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Ever since I bought the Morphy Richards toast and grill my life has been easier! No more sandwich bags for the toaster, getting cheese and ham, etc. everywhere. It's so simple you just cannot believe. I especially loved the health grill plates which take all the fat from your morning fry, like sausages, pudding and rashers! though it may be disgusting to clean at least it's not going down into your stomach and sitting as love handles any more :D I've also recently tried my hand at cooking steaks on it and they turn out lovely.
Even when cleaning this little beauty all you need is a damp cloth to run over the surfaces, though you would need to steap the trays of fat! And even better this wonder takes up little or no space :)
Overall I just feel that machine is a little wonder and any kitchen without it is most definitely missing out!
When my partner and I got engaged at the end of last year, we received all manner of lovely gifts from family and friends... bales of towels were of course, a popular choice of gift, as were the huge collection of bottles of bubbly we received from a whole host of relatives who wished us well for our future happiness.
Another great gift that we got was this little grill-type contraption.
I had (rather giddily, I will admit) ripped the champagne-bottle printed wrapping paper from the fairly large parcel, only to be greeted to the sight of a funky-looking little silver sandwich toaster machine which was imprinted on the cardboard box.
It was only when the remainder of the wrapping paper had been removed that I realised that the toastie-making machine was actually a combination item - it also contained a grill function. I was intrigued...
Delighted with this super gift, we were given the opportunity to try out the sandwich toasting facility the following day as we were a trifle hung-over (!) following our rather over-enthusiastic engagement celebrations the following day/evening/morning. (Yes it WAS a bit wild!)
Anyhow, after opening the cardboard box, it was easy to determine that the grill was very well packaged - lots of polystyrene to protect it. After removing everything from the box, I quickly realised that this little gadget had some kind of inter-changeable plates with it, which allowed you to change between the grill function and the toastie maker... genius!
The toastie plates are like a large 'square' design, to fit slices of bread whereas the grill function plates are similar to that of a griddle pan or similar. I actually have a 'George Foreman' grilling machine AND a toastie-making machine, so I was keen to see if this little gadget would successfully do the functions of both these other machines, and allow me to replace them with this.
As I marvelled over the simple yet effective idea behind the little machine, my other half set it up for us by removing all the necessary bits and pieces and plugging it in to heat up (as instructed to do so via the booklet supplied within the box). The two 'toastie maker' plates were already on the machine, so we didn't need to carry out too much preparation, which is probably just as well as we were both rather worse for wear!
As usual with these types of toastie makers, you need to butter the outsides of your bread, which we did. (I'm sure you can tell that we regularly make these snacks!) We placed the first piece of bread on the bottom plates and placed some grated cheese on top, then followed with the other piece of buttered bread on top of the cheese - bread placed buttered side to the outside of course. We then closed the lid of the machine and clicked it into place using the catch on the handles which made the lids nice and secure, and held them together.
We do, as I said, make toasties regularly, using our old, battered toastie machine so we knew what to expect. Imagine our surprise then when after around five minutes or so, we flipped the lid open to find that the outsides of the bread were still that - BREAD! Absolutely no signs of them having turned into toast as of yet, so we shut the lids back over and waited another little while...
After looking the second time, the bread had turned slightly yellow but was by no means crisp and golden looking, which is my preference for a toasted sandwich. With that, we shut the lid over again and continued our wait.
After this attempt, the bread was actually starting to get slightly burnt around the top edges, although the bread for the most part still looked underdone to us. We had waited long enough, however and decided to admit defeat and eat our 'breadies' - (they still weren't toast-like in appearance).
They tasted nice enough, but still looked a bit underdone in my opinion.
Once the machine had cooled down, I wanted to clean the toastie plates, so decided to try and remove them. This meant that I could also investigate the inter-changeable plates function that the machine had.
So, after reading the instruction manual, I noticed that the toastie-making plates had small black buttons at the top of each one, which meant that the plates could be fitted onto the insides of the machine. The buttons can easily be slid over, which allows the plates to be released and removed - a very simple kind of 'spring' mechanism allows this to be done very easily.
The grill plates have an identical design, with the same buttons so these can easily be placed onto the machine and secured using the 'springing' buttons, in the same way that the toastie plates were. Changing the plates DID prove to be a bit fiddly the first time I did it, but it's one of those things that I think has a knack to it, and I've done it lots and lots of times now with absolutely no problems. It seems to be a simple yet effective design.
I have used the grill function on the machine much more than I have used the toastie function, and am pleased to report that it's fabulous! I was always a huge fan of my 'George Foreman' grill, and can honestly say that I think the Morphy Richards little grill is slightly superior to George's! I regularly make my partner some grilled fish on this grill and it takes mere minutes to cook. I have also used it to cook burgers, sausages and chicken and have found there to be no problems whatsoever, and the food is always cooked perfectly.
The bottom plate for use when using the grilling function has a clever design in the left corner, whereby it lets any fat or cooking juices drip out of the grill. There is a little plastic cup supplied with the toastie grill that fits perfectly underneath said corner, and collects the fat for you. The cup is slightly curved in design, which allows it to sit neatly against the side of the machine, and I find that this design is great as it is stored out of the way, and therefore there is less chance of me knocking it over and spilling the contents all over my worktops!
Another useful tool I have found the toastie grill has is the light on the front of the machine. The light has two parts - the first segment is orange and will come on when the machine is plugged in. The second segment however, is green and comes on when the plates are heated enough for you to begin your cooking. A very useful device, particularly for when using the grill function and are cooking meat or chicken.
I have had no problems with removing the plates and washing them, leaving them to drip dry and then putting them back onto the machine. This has been done easily and without any problem.
The non-stick plates I have found to be just that! I have not had any incidences of chicken or fish getting stuck to the plates and being spoiled (which actually used to happen every now and again with the 'George Foreman' grill.
Overall, I much prefer this machine as it does the functions of two machines in one and therefore saves me some much-needed storage space! Additionally, I find that the grill function on this machine is slightly better than my 'George Foreman' grill, and the toastie maker is sufficient enough for me to throw out my old battered 'Breville' toastie machine.
A huge plus point to this little machine is the fact that I can remove the grill plates and wash them properly in the sink - something that I could never ever do with my 'George' machine... let's face it, with so much grease and fat on there, who wouldn't prefer to dip them into a basin of hot soapy water rather than try and clean them up whilst they are still attached to the machine? The design of this machine has easily solved that problem.
I would definitely recommend this machine and have found it to be a very handy and useful addition to my kitchen. I am thrilled to have got this as an engagement present and as the machine comes with a 2 year guarantee, I'm quite confident that it will last well into our married life together.
The machine is available to buy for around £29.99 from Amazon.co.uk or Argos.
This definitely gets five stars from me - sorry George! :-D
Graphite and Silver / Easy clean removable plates / Includes 2 sandwich and 2 health grill plates / Non stick / Carry handle/locking clasp.Ideal for toasted sandwiches and for cooking meat, fish & vegetables / Short name: Morphy Richards 44701