This is the review that Robin and I had to do Rock, Paper, Scissors in order to win the right to write. (Not really, but we like our Griddler a lot, use it almost daily and firmly believe it should join the toaster and microwave as an essential small kitchen appliance.)
Hyperbole? Never in a million, billion years have we ever, ever exaggerated, but read on if you want quantitative and qualitative analysis of this fine product. Guess where our final Frugal Verdict will land?
At the end of the review you'll have a chance to win a Griddler of your own!
We aren't sponsored by Cuisinart or anything - we're spending our own cash to buy and ship a Griddler to a lucky reader. We want to start out 2013 with a big thank-you to the readers that have spurred us on in this blogging adventure. Our sincere thanks go out to all you folks who stop in and visit us here!
(Update: this Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen!)
The Cuisinart Griddler
We had owned a Grill press prior to the Cuisinart Griddler. It was a typical clamshell style thing with a standard grill plate and we used it so infrequently, we donated it. If you have one and love it, you will love the Griddler even more. The Griddler has 2 grill plates, 2 flat griddle plates and the optional waffle plates. It can operate in the clamshell press mode or unlock and open totally flat for griddle mode. All of a sudden a formerly one dimensional product finds so many more uses that it lives on our counter (literally next to our toaster - it is used that often).
The Griddler ping-pongs around a bit in price (DealGenius says the lowest price one can expect is around $100, whereas the highest can range to $160) ; we paid full retail for ours around 6 years ago. At that point it was selling at less than $100 to "launch". Last year we added the Griddler Waffle Plates (a Christmas gift from Robin's dad). This waffle accessory may seem expensive, but they do more waffles, faster than a conventional Waffle iron and they store with the cookie sheets so the old Waffle Iron space can go to something that gets regular use.
Here is the full rundown.
- Solid, stainless steel construction. Easy on the eyes so you can leave it out. You'll want to, because you'll use it so much.
- Interchangeable, dishwasher safe(!) grill, griddle and optional waffle plates. They are non-stick and we typically just wipe ours clean with a damp cloth when they are still hot. (Wait until they cool a bit - I have a couple scars to remind me of this. So long, hand-model-career.)
- Works closed as Grill press or opened flat as a Griddle. Some options this creates:
- Closed: Sandwich press for Paninis/grilled cheese, grilling burgers, chicken breasts, whatever you would BBQ. Quesadillas also rock it in.
- Open: Pancakes (you can do a dozen or so at a time), eggs, bacon. Also, use the grill plates for things like Roasted Peppers, cuts of meat that you want to keep more tender in the middle, we've even done pineapple.
- Sturdy and long-lived. Like I said, ours is going on 6 years; it has outlived two microwaves and the grill plates are still in very good shape (no Teflon peeling, like you see on some cheaper non-stick pans).
- Great for big meals with lots of guests. Again, a dozen pancakes or 4 grilled sandwiches at a time allow you to run an industrial kitchen when you have a house full. You could even mix and match the grill/griddle plates and make different things on each side.
|Makin' Chocolate Chunk Waffles; you see why the dishwasher safe Grill plates are the bomb.|
- A bit pricey when you compare it to pure giddles/grill presses or waffle irons. If you only really cared about one of those functions, the Griddler might not be the best bet for you.
- Takes a bit of time to heat up - not a lot, but I have used a dedicated griddle that heated up faster.
- Once it is hot, the plates stay hot - great for cleanup, but you will need to leave it out and open to cool off for a while. Curious kids may need extra watching.
- If you don't want to leave it out, it will need some serious appliance garage space. It wouldn't stack or sit upright terribly well and the grill plates need a home too (we store one set in the Griddler and the others upright with our cookie sheets and cooling racks).
- The grease catching cups seem a little finicky and perhaps a bit "last minute engineering dept. add-on fix", especially when the rest of the product feels so industrial, well-made and thought out.
|The Griddler makes a French Toast meal quick and easy.|
The Frugal Verdict:
While cheaper, pure griddle or pure grill options definitely exist, you won't find a total package like the Griddler. The combination of flexible cooking options, longevity and easy cleanup make it an essential cog in the daily workings of our household meal planning.
If you shop around, the normally high price comes down to much more reasonable sale prices. There are several spinoff options now too, so the smaller, cheaper Griddler Express might suit some lifestyles and budgets better, although we haven't tried it, so we can't vouch.
Probably the best thing we can say about this product is that if someone we know has kids, likes cooking and doesn't own one, it is one of the first things we consider for giving as a gift. (We gave one to our kids' babysitter for Christmas one year.) It is not a gracious-smile-say-thanks-put-it-away-to-gather-dust gift; most everyone finds they use it more than they expected.
We love to use our Griddler to make some of our family's favourite simple recipes:
- Simple Blueberry Banana Pancakes
- French Toast with Peach Sauce
- and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (4 at a time - no flipping!)
Here's your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to answer the question!
We'd like to hear your ideas! What's something you'd like us to write about in 2013?
(Update: This Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been selected.
Thanks for your interest and comments!)