An Indoor Grill Will Give You the Freshest Tasting Food—Without the Hassle


Who doesn’t love the taste of freshly grilled food? And there’s something about those grill marks that make it even more appetizing. But sometimes it’s too cold, too hot, too cumbersome, or too late at night to go outside and use a propane or charcoal grill. Fortunately, an indoor grill can provide the best of both worlds, allowing you to get that grilled taste during any weather, at any time of the day (or night), and you can even grill while wearing your PJs.

However, choosing the best indoor grill requires more than a Google search (although admittedly, you might have found this article via a Google search, so hello!). We put in the work—truly a labor of love—to test dozens of grills and talk to experts to find the best smokeless indoor grills to enhance the grilling experience because we know you want the taste of an outdoor grill, not the burning smells and fumes.

“When it comes to indoor grills, things to look out for are the quality and build, since reliability is important,” says Tom Borgia, head chef at Grille 151 in Weymouth, Massachusetts. “I also recommend a grill with very consistent heat, and one that is extremely easy to clean.”

Tom’s preference is thick gauge, stainless steel appliances, and cast-iron grates. “You also want strong heating elements,” he says. “I tend to stay away from grills made with cheaper materials, like aluminum, and any grill that is overly complicated when it comes to its structure because disassembling and cleaning would be difficult.”

Cleaning is definitely an area of concern. If your indoor grill is hard to clean, you’ll probably end up never using it. “For indoor grills, look for units that have the griddles easily released from the unit because you must clean these all the time,” says Greg Frey Jr., a chef at Golden Door—in San Marcos, California—which was rated the best spa in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. “Also, look for units that have a splatter guard or vented lid to help keep your countertop clean,” Greg says.

We want to take a moment to pay homage to the grandfather of indoor grills, the George Foreman Grill (a.k.a. the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine), which was introduced in 1994 and sold over 100 millions units. However, we’ve come a long way since that was the hottest indoor grill on the market.

De’Longhi Livenza All Day Combination Grill: Best overall

The stainless steel De’Longhi Livenza All Day Combination Grill tops our list of the best indoor grills for several reasons. My favorite feature is that it allows you to cook different foods at different temperatures, and it includes two grill plates and two griddle plates, helping maximize the cooking options at your disposal. I can use it as an open grill (flat) and cook hamburgers on one grill plate while grilling vegetables or toasting hamburger buns on the other plate using a separate temperature control. You can even adjust the cooking time!

Although two grill plates and two griddle plates are far above and beyond the amount of cooking plates you would expect to get with a grill (usually you would have to buy the second grill and griddle plate separately), there are also two waffle plates! We can confirm that, when using the closed grill/press function, this appliance makes mouth-watering waffles. There’s also a broiler oven mode (oven grill): Instead of pressing the top flat to use as a closed grill, the height is adjusted so the top plate floats over the food. The digital controls are easy to use and view on the LCD display screen. In addition, the De’Longhi Recipe App can be downloaded to gain access to numerous meal ideas.

Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer: Best all-in-one

In my article on the best coffee makers, I list Ninja as the best If the Swiss Army Knife Company Made Coffee Makers coffee maker. And, honestly, I think that title can be slightly modified to apply to the best indoor grills as well. The name says it all: The Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill, Griddle & Air Fryer With Built-in Thermometer. The grill is called XL because it is much larger than the original Ninja Foodi Grill, but it’s actually one of the smallest grills on the list. It doesn’t take up much horizontal counter space, but be advised that you’ll need vertical space. The lid bumped up against my cabinets, so I had to pull the grill forward to fully open it. Fortunately, there’s an option to cook with the hood either open or closed.

The Ninja Foodi Smart XL Pro Grill does so much more than an outdoor grill. It actually features seven ways to cook food. It’s a grill, BBQ griddle, and air fryer, and it can also bake, roast, broil, and dehydrate. The temperature control grill grate can reach a high heat of 500 degrees, and provides edge-to-edge grilling on the 12-inch cooking surface. I’ve used it to grill steaks and burgers to perfection, and I’ve also used the griddle to make delicious French toast. The ceramic-coated nonstick grill grate and griddle—as well as the crisper basket—are removable and dishwasher-safe. There’s also a splatter shield to keep your cooking area clean

Breville The Smart Grill: Best for paninis

The Breville Smart Grill & Griddle was actually running neck-and-neck with the De’Longhi Livenza for the best indoor grill. The latter won out because it provides two different temperature settings, along with more plates. However, the Breville Smart Grill can also convert from an open grill or griddle to a close contact grill, and the height of the top cooking plate can be adjusted. The Breville uses 1,800 embedded heating elements, and the temperature can go from 320 to 450 degrees. I love to use the Breville for making panini sandwiches—in fact, there’s actually a specific panini setting. And whether I’m using wheat bread or bagels, I don’t have to use butter since the grill has non-stick plates. But the grill isn’t just great for paninis—it also does a great job of cooking food in other ways as well, such as searing salmon and steak and grilling chicken breasts. The dishwasher-safe parts also make cleaning up a breeze.

CruxGG 2-in-1 Smokeless Indoor Ceramic Nonstick Grill & Griddle: Most stylish

CruxGG is a collaboration between Crux and Ghetto Gastro, a Bronx-based collective that donates 5% of proceeds to nonprofits working to end food insecurity. I love that they combine doing good with looking good. The CruxGG makes really stylish countertop appliances in both smoke gray and white matte finishes for under $200. The CruxGG 2-in-1 Smokeless Indoor Ceramic Nonstick Grill & Griddle has a 1,500-watt heating element system and temperature control dial. I was able to easily swap out the 12″ x 16″ nonstick and scratch-resistant grill and griddle plates when grilling salmon and veggies or making pancakes—and each item was delectable. The cooling pan underneath keeps the grill from generating smoke while I’m cooking, and the tempered glass lid not only contains splashes, but also keeps the food at the desired temperature longer. And thankfully, the parts are dishwasher-safe.

Wolf Gourmet Precision Electric Griddle/Indoor Grill: Best griddle

The stainless steel Wolf Gourmet Precision Electric Griddle/Indoor Grill is the cooking appliance I use the most (besides the Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven). Although it doesn’t have a grill grate to create those beloved grill marks, I can use the 12″ x 17″ nonstick cooking surface to sear pork chops and boneless chicken, grill salmon and hamburgers, make French toast and pancakes, and also scramble eggs. In addition, I use the steel vented lid when I’m steaming vegetables and shrimp. The grill uses a control knob, and it can reach a 450-degree temperature. It’s ridiculously easy to clean, since I don’t have to remove the cooking surface. I merely need to wipe it with a hot, soapy cloth and then rinse with a damp cloth. On those occasions when I use the vented lid, it can be washed in the sink, and the removable drip tray can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. And since it serves as a griddle and a grill, it provides the best of both worlds.

T-fal GC722D53 XL OptiGrill: Best auto sensor

I love to eat, but I don’t like to cook, so I’m beyond grateful that the T-fal GC722D53 XL OptiGrill has nine automatic presets: Burger, red meat, fish, pork, bacon, shellfish, sausage, poultry, and sandwich. Another feature that I love is that the grill has visible indicator lights and audible alerts to let me know which phase my food is in. When grilling steak, it was easy to see when it was rare, and then medium, and then well done, so I never had to guess. In addition, the automatic thickness measurement identifies the exact size of thickness of the steak and makes grilling adjustments as necessary. There is also a setting for cooking frozen food without thawing it. The stainless steel grill uses 1,800 watts, and has removable dishwasher-safe plates made of die-cast aluminum with a nonstick coating.

Kenyon G2 Indoor/Outdoor Grill: Best splurge

The Kenyon G2 Indoor/Outdoor Grill is the most expensive item on our list—but for good reason. It’s a marine-grade stainless steel portable appliance that’s both weather-resistant and rust-proof, so it can be used either indoors or outside, but without the inconvenience of a charcoal or propane grill. The Kenyon G2 uses an 1,800-watt heating element, and can reach temperatures of 550 degrees. It has a cooking area of 213 square inches and weighs 37 pounds, but has carry handles to make it easier to transport. The single knob control is easy to use, and there are eight settings, so I tend to use three for veggies, four for veggies and salmon, and eight for steaks. In addition to the included nonstick grate, baffle tray, and drip tray, there’s an option to purchase a warming rack that can be placed above the back row of the grill and be used to warm hamburger buns and keep already-cooked food at the desired temperature. The lid is removable and dishwasher-safe for each clean-up.

1829 Carl Schmidt Sohn Smokeless Indoor Grill: Best with fan

All of the grills on our list produce little to no smoke, but the 1829 Carl Schmidt Sohn Smokeless Indoor Grill actually has a built-in fan to combat fumes. After filling the water pan with 2 cups of water, I merely press the fan button to activate the Turbo Smoking Technology—which sucks the smoke into the water. The fan can be used sporadically or left on during the entire grilling process, and the glass lid also aids in making sure that smoke doesn’t escape from the appliance. The grill has a 15″ x 9″ grilling surface, and an easy-to-use LED control panel. It uses a 1,500-watt heating tube and can reach a temperature of up to 450 degrees. The nonstick cooking plate has a grill on the left side and a griddle on the right side. I used it to perfectly grill shrimp and veggies. Since the components, including the drip tray, are removable, it’s easy to clean them by hand, and they’re also dishwasher-safe.

ChefWave Sosaku Smokeless Indoor Electric Grill & Rotisserie: Best accessories

The ChefWave Smokeless Indoor Electric Grill & Rotisserie not only grills food on the nonstick 9″ x 13″ grill rack. It also has a rotisserie function and can roast an entire six-pound chicken with the included rotisserie spit and two forks. So, at this point, you may be wondering why we didn’t just crown it the Best Grill With a Rotisserie. Here’s why: The grill also includes seven skewers and two round plates for grilling kabobs, in addition to a fish basket, and a cage for French fries. However, I used it to grill vegetables and thinly-sliced pork chops, and was quite pleased with the results. The stainless steel grill uses 1,780 watts, infrared heating technology, and the temperature controls adjust from 150 to 450 degrees. In addition, the parts—including the drip tray—are removable and easy to clean.

PowerXL Smokeless Grill: Best splatter control

Similar to the 1829 Carl Schmidt Sohn Smokeless Indoor Grill, the PowerXL Smokeless Grill has a built-in fan. It also has a water tray that, once filled with water, works with the fan to suck the smoke into the water tray. The PowerXL’s also has a glass lid on a hinged tray, and after testing a lot of indoor grills, I’ve found that a glass lid is a great feature because it allows me to see the status of my food—not to mention that the lid catches splatters and is easy to clean. Having a hinged tray to place the lid on is an added bonus, since you don’t have to make room for it on your counter.

The PowerXL has two interchangeable cooking surfaces. I used the grill to make steak kabobs and burgers, and the griddle was used to make pancakes, French toast, and even scrambled eggs—everything came out perfectly. The cooking surface is 13.5″ x 8″, and there’s an LED control panel on the right side. The grill can reach temperatures up to 450 degrees, and most of the parts are dishwasher-safe.

Cosori VeSync Aeroblaze Grill: Best smart control

The Cosori VeSync Aeroblaze Grill (which looks like a cross between a pressure cooker and the Ninja Foodi Grill), has a recipe library like the De’Longhi grill. Although it may look like some of its competitors, the Cosori VeSync Indoor Grill has one feature that makes it stand out from the competitors: True smart control. Downloading the app and getting access to a library of recipes is merely the beginning. After creating an account, I was able to adjust time and temperature and select from over 100 pre-programmed recipes like Grilled Vanilla French Toast and Margarita Chicken Breast (the grill automatically sets the time and temperature for programmed food) via my smartphone. The app also sends notifications to let me know the food’s doneness progress. There’s even an option to use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to issue voice commands. The Cosori can reach temperatures of up to 510 degrees, and has eight cooking functions: Air grill, roast, broil, crisp, bake, preheat, keep warm, and dehydrate. It also includes a smoke filter and splatter guard.

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