A cooking sensation since its introduction in 1994, the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine is a portable electric indoor grill manufactured by Spectrum Brands. Promoted by two-time heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist George Foreman, the grill is commonly known as the George Foreman grill. In Asia, the same grill is promoted by both Foreman and film star Jackie Chan. The grilling machine price varies depending on the model and vendor. It has sold more than 100 million units worldwide.
The Unique Design
The grill designer, Michael Boehm, created a slanting surface that allows fat to drain from hamburgers, pork chops, chicken and other meats. It also features a floating hinge to accommodate thick cuts of meat and chicken parts.
The clamshell shape of the grill allows both sides of the meat to cook at the same time, making it not only a healthy cooking method but a time-saving appliance for busy cooks. A removable drip tray holds the drippings as the meat cooks, thus reducing the amount of fat in the food.
Before You Use the George Foreman Grill
The electric grill really is a lean mean grilling machine, but before using it, review the entire manual. Clean the removable parts with soap and water. Also wipe the nonstick grill plates with a damp sponge or cloth to remove any dust. After reassembling the grill, place it where it won't touch cabinets or walls.
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Keep the grill and power cord out of the reach of children and pets. Never use metal utensils, spatulas, scouring pads, steel wool or abrasive cleaners on the grilling machine. Do not immerse the grill in water.
The Grill Capacity
The original George Foreman grill is large enough to cook a meal for two to four people. Two large steaks, four hamburgers or chicken parts or up to six hot dogs or sausages will fit on the grill.
Later versions of the grilling machine have various improvements and additions to the original design, including a flat griddle, muffin pan and waffle plates. The newest George Foreman grills' capacities range from two to nine servings.
How to Use the Grilling Machine
Plug the grill into a wall outlet. The power light will come on. Allow the grill to heat three to five minutes before adding the meat or vegetables. You can wipe oil over the nonstick grill to make cooking and cleaning easier, but don't use aerosol oil sprays. They may damage the nonstick coating. Use a potholder to open the lid when you add the food to the grill.
Making Beef or Turkey Burgers
To make burgers, use your favorite recipe or George Foreman's "powerburger." It includes chopped vegetables, bread crumbs and a 3/4-pound hamburger. Form four 4-inch patties and place them on the grill.
Close the lid and cook for five to six minutes. Open the lid and turn the burgers once. Cook for another two to three minutes. Hamburgers and other ground meats should always be heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the burgers from the grill and serve immediately with all the fixings.
Making Pork or Lamb Chops
Season four chops with your favorite spices, such as rosemary, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Heat the grill for three to five minutes and then add the chops. Cook for five to seven minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. If desired, turn once during cooking to ensure even cooking on both sides of the chops.
Making Chicken Breasts
Marinate four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts for at least 30 minutes in your favorite marinade. Heat the grilling machine. Add the chicken breasts and close the lid. Cook for three-and-a-half minutes and turn them over. Continue cooking for another two to five minutes to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Making Grilled Vegetables
Slice an assortment of vegetables, such as eggplant, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, yellow squashes and zucchinis. Heat the grill for three to five minutes. Brush the vegetables lightly with olive oil and then add them to the grill. Cook eggplant for six to eight minutes. Grill mushrooms, onions, squashes and zucchini for three to five minutes. Heat tomatoes for approximately one minute.
Cleaning the Grill
Unplug the grill and allow it to completely cool. Use the enclosed spatula to scrape fat and food particles off the grill and into the drip pan. Clean the grill with paper towels or a wet sponge. Dry it with paper towels or a soft dishcloth.
Remove the drip pan. Pour out the liquids and wipe the pan with paper towels to remove the grease. Wash the drip pan with dishwashing liquid and hot water. Allow it to air dry before reinstalling on the grill.
Ruth de Jauregui is the author of The Soul of California - Cooking for the Holidays. She spent five summers working in the Napa Valley as a catering assistant, mostly for weddings and special events at the various wineries. While working in San Francisco for William (Bill) Yenne at American Graphic Systems, she assisted in the design and publication of several cookbooks. In addition to her interest in food and cooking, de Jauregui has several nonfiction garden books and her first novel in the works.