Our new top pick:
Hamilton Beach Indoor Searing Grill with Lid Window
Made with removable, dishwasher-safe plates for easy cleanup, this grill features a lid window so you can keep an eye on your food. High searing temperatures locks in juices and flavor.
Today I’m doing a review on the T-fal OptiGrill. You might have seen this on infomercials during the late night.
It’s basically a grill that you use inside the house, much like the George Foreman but it’s a little bit smarter. Basically you’re going to put the cut of meat that you want here on the high light thing here.
It can even be frozen and it’s going to let you put that meat in there and it’s going to tell by the size of that cut you have the proper time it will take to cook it to the proper temperature.
This is my third unit that I’ve had. I went through two already. The first one didn’t really work like it was supposed to. I put cuts of meat in and they really didn’t seem done. After about six months of using it, it just totally went out. It just stopped working.
This screen here would not turn on at all. So I sent it in, they replaced it, they sent me out a new one, that one was excellent. It cooked the meat properly and everything else so I was really excited about being able to use it and it was working and cooking the meat correctly.
But then a problem happened. It did the same thing. It totally burnt out this whole motherboard here. Again would not come on and it also had a few more problems. Like, you’re supposed to be able to set this, as you can see, put that there, okay, I’m doing something from frozen, I want a hamburger and then you hit okay.
What’s supposed to happen is these two lights are supposed to go on. Now it went into manual mode. A lot of people have been having this issue with this and like I said it happened on every unit that I had. After a few uses that would happen.
So basically what I started doing is and the sad part is you literally have to hold the unit open in order to get it to heat up and to stay lit and not go into manual mode. So for you people who are having that issue, there is a way to reset it and if you call in, they’ll tell you how to reset it. But the problem is, the reset doesn’t always work and when you reset it, it doesn’t calibrate it the way it was calibrated when it left the factory.
So with this unit instead of me doing the reset, I just opened it up and left it on. Now sometimes you got to keep an eye on it because it will shut off because it’s not supposed to be open so I wouldn’t recommend you do this. Please use this the way that they say to use it so that you don’t void your warranty or anything like that. I’m just showing you shortcuts that I had to do to get this thing to work properly.
So like I said, this is my third unit. This thing cooks everything to temperature, the taste is good, everything is juicy. I mean, from hamburgers to chicken breasts. I think this thing really cooks chicken breast the best.
If you really want to see the true marvel of this machine, buy quality cuts of meat. If you’re going to buy a steak, buy some good steak meat, because you can’t put cheap steak on here and then expect it to taste good and that I found out the hard way.
I was like, okay, I have this grill, maybe it’ll make cheap steak taste well. It didn’t!
So go out, get the premium cuts, get the good cuts of chicken breasts and things like that because in the end, it will pay off for the fact that it will cook it early, it will cook it all the way through and it still be juicy and moist.
Like I said, I’m doing a review here about this and I’m kind of iffy on if I should give this high rating and tell people to get this because like I said, I’ve been through three units already. I mean this is my third unit.
I’ve been through two and the same issue was the motherboard just bumped out. So I’m like confused about telling people even though that the last two grills that I have, this one and one before, cook food excellently! They cook food perfectly.
It’s just I don’t know how long this thing is going to last because like I said it’s giving me the same problems with the board going into manual mode. I went online, looked all this up and wanted to see what other issues people were having and they’re having the same issue that I was having.
So it’s really hard to go out there and tell people to get this when I know it’s a fault and how it’s built.
So like I said, out of 5 stars, I’ll give this 3.
If I was saying how it cooked food, out of 5 stars I would say a 4.5 because it cooked the meat I put in it excellently.
The only issue with the unit was that every time I plug it up, I don’t know if it’s going to work that day or if it’s going to burn out like all the others.
And I am out of my warranty period and I want to thank the people at T-fal because I was out of my warranty unit on the replacement they gave me, because it burned out for the same reason, they replaced it again.
I don’t know if they’re going to be that generous if it does that again but there’s a few things you have to know about this.
Take the plates off to clean it. Don’t clean the plates on it and take care of your unit because what happens is things build up back here, crusting rime and stuff and that’s what sets the sensor off because the plates are balanced and that’s why when I pushed and try to set the time, it always went to manual mode because things build up and these plates are really sensitive and that’s how it knows how to cook the meat properly because the plates are really, really sensitive.
If you get in a gunk or anything on it, you really have to take care of the unit.
One thing I know is that the raw plug here, always take the plug out. Never leave it in the machine. I never leave it plugged up to the wall because one thing I noticed, the two that went back, it was a day when I had left the plug in the wall.
I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but I’m just saying to be on the safe side when you’re not using it and if you’re not using it for long periods of time unplug it from the outlet.
Just do that, just to be on the safe side, like I said, because this is a real sensitive machine.
If everything is working and everything is clean, it’s going to cook your food to perfection!
Like I said, I’ll give it about a three because of the reliability. If I’m just talking about the product as a whole. But if I’m talking about just one part on how it cooks food, I have to give it at least a 4.5 because everything I cook in this thing has been excellent.
I mean, from chicken to fish, it’s been flaky, it’s been light, it’s been juicy. I mean juicy. To eat a chicken breast and to cut it and just see all the juice pouring out, it is amazing.
Today I’m just going to try some simple hamburgers. What I have to do here is I have to check this to make sure it’s still on. When you see this little glowing light, you see how it’s pulsing, then you know it’s warming up the plate. It’ll make a noise when it’s ready but you always know that it’s warming up if that light is pulsing. If it’s solid, then you know you’re good to go.
As you can hear it’s ready to go now. So I’m just going to put one hamburger patty there one hamburger patty there. I put it because it’s going from frozen. So I had to push this button along with the hamburger button.
The light has turned blue. That means that it’s in the startup cooking phase and it’s solid, it’s not pulsing any more so now I know that the T-fal grill plates are warmed up and it’s ready to put food on there and cook.
To let you know if you want your meat rare, medium or well done, it is color coded. So let’s say we wanted these patties rare. We would look for a yellow tint for this blue light. If we wanted a medium, it would be an orange tint to this light and well done we would get a red tint to this light here and then we would know that it’s well done.
Like I said, what this does is basically says how thick something is. Like this hamburger meat is going on the thickness and they said something this thick and he pushed the hamburger button, takes this much time and then it adds some extra time if you hit the defrost button. I mean if you hit the frozen button to add some time to defrost the meat and then cook it.
So I said this is a very intelligent grill. It’s way ahead of the George Foreman grill but where it legs, is its reliability. I mean like I said, it is really not that reliable.
Now as you can see a lot of smoke comes out of it and that’s another thing you’re going to have to deal with. So if you have a den or something, like a microwave den, or you have a den over your oven, use it because usually my smoke alarm goes off when I’m using this thing.
They say you’re not supposed to use it outside but to me with the amount of smoke that it carries you need to cook outside but they say don’t do that, so please follow all directions on the proper use of this product.
I have not taken this product outside or anything like that. I’m trying to keep this working as long as I can because like I said it makes great food and I’m going to be sad if it breaks again because I’m not going to purchase another one until I know that all these items are fixed.
OK the meat is done. As you can see the light is flashing, it got there, turn it off, bring it up and there you go folks. That’s how it looks.
As you can see everything looks good. It is very tender, very soft, it’s all the way done.
So that’s my review for the T-fal OptiGrill. I hope you like it.