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Oct 12, 2006 03:55 PM

Are George Foreman grills worth it?

Hubby and I are considering getting one, especially with two toddlers now.

Do people think they are worth it or just hype?

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  1. "Worth it" is subjective.

    Do they do what they're advertised to do? Yes. Could you do the same on a stovetop with a $10 cast iron? Yes.

    I had one for a long time, and the biggest pain for me was cleaning it while it was hot. If you don't clean it as soon as your food is ready, a lot of char sticks to it and is kind of a pain to get off. But since my Foreman didn't have removeable plates, I couldn't put the darned thing under the faucet to rinse it off. This meant a lot of paper towel waste. So if you get one, get one of the new ones with the removeable metal grill plates.

    If you can get around the cleaning issues by buying the right model, however, you might get a lot of use out of it as busy parents. It's easy to grill burgers, chicken breasts, salmon steaks, and any number of large meat items on the grill. I've also done marinated vegetables (asparagus, bell peppers, and such).

    If you already own a cast iron pan and are happy "grilling" things stovetop, there's really no reason for a Foreman that i can think of.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      Information that would have been nice to know BEFORE you sold it to me...; )

      1. re: Pei

        I have to disagree about stovetop being just as easy. I'm an addict for big thick sloppy grilled sandwiches like cheese and tuna salad (tuna melt). When you have to flip such a sandwich, most likely disaster will result and everything will fall out. For me, the george Foreman grill is perfect for this. Obviously it compresses the sandwich and you do not have to flip it at all. So, I use it for a panini grill. I love my grilled sandwiches and this makes it so easy.

      2. I agree w/Pei; it's subjective. My DH loves/loved it; (being the neatnik) I hated it. Convenient? Most definitely! You can take chicken breast/thigh out of the freezer and in a few minutes, it's nicely grilled & ready for a sandwich.

        1. I totally agree with the replies thus far. The base-level GF grill is almost miraculously fast when you want/need food grilled in a hurry. But time-wise, you more than pay for that convenience afterwards when you have to really bear down to clean the gunked-up contraption. IMHO it's definitely worth the extra money to get a version that has removeable grill plates, but I believe that option is only available in some of the larger GF models

          2 Replies
          1. re: Arthur

            The trick I learned is to plunk whatever you're grilling down on a piece of parchment paper and throw another piece on top (actually, I usually use one piece and wrap it over). It only minimally affects the browning of whatever you're cooking, and the clean up afterwards consists of throwing away the parchment paper.

            I don't bother if I'm just doing grilled cheese, or similar things that aren't messy, but if I'm doing anything I'm going to have to work at cleaning, it's a great trick.

            If I forget and have to clean the grill, then I find setting a couple of damp papertowels in it and closing the lid for at least five minutes while it's still hot will allow me to come back and clean the thing out in a couple of swipes.

            1. re: Arthur

              We have one that doesn't get used much at all. I much prefer the crust I get from a cast iron pan but you can cook a BSCB in 5 min on the GF. My cleaning tip is after you remove the food, lay some very wet paper towels over the grill plates and close it up while eating dinner. This will steam away anything and then you can just wipe it down. This would be great for the kids in college but for those of use with real kitchen and real cooking skills I see no need for them.

                1. re: kb8240

                  I can't third it because I've never had a GF. (That's George Foreman, not GirlFriend. I'm not that sad!).

                  I seem to use the Panini maker in fits and starts. It's the effort of unjamming it from its storage position, setting it up, cleaning it, leaving it open to completely dry off and then trying to re-insert it in the storage space that seems to have shrunk. More often I use a cast iron rectangular 'plate' that is smooth on one side and ridged the other. It can either cover two gas rings or it can go in the oven. Once preheated in the oven it is is excellent for cooking chicken, part or whole, normal carcase or spatchcocked. Apart from easy cleanup It has the advantage that it can be stored in the stack of baking trays or cutting boards. It also does well in the bbq and allows me to cook meat without fear of flare-up.

                  It looks like this...

                  ...except the handles are like steel springs that cool down fairly quickly and can be handled while they are on the cooktop. I would recommend that type because they rotate away from the plane of the pan and so it is easy to get it out of the oven, Far better design than the Lodge example above.

                  This disadvantage is that I don't think it will work well on electric ranges..

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    they work fine on electric ranges. the advantage of cast iron is that it distributes the heat fairly well, so it really doesn't matter if the range is gas or electric (other than the normal concerns about temperature control with electric ranges).

              1. As a recent college grad, my Foreman was my only refuge for 3 years to escape cafeteria food. Now that I have a real kitchen (Thank G-d), I'm using a little less now but it works faster than my stove. Hope that helps.