George Forman is the undisputed champion of introducing indoor grilling to the masses. I’m sure you remember those first commercials back in the day with George himself grilling up a steak in the kitchen on a new-fangled contraption with iron plates. Many die hard backyard BBQ fanatics were convinced that this was just another fad soon to be lining garage sale tables everywhere.
Well, things didn’t quite work out that way. Many of us who are crunched for time and lack outdoor space for grilling wanted a viable option and Forman delivered. Now T-Fal’s OptiGrill is taking this indoor grilling experience to a whole new level. We’re talking a 21st century upgrade with more capacity and way more options.
For starters, T-Fal’s OptiGrill is capable of cooking several pieces of meat to different specifications all at once. That means medium rare and well done all during the same session thanks to a built-in sensor that measures meat thickness, adjusts cooking time accordingly, and even detects how many pieces of meat are on the grill calculating the precise cooking temperature for each cut.
Optigrill has an idiot proof LED display indicating each stage of the cooking process. You can see exactly when it leaves the searing phase before moving into full-on cooking. A yellow light means rare, orange is medium and red means it's well-done. There’s even a defrost button for those times when you forget to take your meat out of the freezer until the last minute. A beeping sound lets you know when the grilling is done andautomatically turns off.
If you prefer to rely on your own instincts and not partake in such an automated grilling experience, you can switch to the manual setting for a wide variety perfectly done meats like fish, chicken, burger, rashers of bacon, or sausage.
I found that this Optigrill was great for grilling meat to perfection in the face of everyday life. The number one factor for proper grilling is moisture retention. The sweet spot of done enough but not too dry can be destroyed in minutes especially if we can’t hang out by the grill during the entire process. Unfortunately, distractions rule the day for most of us. Kids need help with homework, the doorbell rings, your dog starts gnawing your favorite sneakers. An untended grill becomes a disaster in minutes. With Optigrill, your involvement is reduced to placing meat in the cooker, removing when ready to eat, and placing the cooking plates in the dishwasher for cleaning. Best of all, the grilled taste is all there.
Call me crazy but I’m still not getting rid of my trusty outdoor gas grill. Fussing and poking around in the great outdoors is a big part of the grilling experience. A little grease build up for extra flare and the fresh air somehow provide the flavors that a perfectly calibrated electric coil just can’t recreate. So don’t ditch your grill just yet but let Optigrill make great grilling possible when weather or life get in the way. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond starting in October.
Photo and video courtesy of T-Fal. Coverage made possible by testing a complimentary product sample.