Finally! Summer is here! Winter seemed to last forever… but that’s pretty normal since we returned to the Midwest from California. When we lived there, we didn’t worry about the seasons because it was nice all year round. Here? You can tell the time of year by the air, the smells and the status of the farmers’ fields.
One of the main things I miss about California is the weather. Fresh produce and farmer’s markets were normal and we could grill year-round. But here in Iowa, we don’t even uncover the grill until it’s nice enough to stand watch over the grill if we so choose. Yes, we could grill in the winter but ick… I’m not interested in putting on a winter jacket just to go flip a steak over.
This past winter was no different. No grilling for us. Next winter will be different because we’ll be doing our grilling inside using the new George Foreman grill we received.
You see, the George Foreman grill will allow us to cook (inside the house) a variety of foods that we would normally cook on the grill. We tested it out the other night by making pork loins. Here’s what we thought…
While it would have been great to cook up a burger and watch the fat drain off, we’ve been cutting back on making burgers at home and trying to make healthier options. For this particular project, we decided to keep it pretty simple and made a basic pork loin. It tasted okay but didn’t have any glitz to it. Then again, basic pork is pretty boring so that explains it. I could easily see myself using this for making a small protein but more likely for grilling vegetables when making a stove top or oven main dish. The instructions provided details for cooking meats and vegetables although their website offers recipes on making things like panini sandwiches and grilled polenta. This grill has a ton of potential!
Usage: Use of the grill was super easy and fast. Plug it in to heat it up, unplug it when you’re done. (It reminds me of my old waffle iron!) As you cook, it heats up and cools off to maintain a consistent temperature. The back hinges automatically adjust to the thickness of the meat so you don’t need to adjust anything ahead of time. Cleaning was just as easy. The instructions say they can go in the dishwasher but honestly, the nonstick surface cleans pretty fast with dish soap. One great benefit is that the grill has a slanted surface and all the fats drained off. While that keeps the food healthier, it also makes cleanup tons easier because there isn’t anything pooling on the grill. Pork isn’t a real fatty protein but we watched quite a bit of fat drain off.
For the actual food, the George Foreman grill is not designed for making an entire meal for a huge family. We have a family of four, including myself, DH and 8 and 6 year old daughters. Until a year or so ago, we would cook two steaks, three pork loins or three chicken breasts. Opting to create a more balanced diet, we cut that way back and cook one steak or butterfly two pork loins or chicken breasts. Even with that, we end up with leftovers. For our maiden voyage on the George Foreman grill, we cooked two pork loins, each cut in half. That by itself took up the entire grill. Any hope I had of putting sweet peppers on the grill as a side were completely dashed.
Overall, it worked fine and has a lot of potential for being a versatile addition to our kitchen tool chest. While it’s great that the drip pan and cleaning tool aren’t attached, it would be wonderful if there was a way to attach it for storage purposes. The unit is very sizable and doesn’t fit in my cabinet. I am storing it downstairs on my kitchen rack alongside my ice cream maker, Crockpot and other trusted gadgets. My fear is that the unattached pieces will get lost in the shuffle.
But it’s a good tool for creating healthier meals all year long regardless of the weather. It’s ideal for someone single or a couple to create a protein and side dish – or a family that wants to utilize it for a portion of their meal. I’m looking forward to throwing the veggies on my new George Foreman grill… and even more excited about creating my own fancy grilled sandwiches!
I’m not much of a chef, that’s for certain, and I lack cooking creativity. People who are creative in the kitchen can put their efforts to work with Meal Makeover Moms and the Lean Mean Burger Challenge posted on the George Foreman Grill Facebook page. There are still a few days remaining to enter your recipe so stop by the Facebook page for your chance to win $1,000 or one of five $100 gift certificates!