About a year and a half ago my sis gave me a George Foreman grill she used once (it's the original one; nothing fancy). I've looked up info online about it, but would also like to hear what DGers think about this grill. How do you use it? What types of foods do you cook on it? (Although DH is a meat eater, I'd prefer to grill veggies -- do they really turn out good on this grill?) Why is it handier than the stovetop/broiler? Is it truly easy to clean? Does it smoke up or grease up your kitchen?
Looking forward to your responses, since I haven't even opened the box. If I hear back positive things, I'll give it a try; otherwise I'll donate it to a charity.
Terracotta, I have used the old fashioned GF Grill and it's ok but not great, in my opinion. It might work for grilled veggies but not really for steaks. The reason: The heavy top tends to press all the juice out of the meat and the fat around the edges doesn't brown well. In addition, the real taste of meats is in the browning and the GF just doesn't do that great a job of browning unless you cook the life out of a steak. I use a cast iron skillet for steaks and cook when the temp of the skillet reaches 400 deg. F. I brown and cook the steaks for about 3 to 4 mins per side after very lightly coating steaks w/oil (abt. 1t per side + salt and pepper). This will cook steak to medium depending on how long you have left it out of the fridge to get the chill off.
This has been my experience.
TerraCotta, we have a small GF Grill & the only thing that I use it for is hamburgers. I've tried other things on it like fish & steaks but just overcooked them terribly but really do like it for hamburgers, one at a time...I overnite it with a wet paper towel closed between the two layers & use a plastic pad with a bit of soap in the morning, rinse with the sprayer over the sink & done...I wouldn't buy another but this was given as a gift so I keep it...Deb
DH & I like ours. It is used mainly for burgers and chicken breasts. We have used it for salmon with good results. The salmon skin sticks to the grill, but that's okay with me, saves me the trouble of taking the skin off. My daughter uses hers mostly for grilled cheese sandwiches and the kids like them-a lot !! . Follow the recommended cooking times. We think it does a nice job when it is too nasty to grill outside. A BIG plus: no grease spatters all over the stove and countertop.
To clean it, I take it to the edge of the sink so that the drip 'lip' hangs over and use a soapy dishcloth and, if necessary, a net scrubby.
I 'just had to' have one, so it came to me as a present. I have used it for burgers, it did okay. Also, I've sliced sweet potatoes w/a little butter and cooked that. They worked okay, too. It's good for someone who is really watching fat intake. You can cook stuff w/o much oil.
It's easy to clean, but I'll be honest. I haven't used it after the initial three or four times...
I really like ours, especially when I'm batcheloring it at home. (when the wife's away, the hubby can play). The thing I like about it is I can grab a frozen (boneless) steak or burger patty out of the freezer and slap it into the g/f and real quick I'm eating.
Even tried tuna fish patties in it once for me and son, came out ok, abit dry, but wayyyy to many diced chiles that time.
I dispise doing dishes and I don't mind cleaning it, so I'd rate it easy to clean.
Doesn't heat up the kitchen or set off the smoke alarm either. LOL.
I have a Hamilton Beach version of the grill and I love it! I've done both veggies and meat on it. The new ones (my first one died, so I bought a new one last month) have removable grills (YAYY!) that can go in the dishwasher (also YAYY!) so it's even easier to clean. :-)
I tried doing all sorts of things on my GF grill. From grilled cheese sandwich to burgers, to fish to chicken breast to cubed pork cutlets, bacon... you name it.
The ONLY thing it does better than using a skillet or the oven or what ever is... cornmeal mush. You just can't beat it for that if you like your mush cooked well done and slightly crispy. Slice the mush thick enough so it will hit both sides of the grill, or it won't work as well.
It is also pretty good at a hot dog stuffed with kraut and wrapped with partly cooked bacon... It's easier to do in George because on a regular grill it's to hard to keep them from coming apart and kraut going everywhere.
I would rather not have a burger than eat one out of George. Yuck.
But, it's KILLER for cornmeal mush. That is the only reason it has any cupboard space in my house. LOL.
I don't like 'counter clutter' and the only appliance that I use regularly is my crock pot. DH keeps asking if we need a GF Grill and I keep telling him no...we have a wonderful collection of 75 year old cast iron that is properly seasoned. Glad to hear that my instincts were right and my feelings about another 'thing that cooks' have been supported.
We also have great old seasoned cast iron, which can't be beat, as well as tinned copper, new non-stick stuff AND a George. I really like George because: easy to clean; non-stick; drip container; smoke and spatter-less, and does a decent all-around job. We like it for toasted sandwiches, have done steak (OK), fish(be watchfull) and brots. It has its place, as does the crock-pot, electric skillet, waffle iron, double boiler
and all the other accessories.
Try it Terracotta, you might like it, and if you don't, Goodwill probably would. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I agree that meat from an iron pan is better. The foreman is convenient for some things, but with large cuts of meat the top doesn't really make enough contact to cook well.
One tip for cleaning a Foreman that a friend taught me: As soon as you're done UNPLUG it. Then immediately soak and squeeze out about three layers of paper towels. Spread the damp paper towels out to cover inside the grill and then close it. After your meal you will be able to wipe it clean very easily.
I didn't care for mine and gave it away. It was awful to clean. I had splatter go out the back side and get all over the cord cover and the hinges. I like how my steaks turn out in my stainless steel pan-sear for crust then into the oven to finish. If I were to get another counter top grill, it would have to have removable griddles so I felt I was really getting them clean.
You should play with it and see what works and doesn't work for you and your family. The clean up for me was a pain:)
After your meat cooks, simply move the grill next to the sink,
use a soggy washcloth wadded so you don't burn your fingers,
and wipe. The steam and hot water rolls the ick right off the
cooker. Rinse the cloth, do it again, it takes but a few wipes
and it's clean. Unplug and put away clean.
It's not a pain unless you let the crusty stuff dry and turn cold
on it. Clean it while it is hot and it's a breeze.
We love ours. Have had it at least 8 years. We cook hamburgers on it like some of the others - but we mainly cook french toast, grilled cheese and lately we have been cooking biscuits on it. My dh puts a bolted screw on the sides to prop the top up a bit and it quickly cooks the biscuits just like we want them. (they may not be pretty and fluffy) - but they are quick.
|Don't care for them.. The food is not grilled..It seems more steamed or whatever...Good, properly seasoned cast iron is the ultimate.. I have a collection of about 35+ pieces..Most were my Mama's and many from my grandmother's family.. I have had them for 33 years now..They are old and treasured..
I have one that was a present a few years back, I really don't like it. The coating started comming off after just a short time, and if you don't clean it imediately while it is hot it is a mess. I too like my cast iron and would just rather stick with it. just MO
I was given one as a going away present when I left my last job. We use it 4-5 times a week. Mostly cook hot dogs and link sausage on them. I have cooked hamburgers, frozen chicken breasts, and pork chops. I love cooking hamburgers on the GF Grill...just put them in there and close the top, and about 10 min later they are ready. With 4 kids I'm just glad that I don't have to hover over a hot skillet and try to listen and make use the kids are behavin' themselves. Mine has the removeable grills...usually after they cool down I'll either wash them in the sink or put them in the dishwasher.
I like mine okay, but Larkie is right...the food isn't really grilled..just steamed with some scorch marks. I still think it's pretty convenient, and I use mine mostly in the summer when I don't want the heat up the kitchen and I don't want to fight mosquitos on the patio.
I cook just about everything on mine: vegetables and fish are two things we do a LOT of on it. I buy the frozen fillets of haddock, salmon or whatever else is on sale, throw some Mrs. Dash on the frozen fillet and throw in the grill for a few minutes alongside some thick zucchini and mushroom slices for a really quick and easy lunch, or light supper.
I don't think it's that bad to clean up, and I don't have one with removable plates either. I just slide it over to the sink and use the sponge on the hot grill. If it gets cold before I get a chance to clean it, I stick a soapy wet washcloth in it and plug it in for a few minutes and let the crud steam off it.
An actual grill does a much better job, but for quick and easy the foreman grill is okay.
I love mine also, I have had two so far, the one without the removeable plates and that was so hard to clean , that when the new ones came out with removeable plates I went out and bought one. I love the removable plates. I love to do veggies and burgers , chicken and especially asparagus. Although I have a variety of electric appliances that I donot use the George foreman grill as often as I should. But when I do use it I do enjoy the easy clean up.
A quick way to do burgers is buy a pound of ground beef, put it on the grill as is, smash it hard by putting a good bit of pressure on the top plate, cook and season to taste, cut the extra large hamburger steak into quarters and serve on buns. No more patties to make.
wow , I just had to update my note. I now went out and purchase the GF indoor/outdoor grill and I love it even better than the table type. To me it is more like a regular grill. I use this one all the time. The table top one just sits in the cabinet. This one is really easy to clean and of course it has the huge dome top , more like a regular bbque type grills. I have cooked every thing in it, , chicken , fish, steak, potatoes and veggies. You can take it outside , but I just keep it in my spare bed room on the stand and bring into the kitchen when I am going to use it. I have a regular charcoal smoker for the outside , so I do not mess with taking it outside.
Definitely worth it. You could always save some dough by buying something cheaper, but i think in the end the fun you'll have with the GF will make up for its price. a must have for any one who loves to cook! i just can't imagine not having one in my home.