When you think of indoor grills, you might picture the two-sided countertop grill made popular by boxer George Foreman in the 1990s. However, kitchen grills now include a wide variety of cooking devices, including some that are so specialized they’re designed to cook just one food.
Types of Indoor Electric Grills
Think about the kinds of food you plan to cook when you choose your grill.
Clamshell Grills. This type is designed with heating elements in both the top and bottom grill plates. There is no need to flip the food as it cooks. Most can handle items of different thicknesses and have channels on the surface. This gives the finished food grill marks and allows fat to escape. These grills are ideal for burgers, steaks and other flat foods like sliced vegetables. They also make great grilled cheese and panini sandwiches.
Single-Surface Grills. These grills, also known as electric skillets, have one flat surface and work well for foods like pancakes, eggs and bacon. They can cook the same foods as the clamshell version, but you’ll likely need to flip the food. Some options have channels on the surface—these give your food grill marks.
Roller Grills. These are a home version of the hotdog rollers you see in convenience stores. This kind of mini electric grill can be used to heat up batches of food that will roll, like hot dogs, breakfast sausages and egg rolls.
Specialty Grills. Some indoor tabletop grills are designed for cooking a particular food item. These include grills for bratwursts and other curved sausages, quesadilla makers and crepe makers.
Features of Small Indoor Grills
For easy cleanup, look for products that feature nonstick cooking surfaces, as well as removable drip trays for catching grease. It’s a bonus if the cooking plates can be put in the dishwasher.
Make sure the countertop electric grill you choose has easily adjustable temperature functions. Also, look for clear indicator lights. These show you when it’s hot enough to use, and they can also help to let you know when your food is done.