George Foreman Grill vs. Skillet: Which one to use?
When it comes to indoor grilling, folks often have trouble deciding between electric grills and traditional skillets. That’s because both offer very similar results.
However, there are nuanced differences that can make one better than the other in many cases. And today, we want to provide you with insights that will help you choose between the two.
To get a relatively universal result, we’ve chosen the George Foreman Grill to represent electric grills and your everyday cast-iron skillet on the other hand.
The George Foreman Grill vs. skillet debate will not lead anywhere unless we understand each cooking tool better. So, to start with, let’s look at how each item fares as a grilling tool.
The George Foreman Grill: Easy to use and hassle-free.
Anyone who has ever tried indoor grilling has heard of the George Foreman Grill. Many people have the misconception that former Olympian and champion boxer George Foreman invented it.
However, Foreman merely endorsed and promoted the product. The actual manufacturing is done by Spectrum Brands, a Fortune 500 company.
The GFG, in short, has come to epitomize indoor grilling that is affordable, convenient, and palatable.
But what made it stand out were the novel features it offered. For instance, the pressing mechanism allows users to grill both sides of the food simultaneously. The clever sloped design makes unwanted fats ooze down the grill.
And these excess drips will gather in a container below giving you a zero-mess grilling experience.
Also, their patented non-stick design offers easy wiping and minimal residue even after grilling oily meats and items.
The GFG’s floating hinges also allows it to accommodate relatively bigger items like steaks and burgers.
And you get consistent temperatures since the device is powered by electricity. So, it’s easily operated by both beginners and pitmasters.
It’s especially great at grilling foods that are shaped uniformly. So, firm and flat foods like burger patties, mid-sized steaks, chicken breasts, etc., all work really well.
With all these apparent benefits, you’d think that a simple skillet wouldn’t even come close in comparison. But you may be surprised what a skillet can grill when experienced hands are at the helm.
The Skillet: Aged but Accommodating
The skillet has long been a staple of indoor grilling way before the George Foreman Grill even entered the scene.
Today, many kitchen grillers still prefer this classic cooking tool. As long as it’s a cast-iron skillet and seasoned well, there’s little that it cannot do.
Skillets may take a bit longer to heat up. But once heated, the thick surface and sound metal retain the heat evenly and for a long period.
Since the raised sides aren’t as hot as the bottom, experienced cooks can balance different items on the same skillet.
Grilling skillets come with raised grills which allow additional fat to gather between the raised lines, but the oils will still stay within the pan (unlike the GFG). And if you know your skillet and meats, you can still sear and grill a great steak.
The skillet is also good at grilling uneven food items. That’s because you can observe the cooking, adjust the heat, flip and turn the food wherever necessary.
So, does it really hold up against the George Foreman Grill?
George Foreman Grill vs. Skillet: Toe-to-Toe Comparison
It’s obvious by now that both items have benefits that make them great for indoor grilling. But like any other great cooking implement, they each have specific drawbacks.
And considering these pitfalls will help us determine which one takes the cake as the better indoor grill.
Let’s first consider the cooking time. While skillets get the job done, they still sear and grill one side at a time. The George Foreman Grill instantly works on both sides saving you a lot of time and a bit of energy too.
Also, the electric-powered heat is consistent on the GFG. So, all you have to do is follow the manual’s tips and watch the timer.
With a skillet, you’ll have to control the flames, watch the food closely, and keep flipping it for the right ‘doneness.’
For the same reasons above, the skillet does a better job with delicate meats like seafood. The George Foreman Grill may press, break, or overcook softer foods like fish or veggies.
Seasoned cooks can also grill sausages in the skillet’s center, while searing bacons on the sides. But the GFG’s constantly even temperature will grill everything inside with the same intensity.
On the flipside, this also ensures that you get even cooking on the GFG every time. But with a skillet, the results may vary depending on your expertise.
While both the grilling skillet and GFG traps excess oils between the raised grooves, the skillet retains it in the bottom throughout the cooking process.
But the Foreman Grill will neatly collect the oils in the bottom tray. So, disposing the oil is easy and there’s much less splatter and spills with the GFG.
There’s also the issue of cleaning and maintenance. Skillets can often harbor residues and tiny specks of food on its cooking surface.
And to avoid this from happening, you need a thorough seasoning once in a while. It may work, but it’s extra work for you, the user.
The GFG offers you a clean bill in this regard. Firstly, the trademark Foreman non-stick surface ensures that little to no food gets caught on the surface.
And giving it a clean wipe while it’s still hot is usually enough. Plus, the modern GFG models come with removable grills that can easily go into the dishwasher.
There’s no doubt that the George Foreman Grill vs. skillet dispute is a close call from any point of view. But if we were forced to decide, the George Foreman Grill has a slight advantage on convenience overall.
Yes, the skillet is still amazing if you’re an experienced pan griller. But the convenience, easy use, and consistent grilling taste make the George Foreman Grill a more appropriate choice for many.