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The BGR820XL smart grill and Panini maker by Breville is equipped with Element IQ Technology, making it a smart appliance in several ways and it offers sensor controlled heating that provides excellent results. This is a very versatile model that works as both a Panini press and indoor contact grill.
This model is able to open completely flat and it’s equipped with a hover lid setting. Able to cook a wide variety of foods, this is one of Breville’s most popular models and it has a lot to offer the avid cook.
This Panini press is loaded with a ton of features and includes die cast arms and a stainless steel housing. The Element IQ technology involves sensor controlled heat as you cook. The heating element is fully embedded in the plates which means more consistent cooking and a faster cook time. The floating hinge design features six adjustable height settings which means you can create sandwiches and burgers of varying thicknesses with ease. The floating hinge settings also allows for even pressure on thick or thin foods.
You can also use this model in BBQ mode, with its large two hundred and sixty inches of cooking space.
The interchangeable, removable cast aluminium, non-stick plates are dishwasher safe and the integrated grease tray is removable for easy clean up. This model also comes with an adjustable tilt plate, which pulls grease away from cooking foods for a healthier meal.
The most unique features for this model are the embedded heating elements and IQ Technology. This combination allows you to achieve much better results for several reasons.
Typically, you would need to preheat a grill in order to get the desired temperature, but once you place cold food on the grill, the temperature will drop almost instantly. Most grills will take some time to recover, which means a much longer cooking time and it can even end up making your steak or poultry tougher. But the smart grill heat sensors embedded in the plates are designed to detect any type of temperature drop so the grill is able to immediately compensate this type of change. Utilizing 1800 watts, this model can quickly inject the right amount of heat to allow the grill to bounce back up to the correct temperature.
The heating elements are also embedded in the grill plates to ensure that this process works even better.
This model’s temperature settings ranges from 310 to 450 degrees and you’ll also find a thirty minute digital timer with sound alerts. The machine features a temperature responsive backlit LCD display that turns blue when it’s in standby mode and orange when the machine is hot and ready for cooking.
If you’re short on space in the kitchen, then you’ll definitely need to consider the size of this huge machine. When closed, the dimensions are 15×6.5 by sixteen inches. And obviously the grill will be even bigger when it’s opened completely flat, which means you’re going to need quite a bit of counter space in order to use this massive model.
When it’s used in Panini mode, it offers about a hundred and thirty inches of available cooking space. When it’s opened completely flat in BBQ mode, you’ll have double the cooking space.
This model may not be the best choice for consumers who have a limited storage space or counter space. If you do have the room, this machine is perfect when you’re hosting a dinner party or BBQ.
For easier storage you’ll find a locking storage clip which will lock the plates closed, allowing you to store the device in an upright position. There is also space for cord storage located on the bottom of the model.
Panini Press and Grill Pros and Cons
Pros: The floating hinges on this model allows the cook some much-needed wiggle room to accommodate dishes of varying thickness. Most importantly, this type of adjustability allows the user to cook in a hover mode. This means you can adjust the lid so that the top plate doesn’t touch the top of the sandwich, allowing you to cook open faced sandwiches, something you can’t do with your average Panini press. For even more versatility you can purchase other types of removable plates at an additional price.
Cons: One of the most common complaints for this model was that it only comes with one flat plate and one ribbed plate. Many consumers felt that for the price of this model, the manufacturer should have included two of each kind of plate for more versatility and easier cooking. This is definitely something you’ll want to consider before you buy. Extra grill plates are available from the manufacturer’s website for an additional cost. However, most consumers didn’t have an issue with this because you’re still able to cook anything you want on the two plates that are provided. However, if you want to open the machine flat to cook pancakes, you’ll only be able to do so using half of the cooking surface. And when cooking meats or Panini’s, many consumers want the grill marks on both sides. Some consumers simply felt that this model was too big for the average kitchen. If you’re looking for another reliable Panini press and one that’s designed for smaller kitchens, take a look at the KRUPS FDE312 Universal grill and panini maker.
Breville Conclusion and Rating
This Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill and Panini Maker received a lot of positive consumer feedback. If you’re hesitant to spend some serious cash on a Panini press and want a model that offers more versatility, then the Smart Grill is the perfect solution. Cook up Paninis, chicken breasts, burgers, fish and a variety of your favorite foods and enjoy the taste of fresh barbequed food or gourmet Panini’s in the comfort of your own home in just minutes. Consumers who purchased this model gave it a rating of five out of five stars, which makes this model our top rated product and the best Panini press we reviewed.