I've only used it for Panini sandwaches and grilled cheese. It does smoke a little because of the butter on the bread of the grill cheese but that would happen regardless. I can't speak for cooking burgers or anything, but I'd say smoke would be the same whether on the grill, frying pan, or any other griddler.
Remember, the plates have two sides, a grill side and a flat side. I have made quesadillas and burritos with mine by using the flat side. It's easier to place the first tortilla down first on the flat grill side on low/medium, add your meat/veggies then pile with cheese, add your second tortilla. Press the top part down and grill for 3-5 mins or until the cheese is melted.
Most of these don't develop enough heat to really do a steak properly. I wound up going to Ebay and finding an old Farberware smokeless indoor grille like this:
They are not made any more but you can find them, sometimes new in box, and I do big thick bone-in ribeyes on mine with no problem. I found a replacement heating element for my old one and gave it to my kid when she got her first apartment, and picked up a new one in the box after all these years on E-bay. Almost daily use for 20 years in our house on the old one, so I'm hoping for similar durability on the new one. Will probably pick up a spare element just in case while they are still easy to find, though!
1. Cuisinart is relatively a well known brand for quality
2. The price was reasonable for the amount if functions
3. Its worth the purchase. It's durable, modern, easy to clean and can grill quite a few things at d same time. . Also its very hard to burn the food as the heat is great for different types of food. .