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Review: Tefal OptiGrill with an intelligent steak sensor

At one point, a wonderful gadget with an external sensor appeared on the market, which monitored the degree of readiness of steaks on the Grill and sent messages to the smartphone. Tefal went the same way. Steaks that you get in result are perfect: a roasted crust that does not allow any drop of juice to flow out, and a juicy middle of the required roasting degree. We tried to fry cutlets, a piece of tuna and a lot of steaks. Ah, yes, and zucchini too!

Tefal OptiGrill grill is positioned as a device that allows to cook with ideal degree of roasting in an automatic mode. At the same time, each person defines “ideal” himself – someone loves with blood, and someone likes drier, so Tefal engineers have developed a special sensor that determines the degree of roasting meat and converts it into a color signal for greater visibility. And it works not only with meat. There are special programs for fish, burgers, sausages and, in addition, a preliminary defrosting mode.

It sounds all tempting and intriguing, and even more tempting is that the grill can fry everything without human intervention. Of course, you will have to put the food there and get it, but you do not need to constantly monitor and check the degree of roasting, as you need when Cooking steak in a frying pan.

The size of the grill is small. It does not take a lot of space on the kitchen table, and at the same time its size is enough for cooking two large pieces of meat.

The fact that the grill does not take up much space is good, because it is quite heavy. This is not kind of device that you often need to take and clean – it implies a permanent location on the desktop and, of course, use. And you will want to use it often. And to a greater extent this is due to the speed and simplicity of cooking – it can easily press two kilograms of zucchini without oil for 20 minutes. And most importantly, it will be delicious.

Grill handle, on which the control buttons are located, is made of heat-resistant plastic and is very convenient for wiping. Plates with non-stick coating are snapped off and easily removed in order to be washed in the dishwasher. You can fry on them without using oil, which we also did. But if there are concerns, you can lightly cover some products with sunflower oil with a brush.

In the grill there are several pre-installed programs, almost for all occasions and for different types of products.

Hamburger – for the preparation of a hamburger, i.e. buns with a cutlet and other goodies.
Bird – allows you to prepare juicy chicken meat on the grill.
Panini / bacon – designed for toasts, hot sandwiches. On the same program you can fry ham and bacon.
Sausages – with the help of this program you can cook sausages, sweets, pork chops, pork brisket, lamb, nuggets, etc.
Meat – this program is designed for cooking steaks of varying degrees of roasting.
Fish – in this mode you can fry whole fish of medium size, and steaks. On the same program you can fry other seafood.

Each of these programs can be modified by button with a snowflake, indicating a preliminary defrost. In the grill you can put frozen chicken fillet, and it will be unfrozen, and then fried, depending on the sensor readings and the thickness of the piece.

Well, in case you want something unusual (what is not provided by the programs), you can use the manual program. But, the algorithm of its operation differs somewhat from the algorithm of the built-in programs.

When using one of the preset programs (for example steak cooking), you must first turn on the device, select the desired program and click on OK. The grill then goes into preheating mode, during which the indicator starts flashing in purple. It takes about 7 minutes, which is quite a long time, especially when you do not know in advance that you need to wait, and all this time you gaze at the flashing indicator waiting for completion. After “purple blinking” is replaced by “purple”, you can lay food. As soon as the meat is placed inside the grill, the indicator turns blue. This means that everything is going according to plan, and cooking has begun.

Next, you just need to monitor the color of the indicator, which will indicate the desired degree of roasting, and at the appropriate time take out the ready and fragrant steak (or not the steak). It’s good that you do not need to sit next to the device and closely monitor the indicator – when you move to the next level of readiness, the grill emits a beep, which is very convenient. Beep – means continues preparation, three squeaks – it’s time to take out.

When cooking in manual mode, everything gets less convenient, but you can fry everything you want. For example, in order to fry zucchini, you need to set the desired cooking temperature with help of the thermometer button, keeping in mind color indicator (in this case, the redder the color, the higher the temperature is set). Start frying, taking into the account desired cooking time and your intuition.

In our case, we fried zucchini. The temperature was set to orange, during which serving was prepared in a couple of minutes.

Courgettes turned out roasted outside and juicy inside. Here main thing is not to forget the sacred secret of the ideal zucchini – circles should be of same thickness. And to ensure that users who are far from cooking don’t go crazy and don’t stay hungry because they can’t guess how long it takes to fry a particular product, the grill is supplied with a recommended colors plate of the temperature indicator and cooking time.

Grill plates not only have stripes that are traditional for grills, but also are coated with non-stick coating, so you can fry without oil. In order for the juice to be drained during preparation so the toasting does not turn into quenching, the plates are slightly inclined. And so the meat does not roll off the inclined plates with non-stick coating, they have small bulges that help the pieces stay on the surface.

When preparing several servings or different foods one by one there is a slight nuance. In order for the sensor to work correctly, the plates must be cleaned each time before use.  Instructions say that before cooking each portion of the steaks you need to perform the preheating procedure. But the grill can prolong this process, and the remaining juice from the previous portion of steaks will begin to burn. At the same time, if you put a new portion of meat into the grill in the preheating stage, it will begin to cook.

Now few words about the taste of products cooked on the grill. They turn out delicious. What marketers call an “intelligent cooking sensor” works well. Steaks are cooked according to textbook and recipes from the best cooks – a fried crust that does not allow any drop of juice to flow out, and a juicy middle of the required degree of roasting. We tried to fry the cutlets (on the burger program), a piece of tuna and a lot of steaks. Everything turned out just fine – juicy, not over-dried and evenly fried throughout the area.

And importantly, in modern rhythm of life, everything is cooked very fast. A pair of steaks are cooked no longer than five minutes. This means that you can come in the evening from work, in five minutes, turn on the grill and perform the preheating procedure, and in five minutes steaks already will be ready. After that, in 10 minutes, fry the courgettes on it and we will get a delicious, useful dinner.

A similar story with breakfast – fry toasts or make warm sandwiches almost without opening your eyes.

In a word, it is very likely that this grill from Tefal will fully accrue in the kitchen and take the place of a food processor. And in this case, the allegations of marketers about the “ideal degree of roasting” and “intellect” can be fully believed. It does not matter how it is called, if it gives good results.

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Review: Tefal OptiGrill with an intelligent steak sensor


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