Written by Quinn M. Redfield
Looking at a George Foreman Grand Champ GR36P? This counter top grill is an easy to use substitute for the outdoor grill – perfect for those with limited space or times when weather drives chefs indoors. It cooks quickly, minimizing the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen and getting meals on the table sooner. For $49.99, you’ll get 133 square inches of non-stick cooking surface and a 2-year limited warranty.
- Measures 18 by 18 by 16 inches
- Sloped design
- Double nonstick coating
- Preheat indicator light
Electric grills come in two categories: contact and open grills. The George Foreman Grand Champ is a contact grill, which means it has plates on both the top and bottom. There is no need to flip on a contact grill, and they give you the option for making grilled, or panini style, sandwiches.
Cooks up to 8 servings at a time
Drains fat and grease
Easy clean up
Easy to use
Cooks both sides at once
No temperature controls
Must be watched during cooking
Takes up a fair bit of counter space
Cleaning is difficult when not done while hot.
The Foreman Grand Champ cooks unbelievably fast. For those of you who’ve never used a contact grill before, you’ll have to see it to believe it. Steaks, pork chops, fish fillets, and vegetables all cook in about 10 minutes or less (depending on thickness).
Because it’s a contact grill there’s no need to flip, and the downward pressure from the lid helps work heat into the center of foods to cook foods evenly and thoroughly, and it’s nonstick surface does not require any pan coat, oil, or butter. The only instance in which I have ever used oil, was for salmon steaks which still had their skins (those can be very sticky). Even when I’ve forgotten to oil it ahead of time though, these came off pretty easily.
Its double nonstick coating provides added durability. This combined with the sloped design, encourages grease to move down and away from food – lessening the fat content.
There are no temperature controls or even an on/off switch. While this does simplify use – you simply plug and unplug the grill – you must supervise foods while they cook. You can’t set a timer and walk away. Since food generally cooks in a matter of a few minutes, that’s not a major inconvenience. If you’re looking for more control over the cooking temperature though, you might consider the Cuisinart Griddler GR-4 or similar.
Overall though, the Grand Champ lives up to its promises. Steaks, pork chops, and burgers come out juicy. Very little grease remains on foods and vegetables or skewers also cook very nicely. This grill provides you with lower fat meals in little to no time, and with minimal effort.
Clean-up and Storage
The drip trays are dishwasher safe, and clean easily by hand as well if soaked or washed right after use. The Foreman Grand Champ’s plates are not removable however, and they clean easily only when the plates are still hot. All cleaning then has to be done with a wet paper towel on a hot surface. I recommend using tongues or oven mitts to handle the paper towel. Food generally wipes off with a few swipes though, and can be done immediately after cooking or before cooking (after preheating) the next time. The outside of the grill also wipes clean easily, though grim can build up along the bottom and back edges of the grill.
If you’re really short on space, you might look into a smaller model, as this one can take up a fair chunk of counter or cupboard space when not in use. However, for a small home or apartment it fits easily, and could be a great alternative to a full sized, outdoor grill. College students though will want a smaller version, such as the George Foreman Super Champ GR20B.
When it comes to indoor grilling, the Foreman Grand Champ GR36P gets the job done quickly and easily. While smaller grills may be a bit cheaper, if you’re looking to cook for the whole family this one does the job nicely for a very reasonable price.