The Tefal Optigrill box and website promise a 'smart automatic grill that adapts the cooking time to the thickness of the ingredients and indicates the precise cooking time from rare to well done.' I say this is a George Forman style grill, but so much better and more intelligent which takes the hassle and guesswork out of cooking meat, and with great results
Straight out of the box you get the machine itself, full instructions, a quick start guide and hints and tips. A nice laminated card gives a quick and easy view of when things will be cooked, and is a handy addition to keep next to the Optigrill.
The Optigrill is a good size for one to four people, and measures about 35cm at its widest. The grill plates are aluminium with a really top quality feeling non stick coating, and are easily removable once cool and go in the dishwasher. I love this feature; it's totally no hassle and ideal to make sure they're sparkly clean after each use.
The grill plates are angled to make sure any juices or fat run down into the drip tray. Again, I love the fact that the drip tray slots in to make it fixed, but can easily be pulled out and put in the dishwasher. This makes sure there's no mess on your worktop if you accidentally knock it.
The Optigrill has six cooking programmes for different types of food as well as a manual mode. The manual mode is ideal for things like toasted paninis and wraps, where you just want to put the machine on and warm something through for a few minutes.
Our son loved his cheese and ham toasted wrap after school, and said it was the nicest he'd had for ages! I love the ribbed lines the grill left which it look professional.
The best bit about the Optigrill are the six dedicated automatic cooking programmes for different types of food. On the main handle of the Optigrill, you can see the types of food you can select - burgers, chicken, bacon, sausages, steak/chops and seafood. Once you select your food type, you close the grill and wait for it to heat to the required temperature, indicated by a change of light in the main disc. A reassuring beep tells you when it's ready to start cooking too, just in case you're getting on with other things.
You then put your food in, and the Optigrill automatically detects its thickness and therefore the cooking time. The colours work their way through the dial beeping as they change, so you can take your food out when it's cooked just as you like it.
Husband does like a nice steak, and we let the cooking run through until it was rare-medium cooked (he likes it more rare than medium). It was cooked absolutely to perfection, and after a short resting time, husband tucked in and said it was the nicest cooked steak he'd ever had at home. For my part, I can see how the Optigrill gives really consistent results, much better than the old griddle pan we normally use which I often struggle to cook with!
I've also had great results with king prawns, sausages and veggie skewers, which again were all cooked to perfection and maintained their flavour and moisture really well.
I really appreciated that the fat in the sausages was able to drain out whilst cooking, but they still tasted moist and great. Our son loves sausages, so a healthier version is always appreciated!
The Tefal Optigrill is a great grilling machine that I would definitely highly recommend. I love the fact it cooks perfectly while I can get on with other things, and that it's so easy to use and clean. It's a good size for most small to medium size families and will fit in most cupboards, although ours has been used most days this week and hasn't made it to be put away yet!
I feel sure that anyone who enjoys meat, or who wants a more flexible way to cook everyday food in a healthy way would use it all the time. Five out of five from us - a new kitchen essential that's highly recommended.
I tested and recommend Tefal Optigrill model number GC701D40. You can find out more about this model on the Tefal website.
Disclaimer: we were sent the Tefal Optigrill for review, but as ever, all words and thoughts are my own.