GR-4N Cuisinart Grill Review: A Time Saving Device for Cooking Small Meals

I have never tried an electric grill before. It happened that I’ve got one for the birthday. Its model code is GR-4N and it is made by Cuisinart company. Internet sources says that there is another model GR-4 produced by the same brand and GR-4N is tuned and improved version of it. Let me do a short review of my Cuisinart grill.

First of all I would like to say that the concept of an electric grill that has floating top was a discovery for me. Manual refers to the cooking space as of 200 square inches. In real life you have to split this number in half, because there is a 100 square inches plate on the bottom of the grill and another 100 is at the top. I would say that you will be unable to grill more than three large panini sandwiches at a time. The device is optimized for feeding up a group of two to four people. You have to buy bigger grill in case your family is larger.

What I like about my Cuisinart grill is its simple but classy style. Although it is not going to win any design competitions, it looks good and will fit organically in almost every kitchen. Stainless steel looks very good when trimmed with black plastic. Other good things are the cooking plates. Those have non-stick covering and can be removed from the grill for cleaning. Each side of the plate has its own “setting”: one is for “grill” mode and the other is for “griddle”. I was pleased with the fact that Cuisinart grill is being shipped with a very handy scraper specially designed for cleaning of the ridged side of the cooking panels.

Cleaning of the plates was an easy thing to do. Non stick surface works well and wiping with dump cloth was enough for me. Heavy cleaning can be done in a dishwashing machine.

Controls are simple and clear to understand. There are just three knobs on the front panel: the one in the center sets the cooking mode while left and right are used for setting up the temperature. There are two ways to set the heat: by degrees or by preset values like low, medium and high.

There is a lovely color lightning system built in the center knob: it is red when Cuisinart grill is heating up and turns to green when the desired temperature is reached an it is time to cook.

Excessive oil and grease removing system was one of the major problems of an old version of this griddler, but not anymore. Redesigned by Cuisinart engineers it is working fine in GR-4N. Grease is now sliding down easily and it is just matter of minutes to get it cleaned.

If you’d ask me about the downsides of the Cuisinart grill I would mention the following: the heat up time is pretty long. Maybe it is just about my particular GR-4N but it usually takes around 7-8 minutes to reach 320 degrees. Another issue would be the fact that non stick surface on plates is really sensible. You have to take good care of it, because I have a few spots where it already broke off. I am pretty sure that in just a year of daily usage that covering will be gone completely.

Temperature sensor is not that precise as you would expect. It might be wrong for about 20 degrees in both directions. This is might be not an issue when grilling sandwiches but crucial in case of cooking meat.

The GR-4N Cuisinart grill is advertised as a 5-in-1 feature device, but I was using it for cooking just a limited number of meals:

  • hamburgers are just outstanding when grilled in Cuisinart grill. All you have to do to turn frozen burgers into tasty bits of food is to set the device to run with the temperature of 340 degrees and wait for seven minutes. Juicy, smelly and tasty hamburgers are ready! There is no need to worry about the excessive grease: it will be collected with improved catcher.
  • it works very well for making panini but you need to gain some experience in setting up the temperature. Once it is done your sandwiches will be perfect. Famous grill marks come out just like in the adverts and the ingredients are being heated nicely. Maybe a bit heavier top would be nicer to have, but you can always add some pressure manually.
  • even the Cuisinart grill is losing its heat rapidly, it is suitable for baking pancakes. Be prepared to have one side of the pancake to be baked a bit more that the other. Don’t be too hard on GR-4N with this because it wasn’t designed to do the baking. Just treat it as a little bonus feature.

My summary would be the following: GR-4N Cuisinart grill fits perfectly for feeding the family of two, three or four members with a various types of delicious food. Device is built well, looks good and allows you to save a lot of time. With a 5-in-1 features it would be a nice addition to any kitchen.