Best Smokeless Indoor Grills in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
When you’re barbecuing with combustible fuels, smoke and flare-ups are common themes. Whether you’re a first-time griller or veteran pitmaster, you’ll encounter them in one way or another.
While these inevitable occurrences are okay when you’re grilling outdoors, the same doesn’t apply indoors. To avoid triggering the smoke detectors, an electric grill designed for indoor use is a better alternative. Follow us as we pick and review the best smokeless indoor grills for the job.
Smokeless Indoor Grill Buying Guide
Size & Grilling Surface
In case you haven’t noticed: the best indoor grills are much smaller than their outdoor counterparts. That’s because a portion of size and heating capacity is sacrificed for the sake of compactness.
While indoor grills can sit on any tabletop, their limited cooking surfaces aren't meant for big gatherings. These grills can’t serve everybody all in one go, unless people are willing to wait and come back for seconds. Although huge parties— say annual reunions or neighborhood cookoffs— are out of the question, these grills suffice for a family of four or five.
The minimal cooking surfaces also mean you won’t get to cook briskets, ribs, or whole chickens. While large items are off the menu, at least the heating element is strong enough to handle other grilling staples like steaks, kebabs, and Korean-style BBQ.
Unlike conventional barbecue grills using combustible fuels— charcoal, natural gas, and liquid propane— indoor grills run on electricity. Instead of open flames, indoor grills cook with infrared heaters and embedded heating elements, thus no aggressive flare-up.
On the other hand, water and grease from food will boil in due time, producing a certain amount of vapor. Using a grease tray or built-in fan, these grills prevent smoke from accumulating and setting off alarms.
A grease tray catches and collects drippings before they evaporate on the sizzling heating element. For better effect, you should fill the tray with water to cool off boiling droplets of grease and juice. Meanwhile, a built-in fan— often dubbed smoke extractor— disperses smoke and absorbs odors.
For good measure, you can also take matters into your own hands by following these cooking tips:
- Choose lean cuts or at least trim off fat before cooking.
- Keep the cooking surface clean and well-preheated.
- Open all windows and curtains to keep things well-ventilated. If possible, use a standalone fan or range hood to absorb smoke.
Even with all measures taken, you may end up with a minimal amount of smoke, albeit not enough to trigger smoke detectors. Though there’s no way to eliminate smoke entirely, indoor grills keep it to a minimum and under control.
If you prioritize ease of use, choose an indoor grill with a fixed degree. This universal temperature handles all cooking tasks and makes it straightforward for those who don’t want to overcomplicate things. Just plug the grill in, preheat for a while, and you’re good to go.
While many people appreciate the one-temperature-cooks-all design for its simplicity, others beg to differ. If you want to assert control over cooking, an indoor grill with a temperature range is a better pick.
But don’t get your hopes up too much: the heating element can only go so far before reaching its limit. Instead of adding fuels to build up heat, the maximum temperature is preset so these grills won’t overheat or short-circuit. Though indoor grills are subpar to traditional grills when it comes to heating prowess, they should suffice in most cases.
Compared to the struggles of cleaning regular grills, cleaning indoor grills is a breeze. Manufacturers apply non-stick coatings on cooking grates to prevent things from overstaying their welcome, i.e. fish skin or eggs. These coatings are scratch-proof and easy to clean, that is until they start chipping a few years into use.
When cleaning o’clock strikes, dishwasher compatibility is another factor worth consideration. Although the majority of indoor grills are detachable and safe for dishwashers, this isn’t always a given.
At some point during cooking, grease boils and splashes around. Pick indoor grill models with lids to keep things mess-free and safe for everyone.
1. Premium Range: $150 to $250
Intense heating feels like a good starter. High-end models use powerful embedded heating elements— or infrared heaters in rarer cases— to cook things in minutes. Since these high-wattage grills pack more heating capacity than regular units, they’re perfect for high-heat cooking options like searing and sauté.
Considering the prices, it goes without saying that non-sticking cooking surfaces and dishwasher-friendly components are parts of the package. Certain models have smart features like defrosting and food-specific cooking modes. You can even set a timer for thick and large items as well.
In addition, you can also expect strong ventilation using a water-filled grease tray or a smoke fan. Given how smoke is kept to the minimum, you’d hardly notice its presence anyway.
2. Middle Range: $50 to $100
Indoor grills in this tier are somewhat identical to ones in the premium range in terms of design. Infrared heaters are no longer an option. Instead, an embedded heating element tailored to the shape of the cooking grate is the new norm. It runs beneath the grilling surface and spreads heat around.
Though the heat intensity does take a noticeable hit, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference to most people. It’s still capable enough to cook various items.
The standard non-stick coating for the cooking grates is durable enough to last a while before chipping. The cooking area will be adequate, though it won’t be as ample as you’d hoped. In addition, dishwasher-safe components are the norms, though not always guaranteed.
3. Low Budget Range: Below $50
The majority of indoor grills are inexpensive, with many models going as low as $40. They’re low-cost and straightforward purchases that require little or no commitment, as dictated by their warranty terms. These grills come pre-assembled and ready for action out of the box.
At this price range, limited heating capacity and cooking surfaces should be realistically expected, which are understandable. At the very least, these grills deliver decent results while keeping smoke in check with a water-filled grease tray.
Reviews of the Best Smokeless Indoor Grills in 2021
Here are our picks for the best smokeless indoor grills to buy this year.
- Philip Smoke-less HD6371/94 - Best to Buyin 2021
- Gotham Steel 1618 - Best Value Smokeless Indoor Grill
- Power XL Smokeless - Best Power Smokeless Indoor Grill
- Ninja Foodi AG301 - Best Multipurpose Smokeless Indoor Grill
- George Foreman GFS0090SB - Best Small Smokeless Indoor Grill
Read on for our in-depth reviews.
1. Philip Smoke-less Avance HD6371/94 - Best to Buy in 2021
The Philip Smoke-less Avance HD6371/94 makes our first pick of the draft for all the right reasons. Its impressive heating prowess from infrared technology alone is enticing enough to attract buyers. In addition, the base has slip-proof rubber feet to keep it stable on countertops.
Immense heating performance
Uniform and constant temperature
Aluminum non-stick coating
Size & Grilling Surface
There isn’t an official listing of the dimensions or size of the cooking grate on the main website. Per Amazon, the whole assembly measures 7.5 inches by 21.9 inches by 17 inches.
Meanwhile, the grilling surface measurement remains a mystery with no specific or definite answer. However, past users shared they could grill four steaks on the grate, which should be ample for a small family.
Given how other brands are willing to share their product measurements, this doesn’t send a good vibe to buyers. We suppose the conclusive information will be available to the public at some point in the near future.
As the name suggests, there’s no smoke when cooking with this grill.
The slidable grease tray works its magic by capturing and cooling sizzling grease droplets before they form smoke or splatter. Philips advises you to fill the tray with a certain amount of water before cooking for better effect.
Even all by themselves, the 1660-watt dual infrared heaters are strong enough to heat up the entire cooking surface. To further ensure uniformity, two reflective panels placed at certain angles distribute heat rays across the grate, covering even the furthest corners.
There are two cooking options: preheating and cooking. With fast and convenient preheating, the Smoke-less Avance can prepare meals in just minutes. Other than barbecue, it can also whip up breakfast classics like French toasts, bacons, and sausages.
Once the grill’s warmed up, the temperature reaches 450°F and remains unchanged until you switch the unit off. That’s the sweet spot for searing steaks, a specialty of open-flame grills but not the strongest suit of electric models. And yet, this grill has little to no trouble making distinct sear marks and caramelized textures on steaks.
As expected from a high-end indoor grill, the grate and grease tray are both detachable and dishwasher-safe. The grate has a die-cast aluminum non-stick coating applied and can withstand scratching during cooking and cleaning.
However, the same doesn’t apply to the body.
One trade-off is the interior walls often get splashed with grease. Though you can wipe common smudges with paper towels, you’d need dish soap-soaked sponges or scrubbers for more stubborn stains.
As if manual cleaning isn’t tough enough already, the opening gap at the top is rather narrow. It makes things awkward when your hand reaches in to scrub the interior walls.
The grill is covered under a limited one-year warranty.
With the Philips Smoke-less Avance HD6371/94, you can whip up decent meals whenever you want without much hassle and preparation. It’s a blessing for modern people with busy lifestyles and minimal cooking time. These grills are safe for apartment dwellers as well, if that’s what you’re wondering.Check Latest Price On Amazon
2. Gotham Steel 1618 - Best Value Smokeless Indoor Grill
The Gotham Steel 1618 makes our list as a budget-saving model that delivers results without complicating things. While this grill’s on par with premium models in terms of performance, it’s also easier on the wallet.
Ceramic-titanium non-stick coating
Ample cooking surface
Size & Grilling Surface
There’s no mention of the official dimensions or the cooking grate size on the manufacturer’s website whatsoever. That said, Amazon lists the whole assembly 17.3 inches long by 15 inches wide by 4 inches tall. The cooking surface measures 12 inches by 10 inches, or 120 square inches.
The lack of information is one thing, but we feel the numbers provided may be exaggerated. While the measurements need to be fact-checked and confirmed, this grill suffices for a family with four people.
Like many other indoor grills, there’s a standard grease tray. Piping-hot oil droplets fall through grate bars and into the grease tray right awaiting below. Since the tray is filled with water, the sizzling drippings get to cool off before they can form smoke.
An oval-shaped embedded heating runs underneath the grate. There are four heating levels: warming, low, medium, and high. While the heating is passable at best— it can barely sear steaks at high heat— at least it’s uniform to ensure food doneness.
The cooking grate has a ceramic-titanium non-stick coating. This protective layer is resistant to mild scratching while posing little to no cleaning hassle.
Upon wrapping things up and calling it a day, you can detach the components all in one go. And while you can hand-wash everything like you’d with a regular grill, the grate and grease tray can handle dishwashers just fine.
Additionally, you can purchase a griddle and/or a quad-kabob skewer— a four-pronged meat fork— straight from the manufacturer’s website. But be advised that these extras are only available when you buy in bundles.
The Gotham Steel 1618 has no warranty. Instead, you can return the unit upon detecting any defects within 90 days from purchase for a full refund.
The Gotham Steel 1618 is a low-cost indoor grill that exceeds expectations, which aren’t a lot to begin with. Barring the average heating, it passes as a proper pick. This grill makes a good choice for those who don’t want to overspend their time and money for simple meals.Check Latest Price On Amazon
3. Power XL Smokeless - Best Power Smokeless Indoor Grill
Albeit not a household name, the Power XL Smokeless Indoor Grill has gathered positive feedback for its effective smoke extraction fan. The LED control is also a nice touch, while the high-power heating element offers customizable cooking options.
Turbo-speed smoke extractor
LED-lit touch control panel
Adequate cooking area
See-through tempered glass lid
Size & Grilling Surface
The cooking surface measures 13.5 inches by 8 inches, which translates to 108 square inches. The grill fits up to five steaks, eight standard-sized burger patties, three full racks of ribs, or a whole chicken.
If you don’t feel like grilling, you can flip the cooking surface and use the griddle side instead. This grill grate-griddle hybrid surface gives you more cooking options and comes in handy when making omelets and pancakes.
As typical of an indoor grill, there's a grease tray at the base of the unit. The water-filled (1.5 cups to be precise) tray cools off grease before it boils and splatters around. While you’re at it, you can further infuse and intensify the flavors by placing herbs in the tray as well.
But the actual major selling point of this grill is the Turbo-speed smoke extractor. When activated, this built-in fan captures and extracts smoke like a vacuum, keeping things well-ventilated.
The 1200-watt heating element has a wide temperature spectrum, which ranges from 220°F to 450°F. To make changes, the LED-lit control lets you adjust things at the touch of your fingertip.
While the intense heating can defrost frozen items straight from fridges, it’s nowhere near traditional grills in terms of prowess. That said, this grill holds its own well enough against other models.
With safety measures taken, the whole unit won’t start until all components are assembled properly. Every piece must click into place before you can begin cooking.
Since there are many parts, it takes a while to assemble and detach components. But when you get the hang of it, it won’t take you more than a few minutes to get things started.
The ceramic non-stick coating on the cooking surface is easy to clean, even with minimum dish soap. Per the manufacturer, you can either rinse— nylon-bristle brushes are preferable to scouring pads— or toss it in a dishwasher.
In addition, the non-stick property also means you don’t have to preheat the surface with oil or butter before cooking. You can peel off burnt and crusty bits with a wooden spatula without applying too much effort.
The lack of a warranty seems like a red flag to many people. However, should there be any defect, you can return the unit within 90 days since purchase for a full refund.
For people with limited access to open space and time for cooking, the Power XL Smokeless Indoor ticks all the boxes. Besides reliable performance and ample cooking area, the grill has its way with smoke via the high-power ventilating fan. No wonder this grill proves to be a major fan-favorite.Check Latest Price On Amazon
4. Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 AG301 - Best Multipurpose Smokeless Indoor Grill
As the name suggests, the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 AG301 isn’t your average indoor grill. Instead, it’s a combination of various kitchen appliances all packed into one unit. Immense heating prowess is one thing, but there’s much more to this grill.
Multiple cooking options
Huge cooking area
Cyclonic air cooking
Impressive heating range
Grate and crisper basket included
Size & Grilling Surface
Let’s talk numbers: the grate measures 10 inches by 10 inches, translating to a full 100 square inches. Moreover, a 4-quart crisper basket and a 6-quart cooking pot are included in the package to sweeten the deal. The extra depth means there’s room to cook large items like a whole bird or ribs.
The lid can keep smoke in check just fine on its own. But for good measure, it’s further reinforced with a cool air zone and fine-mesh splatter shield. This shield keeps grease and oil from the heating element, thus preventing smoke from rising.
The 1760-watt heating element can heat up to a sizzling 500°F at maximum setting. Other than conventional grilling, there are four different options you can adjust on the controlling panel:
- air crisp,
- baking, and
Using cyclonic grilling technology, air waves circulating inside the cooking chamber heat up in just minutes, even without using oil. That way, you can keep things lean and healthy for everyone.
All cooking surfaces are free of PFOA and PTFE— the latter is also more commonly known as teflon. In addition, a standard ceramic non-stick coating is further applied on the cooking grate. There’s no need for forceful scrubbing or abrasive tools, since a designated brush comes along with the package.
When it’s cleaning time, all cooking surfaces and the splatter shield come off the base with ease. It also goes without saying that these detachable parts are also dishwasher-safe.
The whole unit is covered under a 1-year limited warranty with a 90-day money-back return policy.
In case you didn’t know already, the AG301 has another version. The AG400 model shares the same design and features, with the addition of the integrated smart temperature probe. Take it from us when we say the extra feature isn’t worth the extra cost.
The multi-purpose Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 AG301 has lots to offer. It’s an all-powerful kitchen appliance that goes beyond regular grilling. With all sorts of cooking options available, this grill can diversify your menu to a great extent.Check Latest Price On Amazon
5. George Foreman GFS0090SB - Best Small Smokeless Indoor Grill
The George Foreman GFS0090SB should make a great purchase for many people who want to keep things neat and hassle-free. It’s a small indoor grill that best serves no more than four people.
Extra-reinforced non-stick coating
Long warranty terms
Limited cooking surface
Size & Grilling Surface
The cooking surface offers a mere 90 square inches, which is barely adequate even by indoor grills standards. While the limited grate can’t cook large items, it should have no trouble with common steaks, burgers, and kebabs.
The cooking surface has a set of raised ridges to drain grease and fat away from meat, which would otherwise sit in its own fat. George Foreman claims this signature design helps reduce smoke up to 80 percent less smoke compared to its earlier models.
The embedded heating element has three temperature levels: low, medium, and high. Once selected, a consistent temperature covers every square inch of the entire cooking surface, even spots near the edges.
The cooking surface has an Advanced George Tough non-stick coating. While the actual material remains a trade secret, the manufacturer claims it’s PFOA-free and three times more durable than standard George Tough non-stick coating.
The unit is under a three-year limited warranty.
Though this is an indoor grill-exclusive article, we couldn’t help but introduce the GGR50B. It’s compatible with both indoor and outdoor use, with an extra large cooking surface for 15 adults. You can also consider a clam-style grill where the two cooking surfaces make things quicker and more convenient, like the George Foreman GRD6090B.
The George Foreman GFS0090SB is not the best model, but it isn’t the worst either. For what it’s worth, this grill performs above average and delivers results. And that’s all that matters to us.Check Latest Price On Amazon
Top-rated Smokeless Indoor Grills Comparison Table
|Model||Cooking Surface (sq in)||Non-stick surface||Smoke Control||Warranty|
|Philip Smoke-less Avance HD6371/94||N/A||Die-cast aluminum||Grease tray||1 year limited|
|Gotham Steel 1618||120||Titanium > ceramic||Grease tray||90-day money-back guarantee|
|Power XL Smokeless||108||Ceramic||Smoke extractor||90-day money-back guarantee|
|Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 AG301||100||Ceramic||Cool air zone||1 year limited|
|George Foreman GF0090SB||90||Advanced George Tough||Grease tray||3 year limited|
There are a whole lot of perks to grilling indoors. Our buying guide and reviews of the best smokeless indoor grills should help you make the most informed purchase.