If you love cooking at home, then you should definitely get one of these best contact grills on the list. These are the perfect companions for cooking, whether you are a beginner or a professional.
Now that we are stuck at home, we have no choice but to cook the food inside. While there are many appliances that you can use for cooking, nothing beats the finish you get from a grill.
You get that beautifully charred meat with the perfect grill marks on the outside. They also provide a different vibe and flavor to the food than when you fry it or bake the food.
Grills are really powerful and can get to temperatures that other appliances cannot attain. This is also one reason why grills are very versatile, and you can cook any food in them.
However, the problem with grills, especially the charcoal and pellet grills, is that they are not applicable for indoor cooking. They emit a lot of smoke and fumes that can be distracting.
Aside from that, these fumes can be harmful when you inhale a lot of them. They can also cause fire hazards that will give you more problems and threats to burning other objects.
That is why most grills are set up outdoors or in the backyard, so the smoke can freely go away. But you do not have to settle with that as there is another option for grilling that you can use.
Contact grills or sometimes called Panini grills, are a small type of grill that you can use without worrying about smoke and other disadvantages you get when grilling inside the house.
Here, we will be talking about the best grills you can get if you want a contact grill. We will be seeing how well they perform by also looking at their unique features to help you.
What Is A Contact Grill?
A contact grill is a type of grill used indoors and can be used to cook many different recipes. It is one of the most popular and portable types of a grill that can perform nothing less.
It is also often dubbed as a panini grill because it can easily double as a panini sandwich press. This is only one of the many examples of why this type of grill is very versatile in cooking.
A contact grill functions pretty similarly to an open grill. However, it is unique because it uses two contact surfaces that both emit heat, so the food you cook in it is cooked from two directions.
Why Choose Contact Grills?
While there are many reasons why you should pick a contact grill over other appliances, we only made sure to select the best advantages that you can get from a high-quality contact grill.
They have been increasingly popular in the past years so you ought to know what makes them really beneficial for someone like you who loves cooking and loves barbecue on grills.
Here are the advantages that you can get from a contact grill that you will rarely see or get in other appliances. Let us go on a bit with them, and then we’ll head straight to the list of the grills.
Quick Cooking Process
The process of cooking food in a contact grill involves two heated surfaces. Both the top and bottom parts of the grill are heated so that the food cooks quickly and as evenly as possible.
This is also less hassle since there is no need for you to turn the food. For example, you are cooking burger patties, and you need to close the grill and then let it cook until it is done.
You no longer need to flip them as the lid or the top part of the contact grill will also cook the patty’s upper part. This makes it easier for you to track the doneness of the burger in it.
Compared to an open grill or a conventional grill, a contact grill is faster. It also ensures that the top and bottom part of the food is evenly cooked until the heat reaches the center.
When you grill any food, there is a tendency that the food will shrink and dry up. This is caused by the intense heat and open area, which quickly combines to evaporate its moisture.
With a contact grill, you will not have to worry about this, as it can easily lock the juices in the food. This can be observed with meat as a contact grill seals the food to prevent shrinking too.
That does not mean that the food will retain its shape, but when compared to open grills, the meat will not shrink as much. This makes it great for producing juicy burgers and steaks.
When you cook in a contact grill, it improves the overall flavor of the food. Just like with meat, other types of food lock in their nutrients and juices, which makes them healthier, in a sense.
Contact grills do not reduce any of the flavors that the food already has, and it also adds a little bit of flavor by burning some of the outer layers, which can have that little bit of charred taste.
Of course, that will be an unpleasant taste if it goes over the line but with a contact grill, you will hardly have to worry about burnt foods since they distribute the temperature inside evenly.
Since contact grills are relatively small, you can bring them anywhere with you. The portable size of a contact grill makes it possible for you to cook on a countertop in the house.
It also makes them good for small storage areas, so you do not need them to stay in place. You can bring it out when you need to cook with it and then put it back in storage afterward.
It is also great for use in small businesses like a coffee shop, mobile kitchen, or food trucks with its small size. That way, you will not have to make space for a large grill that limits your movements.
Best Contact Grills
Now that you know all about the benefits you can get from a contact grill let us get into the best part and see which contact grill you should choose from these many options.
1. Hamilton Beach Contact Grill
For most people, cooking is a tough task, but you will never experience it with this contact grill. Cook anything from eggs, bacon, and other breakfast recipes that you want.
Of course, you are not limited to only breakfast recipes but the highlight of this grill is its versatility. You can cook breakfast in it and sear the best steaks and burgers with this grill.
It has a 3-in-1 cooking versatility, which makes it great for any recipe. You can use it as a grill and make some steaks, as a bacon cooker for breakfast, and as a griddle for some fried goods.
There is a flip stand included in this grill, which I really loved. It allowed me to clean it easily by tilting the stand and letting the grease drip into a foil pan, which I then easily removed after.
To add to its versatility, I figured that this grill could also cook in low temperatures. It can also go for higher temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for searing meat.
2. Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Contact Grill
When it comes to versatility, you cannot ignore products from Cuisinart. They are one of the most well-known companies in the grill industry, and this model of the grill from them is truly amazing.
This multifunctioning grill is perfect for any kitchen. It can be used as a griddle, a grill, and you can cook anything that you want on it, from cheese to meat to burgers.
What I loved about this product is that it can be washed in a dishwasher. The parts that need to be cleaned most are safe to use in a dishwasher, making it easier for me to clean.
The temperature control is also exceptional as the adjustable dials can be used to do it. You can easily switch to high and low temperatures with just the dials or select from the preset ones.
What also made me choose this contact grill is the floating cover. This allowed me to adjust the lid’s height depending on the thickness of the food that I was cooking, which was truly great.
3. George Foreman Contact Grill
Right off the bat, you will see that this grill is all about cleanliness and ease of use. It has a long drip pan in the front, which catches the grease and excess moisture from the grill’s interior.
The design of this grill is unique because it tilts forward. That means that all the moisture that needs to get out of the grill will go down to the front, caught by the long drip pan.
The plates and other parts of this grill are also safe for dishwashers. There is not much need for a thorough cleaning when it comes to the plates because they both have a non-stick coating.
Despite having limited options for temperature control, this grill has an indicator light. This tells you when the grill has reached the desired temperature or the temperature you set it to.
I included this one on the list because of its ease of use. However, I would prefer a larger grill since this contact grill can barely hold four burgers at a time, but portability is still there.
4. Ninja Foodi Grill
This grill is one of the most powerful ones that I have ever purchased. It can cook almost anything, and it does it just as well as the big grills and high-end appliances that I have.
The grill grates of this grill can reach a temperature of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Good enough to cook pizzas in minutes or give that fish a charred flavor that you get from large grills.
It is also one of the most advanced contact grills on the market with its cyclonic air technology. This feature ensures that there is searing heat around the food by circulating the air inside it.
What I also like about this grill is its ease of use. This grill has a digital control panel that does not require you to be a computer genius to control, as it is straightforward to follow and use.
It is also easy to clean, and just like the previous grills, the parts of this contact grill are dishwasher-safe. So you can easily cook in it, and you can also easily clean it after cooking.
5. Black Decker 3-in-1 Grill
Initially, you would think of this grill as a waffle maker because of its shape and size. However, it does not have that criss-cross design like the common waffle maker when you look closer.
Instead, it has two flat plates, one on the grill itself and the lid. With these plates, you will be able to make waffles, but then, you are not limited to only that as it can cook other foods.
These plates are non-stick, so they were straightforward to clean and the flat surface added to the ease of use. You can use it as a griddle as well and fry some eggs on this contact grill.
What I liked most about this contact grill is that I was able to double the cooking area. Since both plates heat up evenly, I can easily flip it all the way and then cook on the lid as well.
This made it great for parties, although it removed the benefit of not flipping the burger. There is a variable temperature control that you can easily use to adjust the heat you need for cooking.
6. Cuisinart GR150 Deluxe Grill
This was labeled as a griddle at first, but it is more like a grill if you really take a look at it. The plates are grated, unlike most griddles with a flat plate, so this grill leaves nice grill marks.
It is also one of the easiest grills to use since it has six preset cooking options. That way, you will not have to struggle setting up the temperature manually for a specific type of recipe.
This grill is also easy to use and clean because of its drip pan. The drip pan is integrated at the back of the grill, which you can access easily and then empty after every cooking session.
The adjustable top cover is what sold to me since I could put thick pieces of meat on it. With the lid, I was able to cook any size of food that I want without burns or uneven finishes.
It also has a unique feature called Smart Fat Reducer which really worked well. It did not specifically remove the fat, but it used the juices to tenderize the meat that I was cooking.
7. George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
This grill is perfect for parties or when you are cooking for a large group of people. It can be used outdoors as long as you have a safe electrical outlet that you can use in any weather.
It is a round grill with a total of 240 square inches of cooking space.
That means that you will be able to cook up to 15 servings at a time when you really need to hurry or cook more food.
The grill grates are non-stick, which ensures that the food will not be burnt.
It is effortless to control and can be handled safely with its cool-to-touch handles and different features.
It has its own stand, which means that you do not have to worry about making space on your countertop.
It stands at just the right height so you can manage the food with ease.
I also loved the ability of this grill to cook different recipes at the same time.
This made it really great for social gatherings as I could mix up the ingredients right after they were cooked.
8. T-Fal OptiGrill Stainless Steel Electric Grill
While this grill does not flex versatility, it boasts its precision in cooking food. It is one of the smartest grills that I have ever used, and it can cook any food precisely how I want it to.
It is a relatively large contact grill that can handle up to 8 burgers at a time. The plates are also non-stick, making it easy for you to cook on them and clean them after cooking.
I mean by precision that this grill reads the thickness of the food you are cooking. From there, it automatically adjusts the temperature and then cooks the food perfectly.
It also tracks down the number of food that you are cooking on the grill. It then indicates whether or not one of the grill food is cooked and notifies you with a beep, so you do not burn it.
Along with that, I also loved how this grill even gave the option to have preset cooking settings. I was able to select the temperature and timer with just a click of a button and leave it be.
9. Delonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill
Unlike the ones on the list above, this grill does not have two burners. It is just like a regular grill but is smaller. Despite that, it can still cook many types of recipes that you want efficiently.
It has a tempered glass lid, which can create convection, which is then used to cook the food inside it evenly. It can be used to preheat your pizza or even cook in it if you want.
It is easy to clean as it has a removable drip tray and the food will always come out juicy. The thermostat in the grill can also be removed if you want to get a more accurate reading with another device.
10. Elite Gourmet Maxi-Matic Electric Grill
Just like the grill above, this one has a single heated surface. With the same tempered glass lid, this circular grill can be used to cook pizzas and sear meat while keeping the juices inside.
It has an adjustable thermostat that you can use to measure different temperatures in the grill. It is effortless to clean with its removable non-stick drip pan that catches all the grease.
It also has a pretty large interior that will give you enough space to cook up to two steaks at a time. The sear marks are perfect as well from the cast-iron grill grate in this grill.
Grilling is a relatively easy task, but there will be complications if you do not know how to use them properly. That is why you need to start with something simple to guide you through.
The contact grills listed above are great for both beginners and experienced cooks. They are all straightforward to use, and they do not make a mess when cooking, which is great for cleaning.
So if you want something that you can use to make great foods while also practicing your grilling skills, then you should take a look and pick the best grill that you prefer on the list above. Have fun!
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