We all love grilling and enjoying delicious feasts with our friends and family, but sadly, the weather doesn’t always accommodate these arrangements, no matter how much we’d like it to. Some areas also have regulations and policies against the use of certain types of grills.
If you’re affected by these policies, or maybe your living arrangements don’t allow for an outdoor grill, you’re best off buying the absolute best indoor grill you can afford to get you as close as possible to the outdoor experience.
What are the Benefits of Indoor Grills?
Indoor grills present consumers with a plethora of both advantages and disadvantages when compared with regular outdoor grills. It is also vital to keep in mind that every single indoor grill you look at will be slightly different, and therefore will give you a distinctive experience when cooking.
Indoor grills are almost always small enough to fit on your countertop and work superbly for burgers, vegetables, paninis, and much more. The highlight of this is that food should be highly comparable to that made on an outdoor grill in both the look and taste. To help you choose, we’ve compiled a list of the top five indoor grills; the absolute best will vary between different people, so I encourage you to read on before scrolling down and making a decision.
Finding the Best Indoor Grill for You
Before purchasing any of the grills we’ve listed further down the page, it is of great importance to consider the following few things:
Open vs. contact grills. Open grills imitate the look and feel of outdoor grills, in the sense that the heat only comes from one side (the bottom). This means having to flip your food to get an even cook. Contact grills feature both heated base and top plates so that your food needn’t be flipped when searing. This is especially useful, not only because it makes your life easier but also because it’s far more versatile this way, allowing you to toast your burger buns or even make paninis. This versatility is cause for contact grills to most often be the preferred choice. It is also worth keeping in mind that you no longer need a panini press if you buy a contact grill – so this may save you some money, even if an open grill is cheaper at first.
Adjustable heat settings. Certain indoor grill models allow you to adjust the specific temperature the grill will maintain when cooking to ensure an even sear. In contrast, others may just provide settings for what food you’re cooking. This can become problematic if you like your food done to a certain degree. That’s where variable temperature adjustment is of great help and importance.
Grilling surface. If you only ever need to cook for one or two people, an area of roughly 80 square inches is somewhat ideal, though going smaller than this is definitely not advisable. Grills are usually biggest at around 150 square inches, and this is definitely enough for 3-5 people. You will need to cook in batches if a larger group of people is involved.
Smokeless vs. ‘smokey.’ Some grills feature a smokeless design, which is definitely preferable indoors. I can still safely recommend a grill that is designed ‘with smoke,’ particularly if it has a feature that you absolutely love or is of great benefit to you, oh, and also if you have a range hood and so the smoke would be shortlived. Just to clarify, a smokeless design, as the name suggests, ensures that the grill doesn’t emit smoke when in use.
Dishwasher safe. Some grills are dishwasher safe, some aren’t, and others are ‘in-between.’ By in between, I mean that their grilling plates may be detachable, and they may be individually dishwasher safe; however, the main part of the grill still has to be washed by hand. You will find that the majority of grills come in this configuration.
Infrared vs. electric grills. The critical difference between infrared grills and standard electric grills is how the heat is transferred to the food you’re cooking. With infrared grills, actual heat waves are being radiated to the food, whereas standard electric grills rely on a heating element to heat a metal plate that then conducts the food itself. This is why holding your hand over an infrared grill will feel extremely hot, whereas a typical grill will only feel hot to us if it is either touched (don’t do this) or gotten very close to. However, this is not to be confused with outdoor gas or charcoal grills being hot all around them. The way they work is by heating the air in the grill to extreme temperatures, which heats the metal grill, which in turn sears the food.
So, now that you know everything there is to know about the product, here are our picks for the top five best indoor grills.
1. Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite
The Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite is one of the most flexible and versatile indoor grills on the market in 2020.
It boasts reversible non-stick grill and griddle plates, along with an easily adjustable top cover. These features are highly beneficial to you, as they allow it to function as a panini press, full grill, full griddle, half grill half griddle, contact grill, or an open grill, all while making use solely of the equipment that comes standard in the box.
This extreme degree of versatility is highly ideal for smaller kitchens. Mainly because it obliterates the need for so many other kitchen gadgets and devices, while still maintaining such a sleek, low profile design that really doesn’t take much space at all.
It also has an adjustable temperature range and dual temperature zones, ensuring that you can cook almost any food item with ease & to the perfect degree.
With dual temperature zones and six, vastly different grilling functions packed into a compact countertop design, the Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite is genuinely one of the most functional and flexible indoor grills on the market in 2020. It truly does enable you to cook a wide range of food in various styles using a single kitchen device and all of the equipment that comes with it.
2. Philips Smoke Less Indoor BBQ Grill
The Philips Smoke Less Indoor BBQ Grill is a simple, user-friendly model that boasts powerful, smokeless grilling, beneficial to pretty much any kitchen, but even more so for a kitchen without the luxury of a rangehood. It uses infrared cooking technology, which is of great use to just about anyone. It sears food much faster and in a more even manner than most standard indoor grills, greatly helping you prevent the unwanted drying of your dish.
The drip tray that lies underneath the grill is easily removable for cleaning purposes. It is designed in a manner that lets it stay cool even when in operation; this, in turn, creates the minimum amount of smoke possible. This drip tray is also dishwasher safe, making cleaning even more straightforward.
With the benefit of a smokeless design, a dishwasher-safe grill plate that makes cleaning effortless, top-of-the-line infrared technology, and easy setup, the Philips Smoke Less Indoor BBQ Grill is one of the best indoor grills of 2020. It boasts what is by far the most user-friendly, practical design and some of the most advanced technologies available in the market today, all laid out in a package that is very comfortable to use for just about anyone. All of these excellent features do well in making up for its lack of two temperature zones, nor adjustable temperature in general.
3. Excelvan Portable Electric Barbecue Grill
The Excelvan Portable Electric Barbecue Grill is undoubtedly one of the biggest indoor grills on the market. It features a huge, ribbed grill, ideal for either greater families or those that have many guests. This grill is also covered by a non-stick coating that makes cleaning an absolute breeze.
One of the most prominent features of this grill is that it can be used either indoors or outdoors. This makes it the single most versatile grill for larger homes or kitchens. It is essentially the bigger brother of the Cuisinart we mentioned before in terms of functionality, though each finds their place in the market thanks to the vast size difference.
Like the Philips, the Excelvan also features smokeless design via a similar, drip tray method that stays cold during operation. Apart from being a convenient feature so that your house’s interior isn’t wholly fogged up, the smokeless design also proves to be healthier as the majority of the melted fats drip into their tray.
The sheer size of the grill and easy transport handles of the Excelvan Portable Electric Barbecue Grill make it an excellent choice for larger homes, but just about only for larger homes, as its size and, therefore, incompatibility with the average kitchen size makes it hard to recommend for anyone else.
4. Kitchen + Home Stove Top Smokeless Grill
The Kitchen + Home Stove Top Smokeless Grill’s stainless steel design is purpose-built for easy use when mounted on a stovetop or propane camping burner.
This simple concept of a small indoor grill is so straightforward and easy to use and offers vast versatility for such a simple kitchen device. It is excellent for people with small kitchens who want to make the absolute maximum out of the space they do have.
Its removable drip tray efficiently manages to catch grease as part of a smokeless design, preventing a build-up of smoke inside the house as well as making the food healthier due to the significant reduction of fat this provides. The grill plates of this device are covered in non-stick Teflon, making it easy to clean. What makes it even easier to clean is that absolutely every single part of this contraption is dishwasher safe, making your life easier when cleaning it.
This device is of excellent value for kitchens that simply don’t have the space required to house most indoor grills, transforming the everyday stove into a mounting point, and therefore saving you lots of precious countertop space in the rest of your kitchen area. The ease of use of this gadget, combined with the convenience of all of its features, truly make this a great product in this category.
5. Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill
The Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill is a highly-versatile, folding electric grill that enables you to control its every aspect precisely. Be it the temperature control, cooking times, or even the angle at which you want the top grill to be, this grill will do it.
This grill shows just how versatile it is by enabling you to either use it as a panini press, lock it at a certain angle, or even open it entirely flat for double the usable surface area. This makes it ideal for small and large kitchens, where those with larger kitchens being able to use it as both an open and a contact grill. Those with smaller kitchens will most likely only be able to use it as a contact grill (which is still exceptional in and of itself).
The two large grill plates are easily removable at the push of a button and are dishwasher safe, and are also coated with non-stick material. This allows for a straightforward, headache-free cleaning process. As mentioned previously, the top plate can also be adjusted to various different angles. This is especially handy if you don’t want to completely squeeze the juices out of a steak, as you can easily lock the top plate to these angles.
The extreme levels of control the Breville Smart Grill provides are genuinely some of the best in the business. They make it easy to achieve the best possible indoor grilling result if you have the space to fit the contraption in your kitchen, giving you a build in timer, countless temperature presets, and the ability to lock the grill in a plethora of different angles depending on your use case.
With grill covers being essential pieces of equipment for any BBQ lover, it is crucial to make sure you spend your money on the best product for you. It is my sincerest hope that with this list, you can go off on your own and make an informed decision about which grill cover is the best for you and your circumstances. It is key to find something that can protect your grill all year long, relevant to what area you’re living in, in terms of climate. Hopefully, with this guide, you can now finally decide which grill cover works best for you.