Top positive review
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Great for an ELECTRIC grill
on March 22, 2005
Before I get into this review, we have to understand the product we are looking at: a George Foreman ELECTRIC grill. George Foreman products are essentially useful variations of hotplates. In this case, the hot plate takes the form of a grill (with a stand, a dome cover, a large cooking surface with raised grooves etc...).
That being said, this product caters to people (me) willing to try a product that is not a traditional charcoal grill, could be useful in smaller spaces/porches, looks like it is easy to use and clean up, could potentially cut some fat (never hurts, right?), and seems like it will work well as a good back-up grill or a quick solution to throwing mini-bbqs requiring even heat distribution without the hassle of buying/lighting/dumping coal. If that's you, then read on...
Here, I'll try my best to outline the grill's pros and cons, as well as do a quick, inevitable comparison it to a traditional charcoal grill.
The pros of this grill basically equal the pros of using hot plates in general:
1) Quick Heat - The whole surface heats up very quickly (you'll be ready to cook in a few minutes after you twist the switch)
2) Design - Basically you have the stand, a bottom dome, the flat grill that sits on the bottom dome, then the lid (top dome). You can easily remove the flat grill part to use indoors separate from the stand, and it also makes for easy cleaning since you can just throw the flat grill surface in the sink.
3) Easy to Clean - The grill surface is relatively easy to clean. Understand, grease is never easy to clean. But in my situation, i wipe off the chunks of grease with paper towels, then run hot water over it in the sink (yes it fits in my sink) and wash it with a soapy sponge. It's basically like cleaning a big oily plate by hand in the sink, however easy or hard that is to you.
4) Space Saving - The bulk of the materials are where it should be: the grilling surface. Everything else (aka the stand) is small and portable.
5) Easy to Assemble - A no brainer. Put the pole of the stand into the foot of the stand. Attach the grilling surface to the bottom dome. Stick that whole thing on the stand. Then put the cover on top. Took a few minutes while I was watching TV.
6) Great Tasting Food - Of course this part is important. I tried cooking everything unseasoned and it just tastes great. I mean, this this one thing I love about hotplates...food tastes good without a lot of seasoning. I cooked unseasoned burgers, top sirloin, chuck roast, kielbasa..it was fast, it tasted good, and it had good looking grill stripes on it when I was done.
Seriously, not much that I can think of. If I had to be picky:
1) Could be a little heavy for people with a bad back?
2) When you lift it by the handles, the stand comes out (since they're not really "attached"....the grill just sits on the stand.) So you gotta lift it by the pole of the stand, really...this isn't even a con truthfully.
3) People complain about the grease not dripping into the pan. Well, it's a hot plate with grooves and a hole in it for grease to drip. Of course not all the grease magically swims toward the magical grease drip hole. But still, it works fine...I didn't notice sever grease build-up that stood in the way of my grilling.
Comparison to a Traditional Grill:
Really, there shouldn't be a comparison. Obviously this is not a charcoal grill and should never be compared to one. They are just 2 different things, and so they make food taste different: traditional grills basically fire cook your food through the coal's heat so you get the taste of charcoal while this product essentially "pan sears" your food. I'm a long time lover of all kinds of BBQ, and charcoal grills are great fun, make great tasting food and really cannot be replicated. You shouldn't be buying this grill to ever *REPLACE* a charcoal grill; it should be bought to be a 2nd grill that's great for rainy days or a primary grill if you really have no space and don't have time/space to deal with lighting and dumping charcoal.
Overall, this grill is an electric hot plate with raised grooves that makes great tasting food quickly, quietly, and easily. And for what it is, it's a SUPERB product (and relatively affordable too!). Go get one! I didn't regret my purchase and I don't think you will either.