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Best Cuisinart Griddler?

Best Cuisinart GriddlerDetermining the best Cuisinart griddler for your particular needs is not always easy: different models provide different ranges of functions which themselves aren’t always clear. Our review of the Cuisinart griddler series reveals the efforts made to increase functionality to the point that many griddling cooks hardly use their stovetop any more – myself included!

Cuisinart Griddler RECAP

Cooking Surface
240 square inches: GR-300WS, GR-150
200 square inches: GR-5B, GR-4N
150 square inches: GR-11

Functions
Contact Grill: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B, GR-4N, GR-11
Full Grill: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B, GR-4N, GR-11
Full Griddle: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B, GR-4N
Half Grill AND Half Griddle: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B
Half Grill OR Half Griddle: GR-300WS, GR-150
Panini Press: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B, GR-4N, GR-11
Top Melt: GR-300WS, GR-150

Warranty
3 year: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B, GR-4N
1 year: GR-11

Cuisinart Griddler Comparison

Features Common to All Models

Sturdy construction with stainless steel self-adjusting cover
All materials that come in contact with food are BPA free
Detachable, dishwasher-safe nonstick cooking plates
Hinge Release Lever/Button allows cover to extend back to the Flat position
Convenient locking clip and cord wrap for easy storage
Cleaning/scraping tool

Power

1800 watts: GR-300WS, GR-150
1500 watts: GR-5B, GR-4N
1200 watts: GR-11

Special Features

Control Panel
Cook with Upper OR Lower Plate: GR-300WS, GR-150
Cook with BOTH Upper AND Lower Plate: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B, GR-4N, GR-11
Sear with Upper OR Lower Plate: GR-300WS, GR-150
Sear with BOTH Upper AND Lower Plate: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-5B, GR-4N
NO dual-zone temperature control: GR-5B, GR-4N, GR-11
Electronic Display: GR-300WS, GR-11

Cooking Plates
Embedded heating element: GR-300WS
NO Waffle plates available: GR-300WS, GR-150, GR-11
Waffle plates (GR-WAFP) can be purchased separately: GR-5B, GR-4N

Cover Height Adjuster
6 preset height positions: GR-300WS, GR-150

Drip Tray
Attached to back of unit: GR-300WS, GR-150
Slides under unit: GR-5B, GR-11
Unattached drip cups: GR-4N

The Models

Cuisinart Griddler Elite GR-300WS

Griddler Elite GR-300WSBehind the soft brushed stainless steel finish of the Cuisinart Griddler Elite contact grill hides a solidly constructed housing boasting 1800 watts of power. The stainless steel cover with sturdy cast metal handle self-adjusts to the thickness of the food being cooked. When open, the unit extend to about 23.5″L. It provides a generous 240 square inches of cooking surface, enough for 12 pancakes on full griddle mode, or 6 burgers in contact grill position.

A drip tray slides securely into the metal base at the back of the unit, avoiding spillage issues altogether even if you happen to move your griddler. It is safely equipped with non-slip rubber feet. The Elite GR-300WS weighs 17.86lbs, measures 14.65″L x 16.22″W x 8.11″H and comes with a limited 3-year warranty.

6 Cooking Functions

* Contact Grill for grilling steak, chicken, burgers and veggies
* Griddle for eggs, bacon, pancakes or seared scallops
* Half Grill for meat to go with your veggies
* Half Griddle for veggies to complement your meat
* Panini Press for crispy sandwiches oozing with melted cheese
* Top Melt for easy, scrumptious crostini, bruschetta, grilled pizza, open-faced sandwiches

Special Features

1) Cooking Plates
Both nonstick plates are reversible and firmly attached into the unit so that they cannot easily become loose. The GRILL side is perfect for steak, burgers, chicken and vegetables; use the GRIDDLE side to make pancakes, eggs, heat tortillas or sear scallops. The Elite’s heating element is unique among Cuisinart griddlers in that it is sandwiched between the grill and the griddle plates for more efficient heat distribution and temperature control.

2) Control Panel
Flexible design allows for pure magic to take place:
* Cook with Upper OR Lower Plate
* Cook with BOTH Upper AND Lower Plate
* Sear with Upper OR Lower Plate
* Sear with BOTH Upper AND Lower Plate

Left to right display:
a) Start/Stop button, Upper Plate Sear and Lower Plate Sear buttons
The superior SearBlast™ feature provides enough power to sear at 500°F max plate temperatures for up to 2 minutes at a time, locking flavor into meats, fish and poultry. Up/Down buttons allow you to adjust searing time. Who needs an outdoor grill now?
b) EASY-TO-READ Large Blue Backlit LCD Display with full range of temperatures (Warm to 450°F) for each cooking plate on left side, and 60-minute countdown timer plus PREHEAT/READY for each plate on the right. Now you can griddle and grill simultaneously: griddle an egg or French toast on one plate while grilling bacon on the other – or grill chicken, steak or fish on one plate, and veggies on the other!
c) Timer Up and Down buttons to set cooking/searing time.
d) 3 Dials:
* Plate Select: Upper / Lower / BOTH Upper and Lower / Turn Off unit
* Lower (select temperature for Lower plate)
* Upper (select temperature for Upper plate)

3) Cover Height Adjuster with 6 pre-set height positions:
* Preheat in Unlock position (cover is flat on lower plate)
* Open Cooking to cook on lower plate only (cover is vertical)
* Closed Cooking to Contact Grill or Panini Press
* Top Melt to desired height
* Flat Cooking cook on Full Grill, Full Griddle or Half Grill/Half Griddle
* Storage in Lock position: to minimize storage space, wrap power cord around clips at the back of the base and store cooking plates and drip tray inside unit.

Pros & Cons

Customers appreciate its efficient heat distribution and easy temperature control for consistently perfect results. Enthusiastic owners gush about the quality of materials and appreciate its durability as well as how easy it is to use. Its versatility is also seen as a major advantage: the GR-300WS makes it possible to cook different foods on each grill surface in the open position, plus it allows you to grill AND griddle at the same time!

On the other hand, a number of customers have complained that the unit was either received damaged or started malfunctioning on or shortly after arrival. Customer service experience proved less than impressive.

With the GR-300WS Elite, Cuisinart has managed to dominate the world of indoor grilling – providing perfectly customized, precise cooking every time – and leaving very little space, if any, for improvement. All I can add is that our Elite griddler was received in good order and that, though it is sturdy, we treat it with kid gloves – as such a well-engineered appliance deserves. Better safe than sorry! We love our Elite griddler: it is actually vying for top position in our kitchen! This little marvel is so versatile, we hardly use our stove at all any more…

Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe GR-150

Cuisinart GR-150 DeluxeVery similar to the Elite in terms of sturdy housing and finish, the Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe also features an adjustable cover and operates on 1800 watts of power. Weighing 16.00lbs, it measures 15.98″L x 14.60″W x 7.87″H and provides a generous 240 square inches of cooking surface. It also comes with a limited 3-year warranty.

Like the Elite GR-300WS, it comes equipped with non-slip rubber feet, and its drip tray slides securely into the metal base at the back of the unit, so there is no spillage even when you move your griddler.

6 Cooking Functions

* Contact Grill
* Griddle
* Half Grill
* Half Griddle
* Panini Press
* Top Melt

Special Features

Cooking Plates
Reversible grate/griddle non-stick plates.

Control Panel
The Cuisinart Griddler GR-150 offers the same cooking flexibility as the Elite:
* Cook with Upper OR Lower Plate
* Cook with BOTH Upper AND Lower Plate
* Sear with Upper OR Lower Plate
* Sear with BOTH Upper AND Lower Plate

But there’s a big difference between the Cuisinart griddler Deluxe vs the Elite: this model incorporates no electronic display – and no timer. Instead, two dials allow for dual-zone temperature control, each offering 6 selections from Warm to 450F. A red indicator light displays while the plate is heating up switches to green when the operating temperature has been reached.

Cover Height Adjuster with the same 6 pre-set height positions as the Elite:
* Preheat
* Open Cooking
* Closed Cooking
* Top Melt
* Flat Cooking
* Storage

Pros & Cons

Owners appreciate how easy it is to use and clean the Cuisinart Gr-150, as well as its quality, versatility and large cooking surface. They like that it cooks evenly and that simple knobs make it easy to control the temperature. Some can’t say enough about the Sear function, while others love the Open Melt function to make pizza or tortillas.

A number of people have found themselves using it too often each day to bother putting it away, while others have reported being so impressed that they purchased multiple units as gifts for family members.

A few people have experienced a defective upper plate locking mechanism, causing the plate to either fall off or not heating up properly. And while most praise the efficient grease drainage, there have been a few complaints of grease ending up under the cooking plate – and the occasional egg has been seen sliding right off the griddle into the grease tray! 🙁

Cuisinart Five GR-5B

Cuisinart Five GR-5BWith solid housing and self-adjusting stainless steel cover and handle, the Cuisinart Five GR-5B operates on 1500 watts of power. Weighing 12lbs, it measures 8.75″L x 16.00″W x 13.75″H, providing 200 square inches of cooking surface in open position, and comes with a limited 3-year warranty. Its Drip Tray slides into a slot located on the side of the unit base.

5 Cooking Functions

* Contact Grill
* Griddle
* Half Grill
* Half Griddle
* Panini Press

Special Features

Cooking Plates
Reversible grate/griddle non-stick plates.

Control Panel
a) On/Off Button
b) Large Backlit LCD Screen displays:
.Cooking function (Grill or Griddle)
.Temperature (175-450F in 25-degree increments)
.Timer (60-minute count up or down)
.Preheat
.Preheat bars show heat-up progress
.Sear (450F for 2 minutes, then drops to 425F)
c) Select and Confirm Dial:
.select Grill or Griddle cooking function
.set temperature and timer
.increase temperature and time

Pros & Cons

This Cuisinart 5-in-1 grill was also found to be versatile, as well as easy to use and clean. The location of the drip tray (attached underneath the unit) is a bonus. The timer function is appreciated, as well as the actual temperature display versus Low, Medium or High.

The slight tilt of this 5-in-1 griddler results in better drainage than older versions, but it causes liquid scrambled eggs to run off the griddle when in open mode. Temperature control can sometimes be an issue.

Cuisinart GR-4N Griddler

Appearance & Power

Cuisinart GR-4N GriddlerWith solid construction and self-adjusting stainless steel cover and panini-style cast metal handle, the GR-4N operates on 1500 watts of power. Its two unattached dishwasher-safe drip cups can be positioned to collect grease. Weighing 13.20lbs, it measures 13.50″L x 11.50″W x 7.12″H and provides 200 square inches of cooking surface in open position. This Cuisinart GR-4N 4-in-1 griddler comes with a limited 3-year warranty.

4 Cooking Functions

* Contact Grill
* Open Grill
* Griddle
* Panini Press

Special Features

Cooking Plates: 4 non-stick plates (2 Grill and 2 Griddle)

Control Panel
1. Selector Dial (Off, Griddle or Grill-Panini cooking function)
2. Griddle Dial (200 to 425F)
3. Grill-Panini Dial (Warm to Sear)

Cover Height Adjuster

Pros & Cons

Owners of the Cuisinart Griddler grill and panini press GR-4N praise its versatility and how easy it is to clean. Waffle enthusiasts particularly love the fact that they can make waffles with plates purchased separately. They also find it easy to select the proper temperature for each function.

Some have found issues with the plastic buttons holding the grill plates, and the drip cups collecting grease constantly need monitoring to ensure they remain in place.

Cuisinart GR-11 Grill & Panini Press

Appearance & Power

Cuisinart GR-11 Grill & Panini PressFeaturing a plastic lower housing, self-adjusting stainless steel cover and arms of die-cast aluminum with plastic panini-style handle, the GR-11 operates on 1200 watts of power. Its drip tray slides under the unit, and adjustable front feet help with grease drainage. Weighing 15.70lbs, it measures 12.80″L x 10.90″W x 6.00″H, providing 150 square inches of cooking surface in open position. The 3-in-1 Cuisinart GR-11 grill and panini press comes with a limited 1 year warranty.

3 Cooking Functions

* Contact Grill
* Panini Press
* Full Grill

Special Features

Cooking Plates: removable non-stick Grill plates

Indicator Lights: Power On/Ready to Cook

Pros & Cons

Customers love that the GR-11 grill and panini press heats up quickly, cleans up easily and is large enough to handle two sandwiches at a time.

On the other hand, the lack of a floating top means thicker sandwiches will either get flattened to some degree, with some components getting squished out and creating a mess – negating the advantage of a panini press in the process… Some owners have had issues with the top plate falling off when heated.

Cooking with a Cuisinart griddlerBy registering the name Griddler®, Cuisinart signalled to the world its intent to dominate the world of contact grills. Cuisinart was not playing games. Model after model came out, each more versatile than the next, allowing home cooks to create an ever increasing array of delicious meals.

When going through the evolution of the Cuisinart Griddler series, there is no doubting the contribution this small appliance has made to quick and easy, healthy meals. Let’s face it, the Cuisinart griddle complements its griddler function perfectly, enabling home cooks to create well balanced meals using only one appliance. It also makes cleanup super easy, which explains why our Elite has become our go-to sous-chef – leaving our stove feeling woefully neglected… 😉

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