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I love to grill, BBQ, and smoke meats. It is cathartic to go outside on the patio, the yard, the park, the beach, the ball game tailgate party, camping, and be one with manly cooking. In L.A. it was good grilling weather virtually any day of the year. Since moving to Utah, there are many days that are not good grilling days. I mean hey, you might stand in the snow freezing your toes off, but that’s not for me thank you. It is needless to say winter was sparse on the home grilling experience. That is until we got the OptiGrill! We received a T-fal OptiGrill for review. All opinions are my own.
Let me first say, this wasn’t my first indoor electric grill/press/panini maker. I have had Forman grills, cuisinart, and a host of lesser brands readily available at your local Walmart. And let me say that you can “grill” on these machines, though the operation and performance of these machines ranged from passable to laughable. The first thing I noticed when I took the OptiGrill out was the large cooking surface! There is ample room for a large London broil or five or six chicken breasts. At best on the other machines I have had before was two or three chicken breasts. Not a big deal until you are cooking for a family of six. Another little feature that is awesome, is the gripping lower cook surface. On the bottom surface there are a series of little ridges or bumps that are designed to keep your food from sliding down the angled cook surface.
Just like most indoor grills, it is designed to allow the fat to drain off and into a collector. The T-fal has a collector that attaches to the front of the grill securely, others I have had it is a non attached part which always seemed to get spilt or lost. One high end grill had a hidden away slide out grease trap, which seems great… until you forget to empty it and find it stinking up the pantry. The Opti-grill grease trap, is secure, effective and easy to clean.
The T-fal is also overall a snap to clean up. The cooking surfaces come off with the click of a button and are dish washer safe. If you are like me, I like to “season” my grilling surface. It’s non stick coating makes wiping down the cook surface fast and easy. Just a wet sponge and you can wipe off all the food residue but leaving the deep oils that give flavor to a cooking surface.
At this point you might be saying, “So what, I have a grill that does all that.” I would ask you, do you have a smart grill? Every indoor grill I have ever experienced has a knob or series of knobs to set temperature or time and a manual so you can look up your settings for whatever you are cooking. Let’s face it, everything is getting smart technology these days, so why not a grill!? It is the most simple system. Push power, select your meat, frozen? or fresh?, watch the light go from green to yellow to red. It is just that simple.
The T-fal OptilGrill is an indoor grill, and the only one to have Precision Grilling Technology. What this means is that it has automatic sensors that will detect the quantity, temperature and thickness of your items and grill it perfectly to whatever level you desire. Essentially, you can put a burger patty on the grill, press the “medium rare” option, and the OptiGrill will alert you when it is perfectly at medium rare.
I gave it a try with a couple London broils. Literally three button pushes and away it went. Before long it was at the yellow color, which is where you pull it for rare to medium rare.
I couldn’t believe how fast it went… I didn’t think to time it, but I know it was a fraction of the time on a traditional grill, and I didn’t have to babysit it. Perfectly cooked. Just how I like it.
The next night I threw on some frozen chicken. I never cook directly with frozen chicken, but for review sake I wanted to see how long it took, and how the chicken turned out. Three buttons and in no time it was at red which means that the chicken is finished cooking. We were sold. The chicken was moist and delicious. Never had our chicken turned out so well when we starting the cooking from frozen meat. We had delicious chicken tacos that night.
We have used our T-fal OptiGrill every day. Why wouldn’t we? The meat is perfectly cooked and delicious. We made chicken again, last night. I was too absent minded to time it, which normally I would do. But with the OptiGrill, you don’t have to. It finished cooking, but I couldn’t believe that my chicken could really be done, so I left it on manual for some additional cooking. What I had last night, was Chicken jerky! Ok, not that bad, but the bird was overdone. Another attempt, I obeyed the light and was treated to moist perfectly grilled chicken breast.
I learned my lesson, trust the OptiGrill. The secret is it senses the foods “doneness”. It literally takes the guess work out of grilling, no more cutting into your juice meat to see if it done to only allow all the moisture out. Come summer time I may be doing my outdoor grilling on the OptiGrill! Best indoor grill I have ever used, hands down!
We were so impressed with the T-fal OptiGrill. It is so easy to use and your meat is perfect every time. No more summer only grilling for me!
The T-fal OptiGrill is available on SALE now on Amazon for $197.28.