For many grill masters, firing up the outdoor barbecue is a beloved summer tradition. But what do you do when the weather won’t cooperate, or you have a craving for a juicy grilled steak in the dead of winter? Enter the wonders of indoor electric grills! Electric countertop grills allow you to enjoy delicious grilled food year-round, without having to venture outside. These compact but powerful appliances can handle everything from steaks and burgers to grilled veggies, paninis, and more. Keep reading as we dish on the top 5 electric countertop grills and provide tips to help you choose the right grill for your cooking needs.
Perfectly Grilled Food Indoors with Electric Countertop Grills
Indoor electric grills provide tremendous convenience compared to their outdoor cousins. Rather than waiting for coal or gas models to heat up, electric grills fire up quickly at the flip of a switch. Just plug them in, select your settings, and you’ll be enjoying sizzling grilled foods in no time.
Electric grills are also extremely versatile. Their enclosed heating elements and adjustable temperature controls cook foods evenly and consistently. You can grill up anything from juicy burgers and steaks to boneless chicken breasts, delicate fish fillets, veggies, and more. Many electric grills even double as griddles for making pancakes, grilled cheeses, and anything else you can dream up. Their compact size takes up minimal counter space, so you can grill indoors any time of year, regardless of weather.
If you’re ready to become a grilling pro without the hassles of outdoor cooking, then it’s time to choose an electric countertop grill. Here are the key factors to consider when shopping for your indoor grill:
- Size – Consider grilling surface size and overall dimensions based on your space and cooking needs.
- Temperature range and control – Look for a wide range with adjustable settings for versatility.
- Power – More watts and heating elements ensure quick, even heating.
- Ease of cleaning – Removable grill plates are easiest to clean. Stainless steel or ceramic coatings make cleanup simpler.
- Extra features – Lids, drip pans, nonstick surfaces, and temperature probes add convenience.
Ready to find the perfect indoor electric grill for your countertop? Keep reading for our picks of the top 5 models on the market. We’ll highlight the standout features of each grill along with pros, cons and ideal uses. Let’s get grilling!
The Top 5 Electric Countertop Grills for Exceptional Indoor Cooking
Grill #1: George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill
The George Foreman grill was one of the original indoor electric grilling appliances that started the trend. This versatile 4-serving model remains a top pick for its convenient removable grilling plates.
- Large circular grilling surface accommodates 4 servings
- Plates are fully removable for easy cleaning
- Adjustable temperature control reaches up to 400°F
- Unique sloped grilling design drains away fat and grease
- Heats up quickly and cooks foods fast
- Nonstick coating prevents food from sticking
- Removable plates go right in the dishwasher
- Large circular surface grills evenly
- Adjustable temperature settings
- Bulky and takes up significant counter space
- Heavyweight makes moving and storage challenging
- Durability concerns over nonstick coating wearing off
- Noisier operation than some models
Best for: Large households, family meals, entertaining, batches of appetizers
With its spacious grilling surface and dishwasher-safe plates, the George Foreman Removable Plate Grill is one of the most convenient indoor grilling appliances. The adjustable heat and sloped grease-draining design provide versatile cooking options. While the bulky size may not suit smaller spaces, it’s a top pick for feeding groups or grilling large batches of food indoors.
Grill #2: Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill
For serious grillers wanting to achieve professional-level results indoors, the Hamilton Beach Electric Searing Grill is an excellent choice. This powerhouse appliance seals in savory juices and flavors.
- Extra-high temperature reaches up to 450°F for searing
- Hood opens fully to accommodate thicker foods
- Window gives clear view of foods grilling
- Hood doubles as a warming tray
- Large nonstick grilling surface
- Go from searing at 450°F to simmering sauces at 200°F
- View foods through window to prevent burning
- Warm buns, veggies, etc. on handy hood
- Grease management system catches drippings
- Spacious cooking surface for multiple foods
- Bulky footprint takes up significant counter space
- No removable grilling plates
- Potential for flare ups from dripping grease
Best for: Perfect searing on steaks, burgers, chicken. Large batches of food.
The high searing heat on this indoor grill gives you professional steakhouse quality results! With temperature range up to 450°F, beautifully sear meats for rich, crispy exteriors that lock in juices. The special hood design provides versatile cooking options too. Sear meat on the grill then use the hood as a warming tray for sides. Definitely a top pick for serious indoor grillers!
Grill #3: T-fal OptiGrill Stainless Steel Indoor Electric Grill
For hands-free indoor grilling with zero guesswork, the T-fal OptiGrill is an outstanding choice. Their innovative grilling technology and automatic programs take the work out of cooking.
- Automatic sensor cooking programs
- Just choose thickness of food for perfect doneness
- Beeps when food is cooked and ready
- 6 preset grilling programs
- Durable stainless steel housing
- No manual temperature or timer adjustments needed
- Cooks food evenly and precisely every time
- Easy to clean stainless steel surfaces
- Compact size great for small spaces
- Dishwasher safe drip tray
- Smaller grilling surface than other models
- Beeping can be loud/annoying
Best for: Beginner grillers, hands-off cooking, smaller households
The high-tech automatic programs on this grill make indoor grilling practically foolproof! Just choose the thickness of your food, press Start, and the OptiGrill uses built-in sensors to cook it to perfection. The beeping and automatic shutoff let you know when your meal is ready. With no knobs or settings to adjust, even grilling novices can achieve consistent results indoors.
Grill #4: Ninja Foodi 4-in-1 Indoor Grill
Truly a multitasking MVP, the Ninja Foodi 4-in-1 Indoor Grill adds grill marks and charred flavor to foods while also baking, roasting, broiling, and air frying!
- 4 cooking modes – grill, air fry, bake, roast
- 500°F high-density grill grate evenly sears
- Cyclonic grilling technology for rapid heat circulation
- Accommodates 6 steaks for large batches
- Extremely versatile with 4 cooking functions
- Cyclonic fanning grills fast without burning
- Natural charcoal flavor from 500°F sear
- Easily fits whole chickens, roasts, pizzas
- User-friendly digital control panel
- More expensive than other models
- Larger footprint takes up substantial counter space
- Noisy high-powered fan during grilling mode
Best for: Grilling whole meals, replacing multiple appliances, versatility
The innovative Cyclonic Grilling Technology gives you the versatility of an indoor grill, air fryer, oven, and more all in one! Get char-grilled flavor from the 500°F high-density grill grate paired with rapid heat circulation. Grill up a batch of wings then roast a whole chicken or baked side. This multitasking Ninja Foodi has you covered for nearly any indoor cooking need!
Grill #5: Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe
The aptly named Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe provides exceptional versatility with its dual-zone temperature controls and reversible grill/griddle plates. You can grill steaks on one side while griddling pancakes on the other!
- Fully reversible grill and griddle plates
- Dual-zone temperature control
- Integrated drip tray for easy cleaning
- Spacious cooking surface
- Cook many foods at once with grill and griddle
- Adjustable temps for precise cooking
- Grease and drippings collected in drip tray
- Grill side has raised ridges to drain fat
- Large cooking surface for families
- Bulky footprint takes up significant counter space
- Nonstick coating may deteriorate over time
Best for: Families, entertaining, pancakes, grilled sandwiches
With the reversible grill and griddle plates, this 2-in-1 appliance truly provides the best of both worlds when it comes to indoor cooking. Sear juicy steaks on the ridged grill side while heating up pancakes or grilled cheeses on the flat griddle side. Its dual-zone temperature controls allow you to cook different foods simultaneously at different heats too. A versatile multitasker great for larger households!
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electric Grill
With so many excellent electric grills on the market, it can be tricky deciding which model best suits your needs. As you shop for the perfect grill, keep the following key factors in mind:
Grill Plate Material
Electric grills feature grill plates made of cast iron, stainless steel, or nonstick coatings:
- Cast iron retains heat well for excellent searing, but requires seasoning.
- Stainless steel is durable and distributes heat evenly, but can stick without oil.
- Nonstick coatings make cooking and cleanup easy, but may deteriorate over time.
Removable vs. Fixed Grill Plates
Removable grill plates go right in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Fixed plates require manual cleaning.
Size and Capacity
Consider plate size, overall grill dimensions, and capacity based on your available space and typical cooking needs.
Temperature Range and Control
Look for a wide temp range (at least 200°F-400°F) with adjustable settings for searing, simmering, warming, etc.
Ease of Cleaning
Nonstick or stainless steel surfaces clean up easiest. Removable drip trays also simplify cleanup.
Auto shutoff turns the grill off if left unattended, preventing fire risks.
Lids, hoods, warming trays, drip pans, nonstick coatings, and probe thermometers add convenience.
Simplicity vs. Lots of Settings/Programs
Some prefer basic on/off controls while others like presets. Consider your preference.
Prices range widely for electric grills. Set a budget and seek best value at that price point.
Read reviews to learn real-world pros and cons from other owners.
Established brands often offer better quality and service.
By evaluating these factors against your needs, you can zero in on the perfect electric indoor grill for your cooking style and budget.
How to Select the Right Electric Grill for Your Needs
Choosing your first indoor electric grill? Here are some tips to match your ideal model with your typical cooking:
Consider the foods you’ll grill most. Steaks, burgers and chicken? Veggies and fish? Grilled sandwiches?
Choose plate material well-suited for those frequently grilled foods. Cast iron for steaks, nonstick for fish and veggies.
Look at size, capacity and dimensions based on your household. Single servings? Large family? Storage space?
Prefer simplicity or presets? Manual on/off controls or built-in programs for hands-off cooking?
Determine the necessary temperature range. Do you want searing heat up to 450°F?
Assess the importance of nonstick vs. stainless steel. Nonstick makes cooking and cleaning easy but may wear over time. Stainless steel is durable but requires more oil.
Removable plates are worth it for easy cleanup. Just pop them in the dishwasher after grilling.
Extra features like warming trays and lids add versatility. Consider which features would benefit your cooking.
Read reviews and compare quality between brands. Higher priced grills generally last longer.
Set a budget and seek the best quality grill possible at that price point. Compromise on size or features if needed to meet your budget.
Factor in warranty length. Longer warranties provide more protection.
Consider convenience factors for your lifestyle. Quick cleanup? Compact storage? Easy to use?
Evaluating these aspects of your cooking needs and preferences will guide you to picking the perfect electric countertop grill for your household. In just minutes you’ll be enjoying juicy grilled foods indoors year-round!
Handy Tips for Grilling Like a Pro with Your Electric Grill
You’ve chosen the ideal electric grill for your countertop. Now it’s time to fire it up and start grilling! Use these pro tips and maintenance guidelines to get the most out of your indoor grill:
Let the grill fully preheat before adding foods. This allows the plates to evenly heat through for perfect results. Consult your manual for the recommended preheat time.
Don’t overload the grilling surface. Leave some space between foods for proper air flow and even cooking on all sides.
Use a light coating of oil or nonstick spray to prevent sticking. Reapply oil between batches if needed.
Close the lid while grilling if your model allows it. This traps heat and moisture for fast, juicy, evenly cooked food.
Adjust temperature up or down as needed to prevent overcooking or burning foods. Lower heat for slower cooking or simmering.
Use tongs or spatulas to flip foods rather than piercing with a fork. Piercing causes juices to escape, resulting in drier meats.
Allow foods to rest 3-5 minutes after cooking. This allows juices to redistribute through the meat or fish for tender, flavorful results.
Unplug the electric grill and allow it to fully cool prior to cleaning to prevent burns or other injuries.
Empty drip trays after each use to prevent grease buildup and potential flare ups next time.
Clean the grill thoroughly after each use to avoid burnt-on food residue. Deglaze stainless steel or nonstick with hot water while still warm. Or use non-abrasive nylon brushes and grill-safe cleaners.
When replacing removable plates, set them in gently rather than jamming to avoid scratches.
Check your owner’s manual for recommended cleaning methods. Avoid abrasive scouring pads/cleaners which scratch nonstick coatings.
For stainless steel plates, clean gently with a non-abrasive scrub. Use grill cleaner and nylon brushes, not steel wool pads.
Clean nonstick grill plates with hot water and mild detergent. Nylon scrub pads remove stuck bits without damaging the coating.
Avoid metal utensils on nonstick grill plates. Use wood, plastic or silicone tools instead to prevent scratching.
Periodically replace nonstick grill plates as the coating wears off from high heat over time. Check for excessive sticking or flaking.
Unplug the indoor grill and let cool completely after each use before wiping down or covering to store.
By following these handy electric grill tips, you’ll get picture-perfect sear marks on steaks, juicy burgers, tender veggies and more! Your guests will be amazed at your impressive indoor grilling skills.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Grills
Considering your first indoor electric grill but still unsure where to start? Here we answer some of the most common questions about this convenient cooking appliance:
What’s the difference between a griddle and a grill?
A griddle cooks food directly on a flat heated surface like a stovetop skillet. A grill cooks food on grated surfaces with raised ridges and gaps for air flow. This allows grease and fat to drip down into a catch tray rather than pooling around the food. Griddles work well for evenly cooked pancakes, eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches. Grills are ideal for getting those pretty sear marks on steaks, burgers, chicken, fish, and veggies. Some electric appliances like the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe combine the best of both worlds with reversible grill/griddle plates.
What types of foods can you cook on an indoor electric grill?
Indoor electric grills are incredibly versatile cooking appliances. In addition to traditional grilled fare like steaks, burgers, chicken or fish, they excel at cooking veggies, paninis, quesadillas, and more. Models with griddle function can handle pancakes, eggs, and breakfast foods too. Electric grills reach high temperatures for perfect searing while also often able to be turned down for simmering sauces or soups. The lid traps in heat for faster cooking times. You’d be amazed what you can grill up on an indoor electric grill!
How does an indoor electric grill compare to cooking on an outdoor grill?
Electric grills provide the ultimate convenience since you can use them indoors any time, regardless of weather, without having to mess with charcoal or gas. They heat up significantly faster than outdoor grills – just plug in, and you’ll be grilling in minutes! The more compact grilling surface distributes heat evenly but is better suited for cooking smaller batches for households rather than large gatherings. While outdoor grilling infuses foods with delicious smoky charcoal flavor, electric grills allow you to cook with the lid closed to seal in moisture and juices. Outdoor grills accommodate larger quantities with their expansive grates. Electric models offer portioned indoor convenience while outdoor units are better for entertaining crowds.
What precautions should be taken when using an indoor electric grill?
As with any cooking appliance, proper precautions should be taken when using an indoor electric grill:
- Never leave it unattended during use and keep children and pets away.
- Always use on a stable, level, heat-resistant surface, not under overhanging cabinets.
- Unplug when not in use and allow to fully cool before cleaning or storing to prevent fire hazards.
- Clean after each use to avoid grease buildup and residue that can burn or cause flare ups.
- Use care when handling removable plates as they will be extremely hot.
- Follow all manufacturer recommendations for safe operation and maintenance.
Exercising common sense helps ensure safe operation and long service life from your electric grill.
How do you know when the grill is fully preheated and ready to start cooking?
Electric grills have an indicator to let you know when they’ve reached optimal cooking temperature. This may be a light that turns on or off, or beeping sounds. Some models have an LED screen that displays when preheating is complete. Check your owner’s manual to know what signal to look for on your particular indoor grill. Allowing it to fully preheat before adding food is crucial for achieving perfect results right from the start.
Still hungry for more details on indoor electric grills? Check out our in-depth buying guide for tips on choosing the perfect model for your needs. And browse our full inventory of top-rated electric grills for convenient home cooking that rivals your favorite steakhouse!
The Joy and Convenience of Indoor Grilling
We hope this overview has inspired you with the possibilities and advantages of indoor electric grilling. With minimal effort, you can enjoy juicy steaks, sizzling shrimp, tender vegetables and so much more – rain or shine, all year long!
We covered the features and benefits of the top 5 electric countertop grills to match diverse needs and budgets. Our buying advice and grilling tips arm you with the knowledge to pick the ideal indoor grill for your household. Now you just need to decide which delicious foods you want to grill up first!
Grilling indoors eliminates the hassles of outdoor cooking while still delivering fast, flavorful, crowd-pleasing meals. No longer reserved just for summer, grilling can become a convenient way of cooking anytime with a compact electric appliance. Give your family and friends a taste of your new indoor grilling mastery!