I have been using my George Foreman 360 grill for several months. The 360 grill has great versatility due to the five removable grill plates, and overall I have been pleased with its cooking performance. However, I do have a safety concern regarding the use of this product.
There have been three negative factors that I have experienced regarding this indoor grill.
First, the label
The first negative factor isn’t safety related, but has to do instead with the label that was firmly-affixed over most of the top cover of the grill when I purchased it. Extremely firmly! I didn’t read the reviews carefully enough to know how to remove this label, and instead worked for a considerable amount of time and with various products to finally remove the label and adhesive, but not without causing some slight marring of the top cover of the grill in the process.
Had I done my homework more carefully prior to this, I would have tried the suggestion from one of the reviewers on amazon.com who said to heat the grill for a few minutes before peeling off the label. I think this may have worked better, but it’s too late for me to try it now to see if heating the grill would have helped the situation.
My safety concern
Before purchasing my grill, I did read most of the amazon.com reviews and noted a possible problem with a removable plate falling off when the cover is raised. One reviewer stated that he grabbed for the plate, burning his hand in the process.
When I began to use the grill I was mindful of this possibility, and kept a couple of potholders by the grill. All went well for about a month – then I used the quesadilla plates for the first time.
Sure enough, this type of incident happened to me, too! When I lifted the cover after preheating the grill in order to insert my quesadilla for grilling, the top quesadilla plate fell off. Thankfully, I had read about the burned hand incident that the reviewer had experienced; I let the plate fall to the floor without touching it. I immediately scooped it up from my inlaid vinyl floor, using the pot holders that I had handy, and laid it on the bottom plate of the grill, which I then unplugged. (Thankfully, my floor was not harmed by what had happened.)
I had thought I had securely attached the top plate, so after the removable plate cooled, I checked the plate’s release handles and noted that one of the handles seemed slightly bent. I was able to move this handle slightly, and when I reattached the plate to the grill and tugged on the plate it didn’t give way at all.
This incident posed a dilemma for me. I had purchased the grill online from the George Foreman website, meaning I would have to box everything up and ship it back. Boxing and shipping is not my favorite activity!
More importantly than that for me, I had become very used to grilling my foods on this George Foreman 360 grill. I liked the ease of clean-up because of the removable plates plus the versatility of the product due to its size (grilling four good-sized burgers), variable temperature dial, and the handy bake pan.
So I would have to decide if the incident with the quesadilla plate would be a game changer for me.
Third, the use and care book
The use and care book should be improved by adding far more recipes, so that a wide variety of recipes for foods one can cook on the 360 grill are included in the use book. I have had to do a lot of trial and error cooking which could have been avoided with a bit of effort on the part of the manufacturer.
I have obtained cooking help from internet sources, but George Foreman should have provided such help by way of a better use book when he sold me the product.
After much deliberation following the safety incident, I decided to keep the grill and use extra caution when affixing the removable plates, tugging firmly on the release handles each time to make sure they don’t give way. I also keep pot holders handy, as I did before. I have not had a repeat problem of having a top removable plate fall off, but I am especially cautious with the quesadilla removable plate.
Guests will be using the grill on Christmas Day; I will do some “safety training” and make sure that the top plate is securely fastened before they begin. Only the regular grill top plate will be used with which I have had no problem as we will be making panini sandwiches. The youngest person who will be using the grill is 12 years old, and he will be well supervised by his parents.
The George Foreman 360 grill suits my purposes well for the variety of foods that I like to prepare. Besides grilling with the use of two removable grilling plates, I can use the removable bake pan for baking 10″ pizzas and other quick foods such as chicken nuggets or mini quiches, sautéing vegetables, making omelets, and making fillings for quesadillas. And, of course, I can use the removable quesadilla plates when making filled tortillas.
I haven’t tried using the bake pan for making pancakes; there are mixed reviews concerning the success of using the George Foreman 360 grill for this since it doesn’t get as hot as does a pan on the stove.
Frozen pizzas take a bit longer to bake in the George Foreman 360 grill than in the oven but bake to my satisfaction; I have had to learn how to time the brands that I most like to prepare and log times and temperatures in a notebook for later reference.
At this point in time, only my safety concern prevents me from giving the George Foreman 360 grill a “thumbs-up rating.” I actually will not be giving this product to anyone as a gift because of the incident that I encountered when the top removable quesadilla grill plate fell off. I will continue, however, to use and enjoy my bright red George Foreman 360 grill myself while remaining cautious in the process.
See also by R.C. Johnson:
Homemade Grilled Panini Sandwiches Are Easy Party Favorites
Famous Dave’s Food for My Christmas Dinner
Famous Dave’s Onion Strings (and Ribs!)
Entertaining? Serve a Hot Ciabatta Sandwich
Sources: Personal experience