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This is the second of this type of food grill which I have bought as the first one was destroyed about four years ago by a former housemate who was not only using a metal knife to clean it but then proceeded to use a brilo pad on it and couldn't understand why I got annoyed after he had removed most of the non-stick coating. Still as I was moving to my own flat shortly after I simply left the old one there. I went without one for quite a while but about 18 months ago I bought this one from the co-op electrical shop on line for £35 as it was on offer at the time.
The reason I went for this model over a direct replacement were two fold, firstly I couldn't find the model I used to have (well I had had it for a number of years) and secondly this one came with removable cooking plates which would make cleaning it much easier (I HATE washing up).
What was in the box:
The grill its self came with the usual instruction book which also came with recommended cooking times form various things which I keep in my kitchen cupboard for quick reference but also the fat collecting tray and the plastic 'scraper' for a quick clean. The instruction book also comes with a few recipes for use when cooking with the grill. I have to admit I tend to use the grill just for the plain cooking of meat etc. so I haven't tried any of them as yet.
When I first turned it on some smoke/steam appeared to come off the grill but this is fairly normal for new cooking appliances and this no longer happens. You are advised to wipe the plates with a damp cloth before the first use but I decided to remove them to give them a wash. This was mainly to practice taking the plates off and on but also to make sure it was clean of any dust etc. I have found that this model takes longer to heat up than my old one did but still it only takes a few minutes. Now this could be simply because it is larger than my old one or it could be because of the removable plates it takes them longer to heat up but still when the light goes out it is ready to use.
I tend to use this to cook chicken breasts and things like sausages and pork chops. Now the amount of fat that comes out of some sausages is almost enough to put you off eating them but at least it is removed from the food so it isn't all bad. I find the chicken breasts are cooked through in around 7 minutes but it is always better to leave them a little longer to be safe. The food cooked in it has always turned out well and has never been dried out so I have no complaints there. The floating hinge design also allows things of various thicknesses to be cooked separately with few problems. Although trying to cook things of different thicknesses at the same time may present a few problems as the top plate on the lid will still sit on the thicker item and but not get into contact as well with the thinner one.
A problem my brother had with the food grill he had was he once cooked fish in it and then whenever he turned the grill on afterwards the smell of fish still came off it - no matter how much he and my sister-in-law wiped it out it still remained. I think the removable plate system as it makes cleaning it much easier and would stop this problem. (Now there is an idea for their Christmas present next year)
Well the plates are easy to unclip and remove from the grill and they are very easy to wash in hot water and mild detergent. Even though it says the plates are dish washer safe as they have a non-stick coating I would still wash them by hand to preserve their life span. Putting them back on was a bit of a struggle for the first couple of attempt but you quickly get the hang of it and checking to make sure both sides of each plate are locked into place. The top and bottom plate are different shapes so you do need to make sure you are putting each one in the right position. The fat catching tray is also dishwasher safe.
The grill comes with a two year guarantee
Length (handle to handle) - 324 mm
Width - 250 mm
Height (empty) - 140 mm
Weight - 2.55 kg
The flex is a good length for where I use it and shouldn't pose too many problems about where to position it in any kitchen.
Whilst I don't use this on a daily basis it does get used about once a week. I have found it excellent at cooking chicken etc quickly when I get in from work and really don't want to be stood over the hob for 20 min or more. (Don't get me wrong - I like cooking most of the time). It is a good addition to my kitchen appliances and I would buy it again but I hope I won't have to for a while.
This is my second George Forman grill, the first one lasted about five years before giving up the ghost and this one has been in the house for about six months now. I paid £29.99 for it on Amazon and it is still that price at the moment, reduced from a rrpp of £44.99 so a pretty decent saving. It is one of the smaller versions that the company does however it is ideal for the use that I want from it, in particular it is very good for cooking salmon which is a fish I cook a lot, we also use it to make toasted sandwiches and my other half uses it to cook some meat products however that is just for himself as I do not eat meat.
Black in colour it is pretty compact and squat looking, the two grills slope towards the front allowing any fat that is produced to run into a collecting tray, the whole thing is about 14cm in height and 32.4 by 25 cm in area. It is very easy to clean, the plates are removable as is the drip tray and these items can go in a dishwasher however I tend to clean it by hand. It is well designed however I would have liked to have had a longer cable with it.
Cooking wise it is very good, it takes a couple of minutes to heat up and then you simply add the food you want to cook and close the lid down, the hinge on the lid does extend for larger pieces of meat and this gives you some flexibility, I find that whatever I have cooked using this has been cooked evenly and reasonably quickly, you do have to check it on a regular basis and there is no timer with this grill that you can set. The food when it is cooked is a lot healthier as when it comes to meat the fat has drained away from it and it is left with a nice griddled look to it.
It is well made and easy to clean and does not take up a huge amount of space in the kitchen making it easy to store away when not in use, it is important before attempting to clean to give the plates time to cool down and to keep the item well away from little hands.
It is good for making toasted sandwiches although because of the compact size it only really handles one at a time, I have alos used it in the past to do bagels and panini sandwiches as well.
A few weeks ago, spurred on by a delicious toasted sandwich during our holiday break, my partner and I went out on the hunt for a reliable sandwich maker. You know the sort, a machine which feels sturdy and robust and yet performs its functions without the need for tricky cleaning or a cheap finish. After researching around, a time in which the likes of Dooyoo and Ciao came in handy, it became obvious to me that a sandwich maker did not appear to exist that combined a quality finish with removable cooking plates and a compact size so we turned instead to the likes of a George Foreman Grill. The obvious strength of a George Foreman Grill as oppose to a standard sandwich maker being that we could not only cook sandwiches but also a whole load of other goodies making it great value for money.
We all know the slogan 'lean, mean grilling machine' and it was with this principle that former professional boxer George Foreman developed his range of grills designed to drain away the fat that is so often left in many meat dishes. There are a number of George Foreman grills on the market and these vary according to the number of people you plan to cook for, in essence the larger the grill the more people it can cater to.
As is always the case the price of the grills varies according to the size, the smaller ones costing less than the larger and more bulky models and so we turned to the George Foreman compact 14066 grill to cater for our occasional toasted sandwich cravings plus the meals for two that we cook most nights.
The George Foreman 14066 Compact Grill is a small grill designed to cook for around two to three food portions. As with many electrical products this one is no different in packaging, being packaged in a cardboard box which upon opening is filled with polystyrene padding, great for grill protection but less great for the environment and my limited bin space. Upon prising from its 'polystyrene prison' the grill looks, in my opinion rather interesting as externally it almost resembles a cumbersome shiny black monster, and I can fully see where it gets its 'mean' reference from. However, this appearance seems to dwindle when placed on the side of my kitchen worktop where it became just another black appliance amongst many.
On the top the grill features the words 'George Foreman' and has a large oval shaped light the importance of which is given later. Upon opening the grill, which can be done using the lip of the top section of the machine, there are two grill plates on the top and bottom of the machine with which quite simply you place your food between to cook. These plates slope towards you when cooking meaning that the fat can collate and run down the grooves and out onto a prepositioned drip tray. This grill is, as its names suggests, very compact and its vital statistics are 140mm high x 324mm long x 250mm wide. This compactness however seems to extend to the dimensions of the plates which are quite tiny. Good for cooking small chicken breasts but less great for more than one toasted sandwich.
This grill has a number of features which include non stick plates, removable and dishwasher safe plates, a drip tray, non slip feet, a temperature ready indicator, non slip feet and a floating hinge to enable thicker food to be able to fit between the two plates. Suggestive of the quality of this product, it also comes with a 2 years manufacturers guarantee.
==Price and Availability==
I was fortunate to buy my grill as part of an Argos sale and it therefore cost me a bargain £29.99 as oppose to the current price of £44.99 at Argos. However, it can also be bought more economically online from retailers such as Amazon for around the £30 mark.
==Cooking and General Use==
This grill is easy to set up. Simply remove the protective sleeve, extend the cable and plug in to the nearest socket. The cable is quite short in my opinion and you will therefore need to position the machine next to a kitchen socket as oppose to a metre away. Upon plugging in an orange light will come on at the top of the machine, and this light stays on whilst the plates heat up to the desired temperature before it goes out. In my experience this usually takes a couple of minutes before it is hot enough to go.
Before placing anything onto the grill you should position the drip tray along the front of the machine. The drip tray is simply a small plastic curved tray which is entirely separate from the body of the machine. I would have thought it would be useful if this tray formed part of the body of the machine as it could easily get lost with all the other kitchen utensils; however I guess the advantage of it being separate is that it is easier to clean.
When ready to go, the food can be laid onto the plates and then sandwiched between them for the desired cooking time. The cooking time required is given in a small leaflet accompanying the machine which outlines a list of foods which can be cooked using the appliance including meat, vegetables, toasted sandwiches and Panini's. Unfortunately this machine fails to incorporate a timer into its black body and I therefore rely on my cooker timer to tell me when the food is cooked through.
I must admit, I have only used my grill for cooking sandwiches and the odd pair of chicken breasts (excuse the pun) and it has been adequate for both. When cooking sandwiches I lightly coat the sides of the plates with olive oil before positioning the sandwich in the centre of the plates and pressing the plates together. The leaflet recommends sandwiches are toasted for around three minutes which upon opening produces a lightly toasted sandwich and therefore for deeper cooking I simply add an extra minute. With chicken I follow the same process and lightly coat them in oil before putting between the plates. They usually take around 8 - 12 minutes for thorough cooking and the oil and watery fat deposits from the breasts simply run out into the waiting drip tray.
This method of cooking is, in my experience very easy to do and produces deliciously grilled food in minutes without the need to turn an oven on, wait for it to reach heat and then bake. It is therefore a quick and easy way to prepare food however I have yet to try it on vegetables yet. The quality of the grill is quite good however I was not too impressed with the hinges on the back of the two plates as in my opinion they felt quite flimsy when lifting the two plates apart.
The easy cleaning method is what drew me to this grill initially as the plates are entirely removable. To do so is simply a method of unhinging the two clasps at either side of each of the plates. I then use some very hot soapy water to clean both plates and the drip tray. The clasps at either side of the plates make them easy to remove but less than easy to put back on and it really is a case of trial and error to make them fit back onto the main body.
I have enjoyed using my George Foreman Grill and it has been an eye opener in terms of finding alternative ways of cooking everyday food. This grill is quite compact although adequate for two people; however some of the design features weaken my evaluation of this product such as the dodgy hinges and the difficult plate clasps. Despite this I will be recommending this grill purely based on my own experience and the fact that it has made cooking for me somewhat simpler and quicker than it normally takes in my oven.
Based on the above I am therefore awarding this grill four stars out of five.
Thanks for reading! x
Now although I am a vegetarian hubby is super keen on his meat but I was slightly worried about the fat content of some of his meat so bought him a George Foreman grill.
What are they?
Now George Foreman grills are marketed as "the lean mean grilling machine". They are meant to be used for the following types of meat.
The big selling point of the George Foreman grills is that they reduce the amount of fat in your meat as it drains out, due to the design of the grill.
Where would I get one?
This particular grill is from Amazon £36.99 or is reduced from £44.99 to £34.99 on www.georgeforeman.co.uk - try a few of the price comparison website.
How do I use it?
Well put the plates in , turn it on and let it heat up for 5 minutes or so, there is a light on the top which tells you when it is hot (a good warning not to touch the top). Then put your items in the middle of the grill and away you go. There is a tray which you put underneath the machine which collects the grease. THis must be in place or you end up with a horrible mess!
Is it any good?
WEll I must say that hubby has absolutely no complaints about the quality of cooking the meat he does on this. For me, the best / or most horrible thing is that the grease / or fat from the meat drips out of the machine (because of the lovely crinkled design of the grilling plates). With sausages it is DISGUSTING how much fat drops off the plates. BUT on the plus side it is a lot less fat in the meat than would otherwise be there so I guess that it is a really good product.
Any other uses?
YUP this is a GREAT panini maker. You can quickly and easily heat up the plates and then stick your sandwich in it. It will melt very quicly indeed and become a lovely melted mozzerella panini. It also works with toasted sandwiches, so saves the need to have a toastie maker.
How do you wash it up?
Well this is the BEST thing about this grill the plates are removable, so you can scrub the horrible meat juice off and then you can stick them in the dishwasher.
Would I recommend this?
i think it is a fantastic product and would definitely recommend it - just to see the fat coming out of meat is amazing, but horrible. I find this product easy to use and also gives good results. For me, the lean mean grilling machine is a must!
This is a brilliant grill. An essential thing that men tend to neglect, is that it cleans very easily. Just a quick swipe and the jobs done. This model, unlike previous ones has removable plates, which ensures you can clean it thoroughly.
The construction of the grill is very sturdy so any little knocks can be withstood.
The food cooks exceptionally well, leaving no doubt that its cooked. 3 chicken breats fit comfortably on this model, so you get an idea of the portions. I have had mine for 5 years and it still works brilliantly, and I do tend to make full use of it. It was a well thought out invention. For those of you who are health conscious this is THE machine for you. It virtually draws all the fat away from the food, not to say your food is completely fat free, but it is vastly healthier than otherwise. The variety of meats you can cook on it are endless, so don't think you're limited to chicken. One snag I did have, was the power lead - you pretty much need it positioned by a socket, else a lead, which narrows down the possibilities of positioning. This is an investment that is worth every penny. It retails at approximately £25, from Amazon, but feel free to shop around. Recommended!
George Foreman first became famous when he was two-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Today, however, his name is synonymous with Lean Mean Grilling Machines which he launched in 1996, having designed them as a way for us to eat more healthily.
I have owned a George Foreman grill for a number of years but when it eventually packed in a few months ago I was secretly quite glad. Why, you may ask? Well, designs have moved on since I last purchased and now I could buy one with removable plates. This had been my only bug bear with my old one, as it really was a pain trying to clean the plates whilst keeping the machine out of the water.
Off to Argos I headed and looking through their catalogue decided on the 14066 model as it had the desired removable plates. Better still, it was on sale and reduced from £39.99 to £29.99. It was obviously a very popular item as I had to order it but it took only a couple of days to arrive.
When I opened the box I must admit was a bit disappointed with the size of the grill. The description had stated that it was big enough for cooking for two, which was what I wanted. However, it must be for people who eat very small portions. To give you an idea of the size of the plates, you would not be able to make two toasted sandwiches side by side, made from an ordinary sized, sliced loaf. I would say it is better sized for solo cooking.
As is usual, there are heating elements in the top and bottom of the grill and the plates sit on top on them. The plates are released by sliding latches that are located on either side of the grill. I find you sometimes have to wiggle the handles around in the latches to ensure they been properly secured when replacing the plates. A word of warning, if you don't do this you can give yourself a nasty burn when you next lift the lid , as the hot plate falls out of the machine.
To heat the grill it is simply a case of plugging it in. A light on the top will glow until the pre-set temperature has been reached. Unlike other models you cannot set the amount of cooking time you would like, it is a case of on or off. There seems to be a cut off when the temperature is reached but unfortunately it usually happens when you don't want it to, usually in the middle of cooking. I get quite frustrated whilst waiting for something to cook and the machine seems to grind to a halt.
The grill also comes with a plastic drip tray. This needs to be placed in front of the grill whilst cooking and is used to catch any drips or fat that is released whilst cooking.. Both the plates and the drip tray can be washed in hot soapy water or placed in the top rack of your dishwasher if you have one. I prefer to handwash them as that way I am able to gently rub the plates with a soft brush to remove any food that has become stuck.
With regard to cooking, again I am not that impressed. It seems to take ages to cook even the simplest of things, like a slice of bacon or a sausage. Although the plates are coated with non-stick material, I find certain foods do tend to stick. If I am in a rush I prefer to use the grill in my oven as, not only is it quicker, but I can cook more food in one go.
I think you will have already guessed from the above that I am disappointed with this machine. The only saving grace is the removable plates, which makes for easier cleaning. Other than that, I really don't have a good word to say about it. It certainly was cheap and in this case, I obviously got what I paid for. My advice would be to pay for a bigger machine with more features.
George Foreman 14066 Compact Grill Removable Plates / By grilling from both the top and bottom grill plates simultaneously, food cooks up to three times faster, plus unwanted fat and grease is channelled away from foods as they cook into the drip trays provided, for a much tastier and healthier bite / Short name: George Foreman 14066