More striking than your average grill, the Cuisinart Griddle & Grill has plenty going on underneath its shiny metallic exterior. It might cost a smidge more than similarly sized removable-plate models – and significantly more than fixed-plate designs – but it’s a versatile appliance offering excellent cooking performance. Storage could be an issue, but if space isn’t a concern then get ready to add extra sizzle and style to your mid-week meals.
- Countdown timer
- Cooks flat or closed
- Takes up worktop space
- Can’t store vertically
- Costs more than fixed plate models
- Review Price: £120
- Cooking surface max 60x48cm
- Floating hinge
- Integrated drip tray
- Interchangeable grill plates and flat griddle plates
- 200 x 370 x 330mm (closed)
Whether it’s a perfectly seared steak, a lower-fat cooked breakfast or the ultimate panini, the Cuisinart Griddle & Grill is the machine you need.
Combining the key features of a sandwich press, health grill and hot plate in one, its removable plates, variable temperature and sheer versatility make it great for cooking a variety of foods without spitting, singeing or sticking.
It’s generously sized, too: fold it flat and it’s large enough to cater for family meals, while a floating hinge means it can accommodate everything from fish fillets to an overstuffed toastie.
Cuisinart Griddle & Grill – What you need to know
- Steak test – A quick sear resulted in a steak fillet that was nicely browned on the outside yet slightly pink inside
- Sweetcorn test – This took longer to grill than expected but was still nicely browned and cooked after 20 minutes or so
- Panini test – The plates are quite heavy, so gentle pressure resulted in cheese spilling out of a panini – but it was perfectly toasted
Design – Big, bulky and heavy for a grill, but it’s a real all-rounder
Anyone who’s ever owned a fixed-plate grill or sandwich toaster will know how time-consuming they are to clean, and how limiting that single pair of plates can be. The Cuisinart Griddle & Grill solves both issues.
Its plates can be quickly prised off for cleaning in the dishwasher, and the grill comes with a pair of flat plates, too, expanding the range of foods that can be cooked using the appliance – from pancakes and eggs to cookies and homemade granola. Or you can mix and match a flat plate with a grill – say, for meat on one side and veggies on the other.
Much like a health grill, the Griddle & Grill can cook a wide range of foods, but it’s designed with reducing fat in mind. Both sets of plates have a recess for liquid and fat runoff, which flows into an integrated drip tray (rather than the separate one that some grills feature).
While none of the foods I cooked produced enough fat for it to run off, having the tray built-in is handy since there’s no chance of it becoming lost or knocked while cooking. A scraper is supplied for cleaning, too, although, since none of the food I cooked stuck to the plates, it wasn’t required.
The Cuisinart Griddle & Grill is fairly simple to operate. There’s a dial for setting the temperature (marked between 100°C and 240°C), and two lights to indicate when the grill is heating up and has reached temperature. As well as a recipe booklet, it has a guide to cooking times and temperatures – although it was mostly limited to meat and fish.
Performance – Versatile and perfect for cooking a wide variety of food
For steak, I choose 230°C, the half-open position and grilled it for three minutes on each side. The grill plates took six minutes to heat up from cold, which is the time it took to cook the fillets, so a total time of 12 minutes (although this could be reduced by cooking closed).
The high heat of the grill seared the exterior of the meat quickly, resulting in only minimal fat and juices leaking from the meat. While there isn’t a way to determine whether the steak will be well-done or medium-rare, cooking steak using this method resulted in a medium finish – well browned on the outside with visible grill marks and slightly pink inside. The steak was juicy and beautifully cooked.
I found the Griddle & Grill’s timer was of limited use. It’s only marked between five and 30 minutes (so less handy for short cooking times) and is a rotary dial that doesn’t stop the grill – meaning that if you’re busy doing another task, you’ll still have to remember to turn off the appliance manually following the alert. However, it may be practical for timing foods you don’t need to watch over, such as toasted sandwiches.
Paninis were next; I added cheese-filled bread to the grill plates. There wasn’t a guide to temperatures but I guessed 210°C. The floating hinge, which opens up to 8cm, meant the sandwiches fitted easily between the closed halves – although a gentle press to seal them resulted in the cheese leaking out. The grill heated up in just over four minutes and it took three minutes to grill the paninis to a golden brown, with a well-melted filling.
The floating hinge was harder to use for bulkier food. Grilling corn on the cob, these slid around as I closed the plates. However, gently placing the top plate over them was more effective, and helped reduce grilling time compared to the open position. The deeper Ninja Health Grill & Air Fryer AG301UK makes such jobs easier.
I also cooked fried eggs on the flat plates. This was just as quick and easy as a pan but required less fat.
Another point of difference for the Griddle & Grill compared to some other models is the non-stick coating on its plates. Nothing I cooked became stuck, and I didn’t add much in the way of extra oil.
I was also impressed by the ease with which the plates could be fitted in place and detached. Both top and bottom plates have a dedicated button that you press to remove the plate. Also, the switch for opening the grill flat is located on the handle, so there’s no chance of mixing it up with the plate-release buttons.
There are a couple of downsides. The first is that the plates are quite bulky, so when the pair that isn’t in use has to be stored, you’ll need to find a place with enough space and where the surface won’t be scratched. The other issue is the storage of the appliance as a whole – the Cuisinart Griddle & Grill is fairly heavy, and there’s no lock to keep the sections together, so it can’t be stored vertically without being buttressed either side.
Cleaning the plates was simple, though – hand-washing was fuss-free, as was popping them in the dishwasher.
Should you buy the Cuisinart Griddle & Grill?
If you don’t have a lot of free worktop space then it’s likely you’ll struggle to find a space for the Griddle & Grill. That said, its generous size is what makes it ideal for families; the cooking surface when flat is far larger than many other models of health grill (bar the indoor/outdoor Tower T14028) and much less restrictive than a sandwich toaster. The fact that cleaning takes seconds, not minutes, also makes it a great choice for busy households, or a handy helper when entertaining.
Whether you’re trying to eat more healthily or expand your grilling repertoire, the Cuisinart Griddle & Grill is a great place to start.