Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler Review
If you live in an apartment or another multi-family housing structure, then chances are good you are not allowed to grill on your deck or patio. At the same time, many people who live in the north simply pack up their outdoor grill once the snow starts to fly. These situations can leave you wanting to taste the special seared flavor of grilled food.
Fortunately, Cuisinart has stepped up to the plate by offering the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler. Since it uses electricity to heat the grilling plates, it allows you to sear food without the prohibitive fire or smoke that you normally get from traditional propane or charcoal grills.
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler is a multi-functional unit that goes beyond the normal range of a simple electric grill. It can also be used as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. When necessary it can be folded flat and turned into a two-sided griddle. This can be especially handy if you want to separately sauté vegetables and meat for fajitas, or you want to pre-fry bacon for a club sandwich.
It can just as easily serve as a panini sandwich press as well as a clamshell or contact grill for searing hamburgers or a Steak. The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler also has a multi-position hinge integrated with the handle which allows you to maximize contact with thicker pieces of meat in the clamshell mode.
It comes with both flat and grated cooking plates which can be easily changed for what you want to cook. This also helps with quick cleanup. Each set of plates is carefully coated with high-quality nonstick Xylan® which is nearly identical to Teflon.
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler also has three temperature control knobs with indicator lights, that let you know when the griddle surface has come up to the selected temperature. This allows you to modulate the temperature of the bottom and top cooking plates. This can come in very handy in the flat mode if you wanted to say fry bacon on one side on low heat, while quickly frying French toast on the other plate using high heat.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The exterior housing of the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler is made from brushed stainless steel, which provides it with durability as well as visual appeal. Very little assembly is required. The flat and grated plates are easily removable. Just take care when removing them. If you frequently replace them you don’t want to bend or wear out the clips that help hold them in place.
As a multi-functional electric griddle, the Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler can prepare a wide range of foods. It can grill hamburgers and steaks like a flat top electric grill. You can also flip it open and install the flat grill plates to use it as a griddle for preparing eggs and bacon or griddle-fried fajitas.
When the versatile hinges are engaged it acts like a contact grill which can sear both sides of a piece of meat, or act as a press for making paninis, Cubano or other pressed sandwiches.
However, the drippings tray might be a little shallow if you’re going to grill something with a lot of marinade or the grease from a large batch of bacon. It’s also worth noting that while Cuisinart sells special accessory plates for making waffles, they do not fit this particular unit.
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler has two sets of 9-inch by 11-inch cooking plates. Depending on the configuration you set the grill up for it can provide you with 198 square inches of griddle surface. In its clamshell mode, you can contract grill or press 99 square inches of food.
The multi-position hinge is where this electric grill really shines. It’s what enables the GR-4N 5-in-1’s versatility. This allows it to not only replicate grilled food, but it can also replace many other household appliances.
The three control knobs with indicator lights are also worth noting. Not only do they allow you to modulate the heat of the plates, they also help you to understand when they are properly preheated, which can be a significant factor when cooking certain dishes such as chicken with vegetables.
It also comes with a special scraper tool that is designed to minimize the impact on the non-stick Xylan surface.
Ease to Clean
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler was designed with convenience in mind. For some applications, like making a grilled cheese sandwich or quesadillas the cooking plates might just need a minor wipe down.
If you grilled up something that was a little greasy or left excess drippings on the cooking plate, they are easily removable and can be safely washed in warm soapy water. Just make sure to only use a nonabrasive sponge to avoid scraping the non-stick surface.
Cuisinart also provides a special scraper tool to help loosen any stubbornly stuck-on deposits.
The drippings tray is a little shallow. It’s always a good idea to empty it first to avoid any overflow that might be caused by excess runoff during cleaning.
Cuisinart provides a manufacturer’s warranty on materials and workmanship for normal home use for up to three years from the original purchase date.
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler is more than just an indoor electric grill that can help you sear food in winter or if you live in an apartment. Its multiple function versatility allows it to replicate or even replace other kitchen appliances. Cuisinart is so convinced that it will inspire your culinary creativity that they even provide you with a small pamphlet of recipe ideas.
With its very friendly price point, the Griddler will pay for itself and become one of your go-to kitchen cooking options.
- Compact size and very friendly price point
- Multifunctional and versatile
- Able to replace other kitchen appliances
- Intuitive controls
- Superior non-stick surface
- Replacement cooking plates
- Drippings tray is somewhat shallow
- Clips that hold plates may suffer excess wear
- Too small for a family of four