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Top Picks for Small Kitchen Appliances – Electric Grill and Slow Cooker
For quick weeknight meals, other than my microwave, the small kitchen appliances that I use most often are my indoor electric grill and my slow cooker. I love the functionality of each, but I am ready for some new and improved replacements.
My current model GRP-99 Foreman Grill™ has removable plates that are great for a quick clean-up. However, I fight with the release tabs to get the top plate to lock in securely. I have nearly burned myself, because the top plate has fallen out on occasion upon opening the grill. I looked into other electric grills to see what is available. Company and consumer research and reviews indicate that Cuisinart secures the top pick for small kitchen appliances in the category of electric grills.
The Cuisinart™ Griddler® GR-4 Electric Grill
The Cuisinart Griddler GR-4 appears to be the most versatile grill on the market. This grill offers multi-functional features and gets high marks from top reviewers and consumers alike.
- Open grille flat to double cooking space.
- Flat grill plates included for use as a griddle.
- Adjustable hinge for grilling thicker items like panini sandwiches.
- Removable, dishwasher safe, grill plates.
Prevention magazine votes the Cuisinart as one of their top 4 favorites, dubbing it the best multi-tasker of the four electric grills tested.
Good Housekeeping calls the Cuisinart the “Grill Gourmet,” noting the flat and ridged removable plates are easily cleaned and that the adjustable hinge is great for grilling thick panini’s or hamburgers.
Cooking.com indicates that “The Cuisinart Griddler makes multifunctional an understatement!” 99% of reviewers on cooking.com recommend the Cuisinart Griddler.
After watching the following video, I could see the removable plates lock securely at the bottom of the plate. On my Foreman grill, the plate’s locking mechanism- at the side handles, is not ideal as the top plate has fallen out.
Some owners felt the Cuisinart grill thermostat control is not accurate and that the grease cups are too light and spill easily. However, according to reviewers, the main drawback of the Cuisinart is its hefty price tag of approximately $130. Considering that I would use the Cuisinart Griller to grill several times every week, the price seems reasonable for the quality and versatility of this grill.
The Hamilton Beach™ Stay-or-Go® 33162 Slow Cooker
My white Westbend™ slow cooker has seen better days. The white stoneware insert is all scratched up and permanently stained, just like the outside. The small handles make it difficult to carry and it is not easily transported without spills occuring. In search of a highly rated stainless steel model, I discovered the Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go 33162 Slow Cooker. The Hamilton Beach secures the top pick for small kitchen appliances in the category of slow cookers in the budget price range. The average price of this slow cooker is a mere $45.
- 6 quart capacity.
- Wraparound heating element for even cooking.
- Three temperature settings, including warming mode.
- Locking lid with sturdy gasket.
- Dishwasher safe stoneware insert.
- Durability for traveling.
- Large full grip handles
Consumer guide products gave the Hamilton Beach an overall excellent rating, indicating that this model is fully featured, with excellent performance and a great deal for the price.
Amazon.com reviewers gave the Hamilton Beach 19 five star ratings out of 23. Reviewers like the big handles for carrying, the secured lid for traveling without spills and the basic, easy to use settings.
Cooking.com lists near-perfect customer ratings for the Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go slow cooker. Two reviewers indicated that they researched for months, finally made the purchase and are quite satisfied with this slow cooker.
The two major reviewer complaints about the Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go are its large, heavy size and the fact that is does not have a timer. The weight of the slow cooker is not an issue for me, I would rather have a large capacity slow cooker for parties and family gatherings. I never had a timer on my past slow cookers and I would not miss it.