Cook Better: Mini Grills That Will Fit on Your Kitchen Counter

You don’t need a sprawling backyard to enjoy a delicious barbecue.

Surprise rainstorms or lack of outdoor space don’t have to ruin your grilling plans, thanks to portable miniature indoor grills. Before buying one, though, you should consider a few things: First, do you want an open grill or a contact grill? With an open grill, you’ll need to flip the food to cook both sides, but you can prepare a wider variety of food. Contact grills come with a floating cover that cooks the top of the food, so there’s no need to flip. (They can also function as panini sandwich makers.) Once you’ve settled on a type of indoor grill, do you want one with adjustable temperature (some have only one setting: on), and how much grill space do you need? Here are three options to keep in mind.

Cooks From Frozen

Thanks to convection technology, this product can speedily cook just about anything fast. Ninja

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Since contact grills cook both sides of the food at once, prep time is cut in half. Just preheat the grill for 10 minutes, and in less than 20 minutes more, the food is ready to eat. But here’s the tradeoff: If the grill plates are non-removable, you’ll spend more time cleaning it.

Ceramic Surfaces

Cook up to four large steaks, six juicy burgers or eight pieces of chicken at once. PowerXL

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Most open grills come with a separate lid so cooking fumes won’t invade the air in your home. The lid also has a flavor bonus: It creates smoke inside the grill, giving meat a juicier flavor and leaving it tasting like it’s fresh off an outdoor barbecue.

Ceramic Surfaces

The removable stand lets you pick up and move to the most convenient BBQ spot—in your kitchen, at the tailgate or in your backyard. George Foreman

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If you have plenty of mouths to feed, look to a grill with a wide surface that lets you prepare a large quantity of food fast. If you can find one with a nonstick coating, that’s even better: You won’t need butter or oil and it’s easier to clean.