Grilling food is a quick, easy cooking method that also contributes to taste in a way that can’t be matched by baking.
However, grilling some foods such as meat on a regular kitchen grill means that they can cook sitting in their own grease and fat.
Although it might be a tasty cooking method, it’s not a health-conscious one.
A health grill is a stand-alone kitchen appliance which looks similar to a toasted sandwich maker or waffle maker, with two heated plates that sandwich food between them to cook it.
The advantage of a health grill, and what makes it a healthier option, is that these plates allow fat to run off during cooking.
You can place items such as bacon or burgers on a health grill and achieve the same seared taste as regular grilling, but with a reduced amount of fat in the final dish.
We set out to find the best grill machine and have reviewed our top choices to help you make a decision.
We’ve also provided you with a quick summary of some of the main features to consider so you know what to look out for in the best griller.
See Our Best Health Grills
Best For Low Budgets1George Foreman Large Red Steel Health Grill
Best For Low BudgetsGeorge Foreman Large Red Steel Health Grill
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Best For Higher Budgets2Sage the Smart Health Grill Pro
Best For Higher BudgetsSage the Smart Health Grill Pro
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|3||Tefal GC450B27 Super Grill 2-in-1||Buy On Amazon|
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Best Overall4Tefal OptiGrill Elite Health Grill
Best OverallTefal OptiGrill Elite Health Grill
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|5||George Foreman 23450 Health Grill||
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1. George Foreman Large Red Steel Health Grill
- Seven portion size is ideal for families or entertaining
- Clip in drip tray for easy cleaning
- George Foreman is one of the most recognised producers of health grills
- Non-stick coated plates
George Foreman is perhaps the brand most commonly associated with health grills, and the bestseller in this category.
This particular grill is a large model which can fit seven portions, so is ideal for larger families or for entertaining.
The ridged grill plates are not removable, but they do have a non-stick coating and are easy to wipe clean after use.
There’s a drip tray which clips into place and slides out easily so you can dispose of excess fat after each use.
An adjustable foot at the rear of the grill allows it to be angled so fat can more easily run into the drip tray to maximise the health benefit.
This model is extremely easy to use – simply turn it on and wait for the indicator light to go green showing it’s up to temperature and ready to use.
There’s no temperature control or timer, so you’ll need to monitor the cooking progress.
Once the grill has cooled and you’ve cleaned it, it can be stored vertically and there’s a cord wrap to keep the cord tidy and out of the way.
- Ready to cook indicator light
- Adjustable rear foot for angled cooking
- Can be stored vertically, with cord wrap to keep the cable tidy
- Plates can simply be wiped clean after use
- Cooking plates are not removable
- No temperature control
2. Sage the Smart Health Grill Pro
- Integrated probe tells you when the meat or fish is cooked
- Removable, dishwasher safe plates
- Can fold out flat to use as an open BBQ surface
- Adjustable temperature
For keen cooks or people who want to replicate the BBQ experience inside in the winter, this Sage grill is a serious piece of kitchen kit.
It features the typical two-sided design, although this model has the advantage that both sides can be laid out flat to double the cooking surface area.
The plates are removable and dishwasher safe making them easy to clean.
This grill comes with one flat and one ridged plate and we felt it would be useful to have a second of each type, for example if you wanted to create sear marks on both sides of a piece of meat, but you’d need to pay extra for spares.
The LCD display shows the range of settings for meat and fish, with options from rare to well done.
An integrated temperature probe will indicate when meat is done and can be removed to rest.
As the heating elements are embedded in the plates, they can deliver consistently high heat, speeding up the cooking time and delivering the searing effect of a BBQ.
This is undoubtedly a more expensive option than other health grills, but it’s powerful, versatile, and a high quality appliance.
- Settings for meat and fish (beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish) with options from rare to well done
- LCD display
- Heating elements are embedded in the plates to deliver high heat
- Removable drip tray
- An expensive appliance, but great for keen cooks
- Includes one ribbed and one flat plate - you’d need to pay extra to order a second of either type
3. Tefal GC450B27 Super Grill 2-in-1
- Four position thermostat for options from vegetables to meat
- Removable plates and drip tray
- Super searing mode which gives sear marks on meat but keeps it juicy
- Can be folded out flat for use as an open surface
Tefal is a well-known and regarded kitchen appliance brand and as you would expect, their health grill is sturdy and reliable.
It has a four position thermostat which gives options for cooking a variety of food from vegetables to paninis to meat, although the thermostat gives only setting numbers and not actual temperatures, so we found there was a little trial and error in using it at first.
This machine can be used in two ways; either as a closed grill or with both sides lying flat as a larger surface.
The plates and drip tray are all removable and dishwasher safe which makes cleaning up simple and fuss-free.
The chunky design doesn’t make it the easiest to store, but overall this grill performs well and at a good price.
- Plates and drip tray are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
- Simple to use
- Sloped design to allow fat and grease to drain
- Cooks up to six portions so ideal for families
- Thermostat control doesn’t indicate the cooking temperature
- Chunky design isn’t the easiest to store
4. Tefal OptiGrill Elite Health Grill
- 12 automatic programmes for vegetables, meat and fish, plus a manual option
- Easy to use digital interface
- Has a useful frozen food mode to defrost food before cooking
- Intelligent sensor calculates the thickness of items to adjust the cooking time
This Tefal OptiGrill Elite has an easy to read and use digital interface which allows you to select between 12 automatic programmes, or a manual option.
The programmes cover meat, fish and vegetable options to cater to a range of diets. You can also use the frozen food mode to defrost food before it is cooked.
This grill has an intelligent sensor which detects the thickness of the items in the grill and adjusts the cooking time accordingly.
The sloped design helps drain excess fat during cooking, and the plates and drip tray are removable and dishwasher safe for simple cleaning.
The grill is large enough for 4-6 portions but there’s a handy refill feature if you’re cooking for larger numbers, which means you can add more of the same item to the grill as soon as one batch has finished with no delay for the grill to get back to temperature.
The only negative we noted was that the lid is quite heavy, and it can flatten some items more than you’d ideally want.
- Plates and drip tray are removable and dishwasher safe
- Large enough for 4-6 portions
- Sloped design helps excess fat drain into the drip tray
- Refill feature allows you to start cooking more of the same food immediately with no reheating delay
- The lid is heavy and can flatten some items more than you might want
- Presets are good but we recommend keeping an eye on cooking times whilst you get used to using the device
5. George Foreman 23450 Health Grill
- Versatile design combines both a grill and a griddle
- The grill and griddle have independent temperature controls for better control
- The grill’s floating hinge adjusts to the thickness of food on the bottom plate
- Easy to wipe clean after use
Another option from the market-leading George Foreman brand, this is a versatile appliance which combines both a grill and a griddle.
It allows you to cook items such as meat on the grill, whilst also using the griddle for items such as eggs or vegetables.
The grill and griddle have separate temperature controls and the two sides can be used independently of each other – simply keep the controls off on the side you don’t need.
The plates have a long lasting non-stick coating and they are easy to wipe clean after use, but it’s a shame they’re not removable.
The grill side has a floating hinge which allows the top plate to adjust to the thickness of the food you’re cooking, avoiding it getting squashed.
This is a good choice if you want an appliance which allows you to avoid using your grill or hob.
It can cater for up to 10 portions with the capacity of the grill and griddle combined.
- Each side can be used alone as needed
- Long lasting non-stick coating
- Perfect-fit drip tray
- Combined grill and griddle capacity of up to 10 portions
- Plates are not removable
- Some users report quality issues with the heat controller
Health Grill Buying Guide
Unlike a regular grill which heats the food from above only, and usually at a little distance, a health grill applies direct heat to both sides of whatever you are cooking.
This generally has the effect of reducing the cooking time, although this will depend on the temperature of the plates.
Some health grills have a number of presets which are designed to provide the optimum cooking temperature and time for different foods – for example vegetables, meat or fish.
These presets are perhaps more common than manual temperature controls, but some appliances do offer both manual and programmed options.
The more sophisticated grills can offer a greater range of options, such as the choice of whether you want your meat to be rare, medium or well done.
Some even have an integrated temperature probe to sense when food is ready, or a sensor to adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the steak or other item on the plate.
As always, whilst presets and programmes are a helpful guide, it’s always best to test for yourself that meat is cooked through before serving.
Cleaning Health Grills
The design of a health grill enables fat to run off the cooking plate to be collected in a drip tray.
This reduces the amount of grease on the cooking plate, but the grill will still need to be cleaned between each use.
If the plates are not removable, you should wait until the plates have cooled and then wipe them clean with a damp cloth.
Many grills have a non-stick coating which makes them easier to clean, and also means you should avoid a harsh abrasive cloth which can scratch the coating.
Drip trays are removable so fat can be disposed of and the tray cleaned in the sink before replacing into the grill.
Some drip trays are dishwasher safe, but check the manual of your own appliance to be sure.
Removable Plates Feature
The major benefit of a health grill with removable plates is the ease of cleaning. Plates usually unclip easily and can then be washed in the sink in the same way as any other cookware.
This allows you to clean them more thoroughly. Some removable plates can go into the dishwasher, but you should check this first.
Another benefit of removable plates is that some appliances can be used with a range of plate types, for example a ridged or flat option.
The different types may be supplied with the appliance or available to purchase separately.
A ridged plate will give a seared effect with distinctive chargrilling marks. Searing can give an almost caramelised effect on the outside whilst keeping meat succulent in the middle.
A flat plate is especially useful if your appliance is designed to allow both sides to be open giving a larger flat surface.
The flat plate will act as a griddle area, ideal for eggs or vegetables, for example.
When considering the best size of health grill to choose, the primary consideration should be how you will use it and who you’ll be cooking for.
If you intend to use the grill multiple times a week to cook for two people, a small grill, the size of a portable electric hob, should cover the majority of your needs.
If you have a larger family, or plan to use the grill only occasionally but for entertaining groups of people, you’ll probably want to opt for a large machine which can handle up to 8 portions at a time.
The other consideration is the amount of worktop space and storage you have available.
A grill can take up a reasonable amount of space, especially if it’s one which can be used with both sides open.
If the grill is for occasional use it can be stored out of the way, but if you’ll use it often you’ll want to keep it out and accessible on the work surface.
There was significant variation in the price of the items we considered in our research, as well as those we reviewed here.
At the cheaper end of the scale, health grills can cost as little as £40, or even less, and for this you can expect a functional appliance with the more basic functions.
Prices can reach upwards of £300, for which you would expect a more versatile grill with an LCD or digital display, a wider choice of functions and presets and more customisable options such as manual control.
Features might include a temperature probe or intelligent adjustments to temperature or cooking times.
As perhaps the most famous brand of health grills, it might come as no surprise that we considered the Best Entry Level option we reviewed to be the George Foreman Large Red Steel Health Grill.
It’s simple to use, has a large capacity and is easy to store. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of more expensive models, but it offers a well-priced option for occasional use.
By contrast, our Best Top of the Range choice, the Sage the Smart Health Grill Pro, has a wide range of extra features for enthusiastic cooks and those who like to entertain.
There are programmes for different types of food and you can choose how well you’d like meat to be cooked.
A temperature probe lets you know when meat is cooked and ready to be rested, and as the heating elements are embedded in the plates the cooking time is reduced.
The two sides can also be laid flat to give a larger BBQ area.
Finally, although it’s towards the upper end of the price range, we had to give the Tefal OptiGrill Elite Health Grill our Best Value award.
It’s a versatile grill which has an impressive range of automatic programmes and features such as a frozen food mode to defrost food before cooking, that are really helpful for your day to day cooking.