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Published Apr 14, 2022 2:03 PM

Indoor electric grills are a great alternative when an outdoor grill isn’t an option. Wet weather can put your backyard grill out of commission, and if you live in an apartment or condo, you may not be allowed to own a grill. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a juicy grilled steak or hamburger. 

While you should never bring an outdoor grill indoors because they produce dangerous emissions, electric indoor grills are a safe substitute. Though smaller than their outdoor counterparts, an indoor electric grill offers around 100 square inches of cooking space. In this guide, learn what features you should consider when shopping for the best indoor grill and check out our list of some of the top indoor grills. 

How We Selected These Products 

As a self-proclaimed grill master, I have a lot of experience grilling both indoors and out. I used that experience and several important criteria to review more than 20 outdoors grills for this guide. As with outdoor grills, how well a grill can heat the cooking surface is key. For a grill to be worth the metal used to make it, it needs to be able to reach more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature required to sear a crust on the outside of hamburgers and steaks. 

A good indoor grill also shouldn’t fill your home with smoke, so we stuck with models that either use smoke management systems with fans that remove smoke as it comes off the grill surface, or those that have drip systems that prevent grease from reaching the heating element. 

Finally, I also leaned toward grills that offer versatility by including interchangeable plates that allow one to use them as both griddles and standard grills. 

The Best Indoor Grills: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: PowerXL Smokeless Grill

This grill features 112 square inches of cooking space with two different grill tops. PowerXL

Why It Made The Cut: This grill combines the experience of outdoor grilling with features that make indoor grilling easier. 

Specs:

  • Cooking Surface: 108 square inches 
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 inches L x 11.9 inches W x 5.5 inches H
  • Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees Fahrenheit

Pros:

  • Similar in function to a real grill
  • Interchangeable cooking plates allow it to function as a griddle or grill
  • Close proximity of cooking surface to the heating element allows for searing
  • Built-in smoke extractor 

Cons: 

  • Relatively small cooking surface

If a measure of an indoor grill is how well it mimics the experience of an outdoor one, then the PowerXL is a worthy choice. With its long rectangular shape, it presents itself as a mini version of a gas grill. The cooking grate that recesses into the body allows one to achieve the vertical lines on food that are synonymous with grilled food. 

The PowerXL performs like a real grill, thanks to the close proximity of the cooking surface to the heating element. This design makes it capable of searing meat. There are also vents on either side of the cooking surface that helps limit the amount of smoke that ends up in the kitchen. 

While the glass lid may differ from the standard steel clamshell lid of a standard outdoor grill, it’s a smart deviation as the glass allows you to monitor the food without having to open the lid. The PowerXL is also versatile with interchangeable grill and griddle plates. Its 108 square inches of cooking surface may not be among the largest on the market, but it’s enough space to handle a half dozen burgers or a few steaks, and you won’t have to clear out an entire cabinet to store it.

Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Electric Indoor Searing Grill

This lower-cost model offers similar functionality to other indoor grills. Hamilton Beach

Why It Made The Cut: This grill offers clamshell lids and a large cooking surface at an affordable price. 

Specs:

  • Cooking Surface: 118 square inches
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 inches L x 16.73 inches W x 6.81 inches H
  • Maximum Temperature: 450 degrees Fahrenheit

Pros:

  • Large clamshell style lid
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Removable non-stick grill grate
  • Attractive stainless steel looks

Cons:

  • No advanced cooking modes or griddle options

Despite being one of the more affordable grills on the market, this model from Hamilton Beach offers an indoor grilling experience that’s remarkably similar to an outdoor grill. The cooking surface measures a sizable 118 square inches, which puts it in the ballpark with higher end indoor grills. There are no fancy cooking modes with the Hamilton Beach electric grill, but those who want a grill that functions like the one sitting on their patio will appreciate the single knob that controls heat output. The nonstick grate is well designed for creating grill marks and sits in close proximity to the heating element, allowing you to sear a good crust on burgers or steaks. 

The large clamshell lid is also reminiscent of an outdoor grill, allowing you to open the lid with one hand while tending to the food with the other. The concave shape allows for better airflow for even heating when the lid is closed. This no-frills indoor grill is a great option for those looking to bring that backyard grilling experience indoors. 

Best Versatile: Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Electric Indoor Grill + Griddle

This indoor grill has reversible plates that allow it to function as a grill, griddle, or grill/griddle combo. Hamilton Beach

Why It Made The Cut: No indoor grill that we reviewed can cook in as many different ways as the Hamilton Beach 3-in-1.  

Specs:

  • Cooking Surface: 180 square inches
  • Product Dimensions: 12.51 inches L x 23 inches W x 6.71 inches H
  • Maximum Temperature: 425 degrees Fahrenheit

Pros:

  • Reversible plates allow for different cooking configurations
  • Each side has independent heating controls
  • Large total cooking surface area

Cons: 

  • Low max surface heat of 425 degrees Fahrenheit

While many indoor electric grills give you the ability to grill or griddle, few allow you to do both at once. This 3-in-1 model from Hamilton Beach is an exception. It features two cooking zones, each of which offers 90 square inches of cooking surface for a total of 180 square inches. With its reversible plate design, it can function as a half griddle and grill or as a full griddle or grill. 

Two separate knobs make it easy to independently control surface temperature on both the grill and griddle side up to 425 degrees. This makes this grill ideal for cooking tasks that require cooking different types of foods simultaneously such as pancakes and bacon. 

We also like the ease of cleaning with this model. A grease tray that sits under the joint between the two cooking surfaces catches grease from both sides and is easy to pull out and empty, and the non-stick cooking plates are dishwasher safe. 

Best Features: George Foreman 4-Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press

Best Features

After nearly 30 years, George Foreman’s grill is still one of the easiest ways to grill indoors. George Foreman

Why It Made The Cut: Of the models we reviewed, this George Foreman offers the easiest way to grill food. 

Specs:

  • Cooking Surface: 60 square inches 
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 inches L by 12.5 inches W by 13.19 inches H
  • Maximum Temperature: N/A

Pros:

  • Easy to use with no flipping or temperature controls to worry about
  • Removable plates make it easy to clean
  • Compact size ideal for those with limited cabinet space

Cons: 

  • Smaller cooking surface than other indoor grills
  • Limited to one temperature

George Foreman grills, which first appeared on the scene back in 1994, are still one of the easiest grills to use indoors or out. The concept is the same as it was nearly 30 years ago. Place a burger patty, chicken breast, steak, or whatever type of food you wish to grill on the grill surface, and drop the lid on top of it. There’s no temperature control to worry about, and there’s also no need to flip the food since both sides are grilled simultaneously. Since the grill is cambered at an angle, any drippings run off the grill into the wide tray at the bottom of the unit. 

This George Foreman model is one of the line’s larger models at 60 square inches, giving it the ability to cook four average size burger patties or chicken breasts or a couple of steaks. While it offers about half the cooking surface of other indoor grills, the smaller size means it’s easier to store when not in use.

Best for Entertaining: Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe

Best for Entertaining

This indoor grill has 240 square inches of cooking space and can function as a sandwich press or griddle. Cuisinart

Why It Made The Cut: No other indoor grill offers the same cooking space while still being able to reach sear-worthy temperatures. 

Specs:

  • Cooking Surface: 120 square inches (240 square inches when flat)
  • Product Dimensions: 15.98 inches L x 14.6 inches W x 7.87 inches H
  • Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees

Pros:

  • Large cooking surface when laid flat
  • Interchangeable cooking grates add versatility
  • Functions as grill, griddle, or sandwich press
  • High heat sear function

Cons: 

  • More expensive than other electric griddles

Most indoor grills have a limited amount of cooking surface, making them difficult poor options for cooking larger meals. Cuisinart’s Griddler Deluxe circumvents this issue. When laid flat it has twice the cooking surface of a standard indoor grill, making it suitable for cooking a lot of food at one time. Despite that large surface, it has a searing function, made possible by its 1800-watt output.

The Griddler Deluxe is versatile too. The two surfaces each have independent heat controls, allowing the chef to cook different types of foods at different temperatures simultaneously. We also like that the adjustable top allows it to broil, a function you won’t find on any outdoor grill. Like other Griddler models, this one also doubles as a sandwich press or double sided grill. With its interchangeable plates, it can function as a standard grill or griddle or as a combination griddle/grill.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Indoor Grill

Cooking Surface

When selecting an indoor grill, it’s crucial to consider the size of the cooking surface. Indoor grills range from small models with less than 100 square inches of cooking surface to larger models that max out at around 130 square inches of grilling space (which is the maximum amount of space a grill can heat due to the limitations of a 120-volt power outlet). Consider what size cooking surface you need, keeping in mind that a larger indoor grill will require more storage space when not in use.

Lid

While most indoor grills have a lid, not all of them do. A lid adds functionality, allowing you to roast as well as grill. Some grills also come with clamshell style lids that open and close via a hinge on the back of the grill, or a glass lid that lifts off the top of the grill similar to a pot. Some grills use a clamshell lid that also doubles as a burner, allowing you to grill on both sides of the food simultaneously.

Smokeless

Although electric indoor grills do not produce harmful emissions, they can create smoke when juices from the meat hit the heating element. Smokeless grills use a fan system to eliminate smoke while others use baffles that prevent the droppings from coming into contact with the heating element.

Additional Features

Many indoor grills come with additional features that allow them to do more than just grill. Some grills have modes that allow you to air fry and bake as well as grill. There are also grills that include meat thermometers to allow you to monitor the temperature of food. 

FAQs

Q: Can you grill indoors with an electric grill?

Yes. Since indoor grills do not use charcoal or gas, which produces carbon emissions, they’re safe for use indoors. Closed grills cause grease to run off into a drip tray while smokeless grills will help eliminate any smoke that’s created as a result of the drippings coming into contact with the heating element. 

Q: Does an indoor grill get hot enough to sear meat?

Yes. Most indoor grills can reach 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough heat to sear a crust on hamburgers or a steak. 

Q: How do I clean my indoor grill?

Indoor grills are much easier to clean than outdoor grills. To clean, wait for the grill to cool, and then remove the grill plates and clean them in the sink with soapy water. Dump the grease tray in the trash can and wipe it clean. Finally, wipe down the exterior of the grill before reinstalling the plates. 

Final Thoughts

When selecting an indoor grill, it’s crucial to consider its size as well as what you plan to cook. For the most versatility, purchase an indoor grill that can also function as a griddle. Also make sure to purchase a grill that can reach high enough temperatures to sear the outside of the meat. By following the tips in this guide, you can find an indoor grill that will allow you to enjoy grilled food without leaving the comfort of your kitchen.

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