Part of my role on the Tefal Innovation Panel is to put new Tefal products to the test. Last week, I went down to London to see their OptiGrill in action. It basically cooks meat for you, just how you like it – at the touch of three buttons, every time!
They showed us how easy it was to use, and also to clean. I was very impressed with the demo, and the idea of being able to confidently cook meat for my family. This week, I was sent an OptiGrill to review, and I can now say with 100% certainty it is fool proof!
I have been vegetarian for 12 years. I love to cook, but I have no confidence when it comes to cooking meat. I am terrified of giving the kids (or hubby) food poisoning, so they eat a mostly vegetarian diet, aside from cooked meats, sausages and the odd chicken nugget or fish finger.
The OptiGrill has changed that. Let me explain the science before I carry on. The OptiGrill senses how many portions are being cooked and it detects
the thickness of the food. It uses this information to work out exactly
how long to cook the food for to make it just how you want it!
Getting back to my review… I bought a fillet steak and a rump steak to test the Optigrill with first. It was easy to clean and set up. The instructions were really clear. It is big enough to cook 3 decent sized steaks at the same time.
When you switch it on, you press one of the automatic program buttons to let the OptiGrill know which type of product you are cooking. (Burger, Poultry, Bacon, Sausage, Red Meat, Fish or “Manual”). Once you do this, you press OK and it starts to heat up to the correct cooking temperature (and the light changes to purple). It will beep once pre heating is complete, then you put your food into it and close the lid. (I popped in the fillet steak first).
The cooking level indicator changes to blue here, to indicate it has started to cook your food. It will change to yellow and beep to indicate the food is now perfectly cooked to rare. If you want it to continue cooking, do nothing at this point! A couple of minutes later, the indicator will change to orange and beep. This means you have the perfect “medium” steak. A few minutes later, it will change to red and beep once more. This means the steak is cooked to perfection for “well done” fans. If you don’t remove your meat right away, the OptiGrill will keep it warm for you.
It took around 8 minutes to preheat the OptiGrill, then it took about 7 minutes cook the fillet steak to “well done” level.
The fillet steak was juicy and tender. It was cooked evenly, and it was easy to slice. My 12 month old daughter (who only has her 4 front teeth) absolutely loved it! She ate her half of it and then cried for more!
The Rump Steak took around 10 minutes to cook “well done”. It was juicy and evenly cooked. Hubby enjoyed it, but he definitely preferred the fillet. (Typical for him to love the most expensive cut of meat in the butchers)! The Rump was too tough for the kids to eat (but this is down to the cut of meat, not the Tefal OptiGrill).
Another thing which impressed me was the fact the meat smell disappeared as soon as I popped the Optigrill plates and the drip tray into the dishwasher! I usually HATE cooking meat as the smell lingers. Not any more! They came out of the dishwasher 100% clean. The plates were really easy to remove and to re-fit too. There’s a release button on the top and bottom of the Opti Grill which you push and the plate pops off. The unit weighs 5.2kg and measures in at 37 x 36.5 x 16.5cm, so it isn’t small.
I have only cooked steak on the opti-grill up to now, but I will update this review to let you know how I get on cooking other dishes too. I am very excited about making paninis on it, and also Kebabs. I am also going to be testing the “frozen” button with Veggie burgers and sausages, so stay tuned to find out if the Opti Grill can cook veggie burgers as well as real ones!
I am really excited about finally being able to confidently cook meat for the kids and DaddyGeek. If I can cook two steaks to perfection using the optigrill, then I am confident anybody can! I think it deserves 5/5 for cooking steak, ease of use and how easy it was to clean. I definitely recommend it.