7 things I learned from using my George Foreman grill

The George Foreman Grill surrounded by food
(Image credit: Amazon)

Heading to college, and fearful about my inability to cook, my mom bought me a Skillet and a George Foreman Steel Grill, (£45, Amazon (opens in new tab)) — a UK-only model, but it is similar to the George Foreman 2-Serving Classic Plate Electric Indoor Grill ($29, Amazon (opens in new tab)). She was right to be worried; the first time I used the skillet I set off the dorm fire alarm, but the grill never let me down. 

Whether it was a bacon breakfast the morning, chicken fillets for dinner, or just a toasted sandwich, my George Foreman got the job done with haste and taste. There’s a reason it’s one of the best appliances for student living and beyond — I still use it to this day 6 years later. Here are even tips I’ve learned from my time as a proud owner. 

1. Always preheat

A George Foreman cooking Chicken

(Image credit: Future)

One of the most important ways to get the most out of your grill is to always preheat it. You may be desperate to hear the sizzle of your food cooking, but it’s usually much better to let the grill get up to temperature first. Without preheating, your food will likely take longer to cook, and it can have an uneven and dry finish as a consequence.

This is a particularly important tip for foods such as sausages and burgers, or anything that you need to turn regularly. If you don’t want your burgers to stick to the grill and tear apart, preheat. 

2. Clean regularly 

The side of a George Foreman Grill

(Image credit: Future)

Knowing how to clean a grill is important, even for a George Foreman. While it may not use charcoal, each use will leave the plates greasy and unhygienic. 

It is obviously not wise to have leftover food residue stuck to the grill — this can affect the performance of your grill and impact other items you cook on it. Make sure the grill is switched off, unplugged and cool, then clean the plates with soapy water and a sponge. Rinse with a damp sponge and dry with a microfiber cloth. Leave it to completely dry before using again.  

Avoid cleaning with metal utensils, otherwise you could scratch the the non-stick surface. You should clean your grill after each use.

 3. Don’t just cook meat 

A George Foreman cooking bread

(Image credit: Future)

Yes, George Foreman grills are great at melting away the fat on meat, but that doesn’t mean that’s all they’re good for. Vegetarian options, such as Quorn and Seitan, can be just as delicious. 

And it doesn't stop there, much like a traditional BBQ, fruit and vegetables go great on the grill. Personally, I like to cook pineapple slices on it, but others also swear by grilled asparagus. If you don’t have a toaster, the grill also makes for a fine stand-in — toasted sandwiches and French toast are quick and easy to make. 

4. Cook frozen food

Frozen Food

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

It can be a pain when time is short and you need something to defrost, but if you don’t take the time, it can be risky to cook — especially frozen meat. Getting frozen food to cook evenly all the way through can be a real lottery, but with a George Foreman Grill, it’s a non-issue. 

Just make sure to pre-heat as always and cook frozen food for longer than usual. As a rule of thumb, add 50% onto the original cooking time. You can always refer to the cooking charts in the manual for guidance. 

 5. Use dry rubs 

The George Foreman grill with chicken and a rub on it ready to be cooked

(Image credit: Future)

You might think that a George Foreman grill works too quickly to cook in extra flavor, but adding a dry rub is a great way to spice things up — literally! Before you place meat (or meat substitutes) on the grill, make sure the rub is evenly spread on the items — simply work it in with your hands. I’m partial to a jerk chicken rub, but there are all sorts of different flavors to experiment with.  

 6. Dispose of grease and fats properly 

A fatty/greasy pan

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One of the best things about a George Foreman grill is the way it drains fat away from your favorite meals, but all that fat has to go somewhere, so what should you do with it once collected? The most important thing is to never pour it down the sink. Not only can it damage and even clog your garbage disposal, but grease and fat can also linger in the system and start to smell foul. 

Make sure to collect grease and fats and throw it away in the trash directly. Some areas do recycle excess grease and fats into biofuel, so check with your local waste disposal companies. 

 7. Use less oils 

Row of cooking oil bottles

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Oil and butter is normally crucial to most pan-fried recipes. However, thanks to its non-stick coating, there’s no need to use vast amounts of oil and butter, if any, when cooking on a George Foreman grill. 

Not only does this save money on expensive ingredients, but it is also much healthier for you and kinder to the environment. A win all round!  

Andy Sansom
Trainee Writer

Andy is Tom’s Guide’s Trainee Writer, which means that he currently writes about pretty much everything we cover. He has previously worked in copywriting and content writing both freelance and for a leading business magazine. His interests include gaming, music and sports- particularly Formula One, football and badminton. Andy’s degree is in Creative Writing and he enjoys writing his own screenplays and submitting them to competitions in an attempt to justify three years of studying.