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I bought this grill about 4 years ago.Previously I had a different George Foreman grill which had a bun warmer on the top but it broke and this was the cheapest replacement I could find. I bought it in Tesco for £34.99 the RRP was £49.99.
The grill is predominantly metallic silver in colour, it has black handles and the side parts are black which is plastic for a cool touch.
The George Foreman is a grill designed with fat channels so that when food is cooking the fat drips away and down into a tray used at the bottom to collect the grease. It cooks quicker than convential methods and the tray has a floating lid so it can adjust to any thickness of food.
The grill holds five portions so it should be adequate for a family of 4.
To use the grill you simply turn it on by plugging it in and wait for the orange light to come on to show the grill is ready. This takes a few minutes. I always find my grill makes a strange popping sound when it is switched on.
I mainly use this to cook chicken breasts and if I am making a cooked breakfast. It is much less hassle than using the conventional grill and a lot easier to clean. I like to eat healthily and I find it satisfying when cooking bacon to see all the grease collecting in the drip tray. It is quicker than a conventional grill chicken takes about 6 minutes in mine.
I also use this for making panini's and toasties it gives a professional look by adding lines to the toasty which I like! A toasty takes about 3 minutes and cheese and ham is our favourite :-)
I have also used this to grill flat mushrooms, tomatoes and onions it does a good job with these items and leaves hardly any residue on the grill.
To clean the grill you simply wipe the plates with a damp cloth. The plates are non stick so this grill is a breeze to clean, sometimes you do get a charred residue left on the grill but this can be scraped off using the plastic tool provided.
Overall this is a good investment mine gets regular use and it removes the need to wash the grill pans after use.
5 out of 5.
The George Foreman Heritage Grill is a good product- it does what it says it will, but i still find the process messy and a bit inconvenient. The fat drains into a pretty poor quality (in my opinion) plastic 'drip tray' which you have to have lined up perfectly (although it doesn't clip on, just sits underneath the grill) for it to catch the fat- which is not the best design.
It cooks food evenly and quickly and can be used for other things (I've done toasties and paninis in it which have come out amazingly well!) I'm not sure really how much it reduces the amount of fat in foods as it doesn't drain that much off, but it could be that I haven't cooked especially fatty foods in it!
The grill itself is good, but the design feels plastic-y and cheap- It's not a hugely expensive product, but is sold as a luxury item, but doesn't really feel like it! You must leave it closed for it to heat up, otherwise it takes forever, and make sure that you leave it open for a good long time for it to cool off- be careful when cleaning as it stays hot for a long time!
These grilling machines are so good that George Foreman signed his name to them, either that or he just wanted some extra cash because no doubt having him do the adverts and sign his name to the make would make a sale itself rather than the actual product. Never really cared for these things myself as they did seem a way to get that little extra bit of money out of you. A few years ago now my nanna bought my family one as a shared present. We thought it was nice of her but something we wouldn't be using too often. No idea how much it cost then but these days you can get this one from around £30.
=== Design ===
The design of this looks outdated compared with the other models of the grilling machine, as we were bought this some what 3 years ago now there has probably been at the very least 15/20 new models of this which has features, smaller, quicker and so on. This makes me feel even more like they just want your money and that's before I've even used the product. Ours looks quite large compared with the others but overall isn't that big, it's as wide as a 4 piece toaster, it does take up some room but nothing dramatic. The base of this is really chunky and is something I don't actually like about this. This is like a sandwich toaster, the lid comes up on a hinge at the back and inside are the grilled hot plates, the ridges on here are not so deep but are very noticeable.
=== Features ===
The feature son these are next to none. The grill has a thermostat that cuts out when it reaches top temperature but no temperature control to adjust the heat setting. This is ok because you want your meats cooked really fast because lets face it we don't slow cook chicken do we. However to be able to set different temperatures on this would mean that we can make our steaks better etc. This is all it does, it has no settings and no other features. This comes with several things, instructions which I never read but these show you how to cook, clean and manage your machine. To me this is pretty obvious anyway. This also comes with a plastic spatular and a plastic tray dish.
=== The cooking ===
You can cook any meats on here such as steaks, chicken fillets, burgers, sausages, bacon and so on. This is quite wide so you can get a lot of sausages in this at once but I recommend putting the minimum in this at any one time because it cooks better. To cook on this is really easy all you do is place your food anywhere on the hot plates and pull the lid down. Once you've done this place the plastic dish in front of the edge of the plates on the side, the point of this is to catch all the grease and fat coming off your food so you can dispose of it.
Different foods take different times and all you do to see if it's cooking right or done is just lift the lid up, you can cook with the lid up anyway but I find it tends to sizzle and spit a little so I just lift it up to see how it's doing, we're given a plastic spatular, this you use to basically prod and move the food around.
=== Cleaning ===
Cleaning this is easy, they sell scrubbing pads to clean this at what cost I don't know but it's pointless because when this has cooled down just take a wet clothes and wipe this down with some wahsing up liquid and warm water, but make sure to rinse it well because you don't want your food to taste of chemicals. The spatular and dish can go in the dish washer.
=== Opinion ===
I'm a useless cook so when we did actually crack this out of the cupboard and I realised all I had to do was plug it in and wait for it to get hot, then when my food was basically brown it was cooked. I never knew it was as easy as that so these days I seem to be finding myself using this more and more but for other things as well as meats. The meats from here taste a hell of a lot better, I find my sausages takes a lot better but chicken tends to taste a little dry but it's still delicious. This is quite quite as well, sausages can take up to 40 minutes in my oven but not in this, I haven't actually timed myself using it because that's just sad. I now find myself toasting sandwiches in here as well instead if using my toastie maker just because this gives nice grilled line son it, it's really hot and less messy.
Once thing that is a little off putting when using this is the tray that catches all the crap that has come from the food. It does make you be thankful that you're not eating all that any more, but I don't really want to see it or have to catch it in a little dish, I feel it would be better if they some how made this fit in with the machine.
Purchasing this appliance in anticipation of moving out I intended to be healthy and religiously use this griller to cook lean healthy meals, however over time it has become quite obsolete in my kitchen and is used about once in every 3 months if that! It does grill food efficiently but it is quite annoying as it only has one setting and can take some time to heat up. I used to use it for cooking chicken fillets, and turkey fillets and I found it made little mess and saved on using the cooker and was miles healthier as I did not have to use oil to cook it. However it does not have removable plates which is a right pain. My kitchen is quite tiny and so its quite difficult putting the entire grill in the sink to clean it especially as the plug is connected to the appliance and I did not want to risk getting it wet meaning I had to scrub it at an awkward angle.
I know find myself using it as a sandwich toaster! cheese and tomato sandwiches, chicken and cheese sandwiches, you name it, thats what I use it for. It's a lot less mess and does the job perfectly! The cord on this is quite short, not even a meter long. So I tend to unplug my toaster and bring my george forman grill out of the cupboard to plug it in. Where my other socket is in my kitchen is too near the cooker and the cord tends to rest alongside the cooker and the one time I used it there part of the grill got damaged...oops! I have this in white which looks nicer than the silver colour I thought :)
George Foreman 18294 Heritage Grill / Cream / Short name: George Foreman 18294