First there was the Oven. Then the microwave came along and things got a little interesting. Fast forward a few decades and for people who love small kitchen gadgets this is the time for living. You can get gadgets for just about anything that needs doing in the kitchen and the number one gadget right now is the portable home Grill. People love these but they’re not all fabulous when it comes to taste. Some are downright awful. Some are the kind of things you wake up at night in cold sweats thinking about, having had nightmares about all the money you threw away on the purchase. But others, are really really good, and if you get a good one your meals will never be the same again. In this article I’ll be reviewing the Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor electric grill and I’ll be letting you know whether it’s one of the ones you wake up in cold sweats over or whether it’s one of those triumphs of kitchen gadgets.
by Zojirushi [Zojirushi Kitchen Electrics]
- Beautiful Ceramic Grates
- Easy to Clean
- Reasonable Price
- Nice Drip Pan
- No Flare-Ups
- Adequate Cooking Area size
- Temperatures Between 176 and 410 Fahrenheit
- Slightly on the small side
- No Lid
Interesting design because it has no lid. Usually you’d expect a lid and you most often get one but Zojirushi choose not to put one on and I’ll discuss the effects of that in the performance section. What you get is a flat, nicely finished black design that sits low off the ground and looks good. A lot of these indoor grills have glossy finishes and this one is no exception, so it does have a beautiful shine to it. It comes in light compared to other indoor grills though. The weight is 10 pounds and that’s because the Steel they’ve used is rather thin. I’m not taking away from the build quality here. The build is professional and good, but thin outer-shells tend to get hot so don’t touch the outside of this grill while it’s on. Minimalist in nature it has your basic temperature settings and an on switch. They intended it for simplicity and some people will love that turning it on is a case of flipping a switch and setting temperature. Others will wish they had more buttons to play with.
You get 115 Square Inches of cooking space which is average size for a Grill in this price range. You can cook Steaks for a family of four on it but any more than that and you’ll be doing two sittings. If you have four or less in your family you’ll love this space.
Indoor Grills aren’t exactly known for their interesting heat experimentation options but there’s reasonable room for manoeuvre here. You can use the gauge to set temperatures between 176 and 410 Fahrenheit. At 176 there is a definite reason to experiment with slower cooking of meats, which got me interested.
Big surprise here. In the indoor grilling world, you can stake your whole house on ending up with Cast-Iron or Steel Grates. But, here they’ve provided Ceramics. What do I love about Ceramics? Well, Ceramics give you much more even cooking and so a better taste. And Ceramics also provide greater insulation so more of the juices are preserved within the meat. On top of all this, Ceramics help maintain the PH Balance of foods better than Cast-Iron or steel, so food is healthier as well as tastier. It’s fair to say I was very impressed by the taste you get here and by the Grates.
Not as impressed with cook times. It takes 5 minutes to heat up which is a similar time to most indoor models. So when the 1300 Watt heating element gets going you’d get a quick cook time right? Not really because most people speed up cook times by closing the lid. There’s no lid here so it’s open all the way through meaning foods take a little longer than on most other indoor grills.
Unusually the Drip Pan isn’t something you place in front of the Grill to catch debris and grease. Here it’s pre-installed underneath the Grates. There’s a small gap on all four sides of the cooking surface that allows drips to find their way into the Pan. After cooking you simply remove the Grates and lift the Drip Pan out. before disposing of its contents. This system works rather well so I was pleased with it. It’s not messy and catches everything it’s supposed to.
As with most other Indoor Grills the surface here has been Porcelain-Enamelled so cleaning is a case of grabbing a wash rag and giving it a quick wipe; The Grates can be easily taken off. A good word of advice is that this Grill is not to be fully submerged in water or it will stop working. So wash rags only. Cleaning takes no more than five minutes. Use basic soap and water because Indoor Grills are notoriously sensitive to strong cleaning agents which erode their Porcelain-Enameled layer.
This was a fair effort and well worth the money. I loved the way meats taste with the Ceramic Grates. They’re juicier than you get with Cast-Iron. Heat is more evenly dispersed because of better insulation and it’s healthier because Ceramics help maintain PH levels of food. The size could have been a little bigger but it’s adequate for a family of four at least. The cook times could have been shorter if they’d provided a lid and perhaps temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. But despite this the cook time was only a few minutes longer than usual so no major complaints. The taste is there and that’s what counts. The cleaning is also easy and the Drip Pan is excellently situated within the gadget to catch to maximum amount of grease and debris. All in all this is a good looking, expertly designed device that’ll make cooking easier. Just don’t submerge it in water. Thank you for reading.