This is unusual. A gift that on the face of it at least, seems completely out of place in the middle of winter. During the summer months, millions of people around the world look forward to getting together with family and friends for a few drinks and a barbecue. This sort of activity is sadly missed during the dark, wet, cold days of winter.
In fact this no longer needs to be the case. In the last five years, manufacturers of electric grills of various types have reinvented the barbecue, and what is more, they have never been better value. These grills are in fact, so good, that even in inclement summer weather the barbecue can be moved indoors. Electric grills and griddles produce the mouth watering aroma of grilling food – not carbon monoxide. This makes them completely safe in the home.
Based on the information above we also realise that entertaining at home in winter in the manner of barbecue is not only possible, but highly desirable too.
There are many who, when they think of an electric grill, think about one they may have seen on a standard electric kitchen cooker. There are many more people who will bring to mind the original George Foreman double sided contact grill. These are both excellent ways of cooking, but totally unsuitable for our purposes of entertaining. I’ve used George Foreman as an example, only because his original grill (which is still available) is so iconic. The full George Foreman range includes other grills that are perfectly suited to our purposes.
Ideally, for entertaining friends, a grill that is open topped is what we really need. My choice and recommendation goes to Teppanyaki style grills and griddles. Teppanyaki originates in Japan. The name is a simple amalgam of two other words, ‘teppan’, meaning ‘steel plate’ and ‘yaki’ meaning ‘grill’ or ‘broil’. A very simple concept. For our purposes it is the design which is important.
Teppanyaki grills and griddles are made with a relatively large flat rectangular area and typically have a heating element in the range of 1500 watts to 2500 watts. These grills are thermostatically controlled and so can be used to cook various food types and keep it warm after cooking. Although there are quite a few manufacturers of these grills, Andrew James in the UK and Presto in the States have both got an excellent reputation for quality, and have many satisfied customers.
If you feel that the recipient of your gift my prefer a more traditional ‘barbecue’ look to their new grill, then there are excellent choices available. These are known as ‘indoor / outdoor’ grills. They are usually supplied with a stand for use outdoors, but the grill is removable for use indoors. These grills are generally circular in shape much like many of the charcoal and gas barbecues used outdoors.
I hope I’ve been able to show you just how useful these grills are within the home, all year round. However, if this is not for you, but you like the idea of buying a grill as a gift, I have one final recommendation:
The Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in1 Contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle. These grills are available both sides of the Atlantic and a major US retail site has recorded more than 3,300 glowing recommendations from buyers. The Cuisinart is not intended as an ‘entertaining’ grill, rather, it is meant as an everyday, but incredibly versatile kitchen appliance.
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