We cooked more than 30 pounds of chicken breasts and hamburger patties on 10 indoor electric grills to discover which grills were the best. We especially looked for devices that cooked evenly and heated the meat to safe temperatures without drying it. With the help of a taste team of reviewers and our own firsthand testing, tasting and cleaning efforts, we concluded the Cuisinart Griddler was the best indoor electric grill overall because of its consistent heating, reversible plates and easy cleanup. It also stood out for its searing capabilities, and because the lid can lock in place, you can cook thicker sandwiches, steaks or burgers without squishing them.
Our reviewers were particularly impressed with the versatility and even cooking of the Cuisinart Griddler. The bottom and top heating elements can be controlled independently, allowing for precision cooking.
The DeLonghi BG24’s spacious cooking area allows you to grill multiple items at once, and the glass lid helps retain moisture in your food while reducing grease spattering.
George Foreman GRP99
Foreman grills are widely known for their ability to “knock out fat.” The angled design and grooves help drain the fat away from your burgers, steak and other meats.
Of all the indoor electric grills we tested, the Cuisinart Griddler was the clear favorite of our taste team. The hamburgers and chicken breasts we cooked with the Griddler turned out juicy, and the grill drained away lots of fat. Its large grilling area is also helpful when cooking for families or larger groups.
The reversible plates are ribbed on one side and flat on the other, allowing you to use this electric grill as a griddle. You can also open the lid so that it lies flat, and the independent heating controls enable you to cook at different temperatures at the same time on the plates. This is great for breakfast foods such as pancakes and eggs, as well as veggies. Additionally, the removable plates are easy to wipe off and clean.
The one downside to the Cuisinart Griddler is you need a bit of room to store it. Fortunately, since it doubles as a griddle, you can get rid of your old one to make room for this versatile appliance. The lid has six lockable positions, allowing it to hover over steaks or chops to broil, and the handle stays cool while you press the perfect panini or burger.
Grilling food on an electric grill can often result in dried-out meats, but because the affordable DeLonghi BG24 has a glass lid to keep moisture in, the meats cooked on this grill during our tests were some of the juiciest and flavorful. The lid also keeps grease from spattering onto your counter, a bonus for cleaning up.
While the BG24 is built like a griddle, it does not come with a flat plate for cooking foods like eggs or pancakes. But the 19.7 x 13.2-inch grilling surface is great for cooking multiple burgers, steaks or veggies at the same time. These features, combined with its good price, make it our best value pick for indoor electric grills.
The DeLonghi BG24 is easy to clean, thanks to the nonstick grill, and parts of the appliance are dishwasher-safe. Our testers were impressed with the ease of use and the quality of cooking, but many noted that it takes up precious shelf or counter space, without eliminating the need for a separate griddle for preparing pancakes and similar foods.
Best for Draining Fat
George Foreman grills have been around for over two decades and come in a variety of sizes and styles. We tested the George Foreman GRP99, one of the higher-end Foreman electric grills and found that while it produced average-tasting food, it was the best at draining fat away from meat — a benefit for someone looking to reduce fat intake while still enjoying their favorite meats.
The GRP99 has removable top and bottom plates, making it easier to scrub off any cooked-on food or spices, but it does not have the option to flip the ribbed plates over for use as a griddle. A different model in the Foreman line has interchangeable plates, but the GRP99 does not. However, this model stands out by offering plenty of room to cook large steaks, thick burgers and long veggies such as asparagus. And the digital display and controls allow you to set the temperature instead of guessing with a lever or dial.
Our testers were impressed with how easy this grill was to clean and how quickly it cooks food. Although it has the potential to dry out your meats, monitoring the temperature and length of time you cook can result in satisfying meals.
Best for Grill Marks
You get an open grill surface with the SmartPlanet SIG-1 that produces nicely cooked meats with grill marks, just like an outdoor grill.
Our tests showed it performed well cooking meat, leaving it juicy and tasty. However, the open grill does not come with a cover, so grease splattered about 8 inches, which means you have a bit of extra cleaning to do – the countertop and surrounding area – as well as the grill itself.
You also do not get a cleaning tool with this grill, which would be helpful. The SmartPlanet SIG-1 includes a detachable thermostat and some helpful information in the user manual to guide you with cooking times. However, the manufacturer makes clear these are simply for reference purposes only, so you’ll need to estimate cooking times based on factors like the type of food, size and thickness.
Why Trust Us?
Top Ten Reviews has tested, evaluated and compared more than 35 indoor electric grills for over four years. Our expert reviewers have grilled a variety of meats, veggies and sandwiches, thoroughly testing the capabilities of each electric grill to determine which models perform the best.
How We Tested
We bought 10 of the most popular tabletop electric grills and cooked multiple skinless chicken breasts and hamburger patties on each one. While most of the grills we reviewed can be used to cook eggs, paninis, steak, vegetables and more, we chose to use only meats in our testing, since our online research and conversations with owners of countertop electric grills indicate that chicken breasts and hamburger patties are the most commonly cooked foods on these units.
To measure the uniformity of the heating elements, we covered the entire surface with slices of bread arranged side by side, then grilled these for a minute to show the location of any hot or cold spots. All our meat was purchased from the same store, and our testers prepared each piece of meat the same way.
Since indoor electric grills should be convenient to use, we noted assembly times and cleaning times, as well as required storage space. We monitored which grills worked quickly and efficiently without drying the meat so it’s unpalatable. We then had a panel of taste testers evaluate and score the cooked meats in a blind test. Their input, along with our objective data, helped determine which models were the best.
How Much do Indoor Electric Grills Cost?
You can buy a good-quality indoor electric grill for about $35. Depending on the grill surface size and the various extras you prefer to use during cooking, the price can range from under $40 up to as much as $270.
There are several types of indoor grills, each suited to a different type of cooking and possessing both advantages and disadvantages:
- Clamshell grills with lower and upper plates that function like a hot base and hot lid cook foods quickly, but can be harder to clean.
- Skillet-style indoor grills that come with glass lids are easy to clean, and their lids help prevent messy grease splatters on your kitchen counter. However, the lids can cause meats to steam in their own juices rather than actually grill, which lends a different flavor that not everyone likes.
- Iron skillets also work well on the stove and produce flavorful food, but the trade-off is that they end up really messy once the cooking is done and you're stuck with the cleaning.
How Long Should I Cook My Food on an Indoor Electric Grill?
There are many factors that play into the length of time you should cook your food, namely:
- Type of Food
- Frozen or Fresh
- Desired Rareness
A fillet of fresh fish won't need as long to cook as a frozen one will, and how rare and thick you want your steak will definitely affect the amount of time you'll need to grill. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online, including a great cooking chart on The Spruce Eats. This chart is a great place to start, and we wholeheartedly agree with their recommendation of using a food thermometer to check the doneness of your food. We've extensively tested digital grill thermometers and meat thermometers to find the best ones. Check out our reviews to find the perfect one for your kitchen.
George Foreman, former heavyweight boxing champion and now spokesman for the highly successful line of grills that bears his name, is – not surprisingly – a fan of his machine. "It knocks out the fat," Foreman has said during promotions for the slanted, ribbed grilling machine that is designed to make excess grease slide off the grill into a small drip tray.
This clamshell-style grill is primarily associated with grilling meat. However, Foreman said on the Stefan Raab TV show that he recommends regularly cooking vegetables with it to add healthful antioxidants to your diet. "This belongs in your kitchen," he said.
Lou Alvis, a retired Utah bus driver who previously worked as cook in a preschool and then operated a Mexican restaurant with his sister, favors a Cusinart indoor electric grill for everyday use and during seasons when he can't cook on his outdoor charcoal grill.
"It cooks fast, it's got good heat control, and it cooks on both sides so you don't have to flip anything over," Alvis said of his indoor grill. "You can adjust the height of the lid so it won't mash sandwiches."
His Cuisinart model offers two flat griddles and two ribbed grill plates. It opens flat to offer more cooking space, but he typically uses it in the original position with the top plate serving as a heated lid and the other heated plate on the bottom. "I cook steak, pork chops, any kind of meat on it," he said. "Bacon also turns out nicely on this grill and the grease runs into a small collection pan in the back, making it easy to clean," he said.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Grilling Capabilities||Prep & Cleanup||Design||Help & Support||Hamburger Patty Score||Chicken Score||Temperature Accuracy Score||Cooking Time (minutes for frozen hamburger patty)||Grease Spatter (inches)||Steaks & Veggies||Panini||Cleaning Time Test (minutes)||Non-Stick Surface||Dishwasher Safe Removable Plates||Lift-Off Lid||Cleaning Tool Included||Total Cooking Area (square inches)||Style||Opens Flat||Raised Surface||Flat Plate||Heat-Resistant Handles||Digital Display||Warranty||Phone||Instructional Video||Height (inches)||Width (inches)||Depth (inches)|
|Cuisinart Griddler||View Deal||5/5||10||10||8.3||10||100%||95%||100%||5||6||✓||✓||5||✓||✓||-||✓||132||Clamshell||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||3 Years||✓||✓||✓||7.5||14||14|
|Hamilton Beach 25335||View Deal||4/5||9||9.3||4.8||5||95%||90%||90%||3||12||✓||✓||4||✓||✓||-||-||84||Clamshell||-||✓||-||✓||-||1 Year||✓||✓||-||5||12||10|
|DeLonghi BG24||View Deal||3.5/5||8.5||6.3||7||5||95%||95%||85%||11||7||✓||-||5||✓||✓||✓||-||165||Griddle||N/A||✓||-||✓||-||1 Year||✓||✓||-||6.5||20||12|
|George Foreman GRP99||View Deal||3.5/5||5.3||9.3||7.8||8||80%||55%||75%||9||-||✓||✓||4||✓||✓||-||-||108||Clamshell||-||✓||-||✓||✓||3 Years||✓||✓||-||6||16.5||13|
|Breville Smart Grill BGR820XL||View Deal||3.5/5||3.5||9.5||10||7||65%||65%||55%||4||11||✓||✓||3||✓||✓||✓||-||130||Clamshell||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||1 Year||✓||✓||✓||7||15.5||14|
|SmartPlanet SIG-1||View Deal||3/5||6.8||8||4.3||2||97%||95%||80%||12||8||✓||-||5||✓||✓||-||-||120||Open||N/A||✓||-||-||-||90 Days||✓||-||-||3.5||18||11.5|
|Oster DuraCeramic Reversible Grill||View Deal||2.5/5||3.3||5.8||9.3||5||70%||80%||75%||10||20||✓||-||5||✓||✓||-||-||175||Open||N/A||✓||✓||✓||-||1 Year||✓||✓||-||3.5||20||14|