See the November 2021 review of the Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro.
As the leaves change and the temperature drops, people all over start to pack away their grills. While we maintain that grilling is a year-round way of life, we understand that for some, grilling in snow isn’t fun.
Don’t worry, this post won’t contain a recipe for grilled snowballs.
For those who still want to enjoy that grilled flavor, but don’t want to shovel a path to the grill, we’ve got the solution: Electric indoor grills. Largely smokeless, convenient, and easy to clean up—we’re not talking panini press type grills. Modern indoor grills are a great way to cook quick and easy meals without compromising flavor.
We’ve reviewed nine of the most popular indoor grills on the market, and come up with our definitive recommendations for the best countertop grilling experience. Keep in mind, these indoor grills cook your food in ways a typical pan can’t, but they don’t replace your outdoor grill.
Stick with us and we’ll keep you grilling delicious meals long after winter arrives.
Best Electric Grill for Red Meat
If you’ve ever wondered how to grill a steak on an indoor grill, we’ve got good news—it’s easier than you think. With the rise in salamander-style cookers, cooking steak to the proper temperature and achieving the fabled Maillard reaction is easier than ever.
But you don’t need a fancy steakhouse style cooker to achieve great results, you just need the Ninja Foodi. One of the best multi-purpose cookers we’ve reviewed this year, the Ninja Foodi’s unique top-down cooking system eliminates flare ups and reduces the cooking time of your steak significantly. If you’re hoping to make a quick, easy and delicious steak, this is the cooker that can help you achieve it. With a durable stainless steel outside and non stick grill surface inside, this unit really excels.
Winner: Ninja Foodi Grill
Best Multi-Purpose Indoor Grill
Grilling vegetables and steaks is great, but what if you’re in the mood for something that isn’t grilled (it’s rare for us at Grillseeker, but we understand it can happen)?
If you’re hoping for an indoor cooker that can do more than leave grill marks on everything it touches, the Ninja Foodi is the electric cooker for you. This amazing multi-purpose cooker offers multiple cooking programs. Besides grilling on the non stick cooking surface, it can air fry, dehydrate, and bake. Not only is it a great way to cook a steak, you can make cornbread in the same device and save yourself turning on the oven at all!
Winner: Ninja Foodi Grill
Best Value Indoor Grill
Indoor grills can be expensive. If you’re going to invest in an indoor grill, you need to get your money’s worth. Our pick for the best value in indoor grills is the Tayama Electric Indoor Grill. The Tayama offers the same features as the Chefman Electric Indoor Grill, and by “same”, we mean identical. Seriously, we even compared the model numbers and found they were identical. So why Tayama over Chefman? Because you get all the features we liked for about $10 less.
If you’re interested in trying your hand at indoor grilling, the Tayama is a relatively inexpensive, but well-appointed electric grill. We’ve cooked meat on these grills a number of times with acceptable results for the price point.
Winner: Tayama Electric Indoor Grill
Indoor Grill with the Most Power
Sometimes, you need a little heat. If you’re in the market for an indoor grill with a powerful heating unit, you can’t go wrong with the Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill. This grill hit temperatures upwards of 520ºF within 8–10 minutes.
The Zojirushi is the perfect indoor grill if you don’t have the patience to wait for a grill to heat up, or you need a high-heat sear on something you’re cooking. The sear marks on the proteins and the vegetables reminded us of searing foods on a fully-stoked charcoal grill. It’s also dishwasher safe, so you can make your dinner and clean up quickly.
Winner: Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill
Easiest Indoor Grill Cleanup
It’s a universal truth: Everyone likes grilling dinner, but no one likes scrubbing the grill after you’ve eaten a good meal. One of the great things about indoor grills is that many are dishwasher safe. Purchasing a dishwasher safe indoor grill means that your cleanup can be as simple as throwing a few parts in the washer and hitting start.
But some indoor grills are only partially dishwasher safe, and require a bit of extra elbow grease to get them truly clean. That’s why we were thrilled to find the Elite Cuisine Indoor Electric Grill. The entire cooking grate and the drip pan on this cooker are dishwasher safe. We tested the cooker’s “easy cleanup” claims and found that they’re accurate—if you’re looking for a no hassle electric indoor grill, this cooker delivers.
Best Overall Grill
The best grill we’ve reviewed all year is hands-down the Ninja Foodi. It’s versatile, avoids flareups with a top-down heating element, and easy to clean and use. No other indoor grill we tested was able to bake and air fry, and the Ninja Foodi does it all well.
Runners up in the category are the Tenergy Redigrill, which was easy to set up and gave all the foods we cooked on it consistent, even internal temperatures. Because the Tenergy’s infrared heat source cooks more evenly than the other smokeless indoor grills, it came in second overall to the Ninja Foodi. In third place, we recommend the Zojirushi Indoor Electric Grill, which is a great value for the price and a perfect way to start your indoor grilling adventure.
Winner: Ninja Foodi Grill
Once you’ve picked your indoor grill, it’s time to get grilling! If you’d like some ideas for hearty cold-weather meals that are also quick and easy, check out my book, Grill Seeker: Basic Training for Everyday Grilling. Just because the weather’s turned cold, doesn’t mean that grills have to go away. So fire up your indoor grill and keep the cookouts going all year round.