Some barbeque experts love the smoky smell of a marinated grill. It offers rich, evocative flavors and tongue-tingling textures. But when you’re barbequing indoors, you don’t want to set off the smoke alarm. Not unless you have enough ribs to feed the whole fire department!
So the best smokeless indoor grill is one that keeps your kitchen air fresh and clear. Keep in mind there are no truly ‘smokeless’ grills. Many models only promise to ‘smoke less’ than outdoor grills. But before we get to that, let’s explore some top models of indoor grills.
The Best Smokeless Indoor Grill on the Market 2021
1. Philips Smokeless Indoor Grill
The main reason grills release smoke is when grease and grime drop on hot metal and evaporate. The Philips smokeless grill eliminates this problem in three key ways. One, it positions its infrared heating elements on the side rather than the bottom. This side-positioning keeps the hot rods out of the way so they can dodge any drips that potentially target them.
Second, the bottom of the grill has a removable drip pan. This drip pan stays cool, so even if hot grease lands on it, it’s won’t turn to vapor, gas, or smoke. Three, the heating elements only heat the grills themselves, leaving the rest of the smokeless indoor grill safe from scalding.
The top of the grate has convenient handles you can lift off, and both the grate and the drip pan are dishwasher safe. The spacing of the grates helps keep your handles insulated while ensuring your food cooks evenly – no hot spots or cold spots. The highest settings give you about 474°F and the lower setting is useful for warming pre-cooked food and take-out or reheating leftovers.
That said, the cooker hovers at a pretty steady 446°F. The sides of this smokeless grill have reflective concave panels that aim infrared heat up towards the grill. They’re angled to guarantee consistent cooking temperatures all across the grates, even at the edges. The grill remains sturdy on any countertop regardless of material, thanks to its firm, non-slip rubberized feet.
It does use up a lot of power though – 1660W at 120V so get a step-down if you need one. The grill doesn’t need assembly – just slip the drip tray and grate into position and plug it in. Once you’re done, let the aluminum grates cool down. Wipe the grates and the drip tray while warm them slip them in your dishwasher. The cord tucks into a specialty compartment on the cooker.
This Philips Smokeless Indoor Grill looks good on your counter and keeps its cords tucked out of sight. But don’t forget to pre-heat for 6 to 10 minutes if you want optimal grilling results.
- It has a wide non-stick grate that’s 14 inches by 8 inches.
- The grill weighs a little over 15 pounds and stands on non-slip feet.
- You have a convenient on/off switch and a large surface area.
- The grill gets quite hot – close to 500°F, but the infrared glow can make it difficult to tell whether your food has fully cooked. Also, you can’t set a specific temperature for recipes.
2. Gotham Steel Indoor Smokeless Grill
There are two main reasons for getting a smokeless indoor grill. One, you have limited cooking space, so you need the kind of cooker you can stash in a drawer. Two, with a house that small, smoke could kill you. And while we’ve established you can’t eliminate smoke, you can cut it down significantly. Just not with the Gotham Steel Smokeless.
This lidless indoor grill does emit a bit of smoke. It’s on the cuter size, standing roughly 7 inches high and measuring about 15 inches by 20 inches. The grill weighs a little under 10 pounds and has a pretty non-stick grate, though the coating washes off quite quickly. Especially because it takes a lot of scrubbing and scouring to get grease off the grate after cooking. It’s not non-sticky.
The heating element is … integrated onto the grate, pun intended. This means you can’t clean it in a dishwasher or put the grate underwater without risking electric shock. Both the drip tray and the grate are removable but their ceramic coating – as we’ve mentioned – is rather then.
The base of the grill is burn-proof though, so it’ll protect your countertop. It’s a crucial feature because this grill is often purchased for dorm rooms and small apartments. Meaning your ‘kitchen counter’ may double as a study table, ironing board, or sofa bed, so you don’t want a cooking appliance that could be a fire hazard – not if you can help it. It has four heat settings.
The Gotham steel smokeless indoor grill prides itself on its superior copper-tones ceramic film. But it scrapes off after a few washes, so be gentle with your low-smoking cooker.
- It has a small profile and compact size that’s perfect for cabinet storage.
- The copper-colored grate produced gorgeous grill marks.
- The grill has insulated handles for easy lifting and cleaning.
- The heating element and the grate are permanently fused so you can’t clean your grate in a dishwasher or submerge it without ruining it. Plus, it’s on the smaller side.
3. Hamilton Beach Searing Smokeless Indoor Grill (Our Top Pick)
Grilling is a delicate art. It starts with searing, and that just happens to be Hamilton’s specialty. The grill uses high 450°F to seal in the juices before garnishing your cuts with rugged grill marks. And to ensure your food attains the right shade of brown, there’s a viewing panel on the lid so you can watch it as it cooks. It’s a large grill that can cook portions for 6 people at a time.
When you turn on your Hamilton, a red LED light indicates power supply. Its second light glows green once the grill has finished preheating. This large smokeless grill measures 12.4” by 16.7” on its suitably ridged surface. Unlike the other grills we’ve looked at so far, this one lets you set the temperature from 200°F to 450°F, so it facilitates precise recipes and calibrated cooking.
Some of the grills we’ve looked at have glass lids. Hamilton goes a step further with a deep, detachable hood that keeps food moist and juicy. This smokeless indoor grill has a drip tray that easily slides out the front. But apart from its sturdy structure, the Hamilton doesn’t have too many bells and whistles. The handle is insulated and ergonomic, but it’s a static lid.
This means you easily dislodge the hood when you want to clean it, but you can’t set it at a hover for paninis or other pressed sandwiches. On the contrary, there’s a lot of wiggle room below the lid, which can be useful because when the food smokes, this smoke circulates inside the hood.
So if you enjoy the smoky flavor but opted to ‘go smokeless’ so you could avoid ruining your kitchen, Hamilton will solve both problems for you. You can look through the viewing panel to see whether there’s any vapor build-up, but if you want to release the fumes, unplug the grill and take it to the door or window first. Otherwise the trapped steam and smoke may choke you.
The Hamilton smokeless indoor grill has a high hood and dish-washable parts. You can peek at your food as it cooks, ensuring the grill marks are as dark and pronounced as you prefer them.
- The hood, grill, and drip tray are all dishwasher-friendly.
- Hamilton has a viewing window so you can watch your food cook.
- It facilitates optimal searing at 450°F.
- It’s a popular brand, but it doesn’t have any stand-out features.
4. Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Smokeless Indoor Grill
Are you a gadget fiend? How many kitchen devices and appliances do you own? Well, if you’re looking (for an excuse) to declutter, try the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1. It cancels out five kitchen electronics by baking, thawing, crisping, grilling, dehydrating, roasting, air-frying, and offering four different types of grilling. The lid clicks into the place for perfectly moist meat every time.
The reason so many ‘smokeless’ grills sputter is the positioning of their grates. Any time grease drips on hit metal, it wafts off as smoke. The Ninja doesn’t eliminate smoke – it just blows away like a … ninja smoke bomb. The fan inside the grilling chamber circulates air and pushes any smoke out of your grilling dish, leaving char marks and dark, crusty waves of grilling goodness.
The handles at the front of the grill are convenient for opening and shutting the cooker, but they’re awkwardly placed for lifting. And the grill is on the bulkier side, so you can’t easily stow it away. It has lots of crevices and surfaces so it’s likely to need regular dusting and wiping when it’s not in active use. But this enlarged chamber circulates hot air for all-round, no-flip searing.
Inside this spacious cooker, there’s a designated cool zone that lowers smoke levels. The Ninja has a splatter shield that stops grease from splashing around, hitting hot surfaces, and releasing smoke. The grill has a grate with easy-lift handles and deep spiral ridges that collect run-off. This allows you to cook frozen food without thawing or defrosting – the Ninja does it all at once.
When you want to use the air-frying function, you can fill the basket with roughly 2lbs of fries for oil-free grilling via cyclonic hot air. The Ninja is 17” by 14” by 11” and weighs 24 pounds so pick a spot with enough space. Its solid cooking chamber can hold 6 quarts of food while its meshwork crisper basket can hold 4 quarts. You can easily preset the timer and temperature too.
The Ninja is your ultimate grilling warriors. It’s branded 5-in-1 but you can achieve over ten types of cooking on this baby. It’s heavy though, so make sure you counter can handle the heft.
- The deeper cooking chamber offers versatility.
- It has a high-density grate with wavy grill marks.
- The Ninja’s digital display offers multiple functionalities.
- In terms of features, this may be the best smokeless indoor grill. But size-wise, it’s sure to crowd your counter or cooktop.
5. Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe
We’ve looked at a 5-in-1 that was more of a seventeen-in-one. Now let’s look at the Cuisinart. This smokeless indoor grill brags six culinary functions and six pre-sets. Its most beloved function is probably the top-melt. This is when you set the lid to hover above our food for contact-free cooking. It’s great for melting cheese or browning dishes when they’re nearly done.
The Cuisinart cooks using a reversible plate that has a flat grill on one side and a ridged griddle on the reverse. Click the knob to lift the plate and flip it to either side. The plate is dishwasher-safe. This plate is 1.69 cubic feet and can hold both sides flat, it offers a massive grilling surface is 240 square inches. These surfaces are deeply ridged for crisp, crusty grill marks.
It has a 500°F sear function that lets you lock in your food juices in two-minute spurts. The ‘floating hinge’ on the lid lets you press Panini and grill densely packed sandwiches without spilled toppings. The handle also locks the grill shut when you’re not using it, keeping the insides dust-free. The grill has two control knobs and two buttons that operate the top or bottom sear blast.
These two buttons achieve different temperatures. So you can cook the top and bottom of your food at different heat levels. Or cook different foods at varying temperatures and durations simultaneously. You do have to preheat your Cuisinart though, so set the desired temperature then lock it until the indicator lights up. The slide-out drip tray sits at the back of the grill.
It’s a long, narrow, oblong trough positioned directly below the hinge. This lets grease easily slide back when you raise the lid. The back also has a cord wrap for your power plug. When the cooker opens out flat, it’s lock handle becomes a leg that supports the flattened side of the lid. It uses 1800W though so be prepared for that power bill. This bulky grill weighs a bit over 13 lbs.
The Cuisinart easily dominates your countertop with its presence and functionality. The two control knobs have indicator lights that turn green once your grill is done preheating.
- Its grill and griddle plates are reversible and dish-washable.
- It has a floating hinge for Panini pressing.
- You can control cooking styles by sliding the lid into six variable positions.
- The drip tray is part of the grill body, which can make it tough to clean.
6. DeLonghi BG24 Indoor Smokeless Grill
Heating coils don’t have a single universal design. On the DeLonghi, the coils lie beneath the cooking grate and run along most of its surface, ensuring even cooking temperatures. The DeLonghi also has a lid made from tempered glass. The lid helps to keep steam and smoke inside the grill, facilitating a richer, moister cut with a slightly more smoky flavor.
This can be a good thing because the taste of a smoky grill is great – so if you can achieve it indoors without setting off the fire alarm, that’s a huge plus. The downside is cleaning your grill grates. A lot of grease and burnt food gets stuck between those gaps so wipe down each section carefully and scrub if needed. Be careful to avoid getting water where the grill plugs in.
This smokeless indoor grill has a removable drip tray. But it doesn’t slide out the side like other models. Instead, you have to lift off the grate then pull out the drip tray. Ordinarily, this tray should have some water in it to catch grease and stop it sizzling and smoking. So lifting it leaves a lot of spilled juices on your clothes, cooktop, and floor. Be ready for the mess – and the clean-up.
Unfortunately, the DeLonghi isn’t completely smokeless like some easily available grilling accessories, but it’s far better than outdoor grills. It’s sturdy, compact body sits solidly on the countertop, but it’s bulky and may not tuck into a cabinet so easily. The temperature gauge lets you set heat levels from 1 to 5, but be careful not to wet it while cleaning the grill.
The DeLonghi grill grate and drip tray are both non-stick and the grill uses 1500W at 60Hz. Its lid keeps your cuts moister, but it’s not guaranteed to keep all the smoke inside the chamber.
- It comes with a tempered glass lid and a removable temperature gauge.
- You can adjust your temperature to five heat settings.
- DeLonghi leaves gorgeous char marks on your food.
- Despite the lid and the water pan, it still smokes a little.
7. T-fal Indoor OptiGrill
Yes, the colorful control buttons will catch your eye – T-fal is the king of colorful cookware. But this T-fal smokeless indoor grill has some nifty features too. The grill has visual cooking aids that let you pick a dish by type – as demonstrated by the icons of a burger, chicken, fish, breadstick, sandwich, and t-bone steak. There’s also a gradient dial that goes from pre-heat to well-done.
This makes your grilling process easier because you don’t have to figure out how long to roast a rare chicken. The control panel is fairly straightforward – just click an icon and click ‘OK’. Then use the thermometer icon to raise temperatures and the snowflake icon for defrosting. You can also use the snowflake preset to cook food directly from the freezer without pre-thawing.
The T-fal has a drip tray that slides out the front and two ridged, removable non-stick grilling plates. Both plates plus the drip tray are safe in dishwashers. The grill has sensors that gauge how thick your food is then select cooking time and temperature based on the type and density of your dish. You can also cook several cuts of meat and remove them at variable times.
It’s a useful cooking tip if dad likes his meat rare and mum prefers it toasted to ash. T-fal also has an M button for ‘manual mode’ where you push past the presets and pick your preferred position and functions on the grill. The OptiGrill can cook without additional oil. It uses the food’s natural fats and juices, dripping the excess into the sliding tray. It presses Panini too.
This colorful cooker will jazz up your countertop. Its removable grill plates tilt 7° for fat-free cooking. The plates are made of die-cast aluminum are can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
- Intuitive icons make the grill easy to use.
- It has an automatic sensor built-in.
- The T-fal’s cooking surface is 600 square centimeters.
- The colors are pretty. But between the purple preheater, the amber usher, and the yellow start-light, it can be tricky figuring out what’s what. So don’t lose your user manual!
What you want most from your smokeless grill is a fume-free kitchen. But since most grills will emit at least a little smoke, what other features should you consider while you shop?
In some homes, barbeque meals are a daily thing. Others only whip out the grill in the summer. For households that roast regularly, an indoor grill with a larger surface area lets you cook multiple dishes simultaneously. The bigger the better, especially if it has grates that clean easily.
On the other hand, if you’re mostly a solo server, you can opt for a smaller grill that has fancier features. Smaller grills make up for their lack of size by sneaking in some hi-tech features like audible alarms, auto-shutoff, and connectivity to smart devices, so pick the right priorities.
You should also think about the physical size and weight of your indoor grill. Can it fit on our counter and will it sit there all the time? If you plan to stash it away, you’ll want something smaller and more compact. Also, ensure the power plug is long enough to reach your AC outlet.
Indoor grills are almost always electric. This is because wood-fueled grills and charcoal grills are more likely to emit smoke, so they’re not sold as indoor units. But although they’re powered by AC, indoor grills use a variety of heat sources. Some indoor grills use gas to heat the griddle.
Others have infrared heat sources, and some use regular glowing red heating filaments. During a barbeque, smoke usually comes from grease that has dripped onto scorching heat devices. Many indoor grills have a drip pan filled with water. It catches drips and cuts down on smoke.
It’s also worth checking for insulation. If your indoor grill doesn’t have handles, it should have an insulated lid to avoid burning yourself as you cook. On some grills, the housing is made of heat-proof materials as an extra safety measure. The feet should be insulated and non-slip.
Cooking and Cleaning Aids
Look for an indoor grill that has swiveling parts. These include a drip tray that can be tilted for easy grease disposal, making the grill easier to clean. It helps if the drip tray and grilling pan are removable and dishwasher safe as well. As for cooking aids, a built-in thermostat is great.
A floating hinge is even better because you can adjust the level of the lid when you want to toast some cheese or lightly press a sandwich. Other useful features include timers, indicator lights, circuit-breakers in case of overheating, automatic shutoff switches, and easy-lifting handles.
We’ve mentioned how your grill gets hot, but you also want a way to control said heat. Some grills have temperature dials calibrated in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit while others are simply labeled low-medium-high. Decide whether you want to fork out extra cash for ‘heating zones’.
More Grill Less Smoke
Given all the factors we’re reviewed, we recommend going with the Hamilton. Here’s why:
- It sears at high heat to lock in the juices in your food.
- The lid has a see-through glass ‘porthole’ so you can monitor your dish.
- The drip tray, grate, and hood are removable and dish-washable.
- Hamilton’s grilling surface area is 118 square inches.
- The lid has a hinge for grilled sandwiches and Panini presses.
- LED indicators verify pre-heating temperature.
- Its extra-large drip tray reduces the mess.
What type of indoor grill do you have at the moment? Show us a photo in the comments!