The Bottom Line
- Multiple functions, including contact grill, grill top, griddle and sandwich press
- Grill and griddle plates are easy to remove and attach
- Plates are nonstick, which makes them easy to cook and easy to clean
- The floating hinge feature presses sandwiches evenly, which keeps them from getting pressed too thin
- Temperature gets hot enough to create nice browning on sandwiches and meats
- Small surface area, particularly when used as a griddle
- "Floating" hinge feature adjusts to thickness of food
- Two temperature controls: Grill setting ranges from "warm" to "sear" and Griddle setting ranges from 200 to 425 degrees
- Indicator light signals when Griddler is properly heated
- Grease drains from spouts on grill plates into included drip cups
- Sleek, brushed-stainless body
- Cleaning and scraping tool is included for cleaning grill plates
- Limited 3-year warranty
Guide Review - Cuisinart Griddler GR-4
I was initially attracted to the Griddler because of all of the ways it could be used: as a griddle, as a grill, as a panini press. For the most part, it lives up to its promise. The key is a specially designed "floating" hinge, as well as interchangeable cooking plates. The hinge unlocks to open the Griddler flat, so that you can use it as a surface cooker for either grilling or griddling.
While the Griddler is closed, the hinge also adjusts to the thickness of the food you're cooking; it handles anything from thinly sliced eggplant to a thick tuna steak with aplomb, and presses evenly into a panini sandwich, unlike other panini presses that will squeeze sandwiches tighter at the hinge end.
When open, the Griddler can be used with either the grill plates as a grill top, or the flat plates as a griddle. The total cooking area is roughly 200 square inches, but because the cooking surface is broken into two sides, space seems limited when you're cooking a batch of pancakes or burgers. The griddle can handle about 6 small pancakes at once, or 8 strips of bacon, and you wouldn't be able to fit more than 3 burgers on each side. A benefit, though, to having two separate flat cooking surfaces is that you can cook two different foods at once, without mixing flavors...beef burgers and veggie burgers, for instance.
However it's used, the surface heats evenly and gets hot enough to put nice sear marks on a chicken breast or a steak.
The Griddler has spawned a family of less expensive variations, including the smaller Griddler Jr., which also can be used flat or as a contact grill but only has grill plates; and the Griddler Express, which also only has grill plates. But at $129, the original, full-fledged Griddler is a good investment and will likely be used frequently in any kitchen.