Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe – Full Review
The Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe takes indoor grilling to the extreme, with roomy 120-square inch grill plates that open up completely to create a full 240-inch griddle, grill, or griddle and grill combination. 1800 watts of power gives this handy appliance the oomph required to reach a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit to sear meat, fish, and poultry, locking in flavor the way an outdoor grill does. While you won’t get the smoky, charbroiled flavor you receive when cooking over open flames outside, you will find that the foods you make taste delicious, stay moist inside, and look great outside.
While Cuisinart’s Griddler Deluxe isn’t a magical kitchen solution, it comes pretty close. Its versatility, user-friendly design, and convenient, easy-to-clean nonstick plates make it a great choice for anyone looking for a larger-than-normal indoor grill. While you might experience some smokiness when searing meat at high temperatures, you might just decide that setting up next to the stove and turning on the hood like I did is a worthwhile extra step that allows you to enjoy fantastic flavor at home instead of paying top dollar for healthy restaurant meals.
The Griddler Deluxe has a height-adjustable top cover that lets you choose from six preset height positions. The cover locks tightly when not in use, making storage less of a bother. Because it’s stainless steel exterior is quite handsome though, and because of its usefulness in preparing meals of all sorts, you might just decide to give the Griddler a place of its own on the countertop. I’d like it very much if this unit would stand upright for storage as it’s bigger than a standard countertop grill, however I’ve gotten around that by propping it up next to some heavy glass casserole dishes.
Some of the countertop grills I’ve tried have no indicator that tells you when the unit is ready to start cooking. The Griddler Deluxe isn’t one of these; it has an indicator that lets you know when it’s time to put food on the grill. It leaves nothing to chance, meaning you get great, reliable results every time. It would be nice if the unit heated up a bit faster, but given the many great things about the appliance, I don’t feel too bad about waiting a few extra seconds for that nice high temperature indicator to come on. This being said, these are just a few of the many pros and few cons that come with owning the Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe. Keep on reading for more.
Fast Cooking Process
If you’re like me, you’ve caught yourself on more than one occasion turning to unhealthy fast food options because you didn’t want to spend an hour making dinner at home after a hard day’s work. This is one reason I decided to review countertop grills in the first place – they’re super convenient. As convenience and speed of cooking goes, the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe doesn’t disappoint, particularly as it has the ability to sear in flavor and leaves beautiful grill marks behind. If you are frequently short on time and are looking for a way to make affordable but healthy meals using real ingredients, then this countertop grill is one that will help you make quick home cooking a reality.
While you’re not going to be able to cook for a huge crowd the way you can with a large outdoor barbecue, you can make more food with the Griddler Deluxe than you can with a standard sized contact grill. Where others let you make four burgers at once, this one has space for six. Opened up to full size, it allows you to make up to 12 pancakes at a time, although I admittedly make mine pretty big and do fewer at once.
Versatile Cooking Capacity
Cuisinart has a great reputation for building useful kitchen appliances, and this one offers the type of versatility I’ve come to expect from the company. It comes with a set of reversible nonstick plates that flip from flat griddle to ridged grill, independent of one another. This means you can open the Griddler Deluxe up all the way and have a completely ridged grill, a completely flat griddle, or a combination of the two. I really appreciate this feature, as I can grill an entrée on one side while sauteeing a nice vegetable medley on the other.
The next point concerning versatility has to do with the way the Griddler Deluxe works when the lid is closed. You can grill both sides of your food at once using the “floating” contact grill option, significantly speeding up the cooking process without smashing the food like some grills do, you can make fantastic gourmet panini-style sandwiches and sliders, and you can even put the lid in its highest position and melt cheese on top of an open-face sandwich. Because this unit is so large, you can even make grilled pizza on it, which is something you can’t do with the majority of other indoor grills.
Independent Heat Settings
The top and bottom sections of the Griddler Deluxe come with independent heat settings, so you can either use different heat settings while using the grill flat, perhaps warming some tortillas on one side while quickly searing meat and vegetables for fajitas on the other, or use different heat settings while using the griddler closed, maybe cooking the bottom of a pizza at a lower temperature while toasting the cheese on top at a higher setting so it’s done all the way through.
Succulent Food, Less Fat Required
One of the things people find most attractive about indoor grills in general is that they tend to drain the excess fat away from foods. Some of the lower-end countertop grill units I’ve tried leave food dry and tasteless, draining away the juices along with the fat. Not so for the Griddler Deluxe; this machine does a fantastic job of keeping natural juices intact while sending extra fat down into the grease trap for later disposal. The second way this machine helps reduce fat is via the very slippery nonstick surfaces on the grill plates. I’ve found that I do need to add a little bit of cooking spray to the plates when doing veggies, fish, or chicken breasts, but otherwise, there’s no need to add oil of any kind.
When a kitchen appliance works well but is tough to clean, it tends to end up in the cupboard. This is something that isn’t likely to happen with this particular grill. While you might end up with a little bit of sticky buildup caused by a sugary marinade or overzealous use of high heat, it comes right off with the help of the handy cleaning tool that comes with the unit. The grease trap and plates are dishwasher safe, although they’re so easy to wash by hand that you might decide to save the space in the dishwasher for something else. The exterior is easy to keep clean and shiny with a little bit of glass cleaner and a paper towel or soft cloth.
Solid Machine, Attractive Appearance
The Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe has a lot of things going for it, including an attractive exterior that has the look of a commercial kitchen appliance. Several other reviewers have mentioned that they use the unit and like its appearance so much that they leave it out on the countertop. The look of quality isn’t just skin deep, though. You can tell when you handle this machine that it is well-built, as it doesn’t feel at all flimsy the way some lower-end countertop grills do.
“Does the Griddler Deluxe smash the juice out of meat and the fillings out of sandwiches? I’ve had this issue other grills and returned them.”
No, the lid will “float” on top of meats, and you can select the height so it barely even touches your sandwiches if you like. The sandwiches and quesadillas I’ve made with this grill are toasty on the outside and very nicely melted inside.
“Is there a problem with grease spattering from this grill, either open or closed?”
I have had a bit of splatter in the open position, just as with any other appliance it seems like that’s something that ought to be expected. In the closed position, there really isn’t much at all. The grease all drains back into the catch basin so there is not much to spatter. Even bacon, something that usually makes quite a mess, is pretty much fuss free with the lid closed, all the excess fat drains away and the strips are nicely flattened.
“Are there waffle grill plates for this Cuisinart?”
Cuisinart does make waffle plates for some of its products, but not for this one, which is too bad as that’s something that would really make this unit stand out from the crowd even more than it already does.
“Can I cook frozen food on this grill?”
No, you can’t do that with this unit. Everything has to be completely thawed to cook properly. While we’re on the subject, you should also be sure that everything you put on this grill is fairly dry, i.e. not a lot of extra marinade, etc. escaping. If there’s too much liquid, your meat won’t brown.
“Does this grill come with recipes, etc.?”
Yes, it comes with a nice user’s manual that includes a recipe booklet with not just one but five different recipes for pizzas. Definitely take a minute to read up first if you decide to buy this particular unit, as it will make your experience great right out of the starting gate.
“Are the grill plate tabs plastic like in some other models, or are they metal?”
The tabs that hold the grill plates in place are metal, as is the grill release. The clips that hold the grill closed for storage are also metal.
“I have heard complaints about similar products where the nonstick surface of the grill plates starts to come off, making the grill unusable. Is this something that has happened with your grill?”
No, but I follow the instructions that come with the grill re: not using metal tools, cleaning carefully, etc. Even the best nonstick surface can be completely ruined if it is misused.
“Is there much smoke when using the sear function?”
You’ll get about the same amount of steam/smoke when using the sear function as you would when putting meat onto a hot skillet. You can cook by a window if this bothers you, or do what I do and set the unit up next to the stove, turn on the overhead fan, and let it do its thing. The authentic grilled results are totally worth the little bit of smoke, in my opinion.
The Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe is a solid, well-built countertop grill that does exactly what the manufacturer says it will do. The food that emerges is consistently well-cooked, plus it looks like it came from a professional kitchen. While it’s not perfect, very few kitchen appliances are; at the same time, it is a high-quality indoor grill that makes it possible to cook a great steak in the dead of winter and make quick, delicious meals without all the fat or cost associated with restaurant foods. It’s a good size for a couple or a small family, and it delivers plenty of quality for the price.
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