Best Indoor Grills in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
Indoor grills are compelling purchases for modern BBQ lovers, many among them apartment-dwellers. These grills preheat within minutes and simplify cooking, much to everyone’s delight. What these grills lack in the firepower department, they make it up with convenience and safety in return.
If your passion for outdoor grilling is hindered by the weather or a lack of open space, it’s high time you considered indoor grilling. With these best indoor grills, the party can keep going inside your home, regardless of the weather outside.
In this article, we’ll see how indoor grills are the latest trend for enjoying hassle-free and stress-free BBQ. We’ll give you a buying guide on how to pick the right grill, and we’ll give you our reviews of some of the top picks on the market. Before wrapping the whole thing up, we’ll introduce some well-trusted grill brands and manufacturers.
Indoor Grills: Bringing the Outdoor Flavors & Fun Inside
We often associate grilling with cook fests hosted in open space. You probably are all too familiar with backyard BBQs, tailgate parties, and the use of portable grills for road trips, camping, or bonfires by a beach. Normally, people use charcoal or gas-fueled grills for such occasions, and they are, to this day, the preferred cooking options when going outdoors.
While no one denies these grills’ cooking superiority and sentimental value, grilling outside can be hindered by the unpredictability of the weather. One sudden downpour or non-stop gusts, and it would extinguish your cooking passion, severely dampening the festive mood. But that doesn’t mean you have to cancel the cookout. Instead, why not give an indoor grill a chance?
Indoor grills don’t use combustible fuels, meaning there’s no risk of flare-ups— a common theme you encounter with gas and charcoal grills once the fat and grease fall through the gaps of the grate. Sudden and violent bursts of flames will not only catch inexperienced grillers off guard but also pose potential fire hazards. Since indoor grills run on electricity, such risks are minimized.
For those who are too busy to deal with grilling hassles, these indoor grills are convenient and easy to use: all you have to do is plug in and let the grills work their magic on your steaks. What’s more, you can adjust the temperature precisely by turning the dials or knob— a much-appreciated factor that charcoal grills lack. Their preheating is considerably faster compared to other types of grills, to boot.
Unlike charcoal-fed and gas-fueled grills whose parts are to be hand washed, many parts on indoor grills are dishwasher-safe. That said, not every component can be put into a dishwasher, and this feature varies from model to model. Nevertheless, you’d be able to spend more time on actual cooking than having to hand-scrub the greasy parts.
But that’s not the crucial factor. People opt for indoor grills because they produce much less smoke during cooking. Although not completely smoke-free, as claimed by certain manufacturers, the smoke is considerably minimized compared to that from charcoal and gas grill. This is why indoor grills are popular among apartment dwellers.
That said, if you need a completely smoke-free and odorless atmosphere, we advise pulling open all the windows and curtains. For better effect, a ceiling fan or range hood can get rid of the smoke and prevent the fire alarm from warning you that the steaks are done.
How to Choose a Indoor Grill
Here are some factors you should bear in mind while perusing the seemingly endless indoor grills online or at the store.
Since everyone has a specific shopping budget, they want to get the best bang for their buck. With that in mind, we place value for money as the primary criterion for choosing an indoor grill.
Indoor grills are typically less expensive than gas-fueled and charcoal-fed grills. Most indoor grills are available for purchase at retail prices from $50 to $150, depending on their interior capacity and the manufacturers who made them. Their core functions include preheating, warming, and grilling. However, extra functions like defrosting and specific-food cooking can add to the price, which can go as high as $400.
Here’s the thing: indoor grills aren’t exactly the perfect match for large parties. So until the manufacturers can make larger versions, it’s unlikely these grills are the right choice for family reunions on the Fourth of July.
However, they are perfect for busy people who want a quick meal with the fewest hassles. Generally, these grills can serve up to five people, but there are also ones that can serve a maximum of seven or eight people.
There are two main components in each indoor grill: the heat source and the grate.
The heat source will determine how fast and how hot the grill gets, so you’ll want to get a grill that has high energy efficiency and direct, easy-to-use temperature control.
The thing is, electric grills won’t be able to heat up as intensely as conventional grills running on combustible fuels. That said, their heating capacity should reach the minimum cooking temperatures for different items from pork to poultry with ease. While searing steaks on high heat with distinctive marks seems unlikely, these models should suffice for most items.
4. Cleaning Ease
One major edge that indoor grills have over their outdoor counterparts is how effortless things become when cleaning o’clock strikes. Manufacturers often apply a food-safe protective coating on the grilling surface to prevent cooked items from sticking. The use of these materials on cookwares is under strict regulation of the United States of Environmental Protection Agency.
Save for the base and power cord, the rest of an indoor grill is usually dishwasher-safe, though this isn’t always a given. Food may stick to the grate and lid, but at least you can scrub it off with minimal effort. But keep in mind that as time goes on, the nonstick coating will peel off and lose its effectiveness.
Another thing to consider is the drip tray. Since fat and food drippings gather there, you should get a grill with deep, large drip tray, so it won’t overflow during cooking. Accessibility and dishwasher-compatibility are also worth considering.
In the April edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s report (NFPA), they highlighted the fact that more than 10,000 home fires are started by grills on a yearly basis. It is also noted that every year, emergency rooms admit 19,000 patients with injuries stemmed from grilling, with 9,300 cases among which are burns.
So, it stands to reason that consumers want a grill that doesn’t make their hair stand on end every time they lay their hands on it. Here are a few pointers to check whether your soon-to-be indoor grill meets the safety requirements:
- Protection against heat: cool-touch surface, lid cover, and insulated handles.
- Electricity fail-safe mechanism: automatic shutoff, kill switch, and the power cord should be long enough for convenience, but not too long to be a hazard.
- Smokeless grilling feature: for apartment dwellers and BBQ lovers with asthma.
Reviews of the Best Indoor Grills in 2021:
1. PowerXL Smokeless Indoor Grill - Best to Buy in 2021
There’s no need to beat around the bush: Tristar Products’ PowerXL Smokeless is the ultimate indoor grill. This powerful grill can sear steaks, grill salmon, and cook burgers with desirable results on a constant basis. But what separates this grill from the rest is the combination of overall performance, reasonable price, and ease of control. It’s these attributes that make the PowerXL Smokeless a worthwhile addition to the best grills of this year.
Smoke Extractor Technology
LED Touch control
Interchangeable cooking surfaces
Large grease tray
Dishwasher-safe grates > accessories
The grill measures 22.1 inches long by 13.2 inches wide by 6.1 inches tall. The cooking surface measures 15.5 inches long by 9 inches wide, offering nearly 140 square inches of grilling space.
Grillers commended the way the grill can handle multiple large items. It can cook four large steaks, eight burger patties, three racks of ribs, or a whole chicken in one go. For such a small unit, it can serve up a considerable amount for a family of six or seven.
The grill’s base is heavy duty die cast aluminum. As for the cooking surfaces, this has a ceramic nonstick coating that eliminates eliminating the need for extra oil and butter before cooking.
One praise-worthy point of the PowerXL grill is how the temperature stays consistent at every point of the grate, even those at the edges. The heat is evenly distributed with no irregular cold spots, to ensure your food’s uniformity in doneness and juiciness. The 1200-watt heating element preheats in four to six minutes on high and is efficient in delivering constant heat across the cooking surface. It won’t be long before the food is sizzling hot, crispy, and ready for the eagerly awaiting diners.
Ease of control also struck a chord with us. The grill’s temperature range goes from 220°F to 450°F, and it can be precisely adjusted with an LED-lit and touch-controlled dial.
The PowerXL Smokeless grill is pleasantly easy to clean. Unlike charcoal and gas grills, there’s no need for metal scourers or soaking.
If your food contains a lot of oil and grease, splashes will be inevitable. Luckily, most of the grease droplets will fall through the grate and gather in the tray right below. As for the splattering during cooking, a tempered glass lid will protect the cook from any surprises, while letting the people checking the food’s progress.
Per its instructions, the grate, grate, lid, drip tray, and water tray are fit for household dishwashers. Or if you don’t have a dishwasher, hand washing with regular dish soap shouldn’t be too difficult, since the cooking surfaces have a nonstick coating. But we would strongly advise against violent scraping and scouring since the coating can come off over time.
You should wipe the base unit with a warm, damp cloth soaked with mild cleaning solutions. The same cleaning method also applies to the heating element, as long as you disconnect the grill from the outlet beforehand.
Unfortunately, the lack of handles makes it difficult to carry the grill from the table to the sink for cleaning right after cooking. Either you have to wait till it cools down or use mitts if you need to move it while it’s still hot.
Living up to its name, grilling on this grill truly is a smokeless experience. The built-in fan works like a vacuum, eliminating smoke and odor. But when using the fan, the water tray should be filled with at least two cups of water before cooking. Doing this will keep your food juicy.
It’s a shame that the PowerXL Smokeless is under warranty for only 60 days.
Apart from its rather short warranty period, the PowerXL Smokeless indoor grill a well-rounded product that lives up to its hype. Highly touted by the grilling community for its functionality and performance, one would be hard-pressed to find another high-quality grill like this for its price.Check Latest Price on Amazon
2. Hamilton Beach 25361 Elect - Best Value Indoor Grill
When it comes to grilling steaks, indoor grills aren’t exactly the first thing popping in everyone’s mind, since steaks are at their best when cooked over open flames. And yet, the Hamilton Beach 25361 can replicate restaurant-quality results that will make you wonder aloud: “How does it do that?”
Excellent searing > temperature control
Compact > lightweight
Sizable drip tray
Dishwasher-safe > easy to hand wash
See-through > removable hood
Slightly sticky grate
If you’re looking for a hard sear while the interior of the steak is still pink, tender and juicy, you’re in luck, since that's the specialty of the 25361.
The grill measures 12.4 inches long by 16.73 inches wide by 6.81 inches tall. The cooking surface measures 118 square inches. Though the main website claims it can fit up to eight servings, we felt that the figure might be exaggerated. It can’t grill more than two steaks or four pieces of salmon at once, so it’s probably best fit for a couple and a little kid, tops.
This Hamilton Beach grill has a see-through hood that shields cooks against grease splashes while letting the cook monitor the food. It will also prevent your food from getting dry or cold while locking in all the flavor and juices.
The 1200-watt heating element can go from gently cooking your food at 200°F to delivering a powerful sear at 450°F, giving you the unmistakable sear marks on your steaks, a hallmark of meat cooked to perfection. The control knob makes it easy to dial to your preferred temperature, which is located right in the bottom right corner.
We like how folks at Hamilton Beach design the grill to be as direct and easy to use as possible. There are two indicator lights: red indicates the grill is plugged in, and green means the grill has reached the temperature you selected.
As for the grate, although it has a nonstick coating, Hamilton Beach still advises using oil or cooking spray.
The hood, grate, and drip tray are all removable and dishwasher friendly, but Hamilton Beach strongly advises against using the “SANI” setting, since this cleaning mode can potentially damage the components.
If a dishwasher isn’t an option, hand-washing shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Grease on the grate is easy to rinse off with a sponge, though this will be eventually more challenging as the nonstick coating deteriorates over time. As for the hood, the manufacturer recommends using a nylon or plastic scouring pad and a nonabrasive cleaner.
The sizable drip tray will hold the excess fat and juice, which can be discarded later, saving you from an otherwise messy cleanup. They also mention the discoloration of the grease tray over time.
One aspect that needs addressing is the hood. When you open the lid, the handle gets warm to the touch, displaying a lack of proper insulation. What’s more, steam built up inside the grill will release toward the cook, catching them off-guard and potentially causing injuries.
Indoor grills aren’t the usual go-to option when seared steaks are on the menu, but for those looking to replicate the result fast, the Hamilton Beach 25361 grill here is the closest you’ll get.Check Latest Price on Amazon
3. George Foreman GFO240S - Best Electric Indoor Grill
All of the indoor grills featured in this article run on electricity, but this one makes the most out of it. Possessing a superior heating capacity, the George Foreman grill can heat up quickly to sate the appetite of eager diners, while also saving energy.
Easy to set up
Can be used both indoors and outdoors
The GFO240S measures 23.5 inches long by 21 inches wide by 12.75 inches tall. Its circular cooking surface offers 240 square inches of grilling space, which can handle several large items all at once. The official George Foreman website claims this grill can cook 15 servings at once.
The GFO240S preheats thoroughly across its at a respectable pace, just under 10 minutes after plugging in. With this grill on hand, you’ve got the power to cook generous and tasty portions for everyone in a matter of minutes. The plug-in temperature probe allows you to choose from five different heat settings— via a dial— to get the best results from any kind of food with high precision cooking.
The patented George Tough Nonstick Coating is truly a blessing. Not only does it remove the need for oil and butter at preheating, but also it makes cleaning less of a hassle once the party is over. Another feature that this grill flaunts— much like its other George Foreman cousins— is its fat-removing slope, a signature design that brings brand to prominence among users. The manufacturer claims that the tilted surface helps remove an astounding 42 percent of fat from a quarter of a pound of raw meat during cooking.
Since the dome lid isn’t transparent, it does a great job of shielding grease splashes and retaining heat, but it doesn’t let you check how the food is cooking unless you open the lid.
As grease and fat follow the slope on the grate, they all gather in the waiting drip tray right beneath the grill. This dishwasher-safe drip tray will save you a considerable amount of cleaning time.
Too bad the grate and the lid aren’t dishwasher-safe, but they are relatively easy to hand wash with regular dish soap. Additionally, the probe is not to be submerged but wiped with a damp rag.
The handles are well-insulated, so you don’t have to wear mitts when handling the grill. But be wary when opening the lid, since the built-up steam can catch you off-guard.
Surprisingly, the GFO240S can be used outdoors, weather permitting. All you have to do is attach the legs to the grill’s base, find an outlet, and you’re all set. But unlike its outdoor counterparts, this grill is not suited for outside storage.
It’s not hard to see why more and more people are opting for the George Foreman GFO240S: it’s easy to use, affordable, sizable, and it can function outside its designated area.Check Latest Price on Amazon
4. Philips Smoke-less Indoor Grill - Best Smokeless Indoor Grill
Living in an apartment means that there are strict fire safety regulations to follow. Surely you cannot use traditional grills since the smoke would trigger and smoke detector and maybe even the fire alarm, which would earn you disapproving looks from the building manager and next-door neighbors. Look no further than the Philips Smoke-less HD 6371/94, the ultimate solution for BBQ lovers living in an apartment or condo.
Produces little to no smoke
Slightly more expensive than others
Shallow drip tray
The Philips Smoke-less measures 14.5 inches long by 19.75 inches wide by 5.5 inches tall. The cooking surface measures 7.75 inches by 14 inches, which translates to 108.5 square inches. There are multiple review videos where the grill can cook four thick steaks on the grate.
Using infrared heating, the 1660-watt grill preheats well within five minutes of plugging in. Further impressing us is the consistent temperature spread throughout the grate, even at the edge. The heat is dispersed through reflectors built inside the grill, and there isn’t as much smoke as other indoor grills.
To completely avoid setting off the smoke detector, open all curtains and windows before cooking on this grill, since there still is an amount— albeit greatly minimized— of smoke from certain food, namely pork and lamb, as suggested by Philips.
A stark contrast to the T-fal OptiGrill— which a wide array of functions and cooking options— the Philips Smoke-less has only two modes: warming and grilling. Once the grill preheats thoroughly, the grate reaches 446°F and stays near that temperature without much fluctuation.
For those looking for a universal temperature from a plug-in-and-use grill, they will appreciate that this grill doesn’t have settings they’ll never use. However, those who want more control of cooking temperatures might not be as pleased with this grill’s single setting.
The grate is die cast aluminum and coated with nonstick coating.
Both the grate and the drip tray are removable, dishwasher-friendly, and can be easily hand washed as well, provided that you don’t use a metallic scourer or abrasive cleaners.
One mention-worthy point is although the drip tray is sizable, it is shallow, and there’s a real chance of grease overflowing inside the grill if you’re cooking long enough.
What’s more, the inside of the grill is subjected to grease splatters, some of which do not come off despite using dish soap. However, Philips advises using a ceramic scraper if the stains persist.
The grill has non-slip feet at the base.
While not a completely smoke-free grill, the Philips Smoke-less HD 6371/94 is an apartment-friendly grill that offers authentic BBQ flavors. Although slightly more expensive than some of its indoor peers, this powerful grill is definitely worth your consideration.
Read more: Top Smokeless Indoor Grills in 2021Check Latest Price on Amazon
5. Secura GR-1503XL Indoor Grill - Best Small Indoor Grill
We thought you should take a look at the Secura GR-1503 XL, a portable indoor grill that tends to get overlooked by many people.
2-in-1 grate-griddle combo
Removable glass lid
Removable > adjustable thermostat
Sizable drip tray
Although Secura lists the GR-1503XL has 180 square inches of grilling area, we felt it might be exaggerated. The surface can barely fit two steaks, but it can still cook smaller items like kebabs and skewers.
The reversible two-in-one grate-griddle combination is a pleasant surprise, which means you can switch easily when cooking different types of food. Both surfaces have a nonstick coating that is fairly durable.
The GR-1503 is relatively easy to assemble, taking no more than a few minutes. The grill also features an adjustable thermostat with a heating indicator light on the thermostat.
On the grate surface, there are ridges that guide droplets of grease into the tray beneath the grill. You can access the tray and discard the leftover grease with ease.
The grate-griddle combo and the grease tray are thankfully dishwasher-friendly.
The see-through lid will shield you against grease splashes while letting you monitor the interior. It also helps to retain heat and moisture.
The Secura GR-1503 XL may not look flashy or boast any fancy features, but it gets the job done. And for some, this affordable grill is more than capable and functional to provide a good, quick, and relatively hassle-free meal.Check Latest Price on Amazon
6. T-fal GC722D53 1800W OptiGrill - Best with Removable Plates
The OptiGrill + XL GC722D35 is the combination of culinary excellence and technological advancement, all packed in the same unit. It has several cooking options, a competitive edge over its simpler plug-and-cook peers.
Compact > lightweight
Item-specific grilling modes
Fast > even heating
Easy to clean
Looks more complicated than it is
Expensive compared to others
The OptiGrill + XL offers 800 square centimeters of cooking space, roughly translating to 124 square inches. Compared to other indoor grills, the size may not be something to boast about, but this grill can serve portions befitting two to four adult diners.
What we love about this grill is its clam-like design, which cooks items from the top and bottom at the same time, for faster cooking. The control panel is conveniently placed on the handle, which lets you select specific cooking modes for different items.
The grill body is stainless steel, while the dual die-cast aluminum grates have non-stick coatings. That said, the manufacturer still advises using cooking oil to improve the non-stick release.
The 1800-watt heating element is much more powerful than most indoor grills on the market, so the grill can preheat in four to seven minutes. But what sets this grill a notch above other plug-and-cook grills is its wide array of cooking options. There are nine different settings for specific foods, which goes from burgers and sandwiches to all sorts of meat like pork, beef, poultry, fish, and frozen food. For steaks, there are even further options for the level of doneness: from rare to medium and all the way to well-done.
Once you've selected the cooking mode, the grill will automatically adjust the cooking time and temperature based on the type of food and its thickness.
If you want to let your culinary creativity run free, or the item you cook isn’t listed on the preset menu, you can always opt for the manual mode, where you can freely select four different temperature levels: warming, low, medium, and high heat.
While the diversity of cooking option is very well praise-worthy, the many options and color-changing dials might seem confusing. Fortunately, it’s actually easy to operate once you’ve gotten used to it. The ever-changing colors on the dashboard lets you know how the food cooks and will notify you when the food is ready.
The slope tilts seven degrees to drain grease and oil down to the drip tray, which is easily removable and dishwasher-safe. The grates are also easily detached and dishwasher-friendly. If a dishwasher’s out of the equation, then a nylon cleaning pad and regular dish soap should suffice.
Any electrical parts are to be wiped with a damp piece of cloth and air-dried.
The thermoplastic handle on the hood is warm to the touch, much like the metallic surface of the grill. Oven mitts are definitely recommended when handling this grill.
One praiseworthy point about this grill is the automatic shut-off when the grill is left open for too long. This mechanism will prevent any accidents and save electricity, too.
The power cord length is 0.8 meters, roughly 2.6 feet, which feels a little bit short for us.If you want something a little bit easier to use, you can check out this version. The differences lie in the fewer functions and smaller grill size, thus the cheaper price tag.
It is not often you come across such a high-tech indoor grill which is still easy to wash and clean like this OptiGrill + XL. Granted, it may be more expensive than its peers in the same category, but the advanced features are really worth the cost.Check Latest Price on Amazon
7. Presto 09020 Indoor Grill - Best Indoor Grill for BBQ
Why waste time and money going to a steakhouse when you can do it yourself with the Presto 09020? Small as it may seem, this little grill is second to none in recreating the flavors often found in outdoor cook fests.
Slanted grilling surface to drain grease
Special spatula included
On the grill’s official website, the manufacturer claims the grill measures 11.25 inches long by 18.43 inches wide by 2.18 inches tall out of the box, but there’s no official listing of the cooking surface. However, it can cook a cozy dinner for three or four diners. The Presto 09020 weighs 4.84 pounds.
The grill base is heavy cast aluminum. The 1300-watt heating element heats up relatively quickly and evenly across the grate. The temperature can be adjusted via the control probe attached on its side, ranging from 200°F to 400°F with a warming function.
What we like about the Presto 09020 is the slightly raised grilling surface, which acts as a slope to drain the droplets of grease and fat away from the meat. Since the nonstick coating could eventually deteriorate, the manufacturer advises applying butter or cooking oil before cooking to prolong the coating’s effectiveness.
The grate and the drip tray are both removable and dishwasher-friendly. In case manual cleaning is the only option, all you need is a non-metallic scouring pad and dish soap. Most grease stains will come off easily, although you can look to specialized cleaners for stubborn spots, but only as a last resort.
The Presto’s heat control probe has to be installed correctly before the grill can start working. If properly connected, there will be a click.
When purchasing the Presto 09020, you’ll also receive a spatula-scraper combo.
The Presto 09020 may not have the glitz and glamour of other grills, but that’s irrelevant when it’s such a reliable grill that can cook great food and doesn’t cost a fortune to buy.Check Latest Price on Amazon
Top-Rated Indoor Grill Comparison Table
|Model||Cooking Area (sq in)||Extras||Warranty|
|PowerXL Smokeless||139||Grill Plate,|
Tempered Glass Lid,
|Hamilton Beach 25361||118||---||1-year limited warranty|
|George Foreman GFO240S||240||Stand (for outdoor parties)||3-year limited warranty|
|Philips Smokeless HD 6371/94||108.5||---||1-year limited warranty|
|Secura GR-1503XL||180||---||2-year limited warranty|
|T-fal OptiGrill + XL GC722D35||124||---||1-year warranty|
|Presto 09020||---||Spatula included||1-year limited warranty|
Indoor grills are gradually becoming the choice of many meat lovers when the weather prevents outdoor grill fests, or wherever space is limited. And with our reviews of the best indoor grills, along with the buying guide, you can make an informed choice of indoor grill that best suits your needs.
If you have used any of the grills in this article, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to share your grilling tips, experience, or anything at all, by comment right below.