Pros / You can whip up delicious, moist hamburgers and chicken breasts with this electric grill.
Cons / It takes a long time to cook meat.
Verdict / The SmartPlanet Indoor Bar B Que is a reasonably good appliance you can use to prepare great-tasting foods, but it cooks very slowly and lacks some helpful extras such as a digital display for cooking times and temperatures.
If you are craving the grilled foods of summer even in the dead of winter, the budget-friendly SmartPlanet Indoor Bar B Que can help you recreate those mouth-watering meals right on your kitchen countertop. It can handle foods like steaks and vegetables, and it is easy to assemble.
When we tested this indoor electric grill, it produced some of the best-tasting hamburgers and chicken breasts of all the grills we tested, coming in second with grilled meats that were juicy, tender and full-flavored. In addition, the SmartPlanet did a reasonably good job producing an even cooking temperature throughout each piece of meat.
Unfortunately, this grill took a long time to finish cooking – it had the second slowest grilling time of the products we tested. It also splattered a fair amount of grease on the counter and did a less-than-stellar job when it came to collecting oil from the meat during cooking.
The SmartPlanet is fairly easy to clean, taking just under five minutes to degrease and wash, which is about the average clean-up time for the grills we tested. It features a nonstick surface and comes with removable trays, and you can safely put parts of it in the dishwasher. You do not get a cleaning tool with this appliance, which would be a useful extra.
This is an open grill with a raised surface, much like the ones used outdoors in summer. This creates some striking grill marks that add a certain pizzazz to nearly any food. The overall surface presents a generous cooking area that can handle quite a few food items at once, so you can prepare hearty meals for your family and friends. However, since it is not the clamshell type of grill with top and bottom cooking surfaces, you cannot make panini.
The SmartPlanet does not have heat-resistant handles, which is a decided safety drawback. It also does not have a cover that could help cut down on grease splatters. In addition, this grill does not come with a built-in digital display for cooking temperatures and times. That means you must grill foods using your own intuition and possibly a bit of guesswork, which is not the optimal way to prepare any meal.
You do get a detachable thermostat with this inside grill, and the manufacturer includes a user manual on its website that shows charts of estimated cooking times for certain foods, so you can get some information that way. However, the manual cautions that the charts it contains are for reference purposes only, and you might have to adjust grilling times judging by the thickness, size and type of food.
The warranty is a disappointingly short: 90 days for repairs or replacement if you discover defects. The only way you can contact the manufacturer if you encounter problems with your grill is through email.
- Hamburger Patty Score
- Chicken Score
- Temperature Accuracy
The SmartPlanet Indoor Bar B Que can make some fine-tasting food. However, its long cooking time, lack of useful extras and short warranty drag down its ranking and take it out of the realm of the best indoor electric grills.