I had this griller for a week before replacing it with its brother the GR-8 which is nearly identical and costs about half at Costco. The only difference between the two models is that the GR8 has a shiny top which shows stains quicker and so needs a little more taking care of. That said, the top never really comes in contact with anything and so it doesn't really stain unless you drip something on it by mistake. This device is a dream. It's just like the devices they have at restaurants. It makes everything taste so much better. Sandwhiches, meat, chicken, etc...
Recommend this product?
I had a few Foreman grills and what a difference.
This one makes the Pannini's so much tastier.
It's easy to clean as one can take out the plates.
It has two kinds of plates. Those for Grilling/Pannini and the straight ones for making breakfast... pancakes, bacon, eggs or whatever you feel you'd like to grill.
You can fully open the griddler and thus cook only on one side. BBQ style too.
It has three knobs that give you a lot of options with temp and all, but for most cases it's overkill. One usually only needs to work with the highest temp at all times. They also have an option for Searing...
Some reviewers have complained about the cup for collecting fat that's not as easy as the one on the Foreman grill. It's taller so it makes sure nothing spills but it's also smaller and can tip over unlike the Foreman. I still have the old Foreman tray and find it the same in terms of ease. This one isn't more or less messy.
With Kitchenware I usually go with instincts. I either fall in love with the device or I don't. With this one- it's true love!
It's fun. It's easy to use. It makes tasty food.
I highly recommend it.
It's big so it won't fit in many small kitchens.
You'll have to find a place where you won't touch it by mistake as it does get hot.
It has an annoying metal spring in the back that sticks out. That said it's extremely pretty and the best looking griller in it's class. Also, the front handle is long and elegant and thus helps avoid touching the hot metal plates by mistake.
The top plate has a hinge that's very efficient. It rotates so that it can squeeze in the best manner even thicker foods. Many other competitor's models don't have this, causing the grillers not to be in a straight angle and thus not cook perfectly.
Cuisinart solved this with great engineering.
The plates are easy to pull out. There's a button to releases the plates and pushes the plate out. It's a snatch to use.
I also like that the plates themselves have larger deeper grills vs. the other competitors.
It might make the cooking a little less even (Vs. Foreman grills) but it makes the BBQ style "burnt lines" on the food more noticeable and adds to the overall flavor of it.
With the Foreman grill it was hard to see the "lines" even when I made steak and it was always so dissapointing.
Also, with the Foreman grill there was always an annoying aftertaste- and with this one- it just tastes grilled.
It's because the Foreman grill never really burnt the outside layers- and with this one it burns a little.
I tried making sliced potatoes in this grill and even they came out great without oil. They cooked fast and looked and tasted as if I put them on a real grill.
That said, there's a downside and that things tend to stick a little more so cleaning takes a little longer than on the Foreman. Nothing sticks on the Foreman but neither does the taste. This device makes everything taste better, but it means a little more cleaning.
Also, on my device, (just like on many other people's devices who've complained on it) cooking isn't even. On mine the bottom plate was hotter than the top plate. My recommendation, after a few minutes switch sides on whatever you're cooking.
This device like many toasters isn't child friendly. The device heats up and so you got to make sure kids won't touch it or they'll get burnt.
Overall, I highly recommend this model. Since I've bought it- I found out that my toaster oven has been much less busy.