George Foreman grills: How to buy a health grill
What's all the fuss about?
When ex-boxing champ George Foreman launched the first health grill 1995, it was a novelty. But though the height of their popularity has been and gone, these grills still pack a real commercial punch, and everyone from Rosemary Conley to your local supermarket is weighing in with their own version.
Nine out of every 10 health grills sold is still a George Foreman, no doubt because of this brand’s massive range of styles and sizes that can cater for everyone from the loneliest bedsitter to the busy family.
For knockout food delivered in record time, take a look at our Best Buy health grills.
Why would I want a health grill?
These grills are marketed as healthy because they drain fat out of food. But don't get too sold on this. Any type of grilling is a good way to drain fat during cooking.
Our tests have found no significant difference between the fat content of meat cooked in a health grill and that cooked on a standard cooker grill.
In addition to this, not everything that drains away from your food is going to be fat. Our lab experts noted that some foods produce a very limited amount of fat or juice when cooked under the health grill.
And don’t forget that draining away some of the fat from foods such as sausages and burgers won't transform them from calorie-packed treats into low-fat staples.
If you're buying a health grill as part of a calorie controlled diet, what you cook on it will have far more impact on the amount of fat you eat than choosing a health grill over a conventional grill – a sausage is never going to be a low fat choice, however it is cooked.
So what's good about them then?
Health grills do deliver a mighty blow to conventional grilling method when it comes to speed, though.
On average, they cook chicken breasts in six to eight minutes – about a third of the time needed on a cooker grill.
Similarly, they can dish up elegantly seared salmon in four minutes – twice as fast as your grill.
If you do buy a health grill, you could also try using it for toasted sandwiches. Health girls are excellent at lightly toasting the bread and melting cheese or other fillings without steeping the bread in fat (as happens with a traditional sandwich maker).
Unfortunately, many health grills are not large enough to take more than one sandwich at a time. And they don't seal the edges of the sandwich like some toasted sandwich makers do.
The food cooked on a health grill is tasty, too. The better models are great at keeping meat moist – the chicken we cooked seemed far more succulent than when cooked in a cooker grill.
Salmon tastes really good when cooked on a health grill, too, though conventional grilling is also a tasty option.
Results when grilling vegetables were mixed, however. Some health grills left us with chewy, unevenly browned aubergines and peppers. It’s hard to cook different types of vegetables together on these grills and get a great result, because vegetables have such diverse cooking times.
One big advantage that a health grill has over a traditional grill pan is that you can generally clean it by wiping the plates with a damp cloth, or in some cases by removing the cooking plates and putting them in the dishwasher.
This is far more convenient than trying to w
ash up an entire grill pan and rack by hand, or finding space for them in the dishwasher.
Who are health grills good for?
There's a vast range of different sizes and designs of health grill, so you could buy one as large or small as you want.
Though we don't think it's an essential kitchen appliance, a health grill is perfect for sending away to university with students.
And for anyone who doesn't have access to an oven, it's an ideal way to cook meat and fish easily. It gives you the flexibility to make toast and sandwiches, too.
Do I have enough storage space?
It's unlikely you'll want to leave a health grill out on your kitchen worktop permanently, so you'll want one that's easy to stow out of sight.
Choose a grill that you can store both lying flat and on its side, with a lock to hold the plates together.
A cord storage facility that prevents the power cable from snaking all over your cupboard is handy too.
Where can I buy a health grill?
It’s almost easier to ask where can’t you buy a health grill.
Larger branches of supermarkets often have cheap own-brand health grills to tempt you into making an impulse purchase.