George Foreman GFO201 Indoor / Outdoor Rectangular Electric Grill Review
George Foreman grills are largely seen as one of the earliest pioneers of indoor/outdoor electric grills. The original George Forman grill was a clamshell style contact grill, that was highlighted by a sloped grilling surface which drained grease away.
For all its popularity the original George Foreman and some of its following iterations had a few flaws. The grease tray had a knack for spilling or overflowing, the grates could sometimes be difficult to clean, and it was only for indoor use.
The George Foreman GFO201 Rectangular electric grill takes electric grilling to a new level. It can truly be used indoors as well as outdoors. The grill itself can be quickly detached from the base, which allows you to use it on the tabletop or kitchen counter. It also has the visual appeal to be used as the serving platter, or for self-grilling things like tabletop Korean barbecue.
The adjustable heat controls have five temperature ranges. The George Foreman GFO201 Rectangular electric grill draws 1440 Watts of power, which gives it the ability to sear all the traditional foods you want marked or crisped, including steaks, hamburger patties, and skin-on chicken.
The grill grate has a special non-stick coating that is designed to be more durable than other non-stick surfaces that tend to have a thin film of Teflon. Its 200-square inches of grilling space can give you the ability to grill for up to 12 guests!
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The George Foreman line of products tries to be very durable with the primary components for most of their grills. Yet they also have a little bit of a reputation for skimping on some of the plastic components. This comes through a little bit with the GFO201 Rectangular electric grill. Particularly with the plastic handles that seem to have a knack for cracking and breaking.
The drip tray is dishwasher safe which is nice and makes for easy cleanup. The grill grates don’t detach, like other electric grills in this price range, which can make it a little tricky to clean them if you are staring at a messy cleanup.
The George Foreman GFO201 Rectangular electric grill is pretty easy to put together. It shouldn’t take you more than a half hour to go from opening the box to getting ready to turn it on for the first time.
The George Foreman GFO201 Rectangular electric grill consumes 1440 Watts of power. This gives it the ability to nicely sear bratwursts, hot dogs, and hamburger patties.
It can technically sear a Steak, but there seems to be a little problem with the thermal load it needs to develop. To reach the maximum heat that you need to sear a steak and develop a nice, flavorful crust, it takes a full ten minutes. Then it can be a little finicky to develop the sear on a thick steak without leaving the interior overdone or still a little on the cold side for medium-rare. One way to get around this is to season the steak 15 minutes ahead of time and leave it wrapped. This allows the interior to warm up a little bit, so it will still be warm and pink inside and seared outside.
Something like a chicken breast that little more time, yet still benefits from a nice sear, should be cooked with the bone side down and the lid on. Then in the final five or six minutes, you can flip it over to mark and crisp the skin.
One small knock to keep in mind is the lid’s ability to trap steam when sealed. This can quickly turn into condensation. When you open the lid to check the food, it can release that condensation onto the floor, tabletop or patio floor.
The George Foreman GFO201 Rectangular electric grill provides 200 square inches of grilling space. Depending on what you want to prepare, it should give you enough space to grill for up to a dozen guests.
The ability to detach the grill top allows for a lot of versatility. It can live out of your patio, or simply take up residence inside your apartment. If you do want to use it exclusively for indoor use, you will want to place it near an open window or your oven’s ventilation hood. It can make enough smoke to trip an apartment fire alarm.
Ease to Clean
While you can’t say that the George Foreman GFO201 is difficult to clean, it could have been made easier! True, the removable drip tray is large and dishwasher safe and the non-stick coating on the grill grate is generally more durable than other grills in this same price range.
Unfortunately, the grill grate is not detachable. This means if you have a really big mess, like a lot of caramelized, stuck-on marinade it’s going to take a lot of frustrating moistening and wiping. Depending on what you intend to grill, it might be better to dab off excess marinade before grilling, or to use a recipe that calls for a spice rub.
When it comes to wiping and maybe even scrubbing, it’s best to use a soft nylon brush or scraper. As durable as the non-stick coating was designed to be, it can still be damaged. So you should never use metal tools to cook or clean. Steel wool and abrasive sponges can also damage the non-stick coating.
The George Foreman GFO201 Rectangular electric grill comes with a three-year limited warranty.
An electric grill that can be used on the kitchen counter, patio table, or spend its life living on your deck can be really nice if you live in an apartment or condo where traditional grills aren’t allowed. The George Foreman GFO201 can certainly tick all the boxes you need to grill up a nice feast for family and friends.
Just be careful when you are cleaning it. Also, watch out for damage to the handles and condensation that might pour out when you open the lid.
- Visually appealing
- 5 heat settings
- Large drip pan
- Good for indoor and outdoor use
- Handles are a little weak
- Steam and condensation spills from the lid
- Non-stick grill grates don’t detach