----- General Information -----
I bought this grill in Tesco's and it was around £30. It is currently a bargain there at only £22.50 so I would snap one up now if I was you!
I didn't go out specifically looking for a grill, but when I read all the things it can do, it though why not? My mum has always had one at home (I think a Breville one), and so I decided to add one to my appliance collection and see how it did. Being only £30 it surprised me as I always thought grills were much more expensive. I figured it might not last that long, but at least I would get some grilling experience.
----- The Product -----
The Grill is advertised as family sized, and although I only use it to cook for two, I do wonder if you could fit four large pieces of meat in there. This obviously isn't an issue for me, but it may be a bit misleading for someone who intends to use it for 4 people.
The grill is black in colour and has an indicator light on the top, so you know when it's ready. Below is the logo, which is white, and I think looks very nice over the black.
The surface is non stick, and works really well. There is also a tray to collect any grease which makes you feel healthy, looking at what you could have ended up eating had you cooked the meat another way!
----- My Experience -----
The day I bought this, obviously I had to try it out. I had also bought some salmon in Tesco's, so I made salmon with salad and jacket potatoes. The grilling surface is larger than average. I did four salmon fillets at the same time, and there was still room for more. It grilled the salmon quickly and evenly, and was really straightforward.
I have since used it for salmon again and again, and I'm really impressed with how easy it is to clean. The grill features slopes for the fat and grease to slide in to, so the surfaces are never too yucky. It is really easy to clean, and can just be lightly wiped down for a quick fix. I find that my salmon is cooked evenly all round, and through the middle, and tastes really good as no flavour seems to be lost during the grilling process.
I have also used this for toasting sandwiches, and love it! It melts cheese inside the sandwich really well, and the bread becomes lovely and toasted all round.
----- Overall -----
A great addition to anyone's kitchen, and brilliant value for money. I feel that this will last me a very long time, and will have no reason to buy another until this one dies, which will hopefully be a very long time away!
I first bought one of these many years ago and I must say its one of the most used things I have in my kitchen.When you first use one you will be shocked at the amount of grease and fat that comes from what you grill.I use it for chicken, steak! burgers,( the amount of stuff that comes out of a burger is particularly shocking),all meats plus vegetables like onions,peppers and mushrooms.I also do toasted sandwiches which are lovely.I don't ever use a frying pan.I've used other similar grills,but they haven't been as good as the George ones .Everything is nice and evenly cooked because the grill is heating from the top and the bottom and because the grill is tilted all the grease and fat runs down into the juice catcher that comes with it and is placed under the lip of the grill.A downside about some of these grills is there is no option to regulate the heat so everything cooks at the same time and at the same temperature.
Purchased this George Foreman before I headed off to university, we had always had a similar one at home and it was often the choice for cooking meats and various other bits. I paid £34.99 for the grill, they retail usually at around £39.99, it was definitely worth every penny!
The George Foreman is a versatile grill in that it can cook a multitude of different bits. There are some things that I always choose to cook on the George Foreman. Items such as bacon, sausages, pork chops, burgers and cheese toasties I always stick in the grill and its a lot easier than using the oven. There are other bits you can do on a grill, such as steaks, however I prefer doing them elsewhere as the George Foreman lacks an element of control over the more delicate pieces of food as the temperature cannot be adjusted.
The grill can be easily cleaned with a wet cloth. It is tough to clean once the grill has cooled off so my tip is to switch the grill off, wait a few minute and then clean off when still hot. The food comes off very easily when done with this method.
The grill is simple and easy, it is simply plug it in, switch it on and wait for it to heat up then you're away. Fat drains away from the food and is collected in a tray that can be placed beneath the grill, this makes the food less greasy than if you grill it in an oven dish in the oven, you'll be surprised how much fat you get off some bits of food!!
Another advantage is that you can use the grill with the lid up or down, I tend to keep it up for goods like bacon, and use it as a bbq, but down for other food like burgers to cook both sides quicker. This versatility is a very important factor of the advantages to using the George Foreman.
No temperature control, makes cooking some food a little tricky to get spot on but practice makes perfect. As mentioned before it is tough to clean when dry. The last disadvantage is the grilling plates are not removable, unlike the smaller George Foreman machines where you can take each plate off individually and wash it in the sink.
This really is a dream for simplifying cooking. For a student like me the George Foreman cuts down on washing up whilst making the food accessible and easy to cook. My housemates absolutely love using it and I'd recommend it to anyone else whether a student or not. A very handy thing to have in the house and can be taken anywhere you have a socket to use. 5 Stars from me.
I have had this grill since last Christmas, when it was bought as a present as I mentioned that my grill was not working on my oven. The grill now works on the oven and I am using that, but don't let that put you off. I had owned another George foreman grill several years before, and that one seemed more solid and had a different green plastic lid.
The concept is good, that you can grill anything, meat, cheese, toast on both sides at the same time and make snacks all in one place. This does actually work, that should be said. Regarding the size and practicality, it is a bit big to keep out in my small kitchen all the time H10.5 x L31 x W31 cm, so it ended up in the cupboard under the sink ! It heats up quickly enough, about 5 minutes, and I mainly use it now for odd things like pastry, toast, crisping things, grilling mushrooms etc. I have stopped cooking meat on it as the fat slides down into the drip tray at the back. It is hard to clean the surface as it is all in one piece and you cannot put it in the washing up bowl.
So I keep it for simple clean things like toasted cheese sandwiches or things that do not get greasy. This is a great toasted sandwich maker and makes a nice light and dark groove down the sandwich like on a barbeque griddle. It also does cook meat, as long as you take precautions with thick beef burgers or pieces of meat - example
I put home made burgers on there ( yes I can cook ! ) but found that they just stayed raw in the middle, so I had to cut them in half across the middle, and cook the one at a time, so they cooked properly.
A good back up grill /toaster that makes great snacks, but it is hard to clean and can stink out the kitchen for some reason.
I was quite excited when I got sent this grill to try; I'd always fancied the idea of a George Foreman grill, which I've heard people rave about due to the fact that it can, in theory, be used to cook food on two sides at once on a slant, thus meaning that unnecessary fat runs off your food. Unfortunately in practice I've found out that cooking on this grill has few advantages to grilling food in my everyday oven and, quite frankly, is a bit of a faff. It's not something that, over a few months of ownership I've found myself using as often as I might making this appliance, to me, one that lives at the back of the cupboard. If you are looking for a George Foreman Grill I would probably recommend considering one with more features than this basic model, currently £24.99 on Amazon, rrp an ambitious £39.99.
To start with the positives, the foreman grill is relatively compact. It can be stored on its side in a cupboard, it's 10cm high at most by my measurements and its footprint is 28cm by 32 cm. The manufacturers call this a "family grill", and it's true that the cooking area is about 28 at its widest. It is a bit of a curved shape as you can see in the photo above. IWhen you open the top to reveal the cooking area, which heats up when it is plugged in, you can fit 4 standard sized burgers with ease, 5 with a bit of a squeeze. On a positive note the grill warms up quickly and it has a flexible floating hinge at the back which allows you to cook different thickness items, which are kept firmly in place and squidged down by the weight of the lid. It also has a plastic foot on a hinge on it's base which you can use to store the cord and also to raise and lower the cooking angle on the grill so that it is flat or at about a 45 degree angle. I would say also that it does reduce cooking times (there's an indication of these in the manual that comes with the appliance which are a bit on the optimistic side in my experience) as you are cooking from both above and below the food. You can use the grill with any meat, fish or vegetable, I've cooked with a variety of items, however as I shall explain it's not necessarily a great way of cooking and the grill is just lacking in quite a few ways.
To come to the negatives then. It has to be said that it's obvious as soon as you open the box that it's an entry level item, which doesn't have the features that would make it more pleasant to use. Bar the kind of lights you get on a sandwich toaster, a red to say on, a green to say go there are no bells and whistles. This would be fine were it not lacking in so many things that would make cooking with it a good experience. For a start the grill plates are not removable, making them a nightmare to clean after use, as it's much like cleaning a sandwich toaster - ie not submersible, and as they are ribbed it's really quite hard to remove food residue from eg burgers and chicken steaks.
When using it for cooking what's immediately striking is the fact that the heat is not adjustable -at all, which more expensive models are, and it seems to be permanently set to "a bit too high". This means that this particular grill copes less well with thicker items, I found thick burgers were over cooked on the outside whilst still requiring cooking in the middle, and it didn't do a great job of cooking salmon, to the point that I wouldn't risk such an expensive fish on it again. It's actually very hard to cook things properly on this item, I find a griddle pan much easier to use. It does, it has to be said cook vegetables like onions and peppers very well, though although you do see fat running into the supplied plastic drip play (just another yucky thing to clean), it's not really that noticeable more than when grilling food like sausages which actually I'd rather do than use this because when I have used it to cook my bangers I've been a little concerned that the food might not be cooked through properly .
The finish and build quality of the appliance is not great either - the plates on mine have a slight defect on the non-stick surface and it's just not brilliantly made. The cord length is adequate rather than generous - it's about 70cm by my measurements, and it's got the tiniest rubber feet I've even seen on anything, the overall impression is of a cheaply made appliance and on use it doesn't really impress either.
Overall, at best I would describe this grill as averagely good and I've found it a bit of a disappointment.
I think it might be worth investing in a model with more features if you are wanting to use this kind of appliance regularly. Though it does remove some fat in all honesty using it seems a messier and less effective way of cooking than using my normal oven. I can't justify using it often as it's too much of a pain to clean and I can't be sure of the results with more expensive cuts of meat. All that said it's great for paninis and hot wraps and I use it regularly to make both, but if you are looking for a grill for meat items it may be worth investing a little more for the features that are lacking here. I can't imagine that anyone who likes cooking and good food is really going to take this item seriously as one of their "must have" kitchen items and fail to see how it's going to make food any healthier as the adverts seem to suggest. I feel I've given the George Foreman way of cooking a good go but have found it lacking the more I have used it. It might be adequate for someone who hasn't got a grill or a griddle but for anyone with better equipment in their kitchen than this it's a bit of a white elephant in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend it I'm afraid.
I was sent this to try and keep as part of the Amazon Vine program
The Family 5 portion grill has a 510cm? cooking surface and adjustable rear foot for flat or angled cooking / The Angled design allows for fat and grease to be channelled in to the separate drip tray / The 18870 also features a dual power and temperature ready indicator lights and cord storage as well as a stand upright feature for vertical storage. / Short name: George Foreman 18870