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Are George Foreman grills worth it?

m
Magdalene Oct 12, 2006 03:55 PM

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

Do people think they are worth it or just hype?

  1. b
    Byronic Sep 4, 2010 08:39 PM

    I didn't even finish reading ALL of the replies, yet I think this a wonderful thread that does a good job at capturing the fact that there are NO absolutes, and it's all about people figuring out what floats their boat--so to speak. I just came home tonight with a name brand panini griller/griddler 4-in-1 appliance (with removable plates), and I did two boneless chicken breasts on it. My own personal impression (((that will likely differ from your own--please try things and find out what you like))) is that is a bit of a contraption on the counter, and as mentioned by others by the time you bring it out, clean it--maybe before and after, etc. --I'd rather use something simpler. Yet I'm in a walking group where some of the members RANT on about how they love their GeoFrmn--even if the grates aren't removable. So, used car salesman, should I buy this car? Don't EVER ask him. Formulate your own opinion. :-)
    And yes (for me only--this is not a suggestion for you) my new appliance will be going back to the store after very careful cleaning and repackaging--because that's the choice for me.
    Byronic
    P.S. One final note. For me, the fantasy of a perfect choice (in my mind, and up to the buying point), is often shattered by the reality of trade-offs that I never imagined in the beginning. So, reading posts, and talking to others is useful--as long as you NEVER confuse someone's opinion with some kind of absolute fact. ;-) Be well, and good fortune to all.

    1. v
      vfar Mar 6, 2009 08:14 AM

      I havent read anywhere the best tip of all. Since cleaning is a pain, even with the removable plates, use tin foil on the top and bottom.. Just form the bottom piece to send the drippings to the tray. Learned from experience. Threw away my first one and my second one is always new because of this tip.

      1. s
        simpson Dec 29, 2008 02:14 PM

        what is with the funky plastic toxic taste ? i just got mine for xmas and it scares me ! why does it smell like that ? i have washed it but it still stinks ! cooked a burger and a onion...still stinks ! anyone else have this problem ? thanks in advance.

        1 Reply
        1. re: simpson
          b
          Byronic Sep 4, 2010 09:11 PM

          Many small cooking appliances are shipped with some kind of oil on the burner elements--to avoid corrosion I think. If you try to ignore the smell in the beginning, I think you may find that it's not actually affecting the flavor.

        2. t
          taos Dec 20, 2008 07:45 PM

          I had one with non-removable plates. I spent more time cleaning it than I spent cooking and eating the food combined. After a few months I donated it to charity.

          1 Reply
          1. re: taos
            BamiaWruz Apr 3, 2009 05:00 AM

            I have the family sized one and have been using it a lot lately, the grills are not removable but it's a breeze to clean, the key is to wet a paper towel, unplug it and then use some silicone tongs and rub the paper towel all over it and things just slip right off the non stick coating.
            I'm talking heavy mess too as the sauces sometimes turn black but everything is easy to clean off using this "steam" method.

          2. Candy Dec 14, 2008 03:48 PM

            Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Candy
              b
              Bengaliwife Dec 18, 2008 06:24 PM

              Yes it is true. The quality of aged hereford beef is the key to the great result I got. I know that the chain of grocery stores that sells aged hereford that I have seen is "The Fresh Market" i live in northern New Jersey and have asked on chowhound where I can find it but nobody ever responded.Best beef you will ever buy.

              1. re: Bengaliwife
                b
                Byronic Sep 4, 2010 09:05 PM

                jmho, I think the important keywords in your post are "FILLET MIGNON", rather than the brand or aging. (At least compared to any other metric.) I"m not saying aging doesn't make it better, though...

            2. b
              Bengaliwife Dec 14, 2008 04:15 AM

              Believe it or not the best steaks I ever ate in my life were prepared on my george foreman grill. I bought 2" thick Aged Hereford Fillet Mignon steaks, marinated them for over 2 hours in a homemade spice rub,, then grilled them for 7 minutes and they were the most tender steaks I ever had. They just melted in your mouth like butter and were alot cheaper than eating out as I could eat off of just one steak for 4 days. Fantastic.

              1. m
                McBean Dec 2, 2008 06:36 AM

                Absolutely. I have a General Electric one with the removable plates. It works like a charm and clean up is a breeze. We just pop out the plates and put it in the dishwasher.

                1. scubadoo97 Oct 3, 2008 08:50 AM

                  For anyone contemplating getting one I can say they work well, are easy to clean and cooking is fast. I have a family size one that sits in the cabinet. It was a novelty to me and after a few uses the novelty wore off. I would rather cook in a more traditional way with a skillet, oven or grill. I can't get the browning on a GFG that I want. I can't get the fond that I want on a GFG. For someone passionate about cooking I would say skip it but for someone that wants to prepare food at home cheaply and quickly it has it's pluses. My daughter and her roommates at college use theirs a lot to make chicken, burgers and fish.

                  1. meatn3 Oct 1, 2008 12:02 AM

                    I realize this is an old thread, but perhaps this might be useful for someone...

                    I used to have the small. basic, non-removable plate model. I found cleaning was very easy. I simply soaked an old washcloth in warm, soapy water. Wring it out to the point where it is still wet, but not dripping. Place this inside as soon as you remove your cooked food. Close the top. After your meal it is very easy to wipe clean.

                    Mine was a gift. I used it once in a while when it was too hot to cook and I was too tired to do much in the kitchen. Now I have air conditioning and a Le Creuset grill pan with the press/lid, so I freecycled the GF to a college student who was thrilled.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: meatn3
                      Caralien Dec 22, 2008 01:18 PM

                      freecycled the girlfriend to a thrilled college student?

                      1. re: Caralien
                        meatn3 Jan 1, 2009 10:22 PM

                        It was just to keep her out of the landfill....And some college students are easy to please!
                        :-D
                        In this case my less than thought out shorthand referred to George Foreman!

                    2. BamiaWruz Sep 29, 2008 10:26 AM

                      I bought one when my local supermarket kitchen department was clearing things out, so the GFG was half price and I would say worth it - family size and it heats up quickly. Kind of a pain to clean (not that it's difficult but compared to a pan which you can just throw in the dishwasher)
                      It is nice though, the ridges crisp things up and it cooks shrimp and fish evenly, squid too. I did whole trout like a member here suggested. What I do love doing though is peppers, because you just throw the peppers which have been lightly oiled on the grill and close it, and they roast then you throw them in a bag and peel. Mushrooms are nice too.
                      Sandwiches, hot dogs (soy for me), you can be creative, someone said they did pancakes and it works, even eggs (you got to support the front so it doesn't tilt the way it's supposed to if you want to try those things)
                      I heard people say they make potatoes, I would think asparagus would be a good idea and really mostly veggie things because you can throw a whole lot of things on the grill and they all roast nicely (I've done tomato, onions and mushroom along with the peppers)
                      Meat is a whole other category, I don't cook meat but I'm sure it would be worth it if you do.

                      Just my 2 cents.

                      1. s
                        studentihatecookingbutlovemeat Sep 27, 2008 08:27 AM

                        hey,

                        I am a full time student and I have a dilemma - actually two dilemmas.

                        One is that I hate to cook but love to eat meat (and I am not overweight; I am a bodybuilder).

                        Second is that I just learned that cooking hamburgers is not possible in a skillet (except a cast iron one).

                        I think George Foreman and I are going to be BFF too, because if I can cook hamburgers, AND CHICKEN TOO then no more cooking for me!

                        I feel childish when I say YAY but I'm serious, this is a thrill to think in a couple hours my life will change as I now know it. I will use that thing every day I am positive. You don't even know how much I hate cooking and how it kills me when I can't eat meat every meal because I don't want to cook it. So I cook chicken like once a week.

                        Now I can have chicken breasts and hamburgers every day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        And I don't mind cleaning - plus it is no different then cleaning a skillet - but I will save days of time a week by not having to really cook!

                        This actually gives me less motivation to find a woman who will cook for me XD -- SERIOUSLY!

                        Why the heck have I never thought of this before in all my years of being a bachelor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        I am so overjoyed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        1. a
                          akzero Aug 6, 2007 08:53 AM

                          You will get half that love it and half that hate it. I have tiny two burger Foreman with non removable plate and I like mine. It cooks food quickly. I get a good sear on my most of my meats and most items come out juicy if you don't over do it.

                          Cleaning is probably the biggest issue especially when food is charred to it. I let mine is cool a little when its done and then I move it to the edge of my sink or place it in the sink. I then sponge it with a water and let it sit a little. This usually loosens up the charred junk and then I will come back with soap and water and keep on sponging it with water until its clean. I have found I can get quite a bit of water on mine as long I don't submerge it or have it upside down and pour water into the electrical housing on the bottom. I won't say its easy to clean, but its not chore either. I just set it in the sink and sponge bathe it, give it a quick rinse with the sprayer to get the soap off, and dry the outside with a towel. I have cleaned mine this way for 5-6 years now without an issue.

                          1. m
                            msdit Jul 30, 2007 04:50 PM

                            Simple answer: no. Mine is gathering dust in the back of the pantry. Stuff I tried on it tasted greasy and pre-fab.

                            1. amymsmom Jul 29, 2007 09:15 PM

                              I guess I'm spoiled. Have a gas grill outside my kitchen, that I use almost all year round. Just don't use when it's raining too hard, snowing, or too windy. It's attached to the house gas, so I never have to refill or replace a tank.

                              Got a GF for a present a few years ago from my mother. Our toaster oven had died the day before, so I exchanged the GF for a new toaster oven. Never regretted the choice!

                              1. jackdemprich Jul 29, 2007 09:01 PM

                                I bought the small grill that didn't have the removable plates. Big mistake. Cleaning the grill is a big deal and the pads that came with the grill cause the non stick coating to come off. I've had my grill just mover 3 months and I am thinking about tossing it and getting one that has removable plates. I like the way it cooks burgers and chicken breats.

                                1. m
                                  MPK Feb 28, 2007 06:11 PM

                                  We use ours for grilling veggies (and love them) as well as salmon, chicken, and other meats. We have the one with the removable plates; had the other and it was much less convenient, as others have said. We keep ours next to the stove and use it often.

                                  1. a
                                    amyvc Feb 3, 2007 11:10 AM

                                    This is a funny post. For the GF, I think people either love 'em or don't use 'em (with varying degrees of either hatred or ambivalence). When we first got it, we lived in an apt with no balcony so couldn't do real grilling. I quickly learned that I had absolutely no ability to time anything in the foreman, so it was only good for stuff that we want well done. Thus I only made fish and chicken in it. However, with no removable plates and the fact that it is in no way easy to clean, I used it less and less. Once we moved into a place where we could do real grilling, I have not used it since. We'll be moving again soon and I'm going to sell it at a yard sale.

                                    1. f
                                      FelafelBoy Jan 23, 2007 09:35 PM

                                      I have a small unit with a separate compartment on top for warming buns.

                                      I used this to cook/grill frozen Jennie-O turkey burgers for the first time. (I had used this two other times to cook veggie burgers.)
                                      The burgers did not get grilled, and the burger exterior that normally is grilled, attached itself to the grilling surface and pulled away from the turky burger. A small amount of liquid from the fat content of the burger drizzled down to the collecting pan below the unit. The rest of the liquid fat was found left on the grilling surface, left as burned solids, not edible.

                                      During the grilling process, as the fat from the burgers drizzled out from the meat, the heating process caused quite a bit of steam, which during the heating process caused that liquid to solidify. I believe the combination of the steaming from the heat hitting the liquid fat and the grilling aspect resulted in more of a steamed burger than grilled. I don't think the temperature was high enough to get the sizzle I had expected.

                                      Needless to say, it took quite a few paper towels and scraping to get this residue off the surface.

                                      I'd expect a similar result if I was to use this grill for salmon fillets it would be more steamed than grilled.

                                      I may attempt using my cast iron pan the next time to see if I can get the sizzle on the burger which this GF grill did not do for these burgers. I'd rather not use this kind of surface for grilling as I believe non-stick is most ideal for cooking eggs, not for higher temperature cooking.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: FelafelBoy
                                        f
                                        FelafelBoy Feb 2, 2007 11:25 PM

                                        As was suggested on another similar thread, one reason why the GF grill and my cast iron skillet didn't do a good job on the lean frozen turkey burgers was due to the lack of fat in the burger. I wiped some olive oil on both sides of the burger (I didn't have a spray can of oil to use), and the result was better than before, though when I lifted th lid, there was no burger on the grill ... it had completely disappeared! Or so I thought. It was actually stuck to the surface of the upper top lid. I probably didn't have enough oil on one of the surfaces.

                                        I had thought the GF grill was to be used to reduce the amount of needed oil on food.

                                        1. re: FelafelBoy
                                          coll Feb 3, 2007 03:30 AM

                                          No, I think it's more to drain the fat that is already in the meat. You really need to spray some kind of oil on there, if you want it to come out with a little char. A few years ago, my SIL asked me to get her a cast iron griddle since she loved my fried eggs; afterwards she asked why hers come out burnt and sticking to the griddle. That's why mine were better than hers, I found out she always cooked them DRY, blasphemy!

                                      2. m
                                        mepolo Jan 12, 2007 05:52 PM

                                        I have been using a GF for years, and love it for winter 'grilling' without having to brave a cold Buffalo winter! I upgraded from the smaller version w/the bun warmer to the family size a couple of years ago.
                                        This week though I tried something new. My DH wanted fried potatoes, and having a cold this week I didn't have the energy or ambition to do them on the stove or electric frying pan..mainly because I didn't want to have to watch them, turn them...etc. I cut the potatoes into 1/2" slices, tossed them with alittle olive oil, salt & pepper & spread them out on the GF. I did turn them once during the cooking, and after about 10 minutes I had wonderful crispy on the outside, soft on the inside fried potatoes. The only downfall was that the grill was only big enough for the equivalent of 2 potatoes.
                                        Last night we did polish sausage on the GF.
                                        In the winter it gets used at least 1-2 times per week in my house!

                                        1. wittlejosh Jan 11, 2007 05:48 PM

                                          Good:
                                          Panini
                                          Asparagus
                                          Salmon steaks and fillets

                                          Bad:
                                          Most other things

                                          1. Marianna215 Jan 11, 2007 04:10 AM

                                            I would marry my George Foreman if it were legal! I use it to cook everything, but it does a particularly good job with BACON!!! yes, bacon, the fat drips down and the bacon ends up crisp,
                                            Other highlights include
                                            - grilled cheeses without using any butter.
                                            - veggie burgers
                                            - quesadillas
                                            - Eggplants
                                            - ZUchinis
                                            ps. Cleaning is extra easy b/c they now have George forman cleaning sponges that are grooved

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Marianna215
                                              coll Jan 11, 2007 11:28 AM

                                              How long do you cook the bacon? that sounds great!

                                              1. re: coll
                                                Marianna215 Jan 11, 2007 05:47 PM

                                                For crisp bacon I'd give it 5-10 minutes, flipping once, but I like my bacon super crisp. It's easy enough to eyeball to your preferred consistency. mmmm.... bacon.

                                                1. re: Marianna215
                                                  coll Jan 12, 2007 11:45 AM

                                                  This could be a very good thing!

                                            2. a
                                              Ai Jen Jan 11, 2007 01:11 AM

                                              Love my Georges, all 3 of them! Easy to use, easy to clean, does a great job on everything I have cooked with it.

                                              1. h
                                                Heatherb Jan 10, 2007 11:27 PM

                                                I had to make another post on this. I bought my favorite ex-boyfriend (don't ask) a GF grill with removeable plates this Christmas. Please keep in mind that this man is a culinary idiot. If I came home late when we were living together, he would have cheerfully opened up a can of beefaroni and eaten it cold. And although he understands complicated theories of physics, I often have received panicked calls from him during which he asked "Can't I just turn the heat up to make it cook faster?"

                                                So for the past two weeks, I've been getting regular calls from him raving about how great the grill is. He's cooked almost every meal involving meat on it. And as he is a single father in an extremely grim financial situation, he is delighted that it doesn't cut into his propane supply and is easy to clean up so that he has more time with his son. So cooking has become a pleasure for a guy who previously could not be bothered because of the George Foreman grill. Just another perspective from the other end of the foodie spectrum.

                                                Of course, he still thinks marinades are for sissies.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Heatherb
                                                  choctastic Jan 11, 2007 12:24 AM

                                                  yah, the foreman grill is perfectly suited for this type of person. i should know since my own SO was clamoring for a GF grill and loves it for grilling steak when it's too cold to bbq. To clean it, I take a paper towel and completely wipe down all the fat and meat juice crust off the grilling surfaces while they're still hot (or i'll plug it in for a little bit to get it hot again). Been doing this for at least a year and it works well and it's much easier than trying to wash the darn thing.

                                                  1. re: choctastic
                                                    h
                                                    Heatherb Jan 11, 2007 12:44 AM

                                                    I'm getting the one with removeable grill plates when this one goes. They can just go in the dishwasher.

                                                2. f
                                                  Fritz Jan 5, 2007 11:39 PM

                                                  we have some variation on the GF. Certain things, like easy grilled chicken w/o smokin up the place, it's very good. But we use it twice a year or so. When it dies I doubt I'd replace it.
                                                  Biggest reason is cleanup is a pain.

                                                  1. h
                                                    Heatherb Jan 5, 2007 04:24 PM

                                                    I love my GF Grill, but there is a super-sophisticated model out with temp control, a timer, and removable plates. I would get this if I had the extra dough and the current one was ready to quit on me.

                                                    Of the GF Grill, I would simply say: It is what it is. You're not going to necessarily get a gourmet meal as you're end result, but if you use quality ingredients you can get a satisfying and healthy meal out of it with very little fuss. It is a convenience tool, not a gourmet experience. Anyone can do something halfway decent with a GF grill as there is very little room for error.

                                                    1. j
                                                      jcanncuk Jan 5, 2007 04:05 PM

                                                      After cooking fish on my GF, I make a paste with baking soda and water and spread it over the surface with paper towels. I put it next to the sink and squeeze water out of my dishcloth over it to rinse it off. seems to work fine.

                                                      I got mine as a gift and have to say I like it as a pannini maker and to heat veggie or salmon burgers. If I was buying something, I'd probably buy a proper panini maker though as I can do burgers in a frying pan easily.

                                                      1. f
                                                        FelafelBoy Jan 5, 2007 06:38 AM

                                                        A few issues here ... a friend just gave me a smaller GF grilling machine, the one with the bun warmer on top, the grill surface being large enough for no more than two burgers, and with four extended legs for the slant effect.

                                                        I had thought of getting one of these things so as to have the fat from turkey burgers drain off, and perhaps for grilled cheese sandwiches, which for me to do in a frying pan is very easy to do (I just have to pay attention when flippin' the 'wich.) The first food I experimented with were veggie burgers (the Vegan Boca Burgers, with no oil in them like their other burgers), I brushed them with oil, and after five minutes or so of sizzling in the machine, I opened the lid and saw that they looked done. They were moist and cooked, but I wouldn't say "grilled." If I had pan fried them, I typically turn the heat up in the pan to get the fried effect on the outside, but when I have done that, have noticed that the inside suffers ... so in the GF grill, tho' the outside wasn't done to a grill crisp, I'd say the overall result was good.

                                                        So, now I have it, and can experiment with it. I see the negatives - nonremovable surface for cleaning, no adjustable heating switch, and no on/off switch (other than pulling the cord out from the outlet).

                                                        Other than that, I can see how this is a convenient machine. I was surprised to see that at the end of the preheating cycle, the inside grilling surface area was emitting steam. If you want to grill something, I don't understand how steam improves that cooking process, but maybe it does somehow.

                                                        My main concern is this ... I have read and heard reports that nonstick surfaces, particularly teflon, should not be heated up to high temperatures, otherwise they can emit toxic chemicals. Some posts refer to the surface used on these machines as made of teflon.

                                                        I do have pans made of various materials - nonstick, stainless steel, carbon rolled steel (for my wok), and cast iron. I'd love to use the cast iron; I've heard they result in great textured cooked foods. I've never used them, because of my doubt of being able to season them properly, their bulkiness (they weigh a ton), and that their size dwarfs the size of the food I would put in their space. Maybe all it will take is a first use. It's just that those lighter nonstick frying pans are so simple to use. (Is seasoning the cast iron frying pan the same process as is done with the wok? Clean out the inside, let dry, wipe with a heavier duty vegetable oil, and put in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or at low to medium temp on a stove top?) The only advantage I see with the cast iron pans is that you get a deeper and richer sizzle on the exterior of foods, as well as a workout for the arms in lugging the equipment.

                                                        Has anyone else had the experience of the George Foreman grills smelling like burning plastic during or after their (first) use? I didn't know if I was getting this from the length of time this machine hadn't been used or some other reason, such as a cheaper oil that the previous owner had used for grilling. The grill surface did look clean, so that's why I discounted the theory that older oil was being burned off.

                                                        For grilling vegetables, do you just drizzle oil over the vegetables, mix them around like you would for a salad, and then plop them on the grill surface? With a traditional frying pan, you would put the oil onto the pan's surface. With the GF grilling machine, the surface is not flat, so oil put onto that surface would go between the "elevated rows" and not make contact with the otherwise dry vegetables. I'm not used to letting vegetables cook in grilling or frying setting without doing something to them during the cooking process.

                                                        I might try to remove the skin of red peppers by cutting the initial form into a flattened form, closing the lid on them, and hoping that the grilling process will produce the charred effect one would get from broiling them, and then removing the skin from them for the purpose of pureeing the remining red pepper flesh, minuse the removed skin.

                                                        A previous post in this thread mentioned using parchment paper for reducing cleanup for the grilling salmon in this machine? For real?
                                                        I had heard that once you grill fish on the surface, it's difficult to get the residual smell/taste out. (as was mentioned wiping with viegar removes the odor. I'd think a damp towel with lemon juice might be successful, too. I'd love to use this thing for grilling salmon, but if parchment paper will help, I might experiment with that, too.)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: FelafelBoy
                                                          r
                                                          rememberme Dec 15, 2008 10:36 AM

                                                          I got my small GF grill at a yard sale, and don't use it for much other than grilling marinated chicken breasts for caesar salad in the summer, but I love it for that. I have lots of cast iron pans, but none with grill things to make marks or lift the food off the bottom of the pan. So I don't grill in those pans.
                                                          I think one of the tricks to the GF grill is to let it preheat for a few minutes. And cleaning it is not a big deal -- a wipe with a soapy sponge, then a rinse.

                                                        2. Chocolatechipkt Nov 6, 2006 12:24 AM

                                                          I tossed mine. I gave it several chances, but the food was unevenly cooked and the cleanup was a PITA. I really did want it to work, as I live in an apartment and trad. grilling isn't an option, but it was more of a pain, IMO.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                            Arthur Nov 6, 2006 12:39 AM

                                                            Sounds like you had a defective one. I personally have never before heard anyone say that GF grills cook unevenly, and I believe your comment contains the first instance where that particular complaint has come up on this long page.

                                                            1. re: Arthur
                                                              Chocolatechipkt Nov 6, 2006 01:56 PM

                                                              Possibly, though a friend of mine--who bought hers somewhere else--said the same thing about the GF grill she bought. If I'd spent more money on it, I'd have been more likely to complain to the company about it, but I didn't and am now fine just using a frying pan or grill pan. (shrug)

                                                          2. n
                                                            niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 04:27 PM

                                                            I think you should have one. I am glad I bought mine. The new models have removable plates so you can easily clean them. The non-stick is stronger than in older models which chipped after several years.

                                                            You need to know that any meat you want to eat rare and juicy such as hamburger or steak, should just be made in your heaviest fry pan, on the stove, as hot as you can make it, flipped once. That's the simple easiest way to get a great juicy steak or burger, unless you own a BBQ grill. With the foreman grill you will cry as the juices run off and the hamburger is rubbery and ruined. On something like a marinated boneless/skinless chix breast or thigh, the foreman grill does an acceptable job because rareness is not something you want and they are thin enough to be done very quickly. One advantage of the foreman grill is that the food is done so quickly, is foolproof, and you just put it in, and walk away until it beeps.

                                                            The Foreman grill does a good job on fish steaks, sausages and hot dogs, vegetables, veggie burgers, and my favorite, indespensible purpose: loaded, messy grilled sandwiches/panini. Like, last night I made a thick tuna melt sandwich - in a pan it would have fallen apart and been very annoying to have to stand over. The foreman grill makes something like that or a muffaletta, a cuban sandwich a grilled eggplant, peppers, onions sandwich (grill the veg. on the foreman first, then assemble the sandwich adding the cheese, and grill that). And you say you have kids - they eat a lot of grilled sandwiches.

                                                            1. m
                                                              mshpook Nov 5, 2006 04:03 PM

                                                              I think my GF is great. I don't have a problem with dried out food; I cook either skirt steaks or shoulder lamb chops on it, both of which I will marinate first. In fact, if you like your meat well done on the outside but rare on the inside, then I find if I I freeze the meat after marinating, I can plunk it down while still frozen on the heated GF and I get my meat exactly the way I like it -- and it is never dry. After cooking, I lay some damp paper towels on the hot grill and close the lid. When I am finished eating, the clean up is really simple, even when I have cooked skirt steaks that were marinated in soy, honey and garlic.

                                                              1. b
                                                                Boz Nov 4, 2006 11:48 PM

                                                                I have the big one with removable plates. We don't have a dishwasher. I just don't find it that hard to clean. 4 chicken thighs will cook in about 8 minutes. Boil water for instant potatoes, another little pan for gravy, and microwave some greens beans. I season things with Goya and black pepper and garlic salt and hey, supper in about 15 minutes.
                                                                This is on my list of six meals that we really like that are easy. I always have the dried and can goods in my cabinets and chicken thighs in the freezer.
                                                                I am not saying it is gormet but it is simple and cleanup is not that hard. Taste pretty decent too.

                                                                1. k
                                                                  kenito799 Nov 4, 2006 04:21 AM

                                                                  I have the basic model and find it great for grilling vegetables in my apartment, zucchini, onions, asparagus. Fast and easy. Clean up is not hard if you have a sprayer in your sink to rinse...maybe you can't inmmerse it but I get the whole thing wet without any problems (yes I unplug it first). Also good for marinated chicken breasts.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: kenito799
                                                                    n
                                                                    niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 04:32 PM

                                                                    The newer models have easily removable plates which compared to carrying the whole machine over to the sink and getting it all wet, or attempting not to, is so very easy. Maybe it's time to get a new one. I know my old model had the non-stick chilling off when I got the new model a couple of months ago. They said the new model has a stronger non-stick coating too. $99 QVC.COM - bigger than the old model too.

                                                                  2. coll Oct 24, 2006 09:07 AM

                                                                    I can't remember how I used to make quesadillas before I started doing them on the GF. They come out beautiful, with nice grill marks, and quick too! Perfect apps for unexpected company, or to use up leftovers. It's also great for grilled chicken or fish in the winter, when the outside grill never gets up to speed. My meat comes out crispy with burned spots, but maybe bacause I marinade first. The grill comes with 2 troughs to catch the grease, and I usually open a couple of times while cooking and pour the juices back over the meat as well. I clean it with a Dobie and it's no more work than cleaning a pot, or cast iron pan. I received a fancy panini grill as a Chritmas gift one year but it's still in its carton, I wasn't even tempted to try it.

                                                                    Also as a side note, I recently read that these grills have been a big boon to people who live in boarding houses, the homeless, etc as they can now cook themselves a hot meal so easily. It was saying what a difference it makes to them, and maybe that George himself was donating them to shelters or something like that. I do know people who use it as their primary cooking device, you could do a lot worse.

                                                                    1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 24, 2006 07:48 AM

                                                                      I like mine a lot. Mine gets real hot so I get a good sear. To avoid juices from running out I grill with the lid up. My mom would fall over if she knew how I clean it; I soap it up, angle it downwards and run hot water from the sink over it. I have the smaller version so it is easy to do without risk of submerging. The other methods of cleaning work well too and are probably less risky. I'd like a Cuisinart or a Breville because I'd like to upgrade a lot of my old appliances not because of any shortcomings of my GF.

                                                                      1. m
                                                                        MrsT Oct 22, 2006 09:56 PM

                                                                        I use my GFG all the time, it's just easier than broiling. The newer machines do have removable plates that make it much easier to clean than the older ones. It also comes with other interchangeable plates such as a griddle and waffle maker. It's worth it just for that alone. As for the cleaning sponge, I just buy a regular Chore Boy, the sponge falls apart after 2 uses.

                                                                        1. e
                                                                          embee Oct 22, 2006 05:13 PM

                                                                          Does it work? Yes. Is it hype? That depends. There are now so many models and sizes that I suspect performance differs wildly among them. What do you want it to do?

                                                                          It is very easy to use. It cooks simple things (skinless/boneless chicken breasts; salmon steaks) very quickly. If this is what you need, then go for it. But there is another side:

                                                                          - It doesn't get hot enough to sear, much less char, most kinds of food. You may get grill marks, but even when you do, the food is kind of steamed. If you want a steak that is seared outside and rare inside, this can't be done.

                                                                          - They have merchandised it as a "low fat" cooking system and they are telling the truth. It drains out fat (along with juices) so effectively that food tends to be very dry. If this is what you want, you'll love it. If you want your food moist and juicy and with at least some fat flavour, forget it.

                                                                          - It cannot cook, say, chicken or steak on the bone at all evenly, and the bones scrape and ruin the teflon (which likely makes the nonstick coating unsafe).

                                                                          - I was never able to get crispy chicken skin without turning the meat to cardboard.

                                                                          - It can be annoying to clean, especially if you wait for it to cool before washing. They apparently sell a special ridged sponge that makes cleaning much easier, but I've never seen one - at least here in Canada. Cleaning pans is MUCH easier.

                                                                          In short, I hated mine and gave it away, but your mileage may vary. I replaced it with a Hamilton Beach model, which had dishwashable grilling plates, but it shared all of the Foreman's flaws and it too is gone.

                                                                          I now have a Breville grill that works much better. Big bones are still a no-no, but it sears beautifully, works well as a panini press, and doesn't necessarily lose all of the fat. However, it is an even bigger pain to clean.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: embee
                                                                            Davwud Oct 24, 2006 12:06 PM

                                                                            I just use a frying pan.

                                                                            Hated the GF Grill as noted above.

                                                                            DT

                                                                          2. sandrina Oct 21, 2006 02:00 AM

                                                                            I must be doing something wrong when I try to use my GF grill. No matter what type of meat I try to grill, it always comes out looking gray. It never seems to leave those nice grill marks on my food as it does on TV. Also, it doesn't seem to grill the food, but rather steam it instead. I personally don't like it much, and also find it a pain to clean up. Not worth the hassle for me.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: sandrina
                                                                              n
                                                                              niki rothman Oct 22, 2006 10:27 PM

                                                                              It's not for red meat. For steaks and burger, chops, I find the best way to do them is in a heavy pan rubbed with heat proof oil, as hot as you can get it. Turn after only a few minutes and serve bloody rare. The Foreman grill is fine for fish, sausages, and especially big loaded grilled sandwiches which tend to fall apart when you try to turn them using a spatula in a pan. I use mine all the time. The newer ones have removable plates and they say the nonstick is less likely to wear off.

                                                                            2. d
                                                                              diropstim Oct 21, 2006 01:40 AM

                                                                              I LOVE my george (we're BFFs). As a professional chef, it sounds kooky. As a single dude, it makes perfect sense. And I disagree with the "difficult to clean" thread, too: With George, there is no pan to scrub, no spatter on your rangetop and the plates are covered in Teflon, so I've never found the task of swiping a damp cloth over them to be too onerous. Also awesome for panini, as noted above. A bachelor's best friend, and I would imagine a harried parent's as well. It is literally the only cooking utensil / appliance that I use at home. I've never even turned on my oven and I kept all my cookware in storage the last time I moved. But George rode in the front of the U-Haul with me.

                                                                              1. J T Oct 18, 2006 08:20 PM

                                                                                I used to use mine for a quick and easy way to grill up a juicy slab of meat (steak, pork chop, chicken breast, fish steak, hamburger, sausage/hotdog). In that role I thought it did a great job. I had the smallish model with the bun warmer (which didn't work too well). (It was really easy to keep clean, believe me I abused the darn thing). I think some of the newer bigger models have temperature controls and timers.

                                                                                1. s
                                                                                  suebro Oct 17, 2006 07:00 PM

                                                                                  I find it very easy to clean (I must be doing something wrong). I just wipe it down good with a wet sponge while it's still warm, and never have a problem.

                                                                                  And I do like it.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: suebro
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    Seldomsated Jan 11, 2007 06:00 PM

                                                                                    Yes - the secret is immediately wiping it off - even before you sit down and eat your food. If there's any delay, then it gets tougher to clean, but not impossible.

                                                                                    I don't know how it would work for a family of four, but I can say it is wonderful for just one person - uses less energy, drains the grease off, and best of all, warms up buns quite nicely, after you've cooked your meat or vegetable for the sandwich insides. Re: drying out meats - just have your meat/fish on the thick side, and don't use preshaped, flat patties.

                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                    S U Oct 13, 2006 04:22 PM

                                                                                    As to the hassle of cleaning it... if you don't put any type of sauce/marinade on the food, and line the drip tray w/ a bit of aluminum foil, you can quite easily wipe the still warm grill down w/ a wet paper towel.

                                                                                    1. k
                                                                                      kayakado Oct 13, 2006 04:18 PM

                                                                                      I had a GF grill for awhile and replaced it because of two features I couldn't live without:

                                                                                      Temperature control, I wanted to grill paninis on high so the crust was toasted before the insides overcooked and I wanted to slow grill burgers so they were juicy but cooked through.

                                                                                      Removable grill plates that can be submerged and washed. I can't stand greasy remnants in the cracks around the cooking surface. Who knows what creatures and germs lurk there.

                                                                                      I ended up with a T-fal from Tuesday morning for $40. It is okay for one or two people and it does convert to a flat grill and an oven type arrangement. For that price I figured it was worth trying. This is not an endorsement of the T-fal just an explanation that GF needs to make his grills more versatile, not everyhting needs to be cooked on high heat.

                                                                                      1. macca Oct 13, 2006 01:47 PM

                                                                                        WE have one- and we have a teen who was a really picky eater. She ate boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked on the foreman- ate it at least 5 nights a week for 4 years- and this is no exaggeration. It was great for that purpose. To be truthful, she is the only one who uses it. She cooks french fries, grilled cheese ( we have a pannini, too) and endless chicken breasts. Now that she is becoming a cook herself, she uses our cast iron a lot- and I am so happy to say that she is expaning her menu choices, and is willing to try new things. I don't think she will ever join me in eating sushi, but there is hope!

                                                                                        1. HillJ Oct 13, 2006 01:38 PM

                                                                                          About two years ago we bought the expanded family size with the removeable grills. It proved far more functional than the original and yes clean up was easier but I've come to realize that the temperature control and timer can be off. I don't rely on either.

                                                                                          Our fav use is burgers during the week when we don't have alot of time; less grease digested, less mess than a pan, quick to cook and we don't waste propane cooking for two.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                            HillJ Jan 12, 2007 11:56 AM

                                                                                            I have since stopped using the Foreman Grill and purchase a cast iron skillet used to make fajitas. I love the grill sear and sizzle we get from the iron as opposed to the "marks" we got from a teflon coated electric gadget.

                                                                                          2. LindaWhit Oct 13, 2006 01:01 PM

                                                                                            I used it a few times (got mine about 5 years ago) and ended up giving it away to a friend. Hated the non-removable grill plates. Just not worth the effort to clean it up.

                                                                                            1. anna Oct 13, 2006 01:00 AM

                                                                                              I don't have a Foreman but have the Cuisinart Griddler instead. The plates can be removed for cleaning and they are two sided, one side grill and the other side griddle. You can use it as a panini grill but it can also be opened up flat and you can use both surfaces at the same time. I really like it and I believe it's now available (or will be soon) at Costco. The price is higher than the Foreman but it's definitely a better product.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: anna
                                                                                                Arthur Oct 13, 2006 02:06 AM

                                                                                                Does the Cuisinart model slant downward? Most such grills/pannini makers that I've seen do not, and that design element is one of the key, often underappreciated features of the GF grill, where most of the grease drains down and out into a receptacle. Clearly, as you can tell from all of the above postings, some of the grease still sticks to the GF grill plates (and is a pain to clean), but the slanting of the GF models certainly reduces fat content considerably.

                                                                                                1. re: Arthur
                                                                                                  anna Oct 13, 2006 04:39 AM

                                                                                                  The plates are not slanted. However, there are "gutters" on the edge that help drain the grease. I've even grilled duck on mine and it works well draining away the fat.

                                                                                                  1. re: anna
                                                                                                    Arthur Oct 18, 2006 04:43 PM

                                                                                                    An entry-level GF grill costs about $20 on sale at most department stores. I was in Costco yesterday and saw the aforementioned Cuisinart Griddler for $90. With that enormous a price difference, I'm fairly confident that the Cuisinart model is "definitely a better product," just as I might expect from, say, a hypothetical European version sold by Williams-Sonoma for several hundred dollars. But I think the question here is how much bang the GF grill gives you for twenty bucks. And I'd say it's considerable.

                                                                                                2. re: anna
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  ch1ll1ng Dec 31, 2008 11:45 AM

                                                                                                  I also have a griddler and used it to cook steaks when I was in an apartment where I couldn't have a grill. It's a bit messy to cook steaks and fatty foods in but it works GREAT for paninis.

                                                                                                3. Xericx Oct 12, 2006 09:45 PM

                                                                                                  They're fine, but you'll eventually stop using it, throw it away, then figure you need one again and buy another one!

                                                                                                  1. Davwud Oct 12, 2006 09:44 PM

                                                                                                    We got one for a wedding present.

                                                                                                    We don't use it anymore. We found it was only good for making dried out stuff.

                                                                                                    DT

                                                                                                    1. pescatarian Oct 12, 2006 07:21 PM

                                                                                                      I like my Foreman grill for all the reasons mentioned earlier. My only complaint with it is the space it takes up. I don't like leaving appliances on the counter and it takes up a lot of space in my cupboard.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: pescatarian
                                                                                                        OCAnn Oct 12, 2006 09:04 PM

                                                                                                        Put that greasy contraption in the cupboard?

                                                                                                        1. re: OCAnn
                                                                                                          pescatarian Oct 12, 2006 09:08 PM

                                                                                                          lol, well no, I don't put it in my cupboard dirty

                                                                                                      2. u
                                                                                                        ubermasonfan Oct 12, 2006 07:19 PM

                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                        1. foodie in seattle Oct 12, 2006 07:10 PM

                                                                                                          No. Buy a Panini Grill instead.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: foodie in seattle
                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                            kb8240 Dec 23, 2008 01:04 PM

                                                                                                            Second that!

                                                                                                            1. re: kb8240
                                                                                                              Paulustrious Apr 3, 2009 05:53 AM

                                                                                                              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...http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-16-...

                                                                                                              ...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
                                                                                                                KaimukiMan Apr 3, 2009 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                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).

                                                                                                          2. Arthur Oct 12, 2006 06:59 PM

                                                                                                            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
                                                                                                              Jacquilynne Oct 13, 2006 05:06 PM

                                                                                                              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
                                                                                                                scubadoo97 Jul 30, 2007 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                              2. OCAnn Oct 12, 2006 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                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. Pei Oct 12, 2006 04:02 PM

                                                                                                                  "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
                                                                                                                    chaddict Oct 13, 2006 01:05 PM

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

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pei
                                                                                                                      n
                                                                                                                      niki rothman Oct 17, 2006 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                      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.

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