Sunday, October 20, 2013

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Enjoy Your Favorite Foods Grilled to Perfection with the Help of the Precision Grilling T-Fal OptiGrill


Thank you to T-fal for providing a complimentary OptiGrill sample for us to base this indoor grill review upon.  All opinions expressed are my own.

I like to eat meat. I would say “who doesn't?”, but I'm friends with enough vegetarians to know better. That doesn't mean I can't talk about how much I love meat! There is nothing worse that improperly cooked meat, and conversely, there’s nothing better than perfectly cooked meat.  As much as I consider myself a decent cook, I don’t think I have ever been good at cooking meat. I always seem to get it a little bit wrong . . . a little too well-done or a little too pink. Trying to get it right for 5 different tastes in the same household doesn't make it any easier either!

We have owned a variety of indoor grills, all of which were decent and worked as advertised. None of them, however, helped my inability to judge whether a piece of meat was actually cooked properly or not. Luckily, there is a new indoor grill that does just that, and I got to try it.

At first appearance, the T-fal OptiGrill is not a great deal different than many other high-end indoor grills. It looks like two heated griddles on a hinge that cook both sides of the meat at the same time. We have seen that a 100 times, but the OptiGrill does something that no other indoor grill can do: It tells you exactly when your meat, regardless of the variety, is cooked to your taste. Really.

I am not going to waste time talking about the removable non-stick griddles, the ease of cleaning, the stainless steel body, or the high quality construction of the OptiGrill. We expect all those features and T-fal delivered them as expected. What I will discuss is the grill’s ability to cook a piece of meat perfectly every time and without the need to stand over the grill monitoring it.

The OptiGrill uses a colorful lighted circle to indicate when your meat is cooked to your taste. There is also a beep that indicates each level of doneness so you do not need to be near the grill to know exactly where your meat is in the cooking process. Sound like a gimmick? Well it works, and it works very well. The grill measures the thickness of the meat and adjusts the temperature accordingly.

Operation of the OptiGrill is intuitive and simple. Turn the grill on, select the type of meat or fish you want to cook and hit OK. That's it. The lighted color indicator will let you know exactly what phase the cooking process is in. You can also choose manual operation for a traditional indoor grill experience. The OptiGrill even has a defrost and a sandwich setting! Also, for the veggie-lovers out there, you can grill vegetables on the manual setting.

Cooking multiple pieces of meat for different tastes? No problem, simply take out the rarest pieces as the indicator tells you to, leave the others in until they’ve reached their desired doneness.

The grill will turn itself off after it determines that it has cooked its contents as well done as can be. If you want your meat cooked even more, just switch over to the manual setting for as long as you desire. The manual cooking does require attendance.

My only complaint about the OptiGrill is that meat within an inch or so from the edge of the grill does not cook as fast as the rest. The fix is simple enough, just rotate the piece 180 degrees at some point. Not a big deal, but the OptiGrill would provide a 100% unattended cooking experience otherwise. Another solution would be to cook a bit less at a time.

The T-fal OptiGrill is simple to operate and it works well. I can finally cook meat exactly to my family’s taste without any guesswork. The OptiGrill gets an easy recommendation from me. I will certainly be using it over using the oven or the frying pan to cook meat indoors all year long.

The OptiGrill indoor grill would make the perfect gift for someone who loves to grill year round, but is not lucky enough to have the weather for it. This grill sells for $179.95 directly from T-fal at www.GetOptiGrill.com.  To learn more about this product or to find grilling tips and recipes, visit OptiGrill on Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.