Last year the highest temperature recorded in Las Vegas was 125 degrees. At that temperature the desire to cook outdoors almost becomes a necessity. Problem is, Las Vegas also has a fire ordinance that prevents anyone who rents an apartment from barbequing on their patio or balcony. So either you break the law or haul your barbeque outside of your apartment (very cumbersome if you live upstairs), walk at least 50 feet away from any building, and hope that some kid doesnt come along when you back is turned and touch the hot barbeque. The alternative is to buy an electric grill which does not break the law, is easier to transport, and does an adequate job of serving up a barbeque feast.
Recommend this product?
Searching for a good indoor/outdoor electric grill is not an easy feat. Ex-professional boxer George Foreman has made his name synonymous with indoor grills but his machines are technically more like sandwich makers than they are grills. They have both bottom and top heat in order to grill. Traditional grills only have bottom heat requiring the chef to flip over the food in order to cook evenly. However, these types of grills are commonly mistaken as griddles and not grills. Griddles are one sided like grills but their heating surface is flat. On griddles you can cook an egg. On grills the egg would fall through the cracks.
I settled on the Hamilton Beach HealthSmart 31605A because it is a true grill, its size, and ease of use. Hamilton Beach HealthSmart 31605A features:
► Indoor/Outdoor rated electric grill
► Removable grill for easy cleaning.
► The entire unit except for the plug is dishwasher safe.
► Large cooking area, great for families.
► Heating selector lights up with 5 levels of heat.
► Drip area to catch all grease, oil, etc.
► Non-stick cooking surface.
All of this was available at Target in the $40 price range. Although listed here on Epinions has such, this is not a traditional sandwich maker. The grill does not have any lid at all.
Using the Hamilton Beach HealthSmart 31605A is a breeze. The large base is made of light black plastic and sits evenly on the counter/floor. The grill sits in the base and is reversible. The included plug fits easily and snugly into the grill. The heating unit does not have an off switch so it is advised that the heating selection be put on ONE when plugging or unplugging the unit. After the unit is plugged in the heat selection can be increased up to the recommended FIVE level, the hottest the unit can get. Within a few minutes the grill is ready to go.
The first time I used it I cooked one of my favorite meals. In a large Ziplock bag I combined some veal, asparagus, and portabella mushrooms. I added a whole bottle of Kens balsamic vinegar salad dressing and let it marinate all day. I then added everything to the hot grill and grilled the meat to medium rare. By then the veggies were also nicely cooked through. The best part of this meal is everything cooks on the grill making setting a dinner time easy. Everything gets done around the same time and is so easy to cook that I didnt have to hover over the grill the whole time.
I have used the grill indoors a couple of times and have had adequate results. Normally quite a bit of smoke comes off the grill so I have to run it under my stove fan and with a oscillating fan blowing in fresh air to prevent the smoke alarms from going off.
If you are looking for a grill that cooks food fast you might want to not consider the Hamilton Beach HealthSmart 31605A. Because it only has bottom heat cooking food can take some time. Cooking bone-in chicken is also cumbersome. Normally the bottom of my chicken gets a little burnt when grilling. I have never had a problem with steak and when I cook veggies like zucchini, summer squash, or asparagus the grills works wonders.
If you are also looking for a grill that makes those nice grill marks on your food than look no further. Although I technically could care less how perfect the grill marks are on the food that I consume the Hamilton Beach HealthSmart 31605A creates nice looking lines.
Both the base and the grill are dishwasher safe. The grill is coated with a coating that prevents food from sticking to it however if I let the grill sit overnight without cleaning the food is harder to remove. When I put my grill into the dishwasher it fits into the bottom drawer of the dishwasher and comes out ready for its next use.
The Hamilton Beach HealthSmart 31605A is a great indoor/outdoor grill. Its large size makes more than enough food for the two of us and has cooked enough for parties of 4 6. Unlike our George Forman grill which cannot be submersed in water, everything with the Hamilton Beach HealthSmart 31605A besides its plug is both safe for washing in the sink and in the dishwasher. This grill has been a lifesaver for those days when it is just too hot to cook indoors.
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Amount Paid (US$): 39.99