ 392
27:31 ------ 376 ON
28:35 ------ 418 OFF
29:00 ------ 420
30:00 ------ 395
30:40 ------ 370 ON
31:00 ------ 379
MIN:SEC --- TEMP

I don't expect you to analyze all these data, so let me do it for you.

Set at its maximum heat, the griddle rises from room temp to 515 degrees Fahrenheit within 8 minutes but never gets anywhere close after that initial peak. The maximum temp it reaches thereafter is 440 degrees at around 11:30, and thereafter it bounces from a one-time high of 430 degrees down to a low of 375. The average temp at this maximum setting hovers roughly at 400 degrees.

And remember that all these temp data were measured with no food on the grill. Obviously if you slap a slab of 50-degree or even 70-degree hash browns on that grill, the temp is going to decrease considerably. When you drop a couple of room-temp T-bones on it, as I did tonight, I can tell you that the temp drops too much; the sizzle that indicates searing went away too soon, and it was worse when I did the first flip. Next time I'll preheat for 8 minutes (the manual says 4 to 6) before dropping the meat, because that appears to be when it's the hottest it will ever be.

This Bodum Bistro 11133 electric grill is sturdily built, and it does offer both griddle and grill. But it falls down in most areas compared to my Presto.

If you have twice as much acreage you can cook more food, obviously, but you can also more easily flip your burgers or your wursts or your emu breasts onto a fresh sector of the grill, which will be hotter. The Presto and similar products let you skin the grill by simply sweeping the cruddy grease towards you and into a moat below the near edge; the Bodum forces you to sweep crud into little, hard-to-clean holes. The Presto, and pretty much every other such product, I'd guess, have numbers on the dial instead of a featureless swoosh; one option if you buy this product is to go ahead and make four or five marks on the Bodum's dial yourself, maybe with a china marker or a silver Sharpie or a carefully wielded bayonet.

The Presto, which I got a couple years back, cost about $30. The only significant advantage the Bodum 11133 offers is the grill on the other side of the griddle, and even then you can't have both at the same time, which you can if you substitute for the grill side a product such as a grill pan that you simply heat up on the stove, and which you can also put in the oven. (I've found the Calphalon 12-inch grill pan Calphalon Professional Nonstick 12-Inch Round Grill Pan satisfactory.)

And you can buy several Prestos for the price of one of these Bodums.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Color: RedVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was a tough review to write. On the one hand, my Mom LOVED this grill. On the other hand, it is WAY over priced for what you get, at retail, or even with Amazon's discount.

The idea is great: an indoor grill that has a griddle on one side and a traditional grooved grill on the other. And, it is incredibly easy to switch between the two plates. You quite literally lift and flip (see my pictures). The grill plate cannot be flipped while plugged in, which decreases the chance of trying to flip while it's still hot. And, it was easy to clean, by hand, and in the dishwasher - we tried both. The non-stick surface is exactly that, and while a larger surface would have been nice, this also fits comfortably on a countertop without taking up too much room. It's not too heavy either, so it can be moved around with ease. Plus, it comes in several colors to go with most any kitchen.

We tried several foods on this. My mom grilled T-Bones, Mahi Mahi, scallops and even did an entire London Broil on it. For size comparison, it will hold two large T-Bones, or 4 medium sized New York Strips. The steaks got a very nice sear, with grill marks, and were easy to come to the desired wellness using some common cooking times, such as you would for a frying pan (a medium thick steak needs about 3 minutes on high heat, per side, for medium). We cooked all these foods on the maximum setting. My mom seared the London Broil and used a temperature probe to check doneness - as she would have done in the oven also, despite knowing what temp the oven is at! We had no problem with the grill holding heat. This would be an ideal appliance for a couple with a small kitchen - another cook top, that doesn't heat up a room the way an oven can.

Despite how great it cooked for us, $200 (or even $140) is outrageously expensive, especially considering it has a couple basic flaws. The temperature dial has no numbers. This is an issue if you need to cook something slowly at a low temperature. This wasn't a big negative for us, but for the price it's unacceptable. Some foods are best prepared at a particular setting (like 350 for pancakes), and there's no way to tell with this. Another problem, the entire thing can go into the dishwasher EXCEPT for the drip tray - the item most likely to get the messiest? Finally, Wolfgang Puck has a very similar product, Wolfgang Puck WPRGG0010 1800-Watt Reversible Nonstick Grill and Griddle, that is $50 cheaper, has numbers on the temperature dial and is from a better-known brand.

Overall, this was very useful, and we will definitely use it a lot. I would not hesitate to recommend it if it were less than $100, but I can't recommend it for $140. Those who are tempted might want to try the Wolfgang model at the lower price point.

**UPDATE** We've had the grill quite a while now, and have realized that it really is an awesome appliance that we WOULD pay $140 for! We use it 2-3 times a week, every week. Everything from hotdogs to steaks to fish to pankackes comes out wonderful. Though I still wish the dial had temperatures listed, I would still not hesitate to buy this again.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
Color: GreenVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this and thought, "Oh, cool, one appliance for two jobs, and should be easy to clean up instead." Ok, it does the job of two appliances semi-ok, but the cleanup is iffy and you need to pay attention to what you're thinking about cooking on it. Though the description emphasizes cooking right at the table, I wouldn't advise it unless you're going to cook something that is splatter free. I wouldn't try the suggested bacon, except in the case where you want everyone at the table coated in grease droplets. Pancakes, eggs, veggies, and anything that doesn't normally send hot oil particles flying are ok. Cooking up some ground beef, sausages, bacon, and the like, is not so good an idea due to their fat content. Even the manual points out that you should be using "quality meat" with this grill.

While you might be thinking, "I can just turn the heat down and it will be ok," let me warn you, there is no temperature guide on this thing. The temperature control dial doesn't use temperatures or numbers to indicate the temperature setting. Instead, it has a sloped graphic which is fairly useless. You get to guess how hot the grill will get based on where along the slope you set the dial. To add insult to injury, the temperature of the grill itself isn't very stable, varying up to 20 degrees, (I used a thermometer to check this out). Maybe I'm just too used to cooking with gas and forgot this is how cooking with electric is?

And now for the cleanup. If you've opted to cook up something greasy or something has gotten stuck to the non-stick surface, (marinade, cheese, charred meat, etc), the included scraper doesn't do so well for cleaning up the grill side. The grooved end of the scraper doesn't properly fit the grooves in the grill top. Luckily, the whole top can go in the sink for a good soak, and then into the dish washer. The grease catching pan on the bottom is hand wash only for some reason, contrary to the words of some of the other reviewers, (page 7 of the manual, last paragraph).

After cooking up several meals on this item, I have to admit it's useful, even if it is a pain here and there. All said and done, I think it's pricey for what it is and how it performs. Other models offer the same or more features and at a much better price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2011
Color: OrangeVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In the past, I've used stovetop griddles and even some electric griddles. The Bodum Electric Grill and Griddle puts all of these to shame. I love this piece of cookware and would repurchase immediately if something we're to happen to this one.

PROS:
- First, the unit itself comes in four pieces: the stand, drip tray, griddle/grill, and electric adapter.
* Stand-the stand is extremely sturdy. A big plus for me is that it has a rubber coated base which actually doesn't slip...at all. It also is easy to clean up with a kitchen wipe or damp paper towel.
* Drip Tray- The drip tray is probably less than 1/4", but unlike most griddles it covers the entire area of the griddle. I've cooked large breakfasts with lots of bacon and have never even come close to filling it. After emptying the contents you can throw it in the dishwasher...definite plus.
* Griddle/Grill- constructed of heavy non-stick aluminum, I'm expecting this to hold up for many years. I've cooked sandwiches, pancakes, burgers, veggies, pancakes, etc at various temperature settings without any problem. Low settings are awesome for keeping food warm until meal time, and medium/higher settings can cook a 1/2" burger in minutes. There may be a slight heat variation between the longest sides, but it's so minimal that it's barely noticeable (I was being especially critical when looking at this since it's been my biggest complaint with other electric griddles. This Bodum Griddle offers the most even cooking that I've seen thus far). I really appreciate the ingenuity of the grill on one side of the plate and the griddle on the other...it's one less thing I have to find space for. Also, the handles are extremely heat-resistant.

My only Con, and it's not even that big of a deal is the cord is pretty short. I think it would be difficult to actually use the griddle at the dining room table as advertised. It's probably 4' long. Also, the temperature is set by a typical dial knob.

All in all, I love this griddle/grill.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2011
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This Bodum Electric Grill has a couple of things going for it:

- It looks great and evidently that's what you're paying for (more on this later)
- The cooking surface is two-sided (one flat, one grill-like) and can easily be flipped. It's also got some substantial weight to it so it feel like it's good quality and the instructions say it's dishwasher sage

That's about it for the good stuff. Here's the bad:

- Overpriced compared to the competition. Almost 4 (FOUR) times the price of other grills that perform better
- Extremely bulky. This is a big massive beast. Definitely not something to leave on the counter or hide in a corner
- As many others have mentioned there are no temperature markings on the controls so there's no way to tell what temperature you're getting out of it.
- It just doesn't get hot enough. In my tests I had a hard time grilling anything. In fact I gave up and just went back to my a pan on the stove. And this is after pre-heating.
- There are plenty of hot and cold spots on the grill

I received my grill from Amazon Vine for evaluation purposes. If I had purchased it I would have sent it right back. Since I get to hold on to it I'm putting in the garage with the other junk I never use.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 19, 2011
Color: GreenVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
At ~$140 retail, this griddle should have been a hands-down winner over its competition. Unfortunately its features and functionality barely keep pace, making this a seriously overpriced kitchen appliance.

Bodum's website proudly displays the catch phrase "Make Taste, Not Waste" and suggests that this grill is ideally suited for making a meal for a whole family or group of guests- right at the table. It's great marketing but in reality the cooking surface was barely big enough to cook fajitas for two, and even that required cooking the meat and veggies separately. As a result we wound up washing more dishes than would have been necessary had we used our old stand-by, the much larger Presto 07045 Family-Size Cool-Touch Tilt'N Drain Electric Griddle. Did I mention that the Presto is also only about a quarter of the price of the Bodum (~$35)?

The Bodum does have one advantage over the Presto- the "wavy" grill side, which should add pretty grill marks to your meat as well as allow grease to drain more conveniently. However, in my opinion the grill marks are entirely aesthetic and therefore optional. And as for drainage, the Presto has a tilt mechanism that works marvellously. The Bodum, on the other hand, clumsily dumps the grease through holes on one side of the grill surface, which is raised about an inch over the drip pan below. The net effect is that plenty of grease never hit the pan, and instead splattered on the inside surfaces of the main housing where it then ran down through the cracks and onto the counter. If you're just dying for grill marks, take a look at the relatively bargain-priced (~$30) Professional Heavy Duty Reversible Double Burner Cast Iron Grill Griddle, which has the same reversible smooth and wavy sides but sits atop your stove burners as opposed to powering itself.

The final straw for me was temperature consistency, which is my number one consideration when choosing an electric griddle. I used a Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer to check the heat distribution and found it to be extremely variable across the grill/griddle surface! I really couldn't believe that the Bodum @ ~$140 could be so inferior to the Presto at ~$35, but a side-by-side test confirmed it. Adding insult to injury, the Bodum lacks any temperature markings on the control knob, so unless you own an infrared thermometer you'll have no idea how hot your griddle is.

If you're still considering purchasing the Bodum electric griddle, consider that had I not received this product free for review via Amazon's Vine program it would already be on its way back for a refund. Do yourself a favour and don't waste your money on this overpriced, oversized eyesore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Color: RedVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fantastic table top grill from Bodum. The grilling surface is quite large and the cooking surface is dishwasher safe ( I wash mine by hand though). I didn't grill any thick steaks or hotdogs on it, as I have a Char Broil Infrared Gas grill outdoor, but I did use this to do Korean BBQ, which consists of a bunch of marinated meats that you sit around a table with friends and family and grill and eat ( Do a google search for Korean BBQ if you need a visual image). I don't think steaks would be a problem on this grill as long as you aren't expecting the same kind of quality from a gas/charcoal grill.

I cooked marinated rib-eye sliced thinly on it, as well as squid, tripe, chicken thighs and shrimp. All came out well and cooked with no problems. I did it outdoors cause the food was smokey from all the marinade burning off. The dial doesn't tell you the exact temp, but the style of food I cooked needed to be on high heat so I just turned it all the way up.

Clean up was ok, but took a little more elbow grease to get clean. While the surface was hot, I used the included scraper to scrape off the burned on sauces, and then washed it by hand and scrubbed off the grill plate with a non scratch scrubber.

I would recommend this grill if you are looking for an indoor grill. I also used it to cook pancakes and eggs with great success. My main fun with using this is Korean BBQ, so this suited my purpose quite well.

This grill does make cooking and eating with friends more fun if you are cooking the right type and style of food. I recommend this grill.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Color: OrangeVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This ain't no Foreman grill (my fave), but it is a handy device for cooking meat for sandwiches, either for one or two people, or to augment the outdoor grill. And it's a lifesaver if your barbecue is a rain-out!

It's like having a Hibachi in the house, you know? I love to grill, but I really don't want the fuss or hassle of a great big outdoor grill, and a Hibachi suits me just fine. This just works inside the house.

Two drawbacks: Exudes a lot of heat, and of course, the grease splatters, which are not an issue with a Foreman grill or a panini maker. It is easy to clean, though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2012
We have used the grill several times for grilling beef tenderloin, salmon, tuna, swordfish and shrimp. We have also grilled onions and peppers. Our guests have enjoyed cooking their own portions and controlling the level of doneness. It also seemed to promote conversation, first about the food and then other topics came up. I read the other reviews about this product and felt well-informed before purchase. It was on sale at a great price. Easy to clean.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I just bought this last week and have used it 8 times already! The grill heats quickly, cooked chicken, salmon and steak beautifully and the grilled veggies were also grilled to perfection! Being a frugal New Englander, I ordered the orange colored grill and saved $150.00 off MSRP..... Since this stays on my deck, I don't care about the color. It's a great grill, especially for the money, high temp and ample grilling space. Try it and I believe you'll agree!! Cheers from Sunset Bay!!
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