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Electric indoor grill and aluminum foil?

d
daeira May 16, 2013 12:15 PM

I have a George Foreman type grill that has removable plates. After some heavy use, the non-stick surface has started to peel and flake away, so much so that I've not used the appliance out of fear.

I haven't been able to locate replacement grills and I feel bad just simply throwing out the appliance to buy a new one, when it's still perfectly good to use (except for the removable grills).

Is it feasible/safe to use the grills if I cover them with aluminum foil? I'm not sure of any other solution, but am open to anything you might suggest.

Ideally, I would like to find an indoor electric Forman style grill that has cast iron removable plates, but haven't found anything.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

  1. junescook May 16, 2013 06:37 PM

    I would definitely not recommend covering those plates with foil. Haven't seen one with cast iron either. I've got a Cuisinart Griddler that I've been really enjoying. I use it quite a lot, so if the grids were to go after a pretty considerable period of time, I'd feel it had served its purpose, like a well-used non-stick pan, chuck it and get a new one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: junescook
      kattyeyes May 17, 2013 06:21 AM

      Thank you for reminding me how much I want one of those. Nice to hear you get lots of use out of yours. I would love to have one. :)

    2. f
      ferret May 17, 2013 07:24 AM

      There aren't any health risks to eating non-stick coatings, it's the inhalation of certain components of non-stick that MAY cause risk.

      1. d
        daeira May 17, 2013 05:34 PM

        Thanks all.

        I really like my indoor grill. Perhaps I should just buy a new one. I just assumed it would be okay to place foil on the grills since I see panini presses covered with foil in cafes.

        Even if there aren't any health risks to eating non-stick coatings, something about knowing that I'm ingesting flakes of non-stick coating freak me out a bit (I know very unscientific).

        Mine is a Hamilton Beach and is quite compact. I've noticed though that the non-stick coating is very different than my dad's George Foreman grill. Mine is dark black, whereas the Foreman grill is grey. Perhaps the non-stick coating on mine is inferior.

        1 Reply
        1. re: daeira
          kattyeyes May 17, 2013 06:35 PM

          "I see panini presses covered with foil in cafes."
          I wonder if that's so they can quickly switch between different sandwiches--say first there's a tuna melt, then you'd want to switch and make tomatoes and mozzarella. I can't say we have many cafes around here that make panini, but I'd really think that's a quick way to keep things clean.

          FWIW, I, too, would not be cool with eating non-stick coating flakes, however unscientific. Let's just file under "not delicious." :)

        2. a
          ATL_Brad May 17, 2013 07:16 PM

          I have the one in the link below. It has cast iron grates and does a great job. Due to not having a vent hood, I use it mainly for panini, but it works for meat as well.

          I like is so much that I started gaining some weight from all the bread I was eating, so I've cut back on it's use; but it works very well. I never had one of the lightweight types, but I'm guessing you have to hold the top down to get the right pressure. The top on this one is heavy enough that you don't need to do that.

          http://www.webstaurantstore.com/warin...

          3 Replies
          1. re: ATL_Brad
            kattyeyes May 17, 2013 07:24 PM

            Holy smokes, that is SERIOUS business!

            1. re: ATL_Brad
              d
              daeira May 18, 2013 11:20 AM

              Wow, that's a heavy duty press. I like that it has cast iron grates, but definitely don't have the space in my tiny galley kitchen for something.

              I'm just so surprised that companies haven't considered that potential customers may want cast iron presses instead of the non-stick variety.

              1. re: daeira
                paulj May 18, 2013 11:48 AM

                The nonstick grids are probably aluminum. That conducts heat much better than iron. So the plates can be thinner, lighter, and the heating elements more spread out than with iron ones. So if the target price is under $50 nonstick aluminum is the way to go. If your market is happy with $300 or even $3000 then iron will work.

            2. paulj May 17, 2013 09:40 PM

              you mean like this?

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQnCvLD0HQU

              http://therecipecrayonbox.blogspot.com/2012/07/tip-how-to-prevent-cleaning-george.html

              http://www.sparkpeople.com/secrets.asp?tip=24654_reynolds_wrap_non_stick_foil

              http://community.tasteofhome.com/comm...

              1 Reply
              1. re: paulj
                d
                daeira May 18, 2013 11:22 AM

                Looks like aluminum foil is doable. I'm just not sure how effective my machine would be anymore because the grooves of the grill are very deep compared to the more shallow grooves on the Foreman grill.

              2. Atomic76 May 17, 2013 11:22 PM

                I would ditch it, it's not worth the trouble. Plus, if you are going through boxes of foil regularly to keep covering it, then you could have just bought a new one with that money.

                For what it's worth, I just saw the Cuisinart Griddler at a local Big Lots for only $29. It was probably a returned model I'm assuming, but you can't beat that price!

                4 Replies
                1. re: Atomic76
                  kattyeyes May 18, 2013 04:03 AM

                  Oooh, I'm gonna keep an eye out--nice find!

                  1. re: Atomic76
                    d
                    daeira May 18, 2013 11:25 AM

                    I think the consensus is that I should just get a new one. I envy my neighbours to the south. I'm in Canada so a lot of these appliances aren't as cheap as in the US.

                    I just wish manufacturers would make something without non-stick grills that's for home use.

                    One of my other options might be just to buy a cast iron grill pan and use a heavy press. It won't cook as fast as the electric grill, but it might be just as effective

                    1. re: daeira
                      kattyeyes May 18, 2013 02:28 PM

                      I did something similar (and somewhat hillbilly, but darned effective)--just pan over pan. :)

                      1. re: daeira
                        junescook May 22, 2013 07:41 PM

                        I've had large and small heavy grill pans for a long time, but I've found the griddler very versatile and effective. Tonight I did ca. 1" boneless pork chops with a little dry rub on them in about 5 minutes and they came out brown and juicy. The grill needed barely a rinse off. It also does really well for boneless chicken. For the most part I don't oil the griddles or butter sandwiches since we're generally mindful of calories. And as far as time is concerned, it takes about a 5-minute preheat to do a sandwich, and 3 to 4 minutes to grill them. I have done some vegetables as well but I'm still working on those. For $74 at Amazon it worked out for me. It is one of the things I keep out on the counter

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