Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler disappointment!

I've had an original first generation George Foreman Grill for years now and it's such a pain to clean after using it since the plates on it are permanently attached. Cleaning it usually takes so much longer than it does to cook and eat the food. So I've been waiting for a deal on Amazon for either the Next Grilleration George Foreman Grill or the Cuisinart Griddler since both have removable plates.

Finally, the Griddler came down in price and I had a gift card balance to use, so I ordered it. Thanks to Amazon Prime, it arrived two days later. I was so excited to get the Griddler out of the box and use it. Compared to my classic Foreman grill, the Cuisinart Griddler is massive! It comes with two removable and interchangeable plates, so that you can use it as a full grill, full griddle, half grill half griddle, or a panini press. Sweet, right?

Yeah, well it does sound great, but after almost a week of having it and using it, I'm super disappointed. Let's start with the pros (well, pretty much just one pro of the plates being removable):

The non-stick plates are quite nice, but I've only had it for 6 days, so I'm not sure what the durability of the non-stick surface is. This makes them really easy to clean, especially being removable since it's so much easier than my original Foreman.

That's really all there is for the pros.

Now for the bad...

The Griddler lid gets too hot to even touch once it's on, which is bad since you have to touch the lid if you want to swivel it because of the way it's designed to swivel. The only safe place to touch the Griddler when it's on is the base of it and the handle. Even my old Foreman's lid was better at staying cool to the touch when on.

The drip tray at the bottom of the Griddler is not very effective at all, especially since the plates aren't angled in any way to help the excess fat get drained into the tray. So, mostly the fat will just sit there with the food you're cooking... well, if your food even cooks at all, which brings me to the next con...

Okay, so you turn the Griddler on, wait for it to warm up and then you can start cooking. But from my experience with it, after the unit is warmed up to your desired setting and then you put your food on, it seems to start to cool itself down while you're still trying to cook, which makes it more like a warming plate than something that can actually cook. Because of this, it takes longer than my original Foreman did to cook.

Overall, I'm extremely disappointed and this'll be the first time I ever have to return a product to Amazon, which kind of sucks since now I'll have to pay return shipping.

Does anyone know if the Next Grilleration grill is any better? I'm planning on getting that once I get my refund for the Cuisinart. If you have any thoughts on the Cuisinart Griddler, the Foreman Next Grilleration, or any other alternative that I should know about (removable plates are a must!), please let me know in the comments.