11 Indoor Grills That Let You Enjoy a Perfectly Seared Steak Year-Round
Popping a few steaks on the grill and preparing them to juicy perfection might make you feel pretty damn unstoppable. But you know what *can* stop your stint at the barbecue? Rain, cold weather, snow, an empty propane tank…shall we go on? Luckily, you don’t need to wait for a gorgeous summer day to get your barbecue on, thanks to indoor grills. Not only do they make it a breeze to grill everything from chicken to hot dogs to veggie skewers year-round, but they also take up way less space (and cost less) than bulky outdoor grills. They’re especially a game-changer for apartment dwellers who don’t have outdoor space, provided your lease agreement allows them.
Before you start shopping, there are a few things you should know. There are two main types of indoor grills: open and contact. Open grills have an open grilling surface, while contact grills have two cooking surfaces. Most open grills have a lid, while contact grills come with a floating cover. Open grills are the next closest thing to outdoor grills, because they have open grates and the lid helps creates smoke, which leads to more robust flavor and tender, juicy meat. The perk of contact grills is that they cook your food faster, since it cooks it from both sides (you won’t need to flip it constantly, either), plus they can double as a sandwich press. You can also keep the lid of a contact grill open to double your grilling space. Consider these differences and what you’re most likely going to cook on your indoor grill before you shop.
How to Choose the Best Indoor Grill
- Look for a grill with at least 1,200 watts of power if you plan on cooking thick steaks or burgers on it frequently. This ensures that the grill will produce enough heat to cook them through.
- Be realistic about the size you need. If you’re typically only cooking for one or two people, a smaller grill (say 60 to 80 square inches) will work just fine. If you’re cooking for a larger group, a grill of 100 square inches or larger will accommodate everyone’s food better.
- Consider the smoke the grill will produce. If you live in a smaller space (or have a finnicky smoke detector), look for a grill that has a ventilation filter or fan built in to reduce smokiness.
- If you want a contact grill, those with removable grill plates will be easier to clean. Bonus points if they can go for a ride in the dishwasher.
- Look for a grill that gives you more control over the heat. Some don’t include an adjustable heat range, meaning that veggies and steak will be cooked at the same heat, even though the latter requires more. Grills with an adjustable dial or button settings allow you to tweak the heat based on what you’re cooking.
1. Philips Smoke-less Indoor Grill
Best for minimal smoke
Worried about triggering your fire alarm every time you want a steak? This pick uses advanced infrared technology and special reflectors to guide the heat where it needs to be. This keeps the grease tray nice and cool, which minimizes grease spattering and smoke. In fact, this grill produces up to 80 percent less smoke than the leading indoor electrical grill when tested on two batches of four beef burgers.
Rave review: “It was a gift from my parents that I didn’t ask for,” says our food editor Katherine Gillen, “but it’s come in handy living in a Brooklyn apartment with no outdoor space. While the temperatures don’t get super hot, you can still get a good sear, and it’s shockingly easy to clean.”
2. Cuisinart Stainless Steel Multifunctional Grill
Easiest to clean
This convertible appliance has many forms. Use it as a contact grill, full grill, full griddle, half griddle/half grill or panini press, depending on what you’re cooking. No matter what recipe you’re tackling it’ll be a breeze to clean up, thanks to the specially designed cooking plates that drain all the fat into the removable drip tray and the dishwasher-friendly, nonstick cooking plates that can be removed with the push of a button.
Rave review: “It cooks up chicken tenders in no time at all, makes paninis for the granddaughters and, with a flip of the switch, I have a [griddle] for French toast on the weekends,” writes one Walmart reviewer. “Cleanup is easy with the removable nonstick plates, and they also can go in the dishwasher. This small appliance proves its worth to me every day.”
3. Kalorik Smokeless Grill
Best for meat
If you cook steak or chicken all the time, look no further. This beauty heats to 460°F—the ideal temperature for searing meat—quickly and has a built-in fan and filter to extract smoke as you grill. The tempered glass lid will keep the meat nice and juicy (even chicken breast), and it’s also specially designed to stand on your kitchen counter to prevent accidental burns.
Rave review: “I am extremely impressed with its performance,” says this Macy’s reviewer. “I have grilled chicken, burgers, hot dogs and steak and everything was delicious. The sear function works perfectly, and the window allows you to see the food cooking without having to open the hood. It heats up to 460°F quite fast. Cleaning it is simple and very easy.”
4. Hamilton Beach Flavor Searing Indoor Grill
Best for vegetables
The open grate is ideal for searing burgers, fish, pork and more, just like you would on an outdoor barbecue. (Its unique hooded design helps lock in flavor and guarantees a juicy finished product, too.) But when it comes to vegetables like asparagus, peppers, zucchini or onions, which are tiny enough to fall through, an open grate can be a challenge. Luckily, this indoor grill has a section with a closed grate especially for smaller items.
Rave review: “Having the open grate makes all the difference; it provides spectacular grilled flavor,” raves this Walmart shopper. “There is a small section on the right that is not open to the bottom and you can place veggies on it, so they don't fall through. It is a SNAP to clean—everything comes apart so quickly and easily. I love how it has the dual temperature controls: low to high or oven-like temperature controls, and it preheats quickly.”
5. Gotham Steel Nonstick Ti-Ceramic Large Smokeless Indoor Grill
Best nonstick grill
Have you ever grilled a fillet of salmon, only for it to fall apart when you try flipping it over? You won’t have to worry about that with this grill’s nonstick ceramic surface, which heats up evenly like a charm. Not only will your food not stick to it, but the ceramic coating also reduces smoke production caused by burning grease. Win-win.
Rave review: “This indoor grill cooks great tasting food without the hassle of charcoal,” states this Macy’s reviewer. “I made dinner with this several times and have consistently great results every time. None of the food I makes sticks, and [it’s an] easy cleanup. The grill leaves nice grill marks and heavenly taste without being in the cold or heat. I did pork chops and burgers, and the time it took was easy to configure. It has a temperature gauge that is easy to work and understand.”
6. George Foreman 4-Serving Electric Grill and Panini Press
Best small indoor grill
If you’re only cooking for one or two, there’s no need to get a giant indoor grill. This tiny workhorse will take up minimal space on your counter and can accommodate about four chicken breasts or burger patties. Because it’s so compact, it also heats up 35 percent faster than its competitors, meaning it’ll take you from zero to dinner in no time. Bonus? It’s a total steal—just look at the price tag.
Rave review: “Quite surprised by how well this thing cooks steak, burgers or anything that will fit between the plates,” writes a satisfied Walmart reviewer. “Since it cooks both sides at once, it's fast. We bought the small one since there are only two of us. It's plenty big for our needs. Most importantly, the cooking plates come off and go into the dishwasher.”
7. Bella Pro Series Indoor Smokeless Grill
Best indoor grill for large groups
Meal prepping a batch of chicken breast for the week? Cooking pork chops for the whole family? This pick can handle it all. Thanks to its 1,500-watt heating system, the roomy grill preheats in a jiffy. Even better, the cooking plate is removable and dishwasher-safe; it also boasts a nonstick coating that makes food release a cinch.
Rave review: “Plenty of room to grill several pieces of meat like chicken, pork chops and I would say two large steaks,” says this Best Buy customer. “Very little smoke and cooks pretty fast and evenly. Anyone can operate this, and the cooking is really easy; just keep an eye on whatever you are grilling so you don't overcook. The best part is the cleanup; so easy to clean.”
8. T-Fal Opti-Grill Indoor Electric Grill
Best indoor grill for beginners
If grilling intimidates you, this gem will help you overcome that fear. The T-Fal Opti-Grill has an automatic sensor that self-adjusts based on the type of food you’re cooking, its weight and its thickness. Choose from six automatic food settings (from burger to poultry to fish) or select your preferred level of doneness (rare, medium or well done) when cooking steak. Indicator lights and beeps will let you know when it’s ready to devour.
Rave review: “The thing I love the most about this grill is it automatically cooks different kinds of food to the right temperature and lets you know when they get there via changes in a colored light and an audible beep,” writes this Amazon reviewer. “It also lets you know when it is preheated, can do frozen or unfrozen food and has settings to control all that. You can select both the type of food (burgers, chicken etc.), and the level of doneness for the food, and it autodetects how thick the food is, so you don't have to worry about that either.”
9. George Forman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
Best hybrid grill
Indoor grills are a no-brainer in the winter. But come summer, you’ll want to cook in the great outdoors, and this grill lets you do just that. Connect the removable stand to the bottom when you want to head to the yard or pop the grill on your kitchen counter when weather gets in the way. (P.S., it’s on the larger side since it can be used outdoors—you can cook up to 15 servings at once).
Rave review: “Really happy with my new grill that my daughter got me for Mother’s Day!” exclaims this Bed Bath and Beyond shopper. “The large ceramic surface area is wonderful, and the cleanup is so easy! I can use it on my balcony or take it off the pedestal and use it on my countertop! Bring on the summer fun!”
10. Elite Gourmet Large Indoor Electric Round Grill
Best indoor grill for tabletop cooking
Does your family love Korean barbecue or Japanese hibachi? Treat yourself to the restaurant experience at home with this nonstick grill that’s complete with temperature control and a large drip pan for catching excess oil. The circular heating element heats the grill faster than you’d ever anticipate and, most importantly, all the parts are detachable and dishwasher safe.
Rave review: “This grill makes it super cheap and easy to do Korean BBQ at home,” claims this Amazon reviewer. “We buy vegetables (enoki mushrooms, onions and leafy lettuce) and thinly-sliced meat (pork belly, beef, etc.). After grilling, we dip the meat in a sesame oil and salt sauce and wrap it in lettuce. It's easy to clean, too. Fill the drip tray with some water before grilling for easy cleaning. Everything can be put in the dishwasher, just not the electrical adapter part.”
11. Breville Smart Grill
Best hi-tech indoor grill
Yes, this is a splurge, but reviewers say this beauty is worth every penny. The grill plates have an embedded heating design, which guarantees a mind-blowingly fast preheating time and even faster cooking. Lower the temperature for paninis or vegetables and crank it up to sear meat. It’s a griddle on one side, meaning you can make pancakes or eggs alongside grilled bacon or steak. The grill also comes with a sound-equipped timer, so you don’t need to babysit your food.
Rave review: “[The] grill sat [on the] bottom shelf of [my] cabinet for [a] couple years only to see daylight for a random panini,” explains this Bed Bath and Beyond shopper. “About four months ago, [I] had it in use and decided to leave it out on counter. We have used it every day since. We will never be without it. Eggs, spuds, veggies, pancakes, French toast, burgers, sandwiches; love pizza reheated or [to] crisp up the bottom of a pie, biscuits out of freezer, any leftovers to be reheated. Are you getting the idea that we love it?”