If you have one, do you like it? What do you use it for most? Why use this instead of a gas stove & broiler?
I must be stuck in a rut of relying on my gas stove/broiler, toaster oven and cast iron grill pan because I really don't understand why and when I'd choose use this albeit cool looking electric grill/griddle/sandwich press.
One plus noted on the box is the removable dishwasher safe grill and griddle plates. However, my apt has no dishwasher. On that note, counter space is a consideration but I probably can fit this in if I were to use it on a regular basis.
This was a gift and before I blindly exchange it I'd like to at least some idea of what I might be missing out on
thanks and happy holidays
Although you probably are going to keep it, I must dissent!!! I will disclose that I have not owned one but I have family and friends that have bought the Cuisinart, Vitantino (sp?), G. Foreman and other consumer model grillers and panini makers. IMNSHO NONE of these machines are worth a damn for grilling meat. My not so dear mother cooked me a little $23 prime N.Y. steak on a G.F. that I would have slipped to her German Shepard, had it not died a couple of years earlier. I emptied a jar of steak sauce brought home from the families favorite steak place since the late 1920's. No sear, not juicy and no dry-aged flavor! GREY CARDBOARD!!! For indoor grilling the best is a cast iron grill pan. I have used 2 Lodge round grill pans for years and a while back I splurged a little and got the large rectangle Cusinart enameled pan. I use all 3 for meats, poultry, fish, grilling veg. (usually chilis and tomatoes at my house) and they make a mean panini!
I did buy a panini maker (the one with a V that I mis-spelled above and it was ok the first time but it fell apart before the second use. I saved my money and scoured all of the larger restaurant supply stores in my area an got a good deal on a small size made in Italy panini maker and it is absolutly worth the extra $$$. Now keep in mind, when I bought my first home, I had a certain amount of money to furnish it as I had nothing but cameras, vehicles, books, Calphalon (the orig. stuff) plus other assorted pots and pans and and my Wustoff! I spent almost half of my resources when I ordered a Wolff Range of my dreams at a grubby little appliance store where the only employee was this lovely Jewish fellow that had been running the store for over 60 years! A max-power, custom-made Vent-a-Hood to place above it (blackened everything was in my repetoir back than, thanks to Paul P.)
Yes, I do get more into 'stuff' than a lot of people. But this long winded post is essentially saying, YA GIT WHA YA PAYS FER!!! Fo me I prefer to save my $$$ and wait for the best when I can.
I hope that this late response is helpful and that it is not so far off topic that it dissapears.
I just got a Cuisinart Griddler for Christmas, and I must say I love it! This is my third electric grill, and it's the Cadillac of Electric Grills. It does it all--drains out fat (if you want), grills, griddles (with a thermostat!!), and makes perfect panini, all on non-stick surfaces that are so easy to clean you don't need a dishwasher. (I don't have one either.) It can open flat to provide more than enough cooking surface, or you can grill "Foreman style," but with a great deal more flexibility, and grill anything in half the time. The grill marks are gorgeous and delicious.
I just now made and devoured a killer panini with morbier cheese, prosciutto, and piquillo peppers. I wouldn't part with this appliance, no sir.
re: Tom Steele
thanks for your reply. I have yet to open it but am leaning towards keeping it.
Having never used ANY electric grill, it's still hard for me to imagine when/why/how often i'd use one for grilling meats or frying eggs instead of the gas stove & broiler.
otoh, i can definately understand the pros when it comes to pancakes & the occasional tuna melt.
who knows, I may just break out of my rut yet.
I've developed some *killer* recipes for electric grilling, including one for really spicy chicken thighs. But for that, you need good ventilation. I emptied my apartment during a party because peoples' eyes were stinging. But they all returned, devoured the thighs, and said it was worth it! E-mail me if you want the recipe.