Health grill reviews

They’re marketed as a healthy way to cook, but do you really need one?
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

01 .Introduction

Health grill

Test results for eight health grill-presses priced from $100 to $269.

Health grills, which started to appear on the kitchen scene in the ’90s, generally make claims to reduce both cooking time and the amount of fat and oil in your food by frying without oil and allowing any fat generated by the food itself to drip or run away while it’s cooking.

Most models are so-called grill-presses with a top plate that heats up as well as the bottom plate, and most claim to cut cooking time by half by allowing both sides of the food to be cooked simultaneously.

They can be used to cook meat, seafood and vegetables, and most models can also double as a sandwich press. Many sandwich presses can also cook meat and other foods this way, but they’re usually smaller and don’t usually have a griddle plate to give a barbecue-style pattern on food.

We tested seven family-sized health grills with 4-6 servings and one compact grill (Kambrook KCG50 Essentials Health Grill* ) with 2 servings, for their cooking performance and ease of use.

For more information on Benchtop appliances, see Kitchen.

Please note: this information was current as of September 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. 


Brands and models tested

  • Breville BGR400 ikon Grill
  • Breville TG870 Healthsmart Grill
  • DeLonghi CG660
  • George Foreman GR30S
  • George Foreman GR36S
  • Kambrook KCG50 Essentials Health Grill (A)
  • Sunbeam GC7800 Café Contact Grill & Sandwich Press (A)
  • Sunbeam GC8900 Café Series Contact Grill & Barbecue (A)

(A) Discontinued.

 
 

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The following models scored the best results in our test.

What to buy
Brand Price
Breville BGR400 $200
Delonghi CG660 $199
Breville TG870 Healthsmart Grill $140
Kambrook KCG50 Essentials Health Grill (A) $55

 

(A) Discontinued.

Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

  Performance Specifications
Brand / model (in rank order) Overall score (%) Cooking score (%) Servings ** Dimensions (mm, W x D x H)* Weight (kg)
Price ($)
Breville BGR400 ikon Grill
www.breville.com.au
86 88 4 350 x 360 x 154 5.6 200
DeLonghi CG660
www.delonghi.com.au
82 82 5 455 x 325 x 165 5.6 199
Breville TG870 Healthsmart Grill
www.breville.com.au
80 82 4 385 x 400 x 143 6.3 140
Kambrook KCG50 Essentials (A)
www.breville.com.au
80 88 2 280 x 280 x 145 2.5 55
Sunbeam GC7800 Café Contact Grill & Sandwich Press (A)
www.sunbeam.com.au
78 77 5 420 x 420 x 122 5.7 109
George Foreman GR36S
www.salton.com.au
77 82 4 405 x 390 x 165 4.4 110
Sunbeam GC8900 Café Series Contact Grill & Barbecue (A)
www.sunbeam.com.au
77 75 6 425 x 440 x 165 8.9 269
George Foreman GR30S
www.salton.com.au
72 73 4 360 x 338 x 160 3.8 100
 


  Features
Brand / model (in rank order) Dishwasher-safe parts Variable Temperature control Removable plates Adjustable plate height Cord storage Drip tray
Breville BGR400 ikon Grill
www.breville.com.au
Removable
DeLonghi CG660
www.delonghi.com.au
Removable plates Removable
Breville TG870 Healthsmart Grill
www.breville.com.au
Removable
Kambrook KCG50 Essentials (A)
www.breville.com.au
Removable
Sunbeam GC7800 Café Contact Grill & Sandwich Press (A)
www.sunbeam.com.au
Removable
George Foreman GR36S
www.salton.com.au
Separate
Sunbeam GC8900 Café Series Contact Grill & Barbecue (A)
www.sunbeam.com.au
Removable drip tray Removable
George Foreman GR30S
www.salton.com.au
Separate
 

Table notes

(A) Discontinued.

Price Recommended retail, as of November 2009.
* Height includes splashguard.
** Servings is based on one average sized hamburger pattie

Using the table

The overall score is made up of:

  • Cooking score: 60%
  • Ease of use score: 40%

How we tested

Cooking

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, CHOICE’s home economists cooked:

  • A mixed grill including lamb cutlets, sausages, tomato halves and rashers of bacon.
  • Hamburgers using the grill press for the meat patties and the sandwich press function to toast the hamburger buns.
  • White sliced bread with cheese and tomato, to see how the grills measured up as a sandwich press.

Ease of use

The testers assessed how easy each health grill is to use while cooking, and how easy it is to clean.

Profiles - What to buy

Breville BGR400 ikon Grill

Breville BGR400 ikon Grill Price: $200

Good points

  • Excellent results for cooking toasted sandwiches and hamburger patties.
  • Very good ease of use score.
  • Cord storage.
  • Grill plates are removable for easy cleaning.
  • Variable temperature control.

Bad points

  • Not dishwasher safe.

Delonghi CG660

Delonghi CG660 Price: $199

Good points

  • Very good ease of use score.
  • Variable temperature control.
  • Grill plates are reversible and can be removed and washed in a dishwasher.
  • Two-year warranty.
  • Double temperature control lets you control the two plates independently.

Bad points

  • No cord storage.

Breville TG870 Healthsmart Grill

Breville TG870 Healthsmart Grill Price: $140

Good points

  • Very good cooking score.
  • Excellent result for hamburger patties.
  • Cord storage.
  • Variable temperature control.

Bad points

  • Grill plates aren’t removable, which makes cleaning harder.
  • Not dishwasher safe.
  • Heavy and bulky, which makes it difficult to store.

Kambrook KCG50 Essentials Health Grill (A)

Kambrook KCG50 Essentials Health Grill Price: $55

Good points

  • Very good cooking score.
  • Excellent result for hamburger patties.
  • Cord storage.

Bad points

  • Only two servings.
  • Lowest ease of use score, as it's less versatile due to it's small size (but suitable for smaller households).
  • Grill plates aren’t removable, which makes cleaning harder.
  • Not dishwasher safe.
  • No variable temperature control.
  • Risk of burning your fingers when rasing the lid, see Watch your fingers!

 

Profiles - the rest

Sunbeam GC7800 Café Contact Grill & Sandwich Press

Sunbeam GC7800 Grill & Press Price $109

Good Points

  • Excellent result for mixed grill and meat patties.
  • Very good ease of use score.
  • Cord storage.
  • Variable thermostat control

Bad Points

  • Poor result for toasting sandwiches.
  • Grill plates are not removable.
  • Not dishwasher safe.

George Foreman GR36S

George Foreman GR36S Price $110

Good Points

  • Excellent result for the mixed grill and meat patties.
  • Easy-to-clean exterior.

Bad Points

  • Grill plates are not removable.
  • No cord storage.
  • No variable thermostat control.
  • Not dishwasher safe.
  • You need to wear oven gloves when lifting the top plate.
  • Round shape can be awkward when storing.

Sunbeam GC8900 Café Series Contact Grill & Barbecue

Sunbeam GC8900 Grill & BBQ Price $269

Good Points

  • Excellent result for meat patties.
  • Very good ease of use score.
  • Variable thermostat control.
  • Cord storage.
  • 30 minute timer dial.
  • 180º hinge

Bad Points

  • Not dishwasher safe (apart from drip tray).
  • Grill plates are not removable.
  • Heavy and bulky which can make it difficult to store.

George Foreman GR30S

George Foreman GR30S Price $100

Good Points

  • Excellent result for meat patties.
  • Easy-to-clean exterior.

Bad Points

  • Lowest overall performer.
  • Grill plates are not removable.
  • No cord storage.
  • No variable thermostat control.
  • Not dishwasher safe.
  • You need to wear oven gloves when lifting the top plate.
  • Round shape can be awkward when storing.

(A) Discontinued, but may still be available in some stores.

  • Temperature control This allows you to adjust cooking temperatures to suit the kind of food you’re cooking, such as high temperatures for searing meat and low temperatures for toasted sandwiches.
  • Removable drip tray Look for a model with a tray that’s attached to the grill. Separate trays, such as those on the George Foreman models, are easy to knock over and can get separated from the grill in storage.
  • Removable plates allow for easy cleaning.
  • Adjustable height for top plate This lets you control the pressure on the food, which is particularly handy if you’re making melts.
  • Vertical storage takes up less space on the bench or in the cupboard and keeps everything packed up neatly.
  • Cord storage is neater for storage, and safer if you leave the grill on your kitchen bench when it’s not in use.
  • Size Health grills are bulky, so make sure you get one that’s the right size for your family and suits your storage capacity or bench space. If you have limited space, the Kambrook KCG50 Essentials Health Grill is compact and scored very well in our test.

Watch your fingers!

The two George Foreman models and the Kambrook have handles that aren’t as obvious as those on the other models on test, and hang over the bottom plate. This makes it easy to burn your fingers when lifting the top plate. Although the George Foreman instructions tell you to wear an oven glove when opening the grill, it’s not obvious that you’d need one. There are no instructions for the Kambrook.

All the health grills get very hot. When using the Sunbeam GC8900 Café Series Contact Grill and Barbeque it’s particularly easy to touch the front surface around the controls that can be very hot during cooking.

Also watch the cord on all of these grills as it can easily become wedged between the plates and burn.

Your say - Choice voice

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