206 of 216 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
I've had my OptiGrill for about a week now, I too purchased it elsewhere to save money. So far I'm very happy with the purchase. My old grill was a George Foreman, nothing fancy just plug in & grill. Both grills take up about the same amount of counter space. With the Foreman having a larger grilling area (about 13"X9") than the OptiGrill (about 12"X7 1/2"). I find the added "bells & whistles" of the OptiGrill make it a better cooking experience. I just cooked frozen chicken breasts in about 16 minutes. 5 minutes for the grill to warm up & 11 for the chicken to cook. I like that I can walk away from it & do other things while it cooks. The OptiGrill beeps loud enough I can hear it from another room. With the Foreman I would need to stay close by and check on the food from time to time. That wasn't much of an issue because I normally cook other things on the stove near by while using the grill. I have however over cooked things on the Foreman because my attention was too focused on the pots & pans & oven. So far the OptiGrill has cooked all my food consistently. I've enjoyed well done chicken, pork, & steak that was still juicy inside. I tried a grilled cheese & leaving it in till Well Done made it very flat. I've been using a paper towel to wipe a little olive oil on the plates before powering on & my meat has come out with nice char marks every time. I've noticed in some of the other reviews people complain about "No Char Marks" & I wonder if it's because they don't lightly oil the plates. I'm not so concerned with looks as I am taste, and my food thus far has tasted great. Though I've noticed cooking thawed meat tastes better than frozen. Last of all I really like the ease of clean up on the OptiGrill. On the the Foreman I had to let it cool a bit but not too much, then wash it down where it stood on the counter. Careful not to over fill the catch tray or burn my fingers. I found if I let the Foreman cool all the way it was a beast to clean. Despite my best efforts it was often a messy clean up. The OptiGrill has a much larger catch tray and REMOVABLE PLATES. If you don't buy an OptiGrill make sure the grill you do get has removable plates. There is no more mess left on my counter top after cleaning my OptiGrill. That alone has made the upgrade worth while.
231 of 246 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
First off, let me start by saying that the price on here is messed up. It is about twice as much as on other sites. This can be had for $179.99 at almost any other retailer. Not sure what Amazon is thinking, but they are seriously messed up. That being said, I received this as a Christmas gift, and it works fantastic. Easy to use, easy to clean, and the results are perfect. The cook time is amazingly short too. Once preheated, this little marvel cooked 3, one inch NY strip steaks in under 5 minutes to a beautiful Medium. The results were juicy perfectly cooked steak. I have also made chicken, a panini, and bacon (yes bacon!The slanted cooking surface makes all the fat run off.) This is a wonderful machine a great way to cook fast and healthy meals. I love outdoor grilling but it is way too cold for that where I live in the winter. This definitely is a great substitute, plus, I never have to worry about the meat being under or overcooked. It is perfect every time. If you like grilling, this is a great product at $179.99. Don't pay more than that though.
96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2014
Purchased this online just over a week ago.
Had a Foreman grill been using awhile. I liked the Foreman grill ok but many times I would overcook my food or the chicken would be a bit dry (probably cause I overcooked it too).
The Forman Grill worked well enough. It was the Next Gen version with temp controls. I did like the removable grates which this one has as well.
The build quality of the T-Fal is at least 1 order of magnitude better than the Foreman. You can see some of this when you pull the grates or open and close the lid. The grease trap is much larger on the T-Fal. The controls on the T-Fal are fine I would had liked a bit more solid feel to them for the price but they are not bad at all. Just use with some degree of care and feel.
Cooked a 1.5" thick NY Strip for my 1st cooking. Turned out FANTASTIC! Used Weber Chicago Steak seasoning and PAM high Temp Non stick spray. It cooked the steak to a perfect med rare and fork tender n juicy. I may or may not have made a better steak on my Weber charcoal grill but that takes about 30-45 mins of prep. This prep took 5 mins.
Next I cooked a Frozen chicken breast. Using the same PAM high Temp spray again, set the grill to defrost, poutry and then OK. After a short preheat put the frozen chicken breast on and seasoned it with some Weber kick-n-chicken seasoning . Now doing it this way will take about 3x longer than cooking a chicken breast from thaw. Once it was done I immediately pulled it and cut and tasted it. It was pretty darn good from frozen I will say. Much better than when I use warm water or microwave(microwave thawing I think makes it a little tougher and slightly chewy). By far best same day frozen to done chicken I ever did.
I also cooked a thawed chicken breast. This was a Cilantro Lime pre-marinated breast from Wal-Mart (about $5.98). I set the grill to just poultry - then it preheated a bit longer, sprayed on the PAM High Temp Grill spray and let it rip. It was done a good bit quicker than the frozen and was absolutely marvelous! Very very juicy and fork tender. While the results were "good enough" on the frozen chicken to eat and enjoy cooking from say an overnight thaw should produce excellent results. Anytime you quick thaw something you tend to lose a bit of tenderness in either beef or poultry. I have to say I dont think I have made a chicken breast this good over open flame. While I miss the charcoal twang in the taste just a little, the fork tender and evenly cooked state of the breast is simply fantastic.
I did burgers from Frozen. I used SAMS Choice Jalapeno Black Angus frozen patties. They are 1/3rd pound thick. I used PAM High Temp Grill spray - Turned out perfectly! Now these were tender and juicy unlike poultry ground beef does pretty well from frozen.
My sister came over and made her Salmon on it and LOVED IT! Now if your doing fish DONT use the Pam High Temp cooking spray, Use your normal olive oil or regular spray as I believe the grill presets begin at a lower temp. Use normal olive oil for grilled veggies,shrimp and other stuff.
So what is the huge advantage vs the Foreman? Well in a busy schedule it removes a lot of the guesswork out of the time to grill and uses temp presets ,auto thawing, temp change programming and thickness of the selected item to predetermine time to done. And it really does work great! The only caveat to it and they mention it in the guide is if you want a medium rare steak, you cook it to Medium Rare but then let it sit say 5 minutes before eating it , most likely carryover cooking will take it to more Medium done. So stop your cooking about halfway between the Rare and Medium rare color change as I have started doing, let it sit 5 minutes and it will be perfect.
This is a great grill for a college student, elderly or someone who needs a fast efficient cooking grill that takes a lot of uncertain guesswork out of cooking.
SUPER EASY! Takes a lot of guess work out of cooking meats to desired doneness
Efficient - 1800 watts - about the same power as a hairdryer - lot less power than the oven
Removable grates - Cleanup isnt bad at all about the same as the Foreman
Fairly compact - fits easily and for me permanently on my counter
A little pricey - I paid $89 for my Foreman 4 or 5 years ago. This was about 2x that price
Alert beeper - Could be a little louder if your in another room or have noisy kids around
Soft Touch Controls - I prefer more solid feeling controls
167 of 192 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2013
If you like to come home and want to eat but you forgot to take something out of the freezer, this is for you. I love this grill, it has many features that are lacking on my Cuisinart grill that I plan to donate to Goodwill. This OptiGrill has all of the features that I wanted in a grill, and it really does live up to its advertised reputation. I purchased my grill from Bed, Bath and Beyond, they are selling it for $179.00 but if you have a 20 percent coupon it will cost even less. I have no cons to offer about this grill and I consider it an excellent addition to my kitchen. I will publish and update in a month or so.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2014
With cooking, I need all the help I can get - so I like small electric kitchen appliances with automatic functions. That definitely includes the T-Fall OptiGrill. But this product's advertising claims are ambiguous, and I started out with a bad misunderstanding of what it could and couldn't do.
The slogan on the control panel explains the problem: "Automatic Sensor Cooking." That could mean "automatic cooking controlled by a sensor" or it could mean "cooking using an automatic sensor." Believe me (and not TV), the second alternative is the truth of the matter!
My first trial used skinless, boneless chicken breasts. I pressed the On button, the Poultry button and the OK button. The unit began preheating, and when it signaled, I put the food on and closed the grill. Since chicken is recommended to be well done, I just watched until the unit turned itself off (automatic sensor cooking, right?). Surprise, surprise: I didn't know you could make jerky from chicken breasts! Actually there was trace moisture, but heavens, what toughness and what a stench. Live and learn. At least there was no spattering, and cleanup was perfectly easy once the grills had cooled enough to handle - a long wait.
Next time I was careful to monitor my food's progress, guided by the optical sensor, and I stopped the cooking as soon as the guide window turned red and the unit beeped. Excellent results with chicken (plus some fajita seasonings and mushrooms). Again with frozen ground beef patties on a third trial: well done but juicy, no bad smells, no mess at all ... just good food.
Actually the OptiGrill makes hard-to-miss optical and audible signals at every stage of cooking, so the user easily stays in full control even if cooking isn't really automatic. And I have no doubt this was the designers' intention: they guide you optically and audibly to rare- and medium-cooked foods, and of course never suggest that those stages would have automatic shut-off.
So I like this product and recommend it. I'm not sure its so-to-speak SEMI-AUTOMATIC capabilities justify an extra $100 in price, but its ability to cook food directly from the freezer is a great convenience. By the way it has a nice appearance, I'd say, isn't as heavy as it looks, and doesn't take up excessive space in use, as a few reviews have suggested. I have had no trouble with meat sliding off the grills: the lower grill has a pattern of spikes to prevent this, and I can't even duplicate the reported problem.
78 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2014
I was excited about getting this grill after seeing it on TV. I have purchased many of these grills in the past, from the 50 buck George Forman to the 300 buck Brevelle.
I love the bells and whistles of this grill and it does cook everything perfectly like you would expect. The slant on the grill gets all the grease into the grease tray and away from your food. So why 3 stars?
The build quality of this is not anywhere close to what it should be for 180 dollars. I'm sure T-Fal just licensed its name as this unit does not have the quality I have seen in T-fal cookware. The metal is light, cheap, tin. Not stainless. The grilling tray as very light almost plastic feeling. How long will it hold up? I'm not sure.
This grill should be a 59.95-79.95 item and is no where in the ball park for a $200 grill. It's just made too cheaply.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2014
For the first time in 25 years I can make a hamburger or chicken breast that isn't overcooked. I'm not very good in the kitchen and always fear my meat will be undercooked. As a result, I overcook everything. I've had a George Foreman grill forever. But having to constantly check the meat, overcooking and messy clean-up lead me to the OptiGrill. Despite its bulky appearance, it's pretty light. The grills snap on and off for very easy clean-up. And the set it & forget it capability is terrific. I lay out the meat, close the grill and watch the light turn color - letting me know where I'm at in the cooking process. I found my sweet spot where my burgers aren't pink but very juicy. There is a manual setting that allows you to cook without the grill's advice. You do have to preheat the grill before cooking. This means if you want to make a dozen burgers, you'll have to preheat the grill each time you put on a new batch. This slows things down a bit, but the time factor is negligible. The drip tray is big and sturdy and needs to be kept separately if you want to store the grill in a tight space, as it adds some size to the machine. I bought mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond and used one of the ubiquitous 20% off coupons for about $160 including tax. I highly recommend this electric grill.
82 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2014
After seeing the infomercial on early morning cable TV, and reading Dorothy Sinkler's review and comments here, I did as she did and bought this grill at Bed, Bath, & Beyond using a coupon. Total cost, including tax, was $152. How on earth Amazon wants just under $400. for the same item is beyond me, but my guess is that they are not selling any here. Maybe someone from Amazon can comment on this, as they generally have some of the lowest prices for many items.
This is a good grill for one or two people. I say this because it will only hold two large burgers, or maybe three small steaks or chicken breasts at a time. The included guides do caution against any meats thicker than one-and-a-half inches. I have used it so far to cook frozen hamburgers and fresh steaks. The hamburgers came out fine. However, the steaks were slightly over-cooked, but that may be because I was interrupted during the pre-heat cycle and therefore had to re-start it before placing the meat onto the grill. Medium came out well-done, and well done was slightly scorched.
This grill cooks quickly, is smokeless (thanks, Dorothy!), and very easy to clean. The lower grill tips slightly forward, and so if you rub any oil on the non-sick surface, frozen hamburgers tend to want to slide off before you can position them and close the top. However, fresh meat sticks long enough to give you the time you need. Once shut, you can easily remove one steak or burger at medium and leave the other on till well-done. I am getting nice dark grill marks, not the gray ones mentioned elsewhere. I am planning fresh burgers for supper tonight, and will turn the meat once to obtain the "crosshatch" pattern. The two plates come off easily, as does the drip pan from beneath. I have been washing them in the dishwasher without any problems. The grills are very light and easy to load into the bottom tray of a dishwasher.
As I learn more about how this machine cooks, I may switch to rare for steaks (me) and medium (wife) rather than our traditional medium and well-done. As the booklet says, the type, thickness, and quality of the meat is as important to your meal as is the grill you cook on. We have both enjoyed grilled meats together for almost forty years now, and I am getting tired of running back-and-forth to the back deck just to cook two hamburgers. We are willing to give up the true smoky flavor in favor of convenience and more precise doneness of the meats. I will continue to cook outdoors when we have more than two people, but this grill fits well on our kitchen countertop and into our current lifestyle.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2015
Bought the item in Jan 2015 and with Filet Mignon's in hand, proceeded to cook. And I can tell you this first outing was MEDIOCRE! My other half is forcing me to say it was because I DIDN'T READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. On our second go around, I grilled 2 more filets. THIS time they came out perfect. Since them have tried Italian sausage, gourmet hot dogs (thicker than normal) pork steaks and hamburgers. ALL came out perfect. Now for a few hints from someone who Strongly recommends you read the instructions.
Yes, there are picture to show you what to do but the accompanying verbage is a bit lacking. FIRST, do put a bit of oil (with paper towel) on grill. Helps to keep things from really sticking although I haven't had a problem yet. SECOND: Push the on button and the type of food you are grilling (the pics on the buttons are a no brainer) AND KEEP THE LID CLOSED! This the "HEATING UP THE GRILL STAGE. This takes about 10 minutes. When the grill is ready, it will beep. Place your items on the grill and close the lid. Now for the hard part. DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE GRILL AND TOTALLY RESIST OPENING THE LID!. As the grill begins cook your item, the color window WILL change color. IF you open the lid thinking the item is not being cook....BOOM! you go to manual mode and now have to really watch what you are cooking. So, if you don't open the lid, the light button will continue to change color as it rotates around the "done-ness" scale. So you want a medium rare steak? As soon as you determine the light is NEAR this color, open the lid and remove the steaks. Reason? The meat will continue to cook for a minute or two and you steak will go from med rare to slightly under medium. I had this happen with my second round of steaks but they were still juicy. Second thing to watch. Oil the grill lightly! If you get heavy handed, the unit will smoke. I've tried the grill without oil and it works very well. Use your own judgment.
And FINALLY: Remember that once you remove your food from the grill, PUSH the on-off button, an then unplug. This unit WILL stay hot for at least 45 minutes. Now, what I like most about this grill: It does extremely well what it is intended to do and that is grill indoors and grill to perfection.
Second, there is very little smoke involved. Third, found VERY LITTLE splattering and that was only with the hamburgers. Third. once COOLED, the unit is a breeze to take the two grill plates off, and place them and drain plate in dishwasher. I have not yet tried the panninis approach but my other half, who is currently banned by the EPA from even BOILING WATER, wants to try her hand at this after reading the recipe book that came with the unit. She thinks she can do this. OVERALL: Is it too expensive? Initially I thought so but after using it several times, it is well worth the price for what it does. Would I recommend? ABSOLUTELY! I now am cooking beef,chicken,sausage, etc to perfection. And I do think it is kind of neat to watch that light button change colors. I think it is important to think of this unit in two levels: one, you get what you pay for and two, you buy it because you will use it often. And please...DO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2014
I am a working mom and I always struggle with forgetting to take something out of the freezer before I leave in the morning. Therefore, I come home to frozen chicken and screaming kids. This has completely solved my problem. You can actually put FROZEN meat on the grill and it DEFROSTS the meat and COOKS it. The end result is AMAZING.