Griller Fillers

I have one of those grill press thingies (like a sandwich toaster) that cook your food from both sides and drain off the fat.

My daughters bought me a new one for my birthday. I’m still wiping this one clean between each use. (If not removed, deposits can congeal and pull off the non-stick surface.)

It’s been interesting to notice which foods leave deposits and which leave little more than a bead of oil.

Sausages, for instance, can vary widely. These days, few will split their skins, although some might escape at the ends. Even without splitting, most supermarket sausages exude a sticky goo that adheres to the grill plates. The sausages made by our local butcher are cleaner to cook.

My husband likes smoked bacon. I prefer unsmoked (if I fancy kippers, I’ll buy kippers). I’m talking here about UK bacon, as I understand from Quora responses that US bacon may be different.

The smoked bacon I cook for himself (whatever quality I buy) leaves a burned coating on the grill surface that I never get from unsmoked bacon. This leads me to wonder whether this bacon is really smoked, or if a smoky flavouring is added after curing.

The picture above is my former grill (smaller than the new one). It still works well, but there are patches where the non-stick surface has burned away, to be scraped off with the goo (which is why you’re seeing it with the top closed 🙂 ).

These grillers work well for filled ciabatta or panini toasties (after quickly blasting my sliced mushrooms with it to go inside them). Also for grilled meats that can become dry when fried in a pan – I’m thinking of chicken breasts in particular. Cooking from both sides at once keeps the juices inside, but my problem is how to know when they are completely cooked through – important for chicken.

The obvious way would be to pierce the meat and see if the juices run clear, but I’m instinctively reluctant to release those juices and drain them (habit of a lifetime). Especially if more cooking will be required.

If anyone knows a better way to judge if meat is cooked without stabbing it, please share below.



What kitchen gizmos do you like to use instead of a traditional hob or oven?

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11 thoughts on “Griller Fillers

  1. I eat salad most days unless it’s run out…(now picture cartoon salad running out of the door!) I don’t eat meat any more, and can’t remember testing meat any other way than prodding it with a knife…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sadly, if it isn’t yet cooked, piercing it encourages the juices to escape. I certainly eat less meat than I used to, and more fish, but that’s probably more to do with cost than health reasons. I wouldn’t want to give it up completely.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I sprang for a spendy instant read thermometer(Thermapen) years ago. I use it all the time. It comes with a little chart which helps when I forget what is cooked for pork and for chicken.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a meat thermometer, but I’ve no idea where it is! It wasn’t used often. I’m just reluctant to stick anything in a joint or slab of meat that will let those juices escape. (My first husband was a chef and I probably caught some of his prejudices.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think with bacon a lot of milk is added these days. I remember the good old days with split sausages. The best sausages I ever tasted were made by my Uncle Percy he was a butcher living in Shotton, North Wales. He brought us some down with him when he visited my mum, I said, “These are brilliant, Percy.” after eating them. He replied, ” Well you should like them, they are Cumberland sausages.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. better there than in your tum! I have been known to recycle the better stuff – beef fat with a touch of unsmoked bacon is good for frying eggs or maybe mushrooms… In the winter, I set it around seed for the bird table.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a steam oven. And the air fryer. Those things are lifesavers when I want to have healthy food yet don’t want to be too hands-on by staying by the pan. The steam oven is especially handy, because all I need to do is chop and wash veges, then into the steamer they go.

    Liked by 1 person

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