I never knew that cooking could be so much fun! Years ago, my son in Michigan told me that he had bought an indoor grill and loved it. I sort of shrugged it off, picturing a flaming mess taking place in his kitchen.
Recommend this product?
Then I began reading reviews on Epinions about the Boxer-turned-cook type of indoor grills and everyone seemed so happy with them, that I just had to look into getting one.
Last August, my husband and I went to Wal-Mart's and started some serious searching. Well, we saw the other ones, even the one with the bun warmer, but for some reason, they didn't appeal to either of us, at least not enough to plunk some money down for them.
Blame it on the gleaming white gem of a grill sitting there on the shelf, fairly begging us to take it home. It was a GE Contact Grill. Model 106621 It was so attractive that we couldn't help ourselves and bought it after reading the box and examining the grill.
The surface is gleaming white. On the top, there is a white flap which turned out to be a retractable support leg, for when you open the grill and cook on both sides of it. There is a gray Bakelite handle to use when opening or shutting the grill. So far, GREAT!
The grid surfaces are nonstick and are removable for easy cleaning. And I do mean easy. They can be put in the dishwasher, but we never have done that. It is so simple to wash them, most of the time we merely wash them under running water, that's how simple they are to clean. Nothing ever seems to cling to them.
The grids are very easily snapped into place or unlocked when you need to clean them. There's a push tab on each of them. So far, BETTER!
TIMER on the front. It is marked for a five-minute pre-heat time. The light goes on when you turn the timer on, and the bell dings when the pre-heat time is done. Then you can set the grill for up to 15 minutes cooking time. Very seldom will you ever need that long a time. So far BEST!
Drip cup - it is on the right side of the grill and has a small handle for removing and replacing it. The drain spout directs all the grease into the cup. It is amazing to see how much grease accumulates, even from the leanest of meats! It also is easy to clean & can go in a dishwasher. So far, TERRIFIC!
Spatula/Scraper - Well, this little guy is great. It looks like nothing at all, just a white plastic fork, maybe, with three teeth that fit right into the grooves on the grill. But it gets the job done, removing any drippings that may remain in the grooves with no effort whatsoever.
Cord Wrap - on the bottom of the grill. We've never used it, but it would be handy if we took it on vacation with us. The cord is about 30" long and is a grounded-type 3-wire cord which plugs into a 3-prong plug. A grounded 3-wire extension cord may be used if you need a longer cord.
This is a very compact unit. The GRIDS are 13"x7.5" each, and the overall dimensions of the grill are 13 1/2 wide x 10 deep x 4" high. We keep ours right on a kitchen counter for easy access, for we use it a lot. It is heavy - we guess about 15 lbs. which makes it sturdy and solid.
Using the GE CONTACT GRILL
It was a revelation to me. I hadn't realized how great it is to be able to cook chops, hamburgers, etc. on both sides at once! And how quickly things are done. I should have listened to my son years ago!
You merely lightly treat the grids - we use Canola oil, but cooking sprays would be fine, close the cover, set the 5-minute timer, and wait for the bell. When it dings, place food items on the grid, close cover, set timer for desired minutes, and set the table. Dinner is almost ready!!!
To give you an idea of Cook times I will quote a few from the manual. Of course, we all have our preferences and we're free to shorten or lengthen the suggested times.
8 oz boneless Beef strip steak
Chicken breast, boneless ---10-12
Frankfurters (hot dog) --5-7
pork chops, boneless
Everything comes out browned nicely, and tender! That's what amazes me. My pork chops are no longer like cured leather soles. LOL.
Using this GE CONTACT GRILL has completely revolutionized our cooking patterns. I had the fear of a lot of steam, etc. which has never materialized. There is steam, of course, but I believe it's less than you get from frying pans.
Now when I make stews or soups, I place the beef chunks right in the preheated grill, close the cover, and brown them for about 5 minutes. What a change from browning and turning and watching them in a frying pan.
My recipe for vegetable soup calls for me to pre-cook the veggies prior to placing into the soup stock. I found that if I place the chopped veggies (onions, celery, carrots, squash, peppers) in aluminum foil, put them in the grill for 3-4 minutes, that it's easier to remove them and place them into the soup pot.
We put onion slices on the top of our hamburgers, and they are delicious that way. We usually throw green pepper strips and/or carrot strips in at the same time. They are wonderful.
I have even been known to make aluminum foil packets containing browned chicken breasts, along with thin potato slices and cut up veggies, with cream of mushroom soup added for good measure. I'm running out of rapturous superlatives!
Frozen hash browns are a cinch to cook on the grill, and
we cook bacon on it, too. It comes out crisp and browned. We also cook chops with bones, but sometimes that is difficult as you defeat your purpose when the lid doesn't come down most of the way. I'm sure they could be done with the grill in the open position, but we haven't tried that yet.
Use a potholder when opening the hot grill to protect yourself against burns from the grids or from escaping steam (which we've had no problem with).
Be careful that the cord does not hang down where children can get to it, or where someone would trip or dislodge the unit. It may be a small appliance, but it is mighty!
Don't immerse the unit in water, of course. Unplug it when done, so children cannot turn it on. In short, treat your grill with the same consideration you would any electrical appliance.
This grill is a pretty large size. We cook 4-6 chicken breasts at a time, lots of slices of ham, 6-8 hamburgers, 6 boneless pork chops or about 3 good-sized steaks. That gives you an idea of how much you can cook at a time. Actually, cooking times are so reasonably short, that the size shouldn't be a great factor.
Wal-Mart sells these GE CONTACT GRILLS, exclusively. As I understand from different websites, DesigNET was contacted by Hamilton Beach to design this one for GE to be sold at Wal-Mart's.
I paid only $49.00 for it, and, naturally, a few days later I saw it on Walmart.Com for only $39.00. But I figured with the shipping charges added, I probably came out okay. It has paid for itself, over and over, again.
We are cholesterol and fat conscious since my husband's angioplasty, and it's comforting to know that the fat is going into the drip cup, rather than on our plates.
I did without an electric grill for many years, but, believe me, I'll never be without one again. And this model is so satisfactory, giving us such control over our cooking and doing such a wonderful job. And my frying pans are staying clean and shiny from disuse. LOL.
Food tastes better and is better for us since we started cooking on our GE CONTACT GRILL.
I hope this Review has been helpful to you, and that you will find one of these at your local store. It carries a 2-year limited warranty, and I've always found Wal-Mart to be great when you need to return an item.
Thanks so much for reading. And thanks, once again, to PogoMom a Category Leader in Home & Garden on Epinions, for getting this item into the database! I appreciate her efforts so much.
I'm sure you'll never be sorry if you buy one of these GE Contact Grills. It will revolutionize your cooking, also.
E-mail inquiries: www.wal-mart.com
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and is used under license by Wal*Mart Stores, Inc.
Bentonville, AR 72716.
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