Contact Grills, also sometimes called “clamshells” because of their shape, are a favorite kitchen gadget of many chefs. Contact grills can be used to cook meat, sandwiches, and veggies and just about anything that’s a half-inch or less thick. Contact grills are often touted as electric grills for a variety of foods, from steak and burgers to sandwiches.
The George Foreman grill is one form of contact grill probably everyone has heard of, however, today there are many other types of these grills on the market.
Great Things About Contact Grills
The great thing a contact grill is that it offers the ability to cook food like steaks and sandwiches without ever having to flip it like you do on a stovetop or grill. The folding design makes it ideal for cooking meat. This locks in the natural juices, giving it a full flavor and taste, and also providing a high nutritional value. Not only can you cook meat and sandwiches, the contact grill can also grill veggies like bell peppers and asparagus.
Consumers and professionals alike love contact grills. After all, they can cook quickly without a lot of mess, and can guarantee even cooking on both sides. Many restaurants will use contact grills to cook sandwiches such as the Panini. Many other party favorites can be cooked using the contact grill as well.
Cooking Meat on a Contact Grill
Cooking a steak or a slab or turkey on a contact grill is incredibly easy – just add your seasonings, a bit of oil if you choose, and flip it on. As you roast meat, there’s no need to flip it. Both sides of your food are being cooked at the same temperature at the same time, so you don’t need to worry about it cooking thoroughly. While you can only roast a few items at a time, you’ll enjoy the portability of the contact grill as well. You can conveniently take it with you to any parties or on any trips.
While the most popular contact grill is meant for two people, nowadays, you can find other sizes as well. If you plan on solely cooking sandwiches, you may want to jump ahead to find information on the best Panini press instead.
Some contact grills have a floating hinge that adjusts for different thicknesses – for example, if you’re trying to cook a sandwich instead of a steak. Many models also create a grill-like pattern on your food, mimicking the style of a fire-cooked meal.
Contact Grill or Panini Press? Your Choice
A contact grill is affordable and easy to use, but it may not always be fitted to make the perfect Panini sandwiches. If you prefer sandwiches to grilled food, then it may not be the right electric grill for you. You should instead look for an appliance that specially mentions Panini sandwiches.
Some grills will have special settings for making sandwiches, and often they’re equipped with instructions for making a grilled cheese sandwich.
Whenever you’re cooking on a contact grill, you’ll begin your cooking session by seasoning it with a bit cooking oil – preferably olive or avocado oil, which has proven to be heart-healthy as a fat. First make sure the surface is wiped clean, and make sure to make a habit of this.
A contact grill is easy to use and takes up less counter space than a microwave. The adjustable thermostat doesn’t typically have a temperature; it instead has a low, medium and a high setting on a dial. You will then wait for the green light to turn on, showing that it has reached the heat level you desire.
Cooking times on a contact grill range from just five minutes up to thirty minutes, depending on what you’re cooking and how thick the meal is. Make sure you always read the manual and have a clear understanding of food safety when it comes to temperatures, and don’t undercook the food.
Best Indoor Electric Grill: 2017’s Picks
These grills are also indoor favorites. They’re not contact grills, but you’ll probably still love cooking with them. A lot of people land on this blog looking for the best indoor smokeless grill, and although contact grills are great, there’s a lot more to electric grill cooking than the Foreman varieties. These are the top-notch choices when it comes to the best indoor smokeless grill.
- This new model of the George Foreman looks and acts like a charcoal grill, but it’s electric and can be used both indoors and outdoors. You can cook for up to 8 people on this particular grill. It’s on the best indoor grill list for its flexibility as well as its ability to simulate a charcoal grill.
- People love this grill for its exacting temperature control. It’s portable, so you can take it with you on a camping trip or at a tailgate party. Veggies and burger will come out just perfect with this allow you to take it with you on your travels, as well as guarantee that veggies and meat comes out right the first time.
- This smokeless grill uses infrared technology in its heating components to help cook all of your meat and veggies thoroughly. A favorite of hardcore campers, this grill is portable. It’s the only smokeless grill Philips offers, but it’s highly rated by owners.
- With a six-minute heat time and a reputation for searing to perfection, it’s easy to understand why they decided they’ve already created the best indoor grill/griddle for cooking meat and veggies.
These indoor electric grills that I’ve written about above are meant especially for contact grill cooking, and so are these picks below. Each product will vary in terms of cooking sandwiches and other thick products, however, the quality of the food is why they are listed as the top picks, and I’m sure you’ll agree!
- This is one of the best smokeless indoor grill that the contact grill genre has to offer. There’s a lot of space for both food and veggies, and it’s a perfect match for a dinner for two. You can do steak, slices of tomato, and other side dishes all in this one grill.
- This grill can cook food all the way through quickly if it’s fresh, and it’s super easy to clean up afterwards. There’s a reason the George Foreman grill is so popular; with its contact top grill, it cooks up food in a tasty manner, and is versatile enough to throw both veggies and sandwiches on.
How to Grill Indoors with a Contact Grill
Are you getting ready to cook with your first contact grill? That’s great. Here are a few tips to help you get started straight away with cooking the best these grills have to offer. Don’t forget to check the other articles on this website for more tips.
- Always make sure that the grill is clean and that you have lightly seasoned it with oil such as avocado or olive oil, which will help keep your meals heart healthy.
- Don’t ever put the meat on the grill or griddle without first checking to make sure it has heated all the way.
- Don’t open and close your grill to check on it, especially if you’re cooking sandwiches. You’ll interrupt cooking and break the “seal” on sandwiches and other goodies like samosas.
- If you’re marinating indoors with a contact grill, let your food drain well before you throw it on the contact grill.
- The fatter the meat, the lower the temperature setting. If you cook fatty meat at too high a temperature, the oil and fat can splash onto your counter top.
These are just a few tips for cooking with your contact grill. As you continue to explore using this appliance, you’ll probably become interested in learning about other indoor and outdoor grilling options. Please browse our articles to learn more about the wonderful world of barbecue and grilling.