Over the past several weeks, my family has been trying our hardest to make a change. You see, for about the past 7-8 months, we’d gotten into some very bad habits when it came down to dinnertime. And I knew that we had to do something different, for the sake of our budget, our kids’ health and even our own health. My husband went from working long hours where he was rarely home for dinner (much easier for me to avoid his picky-ness and just make dinner for the girls and me) to being home for dinner almost every night last winter. That was the initial reason things started to slide. Then even when his hours picked back up, by then we’d gotten bad habits ingrained and it was just easier to keep on the way that we were. Which involved eating out way, way too often, and not cooking here at home very much at all. And eating dinner so late that it was time to put the kids to bed right afterward.
Thankfully several weeks ago we decided that we couldn’t let this go on any longer. When it got to the point where the kids were asking every night ‘where’ we were eating instead of ‘what’… Well, things had to change – and I’m happy to say that they have. We’ve eaten dinner at home every night since before school started and I’ve been making a much greater effort to fix meals that are a good mix of what all of us will eat and hopefully are at least somewhat healthy. One thing that’s helped a lot in this, was having the opportunity to review the new George Foreman Evolve™ Grill. The timing was perfect – and well, our meals aren’t quite perfect (yet). But they’re getting there.
What it is:
Most people are familiar with the George Foreman line of indoor grills. For over 10 years now this groundbreaking product has used its innovative technology to help change the way that people cook, and eat. From the very first Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, to today with over 100 million grills sold all over the world – George Foreman has become an icon for grilling as a way to help everyone eat lower-fat, flavorful, healthier foods.
The new Evolve Grill offers a variety of customizable options to allow for cooking more foods than ever on just this one appliance. Now you can use your George Foreman grill for a large variety of meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times in between. Here’s a description of how it works:
What makes this grill different is the option to add plates and customize the grill based on individual preferences. Now it’s easier than ever to create healthy, delicious meals with one versatile appliance.
- Cross-hatch grill plates (2) – Perfect for grilling chicken breasts, fresh fish and more.
- Mini-Burger plate – Serve up low-fat turkey sliders in minutes.
- Griddle plate – Cook up breakfast, lunch or dinner without adding extra oil or butter for healthier meals.
- Cupcake/muffin plate – Whipping up six muffins or cupcakes is a snap with this easy-to-use plate.
- Panini plates (2) – No need to butter bread when making panini in the George Foreman Evolve™ Grill.
- Deep-dish baking plate – From lasagna to veggie-packed casseroles, the deep-dish bake pan provides another versatile usage for the George Foreman Evolve™ Grill.
- Omelet plates (2) – Flipping omelets used to require lots of butter or oil to prevent sticking, however, with the George Tough™ nonstick coating, making omelets is simpler and healthier than ever.
- Waffle plate –The waffle plates makes preparing golden, delicious waffles on the grill easy and convenient.
Key Product Features:
- George Tough™ nonstick coating for oil-free cooking
- Patented slope for fat to drip away
- Drip tray that is dishwasher safe for collecting grease drippings
- 84 square-inch cooking surface
- Precise Digital Time and Temperature Control
- Removable dishwasher-safe plates
There are several different options for purchasing the Evolve grill. All of them come with two grill plates, but then the rest are optional, depending on what you’re looking to use the grill for. The “Bake – Mini-Burger” version comes with the deep-dish baking and mini-burger plates. The “Bake – Muffin” version comes with the deep-dish baking and cupcake/muffin plates. And the “Bake – Waffle” version includes two waffle plates. You can purchase any of the extra plates separately as well, to build your collection and make your Evolve grill a one-stop appliance for your meal or snack time needs.
Here’s my take on it:
Way back, many years ago I owned a small George Foreman grill. This was even before I had kids I believe, so the fact that you could only cook a hamburger or two on it – or one chicken breast at a time, really didn’t phase me any. But once we suddenly had a houseful to feed, the grill got pushed further and further back into the cupboard until it was finally sold at a garage sale a while back. I missed being able to grill more though – we do have an outside grill, but it doesn’t get much use since we tore down our back deck and have no good place to keep the grill until we can afford to put a new deck up. Plus, in Michigan we don’t get a whole lot of good grilling weather – it’s limited pretty much to April through October, leaving a very long winter where it’s not much of an option. Unless you have an indoor grill, like the George Foreman ones.
A friend of mine has an indoor grill and I’d been very impressed with what and how she can cook on it. I love that she takes frozen chicken breasts and turns them into a meal without having to wait for hours for them to thaw. And the biggest benefit to her grill (not a George Foreman), at least to me – was that the plates are removable, so she can simply run them under the sink or stick them in the dishwasher. I liked the George Foreman brand – but didn’t like having to scrape and clean the plates on the actual grill itself. Plus I knew I would need a grill large enough to cook several chicken breasts (or hamburgers/hot dogs) at a time.
So when I found out about the Evolve grill – and that not only were the grilling plates removable, but that there were several other types of plates available too… I was so excited to give it a try. And it fit right in with our dedication to eating dinner at home more often, instead of going out all the time. To be honest, I don’t know if we’d be doing as successful of a job on that right now if it weren’t for this grill. It’s made cooking easier, and will expand our meal options too. The first night I tried it out, I simply threw a few chicken breasts on the grill, seasoned them and let it cook. I wasn’t sure at first about the temperature to cook them at or the time, but once I saw the cooking guide on the lower front of the grill and checked the instruction manual, that was a lot clearer. And our chicken turned out amazing – juicy and delicious.
The grease runs right down the grooved channels and drips into the tray below. There wasn’t a lot of grease from the chicken breasts, but when we used the grill a few nights later to make hamburgers, the drip tray filled right up. It was such a good feeling to see all of that grease that wasn’t going to be going into my family’s bodies!
The Evolve grill is definitely large enough to cook enough hamburgers or hot dogs at once for my whole family. The same with chicken breasts too – those three that I made that first night more than fed me, my girls and two neighbor kids who stayed for dinner. And I had a whole chicken breast left over – which then fed me lunch over the next couple of days. The grill is easy to use – the top buttons control the temperature and time with a digital display. To change either, you simply use the up or down arrow buttons.
Clean-up is extremely easy with this grill too. It comes with a couple of accessories to help you scrape the grilling plates clean, and the plates are easily removable as well. So far I’ve just washed and rinsed the plates in the sink – but I love that I can also put them in the dishwasher too. The drip tray is also dishwasher-safe as well.
I have to admit that I haven’t tried the baking plate yet – I’m still at a bit of a loss for what to do with it. The grill’s instruction book does give a few suggestions (brownies, cornbread, focaccia, and lasagna are some), but I’d prefer to see actual recipes so that I’d know I’m doing it correctly. I’m not the best cook to begin with, so tend to need a lot of help (and photos). But I’m really intrigued by the idea of it, and can’t wait to try something. I wish their website had more recipes, and am hoping they’ll add some specific to the baking plate soon.
The mini-burger (slider) plate that we got probably won’t get much (if any) use – we don’t eat hamburgers very often and when we do eat them, we prefer regular-sized ones. I think the muffin plate would be a lot of fun though – I can see trying out muffins or cupcakes. I went onto the George Foreman website (as recommended in the instruction manual) to see how much additional plates were and can’t find them at all. It may just be that they’re not available yet, since this is a new product, so I’ll keep looking. I’d love to try the waffle plates too – our waffle iron was another garage-sale casualty after we moved to this house with very limited storage and counter space, so being able to do waffles along with grilling would be awesome.
Speaking of storage space – this grill is definitely not small and does take up a fairly good amount of counter or cupboard space. But that’s more than worth it for me, and I’ve found room to store it in our pantry cupboard – I just pull it out onto the counter when I’m ready to use it. As I will tonight for dinner, I think – more chicken breasts. Or maybe hot dogs – I love hot dogs, but will only eat them grilled – not microwaved or boiled. I’m so happy to be able to eat hot dogs at home with my family from time to time again now!
The bottom line:
The George Foreman Evolve grill not only provides the traditional benefits that all of his grills do – lean, healthier cooking on a grill that you can use indoors on your kitchen counter, but also provides a huge amount of versatility as well, with removable grilling plates and the introduction of new plates types like deep dish, muffin or waffle ones. Dishwasher-safe parts make clean-up very easy and once the extra plates are available to purchase separately, you’ll be able to mix-and-match to find the best combination for your family.
Where can you find it?:
The George Foreman Evolve Grill can be purchased directly at http://www.georgeforemancooking.com for $129.99 (it shows that the “Bake-Mini Burger” style is currently out of stock though). You can also purchase any of the 3 different options on Amazon (affiliate link) as well. For more information you can check out the George Foreman Healthy Cooking Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.
This post courtesy of: George Foreman Healthy Cooking and the Family Review Network, who provided the product(s) for review. No payment or compensation, other than product samples as described above, was received for this post. All opinions given here are solely my own or those of my family.