Essential Features To Look For When Buying A Contact Grill In 2021

Essential features to look for when buying a contact grill

Overview: A contact grill offers the benefit of cooking your food without flipping it since the food is sandwiched together between two heated even plate surfaces. There are several variations of contact grills on the market to suit the needs of both professional chefs and domestic cooks. You can opt for a single or large double grill with different types of plates for cooking on, ranging from cast iron, nonstick cast iron to ceramic plates.

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Below are a few helpful tips to help select the best contact grill for your needs:

1. Cooking Options & Size

How Many Cooking Options Does the Grill Have?

Some contact grill models can be used for multiple purposes including as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle and half grill/half griddle. The more cooking options the grill provides, the better will be the value.

How large is the Cooking Surface?

The cooking space determines the amount of food you can prepare at one time. While a large cooking surface will not be a requirement for singles or people looking to cook/grill for two, anyone with kids or a big family will appreciate a larger surface. Cooking areas of contact grills generally range in size from 36 square inches for small models to about 245 square inches for the largest grills.

Save NowBestseller No. 1
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
374 Reviews
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
  • 5 cooking functions: contact grill & Panini press, open full grill, open...
  • Removable, dishwasher safe die-cast plates with embedded heating elements
  • Digital control LED panel with two knobs to set the temperature control of...
Bestseller No. 2
De'Longhi CGH800 Retro Contact Grill and Panini...
  • Fast, even grilling and toasting with double-sided contact cooking plates.
  • Accommodates food of any size with the height adjustable hinge. You can...
  • Precise, customized grilling and toasting with the adjustable thermostat...
Bestseller No. 3
Cuisinart GR-6S Smoke-less Contact Griddler with...
  • Bundle Includes: Cuisinart Smoke-less Contact Griddler with 8-Inch Nylon...
  • Smoke-Less Mode: Preset for food groups include beef, poultry, fish and...
  • Adjustable Controls: Specially designed plates reduce grease while...

2. Performance

Does The Grill Heat Up Quickly?

People use contact grills for the convenience, and the speed with which the grill heats up and becomes ready to cook/press will be an important factor.

Do The Bottom And Top Plates Heat Up Evenly?

You will also want to know if the bottom and top plates heat evenly. If they don’t, the food/panini will not be cooked/pressed in the right manner and you will have to manually flip the food to ensure even cooking.

How Detailed Are The Controls?

Some contact grill models have basic controls like an on/off switch. More sophisticated models, on the other hand, have a lot of controls including grill/griddle selector and separate cooking options for each selection.

Models with basic controls offer simplicity and ease of use (and cheaper to buy) while those that are fitted with sophisticated controls (and you pay more) offer the ability to cook/grill everything exactly the way the you want.

Save NowBestseller No. 1
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
Removable, dishwasher safe die-cast plates with embedded heating elements; Digital control LED panel...
$299.95 −$59.62 $240.33
Bestseller No. 2
GreenPan Electric Indoor Stainless Steel 6-in-1...
GreenPan Electric Indoor Stainless Steel 6-in-1...
Manufactured without the use of PFAS, PFOA, lead or cadmium; Lay-Flat Design: open the Grill &...
$179.99
Bestseller No. 3
Blue Diamond Ceramic Nonstick, Electric Contact...
Blue Diamond Ceramic Nonstick, Electric Contact...
Griddle plates give you total contact to devlier max sear and max flavor; Bonus grill and waffle...
$69.99

3. Maintenance

Are The Plates Easy To Remove And Clean?

Contact grills do not require too much maintenance, but the users will have to remove and clean the plates every once in a while. While the frequency will depend on the usage, the ease of removing and cleaning the plates will be an important criterion for some consumers.

4. Other Considerations

Does The Top Plate Require Pressing?

Most contact grills have weighted top plates that do not require pressing. However, this feature can be lacking in some models, and the user may have to press the plate down to ensure proper grilling.

Is The Hinged Floating Cover Good Enough For Thick Food?

Most modern models have hinged covers that allow you to cook/grill/press thick foods. If the model you are looking at doesn’t have a decent hinged floating cover, it won’t be able to cook thick food or press thick sandwiches. Better look for another model that can do the job.

Is There A Drip Tray? If Yes, Is It Functional And Easy To Remove And Clean?

A drip tray is a feature that can be found in some higher quality models and is a handy feature to have. It collects the oil and any other fluids dripping from the food and minimizes the need to clean the plates. If there is a drip tray, you should also check whether or not it’s easy to remove and clean.

Save NowBestseller No. 1
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
374 Reviews
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
  • 5 cooking functions: contact grill & Panini press, open full grill, open...
  • Removable, dishwasher safe die-cast plates with embedded heating elements
  • Digital control LED panel with two knobs to set the temperature control of...
Bestseller No. 2
GreenPan Electric Indoor Stainless Steel 6-in-1...
  • 6-In-1 Multi-Grill: contact grill, contact griddle, panini press, mixed...
  • Features Thermolon Volt, a ceramic nonstick coating specially designed to...
  • Manufactured without the use of PFAS, PFOA, lead or cadmium
Bestseller No. 3
Blue Diamond Ceramic Nonstick, Electric Contact...
  • Metal utensil safe, Blue Diamond’s signature diamond-infused ceramic...
  • Diamonds are 4x more conductive than copper, so Blue Diamond heats faster...
  • Griddle plates give you total contact to devlier max sear and max flavor

Best Overall Contact Grill: Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

  • Versatile – 5-in-1countertop unit works as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle
  • East to clean – Removable and reversible nonstick cooking plates
  • Cooks evenly
  • Solid construction with stainless steel self-adjusting cover
  • Adjustable temperature controls with indicator lights
  • Fairly expensive
  • Learn more

Save NowBestseller No. 1
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
DeLonghi America CGH1020D Livenza All Day...
Removable, dishwasher safe die-cast plates with embedded heating elements; Digital control LED panel...
$299.95 −$59.62 $240.33
Bestseller No. 2
GreenPan Electric Indoor Stainless Steel 6-in-1...
GreenPan Electric Indoor Stainless Steel 6-in-1...
Manufactured without the use of PFAS, PFOA, lead or cadmium; Lay-Flat Design: open the Grill &...
$179.99
Bestseller No. 3
Blue Diamond Ceramic Nonstick, Electric Contact...
Blue Diamond Ceramic Nonstick, Electric Contact...
Griddle plates give you total contact to devlier max sear and max flavor; Bonus grill and waffle...
$69.99

Best Budget Contact Grill: Cuisinart GR-11 Griddler 3-in-1 Grill and Panini Press

  • This is the new model replaces the older Cuisinart GR-1
  • Low cost
  • Solid construction with a brushed stainless steel self-adjusting cover
  • Sturdy Panini style handle
  • This Griddler Grill & Panini Press can also be used as a contact grill to cook burgers, boneless pieces of meat, thin cuts of meat and vegetables
  • Cooks with even results – from a thinly-sliced potato to a sirloin steak
  • Removable Grill Plates Nonstick for oil-free options. Dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup
  • Compact – takes up minimal space and provides just enough surface area to cook for a couple of friends or family members
  • Learn more

Save NowBestseller No. 1
Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop...
  • Portable gas grill with 145-square-inch grilling area and foldaway legs
  • Cooks 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6 to 10 chicken breasts, or 4 pounds of fish
  • Powerful 5,500 BTU stainless-steel burner and even-heating...
Save NowBestseller No. 2
Weber Traveler Portable Gas Grill, Black
  • One handed setup and collapse. Grill is attached to the cart for quick &...
  • Compact fold takes up minimal space in the garage and fits perfectly in the...
  • Large grilling area (15 burger capacity) so that the entire meal is grilled...
Save NowBestseller No. 3
Coleman Gas Grill | Portable Propane Grill |...
4,814 Reviews
Coleman Gas Grill | Portable Propane Grill |...
  • GRILLING POWER: Up to 20,000 total BTUs
  • 8 ADJUSTABLE BURNERS: With improved burner technology for more precise...
  • LARGE GRILLING AREA: 285 sq. in.

Best Value Electric Grill for Use Indoors or Outside: George Foreman GGR50 Indoor/Outdoor Grill

  • Indoor/outdoor use
  • Large non-stick grilling surface (240 sq. in. round grilling surface) allows for you to cook a variety of different foods – from multiple burgers or steaks to whole birds
  • Variable temperature control
  • Grill can be used on pedestal (stands about -1/2 feet high) or on tabletop
  • Sloping grate base draws fat away from food to collect in easy-to-empty tray
  • Learn more

Save NowBestseller No. 1
Char-Broil 463377319 Performance 4-Burner Cart...
  • Power Source: Propane/ liquid petroleum gas. The propane tank is not...
  • Exclusive Stainless Steel finish for increased style and durability
  • Reliable electric ignition to fire up your grill and 10, 000 BTU side...
Bestseller No. 2
Char-Broil 463371719 Performance TRU-Infrared...
  • Exclusive stainless steel finish for increased style and durability
  • TRU-Infrared cooking technology prevents flare-ups, delivers even-heat and...
  • 450-square-inches of primary cooking space is great for most cookouts
Bestseller No. 3
Char-Broil 463375919 Performance Stainless Steel...
  • Your purchase includes One Char-broil Performance Series Liquid Propane Gas...
  • Grill dimensions – 24.5" D x 53.1" W x 45" H | Primary cooking area –...
  • Exclusive Stainless Steel finish for increased style and durability | Not...

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