The challenge for Indoor Grill manufacturers used to be to create something small enough to fit inside the kitchen. Then it was to build models capable of producing results comparable to outdoor Charcoal Grills. Many said this was impossible but there have been great leaps forward and now the best models are equal to any outdoor unit. But despite these successes, some consumers are discouraged from making a purchase because of the amount of Smoke involved in indoor cooking. Believe me, many of these things are a real pollution nightmare. You want a Steak, but you don’t want to choke before you eat it right? So the new task has been to create indoor Grills that don’t produce Smoke. What a coincidence. Enter I: Grill enthusiast extraordinaire with fountains of knowledge on this very subject. Here are the Top Five Best Smokeless Indoor Grills for your reading pleasure.
1. Phillips SmokeLess Indoor Grill (Amazon Link)
PRICE: $290 (approx – please check for latest price)
I know what you’re thinking, Phillips and grills? The two don’t necessarily go together. Most people don’t associate Phillips with grilling but they have created an outstanding model here. Smoke mainly comes from juices that drip down and interact with heat. Here they created a very effective system of counter-acting that, while still producing amazingly tasty results.
Here’s the science part:
It’s Infrared so there’s an Infrared heating element underneath the Grates. Now Infrared usually lends itself to magnificent quality for two reasons:
- There’s a more consistent and even heat output so the surface of meats is not broken meaning they retain much of their juiciness. And you don’t get burn marks.
- The PH Balance of foods is retained so it’s healthier
But even with Infrared, you’d still usually get Smoke. Here they’ve cleverly put in deflectors to deflect heat straight into the Grates while at the same time deflecting any juices that do escape down the sides and away from the heat. So, you get less Smoke. Heat goes up, juices and debris go down the sides. It’s clever. You also don’t have to do much here. Turn on, and it goes straight 446 degrees which Phillips say is the perfect heat for even cooking and Searing. Then you wait until the food is cooked and it takes a very short time. There’s no Flare-ups and no assembly. It could have been bigger but it’ll cook for a family of four and it’s easy to clean. Hence the reason why it made number 1 on my list. Read Full Review…
2. Delonghi BG24 Perfecto Indoor Grill (Amazon Link)
PRICE: $60 (approx – please check for latest price)
Ok, so if you love beautiful grills then you might have this at number 1 on your personal list. It’s a Sports Car. It’s curved, it’s black, it’s shiny. If I was taking my wife for a drive in something that looked like this I’d be proud man. It has the Phillips beat for looks and most other indoor grills too. It also has a Glass Lid. I love Glass Lids because I realise most people are Grill novices and just want to produce great meals. Non-Experts have a tendency to peek inside to check on food. This reduces heat, lengthens Grill times and lowers food quality. With the Glass Lid you can see inside at all times so you always know what is going on. It’s good for your peace of mind. And not needing to open that Lid will keep standards up. It’s not Infrared but it’s equally as fast as the Phillips because of the enclosed environment. It’s larger too.
So what kept it from number one on my list? I hear you ask. Two reasons:
- It’s not as clever as the Phillips. The Phillips was made by scientists at a Laboratory. There’s more Smoke with the DeLonghi because those beautiful Deflectors aren’t separating heat source from juices and debris. Don’t get me wrong; there is efficient drainage of juices. But, they do meet heat and so there’s more Smoke. Not as much as many other indoor grills, but more than the Phillips.
- You can’t really recreate the Infrared evenly cooked taste by any other means. Infrared is the future and the future certainly for Phillips – is now.
3. Hamilton Beach 25360 Indoor Flavor/Searing Grill
PRICE: $75 (approx – please check for latest price)
This is another one of those Grills with Clear Lids. See above for the reasons why they help novices create a better standard of food. It also has a darn good cooking method which I’d like to see more of in the indoor market. It starts off by quickly raising heat levels to 500 degrees. That’s hotter than both of the top two by the way. It does this to Sear the Meats. Then, when it’s seared your Meat, it’ll quickly reduce the temperature to cook it all the way through. When this kind of thing works, it does a good job of all-round even cooking, and it works here. Food quality is not why it failed to make the top two.
- It’s less durable than the top two. At only just over 8 pounds it’s made of thinner material so it won’t last as long
- There’s more Smoke than with the previous two. Again, it’s in the top five best smokeless grills so there’s not a lot of Smoke, but competition is fierce at the top. And, Some juices do hit the heating element causing a little Smoke to rise
This is a great Grill though and much better than most of the market. It’s also cheap. Read Full Review…
4. Zojirushi EB-CC15 Indoor Electric Grill
PRICE: $85 (approx – please check for latest price)
I mentioned earlier that you just can’t recreate the beautiful taste of Infrared cooking. Well, you can. But, you need an insulated conductor beyond those typical materials like Cast-Iron or Steel. Here they put in some wonderful Ceramic Grates. These were included because Zojirushi where basing this model on the traditional Clay ovens used in Japan. Clay cooking units preserve juices, maintain surface integrity and produce a wonderful outdoor Fire Pit taste that is really second to none. Well, they didn’t get up to that standard but you do get enough insulation for taste equal to that of Infrared. Food does take a little longer to cook though because the maximum temperature is only 410 degrees. It’s a little on the small side too, so its appeal will be limited to couples and single persons. But, there are no Flare-Ups and hardly any Smoke gave the effective dispersal of juices into the Drip Tray. Read Full Review…
5. Smart Planet SIG-4 Napa Valley Gourmet Premium Smokeless Stainless Steel Grill
PRICE: $70 (approx – please check for latest price)
The possibility of excess Smoke is completely taken out of the picture here for two reasons
- This is a completely sealed and enclosed environment. The Glass Lid has no gaps and so no Smoke can escape. It condenses and is evaporated inside the unit. The Enclosed environment also serves to create lightning-fast Grill times.
- There’s a very efficient method for disposing of juices and debris. It drains so much grease off the cooking surface and so quickly that it cannot come into contact with heat. It’s such a good method that it becomes a double-edged sword. When you cook something prone to more juices like Lamb, a pool of juice will collect at the bottom of the unit. Meaning you’ll get some splatter.
At 1500 Watts this is a very powerful Grill, hence the short cook time. But, at 120 Square Inches, it’s also small. So bear that in mind. It is easy to clean and there’s not much assembly so it has that going for it. But, ultimately the food quality wasn’t up there with the top four.
You should also note that for some reason they’ve made this Grill Half Griddle. There are no major advantages here except if you’re a fan of Eggs and Pancakes. In that case, you’ll be able to do Sausages on one side and Pancakes on the other. Who you are and what you Grill, will decide whether this is something that might sway you to raise the SIG-4 higher. Read Full Review…
In terms of the amount of Smoke they produce, there’s nothing much that separates these grills. They all have one or more of these three qualities that lend them towards minimal Smoke.
- Good drainage of juices
- Enclosed environments
- Fast Cook times
So it’s about which one suits you best. Read through my top five list of the best Smokeless Grills again and look at what each one has to offer. In my view, Phillips is outstanding and clearly the best. But I just love Infrared cooked food. It’s so even and juicy and the cook times are so fast. I’m an Infrared guy. What kind of guy are you? Maybe you prefer Ceramics. In that case for imitated Clay cooked food, you should go for the Zojirushi. But maybe you like a good-looking Grill. Maybe you prefer interesting designs and maybe you like to see what’s going on inside your Grill at all times. In that case, the DeLonghi is your Grill. You can’t go wrong here though. It’s a top five best list so they’re all excellently made grills that’ll last you a long time. Happy buying. Thank you for reading.