Friday, September 2, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW - G-Rilla grill

Upon seeing this advertised on t.v., I thought the G-Rilla Grill might be what I need for indoor cooking.  I was a little hesitant; it was made with aluminum and I was worried about it warping.

But Jack said I should give it a try anyway...he was in the mood to buy me a present and the thing came as a two-for-one deal, so I figured why not?
G-Rilla Grill ribbed side after only 2 uses

We weren't doing any out door barbequing lately, and I missed that special flavor that only comes with that type of cooking. The closest we'd come lately was very high heat and my cast iron pan.  Fifteen years old, that thing.... and it's still working good as new.

Anyway, it took several weeks for my package to arrive.  When it did, I was a little concerned.  The box was light.  I'd expected a bit more...even with aluminum, I expected that with two grills there'd be a bit more substance to the box.  Upon opening it, I saw why.

The grills were okay dimensionally....they easily covered two burners each, like they should.  But they were light, really light, even for aluminum.

Side one was a ribbed grill with an offset diamond center...I supposed this was to help channel heat.
Side two was a flat surface grill, but it wasn't exactly flat.  There were little raised circles placed 'round the edges like they were part of the mold and didn't get quite sanded down.  I couldn't think of any other reason for them. Both sides came equipped with two corner reservoirs for catching grease.

Okay, so much for inspection, it was time to cook.
Simple burgers....a bit of ground beef, low-salt, diced onions, formed into patties.  I chopped some onions into rounds to help season the grill.

I got the grill hot-being sure to bring it slowly up to temperature with both burners at the same heat level.
Although there was a non-stick surface claim, I wasn't taking any chances so lubricated it with a bit of canola oil release spray.

Then I added the onion rounds to brown them and add some base flavor to the grill.  I noticed that the onions were trying to stick....hmmm.  Flame not high enough?  Too high?  Nothing was burning. Hmmmm.

After removing the onions, partially browned, from the grill I let the thing come back up to temp.  That's when I noticed it, the grill was warping.  Right in front of my eyes!

I double-checked the flame...medium.  Hmmmm.
I knew aluminum had a problem with too much heat, but was sure I followed the printed instructions, such as they were.
Warping problem

It was time to put on the burgers.
Okay, so they cooked, after a fashion.  The meat stuck in between the ribs, the grill kept warping.

The burgers were burnt in some places, scorched is more the appropriate word, and I swear the heat was no where near high, matter of fact I lowered it to low-normal just to see if it would stop warping.
Not-so non-stick
Grease spattered all over the stove top. I was surprised no one had thought to add tall sides to the thing. Poor planning.

Clean up was difficult, the "non-stick" surface seemed to come off with the food.  Using the recommended warm, soapy water and rag wasn't enough.

It took a lot of elbow grease to get all the specks of burnt on burger off the grill....And looking it over while drying it, I noticed the warping was even worse than originally thought.

I tried cooking with the ribbed side one more time and had the same experience.  Food sticking and scorching, warping, grease spattering everywhere and difficult clean-up. Too bad.

The flat side seemed to work a little bit better, although being warped made the grill rock too-and-fro.  The non-stick surface seemed more stable on this side, although I noticed by the second use there was some evidence of surface damage.
Flat side a little better

Mind you, I used the proper utensils, monitored the heat and did everything else according to directions but the G-Rilla Grill couldn't stand up to the test.

I don't rely on it for regular least not the ribbed side.  Once in a while I'll use it for flapjacks or browning eggplant slices, but not for any heavy grilling.   It's just not a good thing.

Product Review Scale:  One mixing bowl- because even the worst things have some redeeming quality. In the case of the G-Rilla Grill, that quality might easily be that I've not seen it advertized on t.v. since shortly after ordering it.

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