Best Smokeless Indoor Grills of 2018 - Smokeless Grill Ratings, Test Results
We spent more than 80 hours researching and cooking hamburger patties, chicken tenders and pineapple rings, as well as toasting loaves of white bread, on 10 indoor smokeless grills to learn which were the best. We enlisted extra test cooks to grill food and taste it, and sought out the grills that emitted the least amount of smoke, distributed heat evenly and cooked meat to safe temperatures while keeping it moist and tasty. We chose the Hamilton Beach 3-In-1 Grill/Griddle as our favorite overall indoor smokeless grill. It produced almost no smoke and did a fine job cooking food. It also includes reversible plates, so you can use the grill sections with raised ridges or the flat griddles – and each side comes with separate controls, so you can cook different types of food simultaneously.
Hamilton Beach 3-In-1 Grill/Griddle
The versatile and affordable Hamilton Beach 3-In-1 Grill & Griddle yielded moist and delicious chicken tenders and hamburgers with appealing grill marks in our tests. As we cooked, we saw next to no smoke or steam since the grease and water that emerged from food ran into a plastic drip tray under the machine.
Hamilton Beach Searing Grill
Our testing showed the reasonably priced Hamilton Beach Searing Grill covered grill released little discernible smoke since grease ran into a lower-level drip tray, reducing the possibility of smoke forming.
Power Smokeless Grill
The widely advertised Power Smokeless Grill kept any cooking smoke well contained in our tests by using an internal motorized fan in conjunction with a water-filled drip tray. We got great results with our hamburgers and chicken tenders, although it did take longer to clean because of the multiple parts.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Price & Warranty||Grilling Capabilities||Design||Prep & Cleanup||Warranty||Smoke Score||Hamburger Patty Score||Time Until Hamburger Was Done||Hamburger Grease Spatter (inches)||Chicken Tenders Score||Pineapple Rings Score||Heat Distribution||Cooking Area Useable at One Time (sq. in.)||Skid-Resistant||Adjustable Temperature Controls||Flat Griddle Plate||Outside Heat||Smoke-Reducing Method||Style||Watts||Cleaning Time||Non-Stick Surface||Diswasher Safe Parts|
|Hamilton Beach 3-In-1 Grill/Grid||View Deal||0/5||5||5||5||5||1 Year||97||90||12.3||8.25||95||95||95||162||✓||X||✓||Hot Handles||Grease Trap||Open||1500||6:07||✓||X|
|Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 MultiGrill||View Deal||0/5||4.5||4.5||5||4.5||1 Year||80||90||8.6||4||90||80||95||191.25||✓||X||✓||Cool & Hot Handles r Cool; Top is||Lid/Grease Trap||Metal Hinged||1400||7:26||✓||X|
|Hamilton Beach Searing Grill||View Deal||0/5||4.5||5||5||2.5||1 Year||97||90||12||3||92||95||87||114||✓||X||✖||Cool & Hot Hand.=Cool, Top = Hot||Lid/Grease Trap||Metal Hinged||1200||6:18||✓||X|
|Secura GR-1503XL||View Deal||0/5||4||5||5||3||1 Year||85||95||8||4||95||95||95||159.5||✓||X||✓||A Bit Warm||Design/Lid||Glass Hinged||1700||9:22||✓||Lid Only|
|Philips HD6371/94||View Deal||0/5||3.5||5||4||4.5||1 Year||97||95||10||0||95||95||93||112||✓||Fixed 446 F||✖||Cool||Infrared/Reflectors||Open||1600||7:32||✓||X|
|Power Smokeless Grill||View Deal||0/5||3||5||5||4||60 Days||0.97||0.95||14||5||0.95||0.85||0.9||112||✓||X||✓||A Bit Warm||Fan/Water Tray||Glass Lift-Off||1200||15:15||✓||X|
|Chefman Electric||View Deal||0/5||5||4.5||4||2.5||1 Year||87||87||14.19||2||65||95||78||121.5||✖||x (lines)||✖||Cool Handles||Water Tray||Open||1120||4:49||✓|
|Electric Smokeless||View Deal||0/5||5||4.5||4||2.5||1 Year||87||87||13.45||2||65||95||78||121.5||✖||x (lines)||✖||Cool Handles||Water Tray||Open||1120||4:50||✓|
|Kitchen + Home Stove Top||View Deal||0/5||3||4.5||3.5||5||N/A||97||97||12||3||87||80||85||79||✖||Stove Burner||✖||N/A||Water Tray||Open||N/A||3:29||✓||X|
|Gotham Steel 1619||View Deal||0/5||3||5||4||2||90 Days for $/1 Year Replace||97||97||9.5||10||95||90||87||126||✖||x 4 settings||✖||Cool||Water Tray||Open||N/A||9:50||✓|
Hamilton Beach 3-In-1 Grill/Griddle
The versatile and affordable Hamilton Beach 3-In-1 Grill & Griddle cooked all the foods we tested just the way we wanted, and everything tasted great.
This Hamilton Beach model yielded moist and delicious chicken tenders with appealing grill marks. It also cooked hamburger patties nicely. Its raised grill ridges provided great grill marks while the indentations between ridges helped drain away excess grease. It took us 12.3 minutes to cook the patties, which is about a minute over the average of the grills we tested. The pineapple rings we cooked turned out beautifully. We got fine results when we lined the grill surface with white bread slices, which showed even heat distribution. As we cooked, we saw next to no smoke or steam since the grease and water that emerged from food ran into a plastic drip tray under the machine, cutting down on the chance that it could help create smoke. The reversible metal plates feature a grill on one side and a flat griddle on the other, so you can mix and match to cook different foods simultaneously. You also get separate heat controls for each half of the machine, which gives you the option of cooking many more varieties of foods at once than a typical grill. The grill plates and drip tray can go in the dishwasher. We washed them by hand, as well as wiping the rest of the machine, and it took 6:07 minutes, which is less than the average time for cleaning the grills we tested. There are a few drawbacks: Grease spattered 8.25 inches when we cooked burgers, and the handles and machine’s exterior got hot, which Hamilton Beach cautions you about on top of the machine. Fortunately, this grill is skid-resistant, so an accidental bump won’t send it sliding on the countertop.
Hamilton Beach Searing Grill
The reasonably priced Hamilton Beach Searing Grill lets you bring the foods of summer indoors all year round.
Our testing showed the covered grill released little discernible smoke since grease ran into a lower-level drip tray, reducing the possibility of smoke forming. This device also did a fine job grilling chicken tenders, which turned out moist and flavorful. It also grilled pineapple rings quite well and handled cooking hamburger patties reasonably well, with real grill marks from the device’s ridged cooking area, just like a gas or charcoal grill would produce. The patties we cooked got mixed reactions from our taste testing panel, with one person calling his medium-cooked burger “almost perfect” and possessing a “good char,” while another tester remarked that his hamburger was “a little pinker on one edge than the other.” It took 12 minutes to make the hamburgers, which is about a minute longer than average for the 10 grills we tested. When we placed white bread slices onto this grill, we did notice it was slightly cooler on the left side than the right, so the heat distribution was not flawless. This smokeless indoor grill comes with adjustable heating controls with six temperatures listed, along with indicator lights. This grill comes with a removable metal hinged cover, so you can cut down on any grease that might mess up your countertop. Grease from this grill spattered only three inches away when we flipped burgers, which was good compared to other grills. While we were cooking, the handles of this Hamilton Beach model stayed cool, but the top was hot, and the company notes that in writing on the machine. It took 6:18 minutes to hand wash the grill parts and wipe down the exterior, which is less than average for grills we tested. You can put the lid, grill plate and cover into the dishwasher. This also is skid-resistant so bumping it won’t send a hot grill across the counter.
Best Covered Grill
Secura 1700W Electric Reversible Grill Griddle
Our testing showed the Secura 1700W Electric Reversible Grill Griddle produced first-rate results cooking results, and it also displayed excellent heat distribution.
The hamburgers we grilled got top scores from our tasters who proclaimed them “very juicy.” Chicken tenders turned out just as well and our tasters branded them flavorful and showing “good grill marks.’’ Pineapple rings heated up beautifully and wore attractive grill marks. This Secura grill comes with a hinged glass cover you can lift or take off entirely. We found that you need to work with the cover a bit to make sure it closes correctly. However, it does a good job helping to keep sputtering grease inside, except when you lift it to turn a burger. When we did that, the grill let a tiny amount of grease pop out about four inches onto the counter – which isn’t bad compared to other grills. The machine got a little warm during use, but it remained comfortable to touch. This grill’s potent heating and adjustable controls yielded a properly cooked hamburger in eight minutes, the fastest of the grills we tested. Most smoke is mitigated by water you add to a tray on the bottom. Unfortunately, this grill released some poufs of smoke from either side of the lid when cooking hamburger, which contains more fat than our other test foods. This also comes with a griddle for making foods like eggs and pancakes. This good-sized grill has a non-stick surface, but after it cooled, we did have to spend 9:22 minutes hand washing all its removable parts and wiping off the device itself. Fortunately, the lid can go in the dishwasher. This Secura smokeless grill is solid and stays in place on the countertop due to a non-skid bottom, which is a desirable safety feature.
Philips Smoke-less Indoor Grill
The Philips Smoke-less Indoor Grill is much higher-priced than the other grills we found, but our testing revealed this device cooks food extremely well and we couldn’t see much, if any, smoke during the process, which the manufacturer attributes to the machine’s unusual construction.
This grill’s design involves slanted infrared heat panels on the inner sides of the machine and reflectors on the bottom that produces indirect heat that rises upward to cook food on the grill, while the drip tray below stays cool. The grill’s design also works to contain all grease spatter, so our countertop stayed clean. Our burger grilling test produced hamburgers that one taster termed “a very solid medium (done) burger” although another said of his burger that he “wished it had a little more crunch and char to it.” The pineapple rings cooked nicely, as did the chicken tenders, and each emerged from the cooking process done correctly and with fine grill marks. Our heat distribution test using white bread slices on the grill yielded mixed results at first, but a second test showed much more even heating. The Philips grill heats up immediately and has no adjustable controls. Instead, the heat level is fixed at 446 degrees F. Despite the high temperature, the outside of the machine stays cool to the touch.
Best Fan-Operated Smokeless Grill
Power Smokeless Grill
The widely advertised Power Smokeless Grill kept any cooking smoke well contained using a motorized fan inside in conjunction with a water-filled drip tray.
We got generally fine results grilling hamburgers and chicken tenders and our testers gave the meats high scores. They described the chicken as “juicy” and good-tasting, and the hamburger as tasty and “not super-juicy, but not dry.” The pineapple rings cooked well, but didn’t have very good grill markings. This grill kept grease off the counter except when we turned the burgers over and then a bit spattered out five inches from the grill, which is not bad. This smokeless indoor grill comes with a removable glass lid that can also help control any smoke, as well as grease, although we had good luck cooking without the lid. The machine got a little warm, but we could touch it with no trouble. It also is quite skid-resistant, which is a welcome safety feature. You also get a griddle with this, which means you can easily cook things like fried eggs and French toast. We found that if you order from the official website, there are promo offers for pans and other accessories as well. This grill works very well as far as cooking food, but there are two drawbacks: It costs more than others we examined, and it has so many parts that washing them by hand (plus the outside) took a whopping 15:15 minutes. However, the removable parts are dishwasher-safe.
Why Trust Us
We have spent more than 115 hours researching, testing and ranking over 45 indoor electric grills since 2014. We always employ the same foods and testing standards each time and, over the years, have grilled different types of meats, sandwiches, vegetables and bread slices to see how well each model works. We first establish a testing methodology, so we know what we’re looking for and how much to weigh each characteristic or feature of a grill, as well as how we’ll run the tests. Then we cook various foods on the grills, gather data and put that into a proprietary application that helps score and rank the grills we’re evaluating. We also rely on our own cooking experience and enlist the help of a taste testing panel to help determine which grills are best.
Is Electric Grilling Healthy?
Grilling food is an excellent way to cut down on the amount of fat in your diet, which can improve your health. Reducing or eliminating cooking fumes also can be beneficial for your overall health.
The airborne pollutants from cooking, mainly with gas but also with electrically produced heat, can be harmful to your health, according to several studies. The online British newspaper, Independent, reported: “Cooking fumes produced during high-temperature frying are already known to cause cancer. In China, high lung cancer rates among chefs have been linked to the practice of tossing food in a wok, often in a confined space, which increases the concentration of hot oil in the breathing zone of the cook.”
Other studies show cooking fumes create high levels of particulates whose safety thresholds have not been established, but are suspected of being linked to a variety of illnesses. Although nothing conclusive has been established in these studies so far, it’s clear that cutting down on smoke and fumes in your home is a sensible idea.
Avoiding as much smoke as possible during cooking also makes your home easier to clean. Smoke residue can create messes on ceilings, walls and other surfaces that can require plenty of work to remove. “The hardest thing about cleaning smoke from walls is the sticky residue it leaves behind. You can wear yourself out scrubbing smoke residue from walls once it's caked on,” Laurie Brenner writes in the online publication Hunker.
How Do Smokeless Electric Grills Work?
You may wonder what makes a smokeless indoor grill smokeless. We were curious, too, and as we tested and cleaned the 10 grills we ordered, we noticed some common designs for minimizing smoke. First and foremost, most have a pan of some sort that you fill to a designated level with water. The fat and grease that would normally fall through to the bottom of the grill or on top of heating elements falls into the water and is trapped, keeping it from being burned and turned into smoke. A rather simple but effective method of controlling the amount of smoke your grill produces.
The other styles of smokeless grills that we tested had solid grilling surfaces, much like a Foreman Grill. These grills either had a cover like a skillet to keep the smoke from escaping or had taller grill ribbing to expedite grease drainage. Our testers were amazed at how much less smoke these kitchen devices produced, much less than their regular electric grill counterparts.
How We Tested
After reading and researching grills, we purchased 10 popular countertop electric grills, washed all applicable surfaces and read their instruction manuals. With our own testing methodology, we cooked chicken tenders and hamburger patties on each to see how every model performed. We chose those meats since our research indicates they are the most popular types to cook on grills. We then tried cooking pineapple rings to determine how each grill handled a non-meat food. We also lined each grill with white bread slices to see how uniform the heat levels were throughout the grill top, and to see if there were hot or cold spots.
With the help of other enthusiastic cooks, we evaluated each grill and had them serve as taste testers to score and rank the foods as we cooked them. We added the admittedly subjective taste test results to our quantifiable data and then decided which models were best.
How Much Do Smokeless Indoor Grills Cost?
Smokeless grills vary dramatically in price. You can get a perfectly fine grill for about $50, while the most expensive one we examined cost close to $280. There are excellent grills on the market in between those two prices, depending on what features you’re looking for and which brand you choose.
Results of the Rest
We encountered mixed results with the other five indoor smokeless grills we tested:
The Hamilton Beach 3-In-1 Multi-Grill showed even heat and it cooked food well as far as doneness and taste. However, it produced a fair amount of smoke. In addition, the grill on this device offers gentle curves on the surface rather than a raised grid like most grills, so we got soft, blurry markings on meat and pineapple rings instead of actual grill marks. While these are for aesthetics more than anything else, the markings are an enjoyable part of having a grill and not getting them on food while using this device was a bit disappointing.
The Gotham Steel Smokeless Grill cooked foods nicely and we ended up with properly cooked chicken tenders and reasonably good hamburger patties with great grill marks. It also released next to no smoke. This grill gives you four heat settings (words like “warm” rather than numerical temperatures) and the grill stays cool during operation. Unfortunately, we found some hot and cool spots on the grill surface, and during use, this grill spattered grease 10 inches away.