The Best Indoor Grills for Your Kitchen
All the convenience of the kitchen with the distinct taste of the backyard grill.
Seasons come and go, with some signaling a return to the backyard barbecue and others forcing you back into the kitchen. Don’t let the weather dictate when you can enjoy grilling! Indoor grills make it possible to grill year-round, wherever you live. Ahead, get our top tips and recommendations for choosing the best indoor grill for your needs and budget—and don’t miss our top picks!
- BEST OVERALL: Philips Kitchen Appliances Smoke-less Indoor BBQ Grill
- RUNNER-UP: T-fal OptiGrill XC Indoor Electric Grill
- MOST VERSATILE: Ninja Foodi 5-in-1
- BEST FOR FAMILIES: GoWISE USA 2-in-1 Smokeless Indoor Grill and Griddle
- BEST VALUE: Presto Cool Touch Electric Indoor Grill
Key Shopping Considerations
Folding vs. Flat Grills
Indoor grills come in two main styles: folding and flat.
- Folding grills are also known as contact grills because they have a base upon which you place the food and a second heated grill that folds to sit on top of the food like a panini press. The benefits to these are they tend to take up less space in the kitchen and cook faster than flat grills. However, what you gain in counter space, you lose in cooking space. Folding grills tend to have smaller cooking surfaces than flat grills, and the food cooked on them can lack the trademark grill taste.
- Because of their design, flat or open grills replicate the experience and flavors of traditional grilling without having to leave your kitchen. They typically allow for higher cooking temperatures than folding grills and have a flat, open surface. However, as noted above, these grills have a slower cooking time and take up more space in the kitchen.
Cooking Plate Types
Indoor grills often come with various plates to use for cooking different foods. For example, a rack may have a ridged grill surface, designed to cook meats, steaks, veggie burgers, and the usual barbecue fare. However, with just a quick change of the metal plate, the indoor grill becomes a flat-top griddle for cooking pancakes.
Other models may include waffle plates, meatball plates, or even a full cooking pot. Depending on how you want to use the grill, a wide variety of plate types gives you plenty of options. While others may find the various plates unnecessary, keep in mind your cooking habits and how you want to use the grill before you purchase.
Precise Temperature Settings
Most indoor grills allow you to adjust their cooking temperature, though those lacking this feature will generally indicate the set temperature they heat to on the packaging. Most will have a temperature dial resembling the dials on the stove or the barbecue. Simply turn them to the heat setting that you want and allow the grill to warm up.
Newer grills have begun to offer more precise heat settings. They feature an electric control panel you can set to the exact temperature you want, or for a specific type of food. If you’re looking for the highest level of control in the kitchen, some models even have a built-in timer that will reduce the heat or turn the grill off at the end of the allotted time.
Whether you like to set it and forget it or stand over the food while grilling, your preference will be a significant factor in deciding whether precise temperature control is something you need.
Dishwasher Safe Parts
While most grills now feature dishwasher-safe removable trays, shields, and plates, some models may have one or more parts that must be washed by hand. Before buying, be sure to read the product information to determine whether the grill or any of its components are safe for washing in the dishwasher. If not, determine whether this will be an ongoing nuisance, or if the other features of the grill outweigh a little hands-on cleaning.
Newer indoor grill models have begun to incorporate some interesting features. Flat grills now produce considerably less smoke. These smokeless models attempt to emulate the barbecue’s high temperatures while controlling the smoke produced from the grease. Other models have introduced infrared technology that uses reflectors to ensure even heat dispersion across the cooking surface. Keep these and other features in mind when selecting the best indoor grill for your home.
Our Top Picks
1. BEST OVERALL: Philips Kitchen Appliances Smoke-less Indoor BBQ Grill
While the Philips Kitchen Appliances Smoke-less Indoor BBQ Grill Smoke-less Indoor Grill doesn’t have a wide assortment of cooking plate choices, the flat grill has infrared technology that uses individual reflectors to create an evenly heated surface across the entire grill. Through a single heat setting, instead of a manually controlled option, this product boasts a consistent temperature of 446 degrees Fahrenheit. A cooled drip tray at the bottom of the grill allows grease and fat to fall from the food above while producing almost no smoke. The dishwasher-safe tray and plate can be removed for easy cleaning after cooking.
2. RUNNER-UP: T-fal OptiGrill XL Indoor Electric Grill
Using the T-fal OptiGrill XL Indoor Electric Grill starts with selecting one of two modes: frozen or manual. This setting tells the grill that a piece of meat is frozen so it can adjust the cooking time automatically. The grill measures the thickness of the food that it’s cooking, using sensors on the hinge of the grill to adjust the time and temperature needed. Choose from among nine automatic cooking programs, including burgers, poultry, sandwiches, sausages, red meat, fish, pork, bacon, and shellfish. Then use the indicator light to determine where the food is in the cooking cycle with audible beeps for rare, medium, and well-done. The large drip tray and removable plates are dishwasher safe for quick cleanup.
3. MOST VERSATILE: Ninja Foodi 5-in-1
Set it and forget it with the electronic temperature control and timer built into the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1. An air temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit circulates through the food placed on this grill, cooking it from all sides at the same time. The grill grate applies a heated char to the outside to give food a classic grill taste. Included in this multipurpose grill are a 6-quart cooking pot, a 4-quart crisper basket, a grill grate, and a splatter shield. The Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 can fry, roast, bake, dehydrate and grill.
4. BEST FOR FAMILIES: GoWISE USA 2-in-1 Smokeless Indoor Grill and Griddle
The GoWISE USA 2-in-1 Smokeless Indoor Grill features a large, 17-inch cooking surface that’s great for family meals. The interchangeable grill and griddle plates allow a variety of foods to be prepared, including pancakes, eggs, steak, and burgers, to name a few. It heats up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit using powerful convection elements to give food an authentic barbecue taste. But to keep the air clean, water is added to the bottom of the drip tray, which a built-in fan cools during cooking. The fat and grease from the foods above drop into the cooled liquid, neutralizing any smoke. The grill, griddle, and drip tray are removable and dishwasher safe, while its slim profile makes it easy to store when not in use.
5. BEST VALUE: Presto Cool Touch Electric Indoor Grill
One of the main draws of the Presto Cool Touch Electric Indoor Grill is its price, but the included spatula is also a nice touch. The grill has a simple design with a raised grid cooking surface intended to allow grease and fat to drip away into a slide-out drip tray. The adjustable dial heats the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while the base and sides remain cool to the touch to help avoid accidental burns. When it’s time to clean up, remove the power cord from the grill, empty the drip tray, and put the whole thing in the dishwasher. The griddle, minus the power cord, is fully immersible in water and dishwasher safe.