Product Type: Tesco electrical appliances
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Never buy an overpriced Health Grill again!
Tesco Health Grill
Member Name: i_am_joy
Tesco Health Grill
Date: 22/02/10, updated on 22/02/10 (433 review reads)
Advantages: Very reasonably priced, works well on a variety of foodstuffs
Disadvantages: An incredibly searing heat and narrow floating hinge makes it unsuitable for certain foods
I have owned no fewer than six George Foreman Grills in my lifetime, all of them coming to such bizarre ends that I feel I could write a (short) book about each unfortunate demise. I have vowed not to buy another one as I honestly believe I am jinxed with these products, and frankly they're far too expensive to keep replacing.
This is why I now own a Tesco Health Grill, costing just £8.49 when it was on special offer I thought I would try the product as that is a fraction of the price of a similar sized George Foreman.
The design has changed somewhat, the Grill is still silver in colour but is more elongated towards the front and narrower. The drip tray is also built in to the bottom of the grill rather than being a stand alone accessory.
There are no bells or whistles with this Grill, you simply plug it in to switch the machine on and when it reaches optimum cooking temperature a green light will come on to tell you that it's ready for you to place your food on the grilling plate. There is no timer or heat cut-out so you need to constantly check the food to make sure it doesn't need turning or moving around. This is an irrelevance to me at worst as I don't tend to rely on kitchen timers, however more busy people will surely miss the reminder to turn your steak or drizzle those king prawns.
The Grill does work well. It heats up very quickly and is angled in such a way that as much liquid fat as possible will drain away from my food. I have cooked several different meats and vegetables on it since purchase and, providing I take care with turning and timings, it has mostly turned out well.
When it hasn't turned out well, however, it is certainly the fault of the Grill! I am not one to blame my tools for errors that occur whilst cooking, but this Grill has two flaws which can cause problems depending on the foodstuff you are cooking.
The first issue is the 'floating' hinge as it barely floats at all. The hinge on the Grill is extremely narrow so this means you have to ensure your food is of a completely standard thickness, otherwise the thicker section will be cooked while the thin end is still raw due to the plates not being able to physically touch the whole thing. This is mostly apparent when cooking steak or chicken breasts as they are not uniform thickness and it's not always convenient or possible to use a steak mallet on them.
Another problem I have with this Grill is that the plates have a very strange heat which actually sears the food instead of gently cooking it from the outside in. I am fully aware that this is how a grilling machine works, but the heat generated from this Tesco version seems far more fierce than my previous experience with George Foreman products. For this reason, and the narrow hinge, it is only capable of cooking rather thin foods as if you use a chunky chicken breast you'll probably find the outside is decidedly charred while the flesh inside is still pink. This is obviously not ideal when cooking high risk foods such as chicken, although does create an interesting texture with vegetables such as large flat mushrooms and slices of aubergine.
The Grill is easy to clean and the non-stick coating appears robust, I don't use the spatula that came with it as I prefer the bulkier feel of the George Foreman whereas the Tesco spatula is rather thin and unsubstantial. This is purely personal choice however, and I do not envisage any reason why this spatula shouldn't do the exact same job. Do allow your grill to cool before attempting to clean the plates as they do get extremely hot and a burn would be the most likely outcome of you attempting to wipe it too early, the ideal time to clean it is while the fat is still in a semi liquid state and simply use a ball of scrunched up kitchen towel to easily wipe away the mess.
The integrated drip tray is rather strangely designed. It slides easily in and out of the base of the grill but because it's smaller than the long trays I am used to with a George Foreman Grill I do find it somewhat of a bind to clean. It's square so needs a proper cleaning because the fat and grease collects in the corners, whereas a soak in very hot soapy water and a wipe is really all that's needed to clean a George Foreman drip tray. This is a minor irritation for me, but the small size of the drip tray and awkwardness in cleaning is bound to impact on the enjoyment of using this Grill for many people.
Despite the problems I have mentioned I do recommend this Tesco Health Grill, for its price it's a handy piece of equipment if you're on a budget and usually it works well. Providing you are aware of the foods it struggles to cook properly you shouldn't have any problems with it, and as with any other electrical kitchen product it will be trial and error when you first purchase it as to how well you can make it fit into your daily routine to make life easier.
Summary: A cut price version of a George Foreman Grill, it's certainly not perfect but is an excellent price
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