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With an indoor grill, you can whip up healthy grilled food no matter what the weather.

After a summer enjoying your favorite grilled foods, it's hard to give them up, isn't it? You can get a nice grilled flavor without the outdoors fuss with my favorite fall appliance -- the indoor grill.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've no doubt heard of at least one particular brand of indoor grill -- the George Foreman grills. These two-sided electric grills have detachable, nonstick plates (top and bottom) with raised edges that make the traditional grill marks. This type of grill has been around for about 10 years, each year bringing new models and new improvements.

If you're looking to buy an indoor grill, there are basically two things you need to know: whether it makes a difference to you if the temperature is adjustable (some grills have only one heat setting), and how much grilling space you need. Some grills have enough space to cook for four, others with enough to prepare just two servings.

There are two styles of electric grills to choose from: The open grill, on which the food is cooked from the bottom and needs to be flipped, and the contact grill, where the lid cooks the topside of the food. Here are some details about both:

1. Open Grill Style. If you get this type of indoor grill, make sure you choose one that comes with a lid (most of them do). It gives you more grilling options and keeps the smoke and steam contained. Some examples of the open grill are the DeLonghi Alfredo Healthy Grill BG24 and the DeLonghi Perfecto Indoor Grill, the Sanyo Smokeless Indoor Grill, and the BonJour Power 1800 Reversible Grill and Griddle.

2. Contact Grill Style. Make sure the top and bottom grill pieces detach easily so you can easily wash them by hand or in the dishwasher. And here's a bonus: a contact grill easily doubles as a panini sandwich maker. Some brands include Cuisinart Griddler GR-4, George Foreman, Hamilton Beach MealMaker Express Grill, and the Krups Universal Grill and Panini Maker.

The contact grill is particularly good at cooking:

  • fish fillets
  • steaks
  • pork chops
  • hamburgers
  • vegetables

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