If you’re someone who’s short on time and just trying to avoid the fast food temptation, then an indoor grill could be just what you need.
These grills are compact enough and don’t require a fuel source to cook with, so they’re safe for use indoors.
And as a bonus?
You can save time on cooking AND make less work for yourself while saving yourself from extra dishes.
When you first start shopping around, you’ll have a few choices to pick from, but we think the Optgrills from T-Fal should be at the top your list of considerations.
These two looks very similar in appearances, but we’re going to go over what sets each one apart from the other.
Quick Comparison: Optigrill Vs Optgrill Plus XL
|#1. Optigrill Plus XL
Our Best Pick
|– 9 Cooking Programs (Burger, Poultry, Sandwich, Sausage, Red Meat, Fish, Pork, Bacon and Shellfish)
– 4 variable manual temperature settings
– Can grill veggies and fruits
|– 6 Cooking Programs (Burger, Poultry, Sandwich, Sausage, Red Meat and Fish)
– 1 fixed manual temperature settings
– Can not grill veggies and fruits
T-fal Optigrill Plus XL Video Review
T-fal Optigrill Video Review
Infrared sensors- The optigrill uses special sensors to adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the meat. So long as it’s less than a 1 1/2″ thick, you won’t have to worry about whether your meat is being cooked through all the way.
Getting up and running- To preheat the grill, you’ll need to give it about 5 minutes to get up to the right temp.
That shouldn’t be a problem since you can probably get everything prepped and ready for cooking in that time span. Once the grill is preheated, the indicator light will flash and beep to let you know the grill is ready.
From there it only takes about 10-5 minutes to cook most items to safe eating temps.
Let’s talk a little more about those indicator lights.
With some of the old George Foreman grills we’ve messed with before, there was no indicator lights and it was a matter of watching the clock and guessing when the food was done.
Of course, we always used a thermometer to determine how well everything cooked through, but still, the lights and the beep is a nice touch.
The Optgrills use indicator lights and beeps to help you determine at a glance when your food is ready.
- Yellow- rare
- Orange- medium
- Red- well done
One disadvantage to the Optigrill is having to go through the entire process again whenever you want to grill the same or another item from scratch.
You could always grill the same item back to back if your grill allows it (depending on how big whatever you’re cooking is), but it’s just something to keep in mind when you factor in cook times.
Defrost feature- Sometimes we get so caught up in the world that’s buzzing around in our heads or we’re suddenly surprised by guests who just randomly show up or drop by with short notice.
Traditionally you would throw the meat into the microwave and defrost feature while hoping for the best.
Depending on how well you know your microwave, this could be a hit or a miss. One interesting feature we do like about these grills is the defrost option. You can find it by looking for the snowflake button and proceeding like normal.
As far as we noticed, there was no difference in taste or texture when we used the defrost feature compared to the normal feature. Again, you’re just using that option when you need to grill frozen items on a short notice.
We’ve touched on cooking times and thoroughness a little bit above, but let’s talk about how well the food tastes when it’s finished.
The biggest indicator of whether you’ll enjoy your meal depends on the quality of the meat you use. In general, you can expect terrible results if you buy cheap meat and the opposite if you stick with premium or quality cuts.
The T-Fal Optigrills might make your life easier, but they’re not magical and will not turn crappy meat into a 5-star meal.
One of the reasons you may decide to start using an indoor grill is, so you can enjoy your favorite meats without the extra grease or fats. Traditional cooking methods may mean having to fry your steak in a pan where the grease can’t escape.
The T-Fal grills do a great job at draining the fats and juices away from your meat which means you’ll consume less fat and grease, but you’ll also need to clean the trays after every use.
We hope you’re doing that anyways…
Both the grease traps and grill racks pop out at the push of some quick release tabs that allow you to easily remove and wash the trays. If you’re short on time, give them a quick rinse and just toss them in the dishwasher and you’re good to go for the next time.
What’s the differences between the Optigrill and the Optgrill plus?
So, we’ve given a brief overview of the features, but what are the differences between the two?
With the Optigrill you get:
- The ability to cook for up to 4 family members
- 6 pre-programmed cooking options (Burgers, Poultry, Sausage, Red meat, Manual, and Fish)
The Optigrill Plus XL goes over and beyond that by giving you:
- A larger surface to cook with (cooking for up to 6 people)
- 9 pre-programmed cooking options (Burgers, Poultry, Sausage, Red meat, Manual, Fish, Sandwich, Bacon, and Shellfish)
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Which one should you pick?
If you’re cooking for just yourself and another family member or two and don’t need extra pre-programmed cooking times, then the Optigrill will be just fine for your purposes.
If, however you tend to host large parties or just have a large family and need more cooking options, then the Optigrill Plus XL will meet your needs.