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Tefal OptiGrill review

Michael Sawh

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill
  • Tefal OptiGrill

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Retains juices and moisture in meat and fish
  • Cooks from frozen

Cons

  • Big, bulky design
  • Mixed results cooking from frozen

Key Features

  • Automatic sensor cooking; LED cooking level indicator; Grills from frozen; Removable non-stick plates; 600cm2 cooking surface
  • Manufacturer: Tefal
  • Review Price: £149.99

What is the Tefal OptiGrill?

The Tefal OptiGrill is an electrically heated grill similar to the George Foreman fat-reducing grills and Cusinart griddle/grill combo. Tefal claims it will cook steak to restaurant quality and if you forget to take something out the night before to defrost, it will even cook meat straight from frozen.

At £150, it’s not the cheapest health grill available but if you can find room for its hulking body, it does deliver tasty results.

Tefal OptiGrill: Design and Build Quality

If you are hoping for a kitchen gadget that's sleek and stylish, you may be a little disappointed when you take the OptiGrill out of the box. It's a hulking beast of a machine and we had to sacrifice either the toaster or the kettle to find enough room for it on the kitchen surface. It's only available in one size, but does offer plenty of room for four or five pieces of meat on the 600cm2 cooking surface. Weighing 6kg, it's significantly heavier than a family size George Foreman grill (2.7kg).

Much of that extra bulk is down to the predominantly metal lid, which has a handle with an almost clamp-like force to make sure food is pressed down and cooked evenly. Elements like the coiled wire around the back and the prominent handle adds to its industrial-looking design. Despite the size we do actually prefer its design to the glossy plastic Foreman.

The OptiGrill's controls sit on the chunky handle. Left to right there's the On/Off button and dedicated modes for defrost, burger, chicken, bacon, sausage, steak, and fish. There's also a manual mode and finally an OK button when you are ready to start cooking. Right at the end is the LED cooking indicator that uses glowing LEDs to represent stages of the cooking process.

Lift open the grill and you’ll find the removable non-stick plates with nice large grooves to create those distinct cooking lines. The bottom plate is slightly angled so any excess oil can slope down into the dripping tray. The plates can be clipped in and are easy to take out and clean under the tap or in the dishwasher.

Leaving it for a few hours, or even a week as was the case on a few occasions, it takes very little effort to clean away the remains of a burger or chicken breast. Even the spacious dripping tray is easy to wash, especially as there's no need to add oil before placing food on the grill plates.

Inside the box, you'll also find the instruction manual and most importantly the colour-coded cooking guidelines that you definitely need to keep hold of when you get going.

Tefal OptiGrill: How does it work?

The key feature of the OptiGrill is the automatic sensor cooking. The benefit of this is that the grill can adapt the cooking temperature depending on the thickness of the meat to cook several pieces of meat at the same time evenly. This means food should cook thoroughly and you won't need to lift the lid to see how it's progressing.

This works in tandem with the LED Cooking Level Indicator over on the right that alerts when food is cooked correctly. There's pre-heating (pink), start of cooking (Blue/Purple), rare (Yellow), medium (Orange), and then well done (Red). The indicator beeps at every stage of the cooking process and if you are aiming to prepare something well done and forget about it, the grill moves into a warming stage and stops cooking.

iFrank

March 31, 2014, 3:18 pm

Well done TR for featuring this.

'Heath' grills are a bit of a myth, it's branding bull.
They don't remove more fat than conventional oven grills, they evolved from commercial catering because they are easier to clean and operate and correctly known as contact grills

This Tefal grill is great competition for the George Foreman range but the pricing is absurd, probably because of the sensor nonsense. A small mercy is that they didn't call it 'Smart' !
I recently bought the top GF grill with removable plates for £45, in a department store.

I looked at one of these Tefals in John Lewis recently.
A really good reason to get one though, assuming you have both the dosh and the space, is because it is a great piece of kitchen sculpture, like a La Pavone coffee machine.
Good to look at.

Geoff Richards

April 1, 2014, 10:10 am

Having used the Optigrill myself, I thought I'd chip in. Yes, it's more expensive than other grills, but it is well built, and the removable, dishwasher-safe cooking plates are a great advantage over a fixed-plate Foreman.

For me, the key question is how much you value the fact that it will give you great results every time without requiring much supervision. You set the mode you want, whack the meat on and take it out when it beeps.

That sounds lazy, but the Tefal team has gone to a lot of effort to calibrate the cooking times on Optigrill. It gives me the peace of mind to crack on with preparing the other dinner items (peeling veggies etc) safe in the knowledge that I'm not going to overcook my steak. In a way, it's digital cooking rather than analogue.

williamsommerwerck

December 5, 2014, 12:35 pm

Have you ever seen the disclaimer in the Foreman ads that reveals the grill removes less than a gram more fat than cooking the food "flat" would?

The problem is that >>no<< cooking method can remove fat that hasn't liquefied -- and that's determined by the chemical makeup of the food's lipids, and the temperature at which the food is cooked.

Tefal claims to have put 10 years' research into this product. If it really works as claimed, that's what you're paying for -- figuring out how to automate grilling. As this is, in principle, patentable, it will be interesting to see if other companies try to "appropriate" Tefal's work.

JFSII

July 20, 2016, 4:38 pm

You call that steak Medium Rare?
Did you check the temperature of anything to see if it was overcooked?

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