3 thoughts on “Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler

  1. S. Harrison says:
    723 of 731 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Cuisinart upgraded the Griddler, and it’s better than ever, February 27, 2010
    By 
    S. Harrison (Clements, CA United States) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler (Kitchen)
    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)

    I bought a G4 Griddler from Amazon in 2005, and used it a couple of times a week (at least) until it had to be put out to pasture in 2010 due to failure of the non-stick coating on the plates. (The coating started to bubble and peel, and no one wants that in their food…) I loved it. (See my review of the Cuisinart GR-4 Griddler Stainless-Steel 4-in-1 Grill/Griddle and Panini Press) It was still working great, but replacement plates were not available.

    I was elated when offered the opportunity to review its smarter younger brother, the GR-4NAM Griddler. I could hardly wait for it to get here and run it through its paces.

    At first glance, the GR-4NAM looks virtually identical to the G4. However, closer inspection reveals that it has been totally redesigned, and for the better.

    Improvement: The grease catcher used to be a little cup that had to be set under a spout on the side of the bottom plate. If it was positioned incorrectly, (or forgotten about), greased dripped out on the counter. The grease catcher is now integrated into the Griddler as a drawer-like device that can be pulled out to clean, and then put back in place for the next use.

    Improvement: The original G4 had two sets of plates – one flat set, one ridged set (for paninis). There is now one reversible set of plates (ridged on one side, flat on the other), and therefore no need to find a storage place for the plates not in use. The new plates have a good substantial weight. I don’t have the old ones here for comparison, but the quality of the plates certainly was not cheapened.

    Improvement: It used to be a little tricky to put the plates in place and to remove them. There was also a difference between the top plate and the bottom, so you had to be careful not to try to put them in the wrong way. The plates now have an identical shape, so they are interchangeable, and the release buttons activate a spring-loaded mechanism that pops the plate loose for easy removal.

    Now, to see how it cooks: The Griddler takes about as long to warm up as a good-quality waffle iron. Just when you start to get impatient with it, it’s ready.

    The first thing that I cooked was a no-no in the eyes of Cuisinart – a bone-in, skin-on leg and thigh chicken quarter. Too thick, they say. HA! says I, because I am a bit of an anarchist. I marinated the chicken in olive oil and rosemary, heated the Griddler to Medium. I cooked it on the panini plates because I love those little fake barbeque stripes across my food. It worked just fine. (I should have taken a picture, it came out looking beautiful. But I was hungry.)

    Word of warning: Do not cook thick or fatty meat on High – you will get grease spatters all over the place. Medium works just fine in such instances.

    I discovered from my old Griddler that when cooking meat it’s best to turn off the heat before it’s done, and let it finish cooking with the residual heat in the plates. That way the meat does not get overdone.

    For clean-up, I let the plates cool down, and then put a wet paper towel across the bottom plate and close the lid and let it sit for a while. The dampness softens anything that is stuck to the plates, and then it can be easily washed off with a sudsy sponge or dish wand.

    Today for lunch, I made myself a sandwich with sliced sourdough bread, cooked sliced chicken breast, fresh grated parmesan cheese and dried basil. I followed the panini directions in the small cookbook that comes with the Griddler. Well, I sort of followed the directions… Cuisinart recommends brushing the outside of the sandwich with olive oil. I prefer to use melted butter on panini because it makes the sandwich crisper.

    I preheated the Griddler on High, placed the sandwich inside, and applied light pressure for about 30 seconds, and then let it cook. The directions say to cook panini for about 4 -5 minutes, but my sandwich was ready to eat in 2 minutes. Maybe the butter makes the bread brown faster than olive oil.

    In any case, it was beautiful – evenly browned, crunchy and delicious, and I did take a picture (see product images).

    How durable will the GR-4NAM be? Good question. From everything that I can see so far, Cuisinart has only made the Griddler better. But time is the real test of quality. I will report back from time to time regarding durability.

    Right now, I’d say this looks like an excellent buy.

    UPDATE, January 2011:

    The Griddler is still in great shape. Granted, I am not using it as frequently as I did my original one, but that’s because there are fewer mouths to feed in my household now than there used to be. I have no cautionary tales to add to the review. Hmmm… I think I’ll go make a grilled cheese sandwich….

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  2. S. Schachter says:
    412 of 417 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    best indoor grill so far, November 21, 2005
    By 
    S. Schachter (Carmel Valley, CA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I have tried the Villaware Uni panini grill, the Delonghi open countertop grill and another panini type grill (approx $90), and returned them all (ouch, those return shipping charges hurt). I never considered the Geroge Foreman grills because they always felt cheaply made to me, not to mention many unfavorable reviews).

    None of the grills/panini presses that I tried got hot enough to work well for me. They just did not grill as much as steam,bake cook the food, and they all took a longer time to do so than I was willing to wait.

    I never was bothered by cleanup, though. I always just wipe the hot plates with wet paper towel, let it then cool a bit, and wash with wet sponge. Works on them all.

    So I just gave up and bought some stovetop grill pans and have used them for the past year or so. They do get as hot as you want but you do have to turn the food to cook both sides.

    Being a kitchen appliance junkie, I decided to try the Cuisinart Griddler this year.

    I love the size (great for just 2 people, though) as I do not anticipate using it in the full open position. And it is handsome as handsome can be to me. Very commercial looking on a very small scale. (I was chef/owner of a restaurant for 13 years.)

    And cleanup is easy. Although I still use the wet paper towel and sponge for immediate cleanup, the removable plates (very easy to take off and put back on) make washing in sink or dishwasher other options, Although the plates are nonstick, it is best to use vegetable spray or oil on the food (I prefer this rather than spraying the whole plate.)

    There are 3 controls–griddle temperature selector, on/off to select either griddle or panini/grill, and panini/grill temperature selector. There is no timer so there is a small learning curve to learn when your food is cooked. Expect to overcook many things at first as the griddler really cooks quickly.

    There’s a short electrical cord, about 34″ usable length. Solid construction. Hinged top does settle squarely on the food. Because there the griddler is flat with no slope like the Foreman and other grills, vegetables will not roll off or toward the front.

    It takes about 5 minutes to preheat and then, wow, it really grills. Salmon took just 3 minutes. I overcooked my halved zuchinni in just a few minutes.

    You can hear the instant sizzle sound but don’t go to far away as it cooks more quikly than you might be used to.

    We don’t eat fatty meats (like burgers) so I cannot comment on the grease/drip factor but with fish, seafood, chicken and vegetables, there is absolutely no splatter.

    It can cool down quickly if left open, a disadvantage while cooking but an advantage for cleaning.

    Again, the most important factor for me was how hot the grill got (and quickly as well) This, of course, leads to perfect grilling on both sides.

    I just love my griddler.

    Shelly

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  3. S. Harrison says:
    151 of 151 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Grease spatters? A little common sense solves the problem., December 3, 2005
    By 
    S. Harrison (Clements, CA United States) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    We have had good luck with Cuisinart products over the years, so we decided to try this one, mostly based on the large number of favorable reviews here at Amazon. Clean-up is a dream. This product has an excellent non-stick surface, and even burned-on food comes right off with minimal effort. After reading the critique about the grease spattering all over, I tried a small experiment. I cooked salmon filets, marinated with lemon juice, dillweed and olive oil. No problem. I cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, also marinated with olive oil. No problem. So then I brought in the Big Guns – skin-on bone-in chicken thighs, marinated and cooked the same way as the breasts. It did make a mess. I cooked all of the above on High, however. The problem came from the fat in the skin, and the thickness of the meat – the lid sits farther open, so more splatters can escape. How to solve the problem? Put a couple of paper towels on the counter, and cook the meat at Medium. Just with any kitchen tool, there is an effective way to use it, and a dumb way to use it. A little common sense goes a long way. I am extremely happy with this grill.

    _____
    Update: September 2008. I am still constantly using this grill – it’s a winner.

    Update: February 2010: I had to stop using the panini plates because the non-stick coating was bubbling up and peeling off. Very disappointing, but we all know that this type of coating has a limited life-span. Given how much it’s been used, I can’t get too upset about it. Time to get a new one.

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