Grilling is a great way to switch up your meals on weekends and holidays with friends and family, or you can even grill any day of the week when you want to do something a little different. The problem for some, is that a traditional gas or charcoal grill can be inconvenient. Getting fuel, firing up the grill, and going through the process of cleaning and prepping can be a chore. With an option like the George Foreman Electric Grill, you can cook any time that you want, with little or no fuss.
Let’s take a look and see if this is the right grill for you.
George Foreman GFO201R Key Product Features
- Large 200 square inch grilling surface.
- Electric operation.
- Safe for indoor and outdoor use.
- Adjustable temperature.
- Nonstick cooking surface.
- Cooking slope for less-fat grilling.
- Removable stand.
Unboxing, First Impressions, and Setup
When buying a grill online, the setup will be a major concern. It’s important to get something that is high quality, but also that is relatively easy to assemble. Thankfully, the George Foreman GFO201R is simple to setup, with detailed instructions included in the packaging. A Phillips head screwdriver is the only tool that you’ll need, and most of the pieces simply snap into place. Setup won’t take long, and most people will be able to unpack and assemble the grill in less than 30 minutes. This is a definite advantage for a product that is packed for easy shipping, and the fact that you only need a single common household tool is also an advantage to purchasing the George Foreman grill.
When unpacking the grill, it is immediately noticeable that the unit is of high quality, with a striking design (more on this later in the review). Overall, a product should inspire confidence as soon as it comes out of the box, and the GFO201R definitely does so.
The grill comes with a complete user manual that explains the functions of the grill, as well as all safety precautions that should be taken when using the grill. No matter how experienced you are with grilling or kitchen appliances in general, it is recommended that you read the manual thoroughly before assembling and using the grill.
What Are the Benefits of Owning the George Foreman GFO201R Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill?
The single biggest advantage to owning a grill like the GFO201R is the convenience. You won’t need fuel to run this grill, and you’ll be able to power it from any mains outlet in your home. This particular model is designed for both indoor and outdoor use, so you’ll also have the freedom to choose how you want to cook. If the weather isn’t great outside but you still want to enjoy your favorite grilled meal, then you can simply remove the George Foreman from its stand and use it on a heat resistant surface, such as your kitchen countertop. If you have room inside, then you could still use it on the stand, so it’s easily one of the most versatile grills on the market.
The George Foreman grill has another advantage in the way that it is designed. The cooking surface gently slopes in a way that the fat drips off into a collection tray while you are cooking. This means that all of your typical barbeque food can be cooked and served with around 42% less fat when compared to a traditional grill. The griddled cooking surface allows an authentic barbeque sear, so you don’t have to worry about losing moisture from your food. You’ll enjoy all of the succulent juiciness that you’re used to, with the benefit being that your food is much healthier. If you or someone in your family is interested in cooking more health conscious meals, then the George Foreman GFO201R will be an excellent addition to your kitchen or patio.
An electric grill is also advantageous if you live in a small home where charcoal or gas cooking would be impractical, or even if it is not permitted. Small condos and apartments are generally not suitable for grilling, but with the George Foreman you will be able to grill safely and without upsetting the building owner. Compared to a charcoal grill, you won’t have any of the excess smoke, so it’s overall a more pleasant cooking experience.
Can it Cook as Well as a Traditional Grill?
The big question for anyone interested in this grill, will be how well it can cook. Grilling is not just about the cooking process, but also the flavor that is created. With a charcoal grill your food will take on a unique flavor that quite honestly can’t be replicated with gas or electric grilling. If you’re looking for the smoky flavor that comes with gas and woodchips, then the George Foreman grill will not be able to deliver in this area.
However, it’s important to note that the blue smoke from charcoal is not the only thing that impacts flavor. Much of what people consider to be ‘char grilled’ flavor is actually created from the high temperature of charcoal. The outer surface of the food is quickly seared, which ensures that food is moist and that most of its natural flavor is retained. The George Foreman performs exceptionally well in this respect, with the nonstick heating surface able to reach extreme temperatures on the highest setting. You’ll get the authentic sear without the charcoal, and in a blind taste test you might not even be able to tell the difference between electric and charcoal.
The nonstick surface is also an important part of the end result, because it prevents food from sticking to the grilling surface. If you’ve ever cooked on an iron grill, particularly with chicken or even hamburgers, you’ll know that the food can get absolutely destroyed if it is left on the cooking surface for too long. The George Foreman GFO201R cooking surface prevents food from sticking, and that means that you can get the high heat treatment without worrying about your food disintegrating. In this respect, the George Foreman actually performs better than most traditional grills.
The domed lid on this grill will allow you to cook convection style, so you could even cook food like barbecue pizza, or you could even cook bone-in chicken or a smaller whole chicken at a lower heat setting for a longer period of time. You have plenty of options with this grill, and it’s sized to cook up to 12 regular servings of burgers or similar sized cuts of meat. If you’ve ever worried that an electric grill wouldn’t cook as well as a traditional grill, then cooking just once on the George Foreman will put those worries to rest. Quite simply, it can provide one of the best cooking experiences that you’ll ever have.
Is the Construction Quality of a High Standard?
If you’re going to be investing in a cooking appliance, then you’ll want to know that it is well made and designed to last for a long time in your kitchen or when being used on your patio. The GFO201R Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill is not the most expensive electric grill on the market, and can be purchased in the sub-$100 price range. While you might think that such a low price means that compromises are made, it still looks and feels like a high quality appliance. It’s true that it doesn’t use all of the same premium materials as grills that cost twice or even three times as much, but for the price you will not be disappointed.
The plastic stand is not as heavy as it could be, but it is still stable in most conditions and most owners will be very impressed by the build quality. The cooking surface is well made and coated in quality Teflon, and metal is used in all of the areas that count. It’s also very well put together, so you won’t need to worry about it falling apart after a few months or even a few years of use. It’s not the kind of appliance that is going to last for a whole generation, but it definitely exceeds what would be expected for the price tag.
In terms of appearance, the red and black color scheme is traditional yet striking, and you’ll be proud to take this out and start grilling whenever you have friends and family around.
Pros and Cons of the George Foreman GFO201R Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
This indoor/outdoor grill sets out to offer great cooking performance and convenience at a low price point. In this respect, it does deliver. There are some minor issues with the design, and it is lacking some of the features of more expensive grills, but overall the positives of this grill can easily outweigh any of the negatives.
- Offers the freedom to cook indoors or outdoors.
- Large grill is perfect for large families, dinner parties etc.
- Cleanup is easy, thanks to the fat drip tray.
- Assembly takes only minutes and you’re ready to cook.
- The grill is lightweight so it’s easy to transfer it inside or outside.
- Great looking grill that will stand out on any patio/deck etc.
- Easy to adjust temperature for different food.
- The stand is not as stable as it should be, being made from plastic.
- Requires an extension cord if you don’t have an outdoor power outlet.
- No thermostat, so cooking with the lid involves some guesswork.
Reviews from verified owners are always a good indicator of how good a product is, and the George Foreman electric grill is no exception. From verified online reviews, the grill currently has an average 4.2 / 5-star rating. This is an extremely respectable consumer score, especially when you consider that almost 80% of all reviews are 4 or 5 stars.
Consumers have given positive feedback regarding the ease of use, the quick and simple assembly, the quality of the cooking surface and the hardware, and many customers have been impressed by how convenient the grill is to use.
Negative feedback has been limited, and is mostly focused on the design of the stand. Customers point out that the base of the stand could either be heavier, or could have a larger footprint to make the grill more stable. Customers do point out that the grill is only in danger of toppling in extreme circumstances, but it’s still something to consider if you’re thinking about buying this grill.
Conclusion and Final Recommendation
Being one of the more affordable grills on the market, expectations should be kept realistic when looking at the George Foreman GFO201R Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill. It fully delivers in many areas, such as in build quality, ease of use, cooking quality, and good looks. The stand base is plastic and is not the most stable grill stand that you will see, but it does its job and is well within the asking price of this grill. Considering that this will be used in small enclosed patio or deck areas, the lack of heft in the stand will not be a problem for most owners.
If you’ve been looking for a grill and gas or charcoal is simply not an option, then the GFO201R is definitely worth looking at. Affordability and quality make for great value, and the low fat cooking style of the George Foreman design is also a benefit. Overall, this is one of the better options in this price range and would be a great purchase for the average consumer.