T-fal OptiGrill XL GC722D53 Stainless Steel Indoor Electric Grill Review
Indoor electric grills have an obvious appeal for families living in apartments and other arrangements where traditional gas or charcoal grills aren’t allowed. At the same time, and an electric grill is also nice for people who have a grill on their deck, and simply don’t want to stand outside on a rainy day, or don’t want to take the time to light a grill on a busy weeknight.
The T-fal GC722D53 OptiGrill has most of the stuff you will find on competitor grills in the same price point and size. Yet they take it a step further by adding innovation to nearly all their features.
T-fal understands that not everyone is a masterful home chef, and even if you are an accomplished cook, there are times when you just want to place the meat down and turn your attention to other things while it cooks. To answer these situations, the GC722D53 OptiGrill has six preset cooking programs, with buttons for Burger, Poultry, Sandwich, Sausage-Pork, Red Meat, Fish, Pork, Bacon and Shellfish.
You simply select the type of meat you want to cook, place it in between the grill grates and the OptiGrill’s programming then adjusts the cooking time and temperature accordingly. If you are taking something straight out of the freezer, like a frozen hamburger patty, you will need to press the snowflake button. This lets the device know to adjust the cook time and surface temperature. If you forget this step your food will end up being undercooked.
The T-fal GC722D53 OptiGrill also has a series of built-in sensors that read the thickness of a piece of meat to adjust cooking time. There is also an integrated doneness sensor for things like Steak. Lets you are making three filet mignon steaks, and each person wants theirs cooked to a different level of doneness.
When the yellow light comes on, the steak is rare, orange is for medium, and red is for well done. Each steak can then be removed from the heat. To make sure they are all sufficiently hot when they hit the plate, you can wrap each steak in tinfoil, and place a clean tea towel over top. This will hold in the heat for a rare steak, while you wait for a well-done steak to finish cooking. When it comes to well-done steaks, the T-fal OptiGrill does a very good job of locking in the moisture, which is always a concern with a steak that is cooked all the way through.
If you want to get creative, or you simply want to grill something like bacon or vegetables, you can press the manual setting to use it like you would any other type of contact grill.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
T-fal GC722D53 OptiGrill’s outer shell is clad in visually appealing stainless steel. The two grilling plates are also clad in a special non-stick material that also helps with cleanup.
There is very little assembly required beyond unpacking the OptiGrill and setting it up for use. Just make sure that the cooking plates are firmly locked in place before you use it for the first time.
The six different grill settings, integrated sensors, and the “Snowflake” frozen food settings really set the T-fal OptiGrill apart from its competitors. Just make sure you always press the snowflake button when you needed, or you will be unhappy with the end result!
The grease drippings pan is nice and large, which might seem minor, but its nice to not have to worry about an overflow when you are grilling up something fatty or juicy.
One area of frustration with the T-fal OptiGrill is that it occasionally requires recalibration. When this happens, the unit will be stuck in manual mode only. T-fal did recognize this could be a problem, so they built a recalibration feature into the OptiGrill’s internal programming. Unfortunately, the process is needlessly complicated, and if you get any part of it wrong, you’ll still be stuck in manual mode.
Unless you’re some sort of chess master or you have a photographic memory, recalibration is not the sort of thing you can just remember off the top of your head after you do it once. The easiest way is probably to go on the internet and search for “Recalibrating the T-fal GC722D53 OptiGrill.”
The OptiGrill consumes 1800 Watts, which is more than most of its competitors in its class, that generally use between 1200 and 1500 Watts. This means it’s capable of putting out the kind of high heat you want when searing a steak. However, this does give it the potential to blow a fuse or trip a breaker in the middle of grilling. The easiest way to hedge against this problem is to plug it into a GFCI outlet with the two little reset buttons built into it.
The T-fal OptiGrill has 104 square inches of cooking space. This gives you just enough area to cook three medium sized steaks at a time.
The six different cooking settings take the guesswork out of dialing in the right time and temperature. The snowflake feature lets the grill know that it needs to account for the frozen food, and the thickness sensor also factors in. The doneness sensor is always a nice touch for people who want to have their steak rare, medium, or well-done.
Ease to Clean
The OptiGrill is very easy to clean. You simply empty out the drippings tray. Then once the unit has fully cooled down you can wipe it down with a damp cloth. If it’s particularly dirty or there’s something stuck on, you can easily pop the cooking plates out and they are dishwasher safe.
The T-fal GC722D53 OptiGrill comes with a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase.
If you are a proficient home cook, yet you’re looking for an indoor electric grill the T-fal OptiGrill is a nice option. So long as you enter the correct settings into the grill, it will handle the cooking for you. Just beware its ability to blow a fuse, or to need recalibration at the drop of a hat.
- Six built in cooking settings
- Doneness sensor
- Snowflake sensor for frozen foods
- Large drip tray
- Must use the correct settings
- Needs recalibration
- Can potentially blow a fuse
- Short warranty period