Cuisinart Griddler Review (and our First Giveaway!)

Tuesday, January 1
by Ed




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


http://www.cuisinart.ca/img/products/cgr-4c_lg.jpg

Overview:

We had owned a Grill press prior to the 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 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.




Pros:
  • 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.



 Cons:
  • 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 (Sears has had it for $99.00 and Caynes currently has it for $89.00).  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:



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!)


45 comments:

  1. Maybe you can include meal plans?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Aly. We've thought about sharing our meal plan each week - but we weren't sure it would be interesting to readers. Maybe we should think again?

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    2. I second the meal plans

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    3. How about BDSM? [Yes, we made that acronym for humourous purposes!] It stands for Budget, Dailies [things to do list!] Schedule, Meal Plan!

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    4. Love it, Jamie! BDSM is really all you need to get it all done isn't it? Thanks!

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  2. Inexpensive vacation ideas for families! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea, Nicole! We have a few ideas that work well for us. We'll definitely do this. Thanks!

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    2. I was thinking the same thing! We love, love, love traveling but it's hard for me to keep costs down.

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    3. OK - we'll definitely add frugal family vacations to our plan. Thanks, Elisabeth!

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  3. Love readinga bout anything regarding frugal tips - we're really focusing on budgeting this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you're at the right place, Alycia! Getting on top of your finances is a great feeling - best wishes!

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  4. I would like to write about relationships

    mundaneminnie at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Would love to read about frugal design/decorating ideas - "Design on a Dime" type.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh - one of my favourite topics for sure! We'll bring more of this. Thanks!

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  6. I am interested in simple organizing ideas for different areas in the house eg office, bathroom, electronics in the tv room, Loved your idea for 15 minutes to organize/tidy one area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just thinking about that, Mary! I love the 15 minute organizing strategy and the areas you mentioned are great places to tackle. Thanks!

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  7. How about your favorite ideas for a frugal -or even free!- Saturday family fun activity? One of my favorites is hiking, picnic-ing and even brining along some ipod speakers to have a family dance party outdoors!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea, Savannah! We've got lots of ideas - and now a new one!

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  8. Definetly want to see more budget friendly or free outdoor activities i can do with my kiddos on the weekends!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Frugal, college-student-budget, canning and stocking up ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Canning and stocking up we can do more of. We should look for a guest poster with college student ideas. Thanks for the suggestions, Elena!

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    2. Thank you! I'd love to read that.

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  10. I like the meal plan idea as well. I also would love to find alternative Canadian sources for bulk/organic food (other than Bulk Barn). In the US they have www.azurestandard.com (I wish).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh - a mission! We like missions - thanks, Martine!

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  11. Inexpensive meals that kids like and are healthy!

    christine hammer weideman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! We have more ideas to share - thanks, Cristine! :)

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  12. Would love to learn how you juggle work life, parenthood, and marriage all at once and still find time to be a couple and do what you enjoy. You know, the age old questions, how do you do it all??

    Love, Mimi Lecat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I`m not sure anyone can do it all, Mimi! We could try, but I can`t imagine being happy about it. Here on our blog, we can talk about what we do, and what we DON`T do (the list is long!) to keep our sanity.

      That elusive balance - we could talk about how we`ve approached it?

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  13. Easy meals for college students :)

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    Replies
    1. I wish I knew more in those days - we can share ideas now! Thanks, Julie!

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  14. One more vote for meal plans, easy-to-make foods that kids will like.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rita! We can make no promises that all kids will like our foods - but we can try. I haven't shared much from my professional practice as a Registered Dietitian, but maybe that's something I could do hear. I sort of made the decision to write in other directions here, just to compartmentalize life a bit (for balance!), but really, food is so central to so many parts of life, maybe there's room here for some writing with my RD hat on. :)

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  15. I'd love to see easy to do dinners & recipes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great, Stefanie! We'll definitely bring more of those to future posts. :)

      Delete
  16. I know you've already done a couple of posts on the topic but I would love to see more ideas or options for ditching cable.

    Sleepyheadedmom at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love all your recipes and family food ideas. Do you ever make smoothies? Or milkshakes? I could always use some new drink ideas.

    Michelle G.
    lovinhugs36 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd like to see ideas for repurposing common household items! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
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