The contact grill is a true all-rounder. With the compact electric grill, you can conjure up tasty barbecue recipes super fast, regardless of the weather. And it's easy to do on the balcony or even in the flat. From very simple appliances to multifunctional and powerful grills that can do just about any cooking job, everything is possible. Those who love grilling will also love the contact grill. To make it as easy and quick as possible for you to find the right appliance for you, we have created a guide to the most important contact grill topics with our large contact grill test 2021. For this purpose, we have looked at the different criteria. To do this, we looked at the different criteria that need to be considered before buying and then tried to clarify the most important questions.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Contact Grill: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for contact grills
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about contact grills answered in detail
- 5.1 What is a contact grill?
- 5.2 How much does a contact grill cost?
- 5.3 What alternatives are there?
- 5.4 Are there different types of contact grills?
- 5.5 How do I clean my contact grill?
- 5.6 What can I prepare with my contact grill?
- 5.7 Do I need oil when grilling with a contact grill and if so, what kind?
- 5.8 What are the cooking times for food on a contact grill?
- 5.9 Can I use baking paper or aluminium foil on my contact grill?
- 5.10 Which accessories are useful?
- A contact grill allows you to grill a wide variety of foods in the shortest possible time in your home or on the balcony.
- By grilling the food on both sides, very even results are achieved, which are also well suited for a healthy and calorie-reduced diet due to the low-oil preparation.
- The contact grills differ from one another in their distinctive individual functions and thus offer the right solution for every purpose
The Best Contact Grill: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for contact grills
Contact grills can have very different functions and features. We have summarised some criteria below that can help you make your decision:
So that you also know what is important in the respective points, you will find the appropriate explanations and information in the next section.
Contact grills generally have wattages ranging from less than 1000 to more than 3000 watts. Therefore, this information can seem a little overwhelming at first, especially if you don't necessarily have a soft spot for electrical engineering. Without delving too deeply into electrical matters, the wattage given basically means how much power, or simply put, how much force the particular appliance has. Conversely, this also means: the higher the wattage, the higher the power consumption.
Dealers often advertise with high wattage figures to promote the power of their appliance. However, a lot does not necessarily mean better. Especially with contact grills, you should always keep the purpose of the appliance in mind when choosing the power. If you are looking for a multifunctional professional appliance, the power may be correspondingly higher. With simpler grills for normal household use, it doesn't necessarily have to be 3000 watts, especially as this is of course also noticeable on the electricity bill. But it shouldn't be too low either, because otherwise you'll end up with a slow-cooked steak instead of a seared one. You should therefore make sure that the power is sufficient to achieve the desired temperatures.
Contact grills can reach temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius. This is part of the appeal of contact grilling. It is very quick and produces the same or even better results than conventional grilling.
You should consider whether the temperature can be set individually and whether the appliance reaches the maximum temperature for the food you are planning to use. (For meat, for example, 200 to 250 degrees is quite sufficient, depending on the type) Some appliances even offer the option of automatically adjusting the temperature to the food being cooked in order to achieve the best cooking results. This is of course very practical, but you will have to pay a little more for it.
Removability of the plates
First of all, you should think about the purpose for which you are buying the grill. If you plan to use it as a panini grill once every six months, you might pay less attention to this point. However, if you are going to use it more often, it makes sense to pay attention to this. Removable plates do indeed offer some advantages, and not just in terms of cleaning, which will be looked at in more detail later. For example, if the plates can not only be removed for easier cleaning, but also exchanged, you have completely different grilling options. Many dealers offer exchangeable plates that have a different structure or are made of different materials. This offers completely different options than a fixed set of plates. If you are looking for a very inexpensive grill for a specific purpose, it may well be that the plates cannot be removed. Of course, you can also achieve good results with this. In principle, you will have a somewhat complicated cleaning process and fewer individual options, but probably easier handling and lower costs. So you should make this decision according to your needs. Below we have summarised the most important advantages and disadvantages for you.
|Removable||Easier cleaning, More individual surface design||More expensive|
|Not removable||Cheaper, Easier handling||Cleaning difficult, No flexibility|
Regulation and display
This point is mainly about determining how user-friendly a device is and how easy it is to operate. But also how individually it can be adjusted. The simplest type of contact grill has a mains plug and nothing more. When you plug in the cable, the appliance heats up. Of course, this is absolutely sufficient for the simplest purposes. Nevertheless, even with such a simple appliance for sporadic use, you might want to make sure that it at least has a switch-on button or an automatic switch-off device, simply to ensure a certain level of safety.
As with so many appliances, the sky's the limit. From temperature regulation, to setting the food to be grilled, to timers and digital displays, everything is possible and of course much more.
Many aspects are quite useful and some are simply technical gadgets that are nice to have but not absolutely necessary. In order to be able to assess this well, it is best to think about exactly which functions you would like to have and then consider the price-performance ratio of the selected appliances.
Before buying, you should of course also make sure that the appliance is easy to clean. What good is a great grilling result if you despair of cleaning it afterwards?
As a general rule, removable plates are the key to easy cleaning. These can then be easily washed by hand on both sides. If you want to make it particularly easy, you should also choose dishwasher-safe plates. The coating of the plates also plays an important role. If the plates are non-stick, they are of course easier to clean. You should also make sure that the other parts of the grill that get a lot of use, such as the grease drip tray, are easy to clean.
When buying a grill, you should consider which functions you really need and which are perhaps not absolutely necessary. As with most technical appliances, the more functions, the more expensive. The most basic and simplest function is of course the classic contact grill. Here, the food is grilled from both sides by a hot plate. We have listed a few of the possible extra functions of a contact grill below:
- Overbaking function: Here, only the lower plate emits direct heat and the upper plate is suspended above the food at a slight distance. This function can also be used to prepare special dishes, such as pizza.
- Keep-warm function: Who hasn't experienced it: You are grilling and often have very different components that are finished differently. This function makes it easy to keep the finished dishes at the right temperature.
- Defrost function: As the name suggests, frozen food can be defrosted more quickly with this function.
- Surface grill: If the contact grill can be folded out completely by 180°, it can also be converted into an electric surface grill and has twice as much space.
Particularly sophisticated models can even be used as a cooker or oven.
Of course, the size must also be considered when buying. On average, the grilling surface for contact grills is around 20 × 30 cm. However, this can also vary greatly. Sometimes the description also indicates how many pieces of a certain food can fit next to each other on the grill, so that you can grill four slices at once instead of two toasts, for example.
If you want to have the option of expanding the contact grill for spontaneous visits, you should pay attention to the fold-out feature. This way, you can no longer use it as a contact grill, but you can use it as a conventional surface grill for several people.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about contact grills answered in detail
What is a contact grill?
When grilling with a contact grill, there are no limits. In principle, you can use any food that comes to mind.
In addition to classic grilled food such as meat, fish or vegetables, you can also prepare products such as eggs, fruit or pizza, depending on the grill. The small electric grills come in a wide variety of versions. That's why you should take some time to decide which one is best for your purposes. Perhaps the perfect grill for you is already among our featured favourites at the beginning of this guide.
How much does a contact grill cost?
What alternatives are there?
|Electric table grill||Often cheaper||Very limited options and takes longer|
|Charcoal grill||Smoky taste and classic grill feeling||Can only be used outdoors, Few settings or extra functions, Takes longer|
Are there different types of contact grills?
Simple contact grills
The simplest contact grills are, for example, the so-called sandwich makers. These are often very easy to use, have little or no adjustment options and are only suitable for sandwiches. On the other hand, they are usually quite small, so they are easy to store and also quite inexpensive.
They are therefore a good choice if you are looking for a device for a specific function for occasional use or do not want to spend too much money.
Multifunctional contact grills
The opposite of these are multifunctional all-rounders, which we have already reported on in the "Functions" section. In contrast to the simpler appliances, these appliances can often be opened completely, which means you can also use them as a surface grill. Of course, these grills are in a rather higher price segment. In return, however, they offer all kinds of convenience when preparing food and often also when cleaning.
How do I clean my contact grill?
First of all, however, it is important to let your appliance cool down completely and disconnect it from the mains to avoid possible injury or damage to the appliance.
If you have a contact grill with fixed plates, cleaning can sometimes take a little longer. It is best to use a little water, a mild detergent and a soft cloth. For stubborn dirt, you can also buy a special scraper, just make sure to pay attention to the material of the plate and any coatings. It is much easier to use grills with removable parts. These can be easily cleaned by hand under running water. Often these parts are also dishwasher-safe, just follow the dealer's description. Then simply wipe the rest of the grill with a damp cloth.
What can I prepare with my contact grill?
Do I need oil when grilling with a contact grill and if so, what kind?
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
- Grape seed oil
If these oils are too exotic, you can simply use refined olive oil.
What are the cooking times for food on a contact grill?
Higher-quality grills offer the possibility to adjust the cooking time and temperature to the different foods. Of course, this is how you achieve the best results. If you have a contact grill without such functions, you can usually assume that the cooking time will naturally be shortened by heating on both sides. It is only important that the required temperature is reached.
Can I use baking paper or aluminium foil on my contact grill?
Which accessories are useful?
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