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on August 8, 2015
Love this grill so far. I didn't purchase it from Amazon because they were out of stock at the time. I am always worried about ruining meat on the grill. Overcooking steaks or under cooking chicken. So the fact that it did all of the thinking for me is what had me sold. I have only had it a few days - will update if I find any problems.

First night when it arrived, a gorgeous, thick bone-out rib eye. Kind of an expensive piece of meat for a test drive. I put a little olive oil, salt, pepper and Todd's Dirt (love this stuff). Waited for the pre-heating which was about 5 minutes. Threw it on and like probably everyone else who uses this for the first time, I watched the lights change. It took about 7 minutes to get to where I was guessing medium rare would be. It looked and smelled amazing.

I put it in a foil tent to let the juices settle. Reset the grill to manual and threw on some asparagus. For those I brushed them with olive oil, salt and pepper and that's it. Put them on the grill and waited. About 5 minutes and I figured they were done. So it was time to eat!

It was PERFECT. This was the best steak I have probably ever grilled and I didn't even have to think or guess if it was done.

Next afternoon made a turkey, ham, provolone, pesto panini on wheat. Also delicious. And that night I tried a pretty thick and uneven chicken breast that marinated for a few hours in italian dressing. Again added asparagus after while the chicken rested in a foil tent. It was perfect again. Tender, juicy, and thoroughly cooked. It didn't matter that it was uneven, but I will do a better job of that in future.

Today, hot dogs. That was an easy one.

So far I would recommend this to anyone. If that changes I will update it.
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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!
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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.
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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
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on May 24, 2017
If I could give this grill six stars, I would have done so! This grill is fool proof! I've already cooked lobster tail, bacon, filet mignon, New York Strip steaks, and pork chops without one bad result yet! I'm still not sure how it "knows" how thick an item is that is cooking, or when to alert you when the item has completed cooking! I love cooking with this grill! Next, I'm cooking chicken breast. I usually avoid chicken because it can become so dry. I'm sure that it won't be an issue with this grill! A great feature is how you can cook frozen meats with the same great results by simply pressing the snowflake button, too, as you program the grill as usual. Clean up is so easy! The metal plates come free in an instant, pop in the dishwasher, and click right back on again. Likewise, the drainage dish for excess fat drainage for once really fits perfectly compared to other grills, and there is simply no spillage. Sure, the grill is a bit costly, but you do get what you pay for. I bought the larger grill so I could have more programming features for bacon, etc., which the smaller model does not offer. If you are concerned about any possible issues down the road, purchase the protection package for four years for repair or replacement at Amazon's great price. Then, you really are risking nothing giving this grill a try!
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on February 21, 2016
The T-fal OptiGrill is an evolution of the George Forman grill. Both use the same concept of electrical heating elements within non-stick grilling plates. The main difference is that the Forman grill has a large cooking area, and you can grill quite a few items at the same time. You flip them when necessary and grill the other side. The T-fal grill has top and bottom plates, so you grill both sides at the same time.

The T-fal grill uses more advanced technology to set and cook to the desired temperature. Whereas the Forman grill used a simple knob to set temperature, the T-fal has a dial of various colors intended to simulate "doneness", so the cooking stops when sufficiently done (supposedly automatic). It takes some trial and error to find the correct setting for the degree of "doneness". The colors on the dial are not always accurate, and require some manual intervention. For example, small loin lamb chops, which require only moderate heat, generally do not over-cook. But larger and thicker steaks, which require more heat, generally over-cook at the suggested setting. It takes some practice to attain "medium well done". After a few uses, you will become quite adept. Vegetables are relatively easy to do properly.

The biggest drawback with the T-fal grill is its small grilling area. If you are cooking for a number of people, you will have to do a few batches of chops, steaks, veggies, etc. to get the quantity you want. Not only does this take considerable time, you also have the problem of keeping the earlier batches warm. Unless you have a warming oven, you will use the microwave to reheat, which in itself tends to overcook the meat.

While the grill marks produced by the T-fal are quite impressive, they do not impart any flavor to the meat, as you get with a charcoal or gas grill, so you will have to add spices to your taste. All in all, for a very small group of people, this is a useful product, but due to the small grilling area as well as the trial and error needed to attain desired "doneness", I've given it 4 stars. For a single person or couple or very small familily, it's easy to use and produces a very tasty product, but I wouldn't recommend it to replace the traditional family BBQs.
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on February 4, 2017
I LOVE IT!! In the past, I have burned my pork chops, pork loin steaks when I cooked them on the stove, as I wanted to be sure the pork was thoroughly cooked. Now the pork is thoroughly cooked and NOT BURNED! I even put some frozen pork butterfly steaks on the grill last week and they cooked beautifully. I have cooked Alaskan Red Salmon and my husband was thrilled how it came out. I washed the grill plates by hand and also in my dishwasher. I season them each time after I wash them. Just put some vegetable oil on a paper towel, wipe the grills, then take a clean paper towel and wipe the grill plates to remove any excess oil. Very Easy. I am telling my children to get themselves one. It is truly worth the expense and so easy to use. I also cooked Tbone steaks. I had to cut the bones out before cooking them. I cooked mine rare and my husband's medium. They cooked just the way we wanted them. The grill has a different light for rare, medium and well done. I would recommend this indoor grill for everyone. Be mindfull that a large family might have to cook in two batches. I think you could cook three Tbones (with the bones removed) on the grill at one time.
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on April 6, 2017
Well this is a good table top grill. Most of what you cook comes out great. I particularly like the way the drip tray is set up as it is superior to the previous ones we have had.
All of the automation seemed like a great idea...color coded lights to tell you when things are done perfectly, a sensor that measures the thickness of the food and automatically calculates the correct cooking time, etc.
BUT all that stuff really does not work. If you follow the lights EVERYTHING will be seriously overcooked. I like my steaks very rare, and when Optigrill tells me it is done that way, the center is grey (that is NOT rare). What I have had to do is create my own cook times and just ignore the lights and automation.
Once I began to use my own timings, the food cooks properly, and I am pleased.
Manually it is great. Automatically it is useless.
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on July 30, 2017
First I have to come right out and say, This is the first device I have ever bought that does everything it is advertised to do! My wife only cook for our selves now and found this to be the perfect thing to cook with. It can be as simple as turn it on, select your food and push start to heating. It will give a tone when ready, place your food on the grill and close the lid. The lid measures the thickness and the timer starts. As time progresses a tone will tell you when it is rare, and med., and well done. You can remove your food at the desired temperature it will be perfectly cooked. Clean up is a breeze, one button to remove the grill plates and put them in the dish washer.
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on August 4, 2016
The first month was really satisfactory. I cooked steak, chicken, salmon, grilled cheese etc. They all came out perfect. After a couple of months, it started to go to M (manual cooking) whenever I turn it on. This is a very common problem, as you can read lots of complaints about the same exact problem. I can still use it, but it became much harder to cook as desired with the manual programming. I couldn't find a good solution to fix this issue. I should have listened the other reviewers complaining about the "M" issue. I still like the product, but I'm sure there are better ones that will continue to operate as expected for a much longer time.
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