Presto 7035 Sandwich Maker
(5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
My Breakfast Griddle
Jul 30, 2008
Review by tjapkesg
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Breakfast is very much my domain in our home. It is perhaps my favorite meal and certainly one of my favorites to cook. That said, that is the duty that electric griddles serve for us, and rarely anything else.
Recommend this product?
For years, we limped along with an old hand-me down griddle. The non-stick was horrendous and the heating element lost the ability to recover quickly enough. This led to slow and severe uneven cooking.
For a while, we lived a life without a griddle. One pancake at a time and shuffling bacon around a skillet. Cooking for a growing family quickly ended that. (Plus, too many Mickey Mouse ears became casualties in the skillet)
Presto Cool Touch Grill
We finally broke down and picked this up. The price was right, and I honestly wasn't all that picky. If it does the job, I'm happy. It does, and I am.
We have some fairly respectable Calphalon pots and pans, all of which individually cost more than this grill, many cost two or three times more. The texture of the Teflon coating is different, but the performance might actually be better. We have had numerous things fuse to our pans to some degree, but nothing has ever stuck to Presto grill. Pancakes don't peel off... they really don't stick at all. More like light clinging. Just scoop and flip. I have a dedicated egg pan, but, the few times I had cooked eggs on the grill, they also did not stick. Bacon leaves behind a residue with the grease, but it washes off with extreme ease, and no need to scrub.
Quick Recovery and Even Heating
Grills of this type have a tricky job. They're generally made of aluminum, which has advantageous and disadvantageous. It heats up quickly, a characteristic that results from aluminum being an excellent conductor of heat. The downside is, that heat also transfers out quickly. Throw on some food, and the food soaks up heat, and the grill has to recover. In contrast, cast iron takes a comparatively long time to heat, but it'll take whatever you can throw at it and keep on cookin'.
Pancakes perhaps illustrate this effect best and, even on a new grill, often show lines from where the heating element passes under the cakes. The lines are a result of the aluminum directly surrounding the heating element transferring heat to the food faster than the heat transfers outward to the rest of the grilling surface. The Presto Cool Touch Grill does exhibit this effect, even when cooking items like Bacon. How much better or worse than other models, I don't know, but is very acceptable and has not been an issue with my cooking.
I'm very pleased with the warm up time. In the time it takes me to whip up a batch of pancake batter, it's generally ready to go.
There's not much to say about it, other than it has one and certainly does the job. One feature from our prior antique grill was suggested temperatures marked next to the control knob. This model does not have that, but I likely wouldn't miss it if I never knew about it. Included within the instructions is a chart with this information however, which we keep stowed away in a nearby recipe box for easy reference.
Bacon likely illustrates the strengths and weaknesses best. There's the issue related to the aluminum construction, so bacon positioned directly over the heating element, or portions of, will cook faster. Even so, I seem to never fail to get some beautifully cooked bacon off of it.
The surface is surprisingly flat. The old grill had a "grease channel" around the entire grill, with a slope down from the center to the grease channel. This meant that eggs ran and bacon grease left before doing its job. The lack of grease might be healthier, but it cooks faster and better sitting in its own grease. On this model, everything stays put, leaving the bacon to cook to perfection.
I did cook hamburgers on it once during the winter. As a charcoal purist, I was quite pleased. The grill created a nice caramelization on the surface of the burgers.
At the end of the job, the grease can all be pushed toward, and down into, the trap.
Since there is no grease channel around the edge, the surface is almost completely flat. There's just a ridge around the edges and a hole for the trap. This makes it very easy to wipe down. As said before, virtually nothing sticks. Here again, Bacon has been the worst, but no challenge at all. A soap dish towel wipes the bits away with ease. And since the grill is immersible, there's no worries about damaging the grill with soap and water.
The trap is a little trickier to wash, but only because of the shape. The shape actually effects drying the most. On one side, you have the reservoir that serves as the "trap" itself. On the other side, there is a cavity that makes up the handle. If you orient it to drain water from the trap, the handle inevitably will hold a small amount of water. If you put it in the dishwasher, again, the handle collects water.
This is an inexpensive yet effective product, so it is difficult to complain about the few faults it has. I imagine there isn't a great deal of difference between brands and models, and, with that in mind, this was one of those few such purchases that I didn't research ahead of time. It does the job though, and that's good enough for me. If it didn't work, I wouldn't use it and you would certainly hear about it here.
My only gripe may be with the grease trap. Besides the cleaning issue I already mentioned, it doesn't fit particularly well. It flops around when carrying the grill from the cabinet to the counter and doesn't lock or latch in place in anyway. Not even a small plastic nub to lightly hold it in. Both are very minor issues for me, but both occur to me every time I retrieve it from the pantry or wash it.
If you are looking for an electric griddle, I can recommend this model for the non-stick alone. There may be models that heat more evenly, but unless you find one with more mass or is made of cast iron, my guess is that the difference would be negligible.
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Amount Paid (US$): 25
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