The Best Smokeless Indoor Grill for Your Kitchen, According to the Pros

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Yes, you can grill all year! With the best smokeless indoor grill for your kitchen, you can have juicy burgers, grilled chicken and more no matter the weather.

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For some of us, it’s grilling season all year long. But if you don’t want to brave the elements or fuss with charcoal, you can still grill. The solution: bring the grill inside! An indoor smokeless grill is the kitchen gadget you didn’t know you needed, but one you’ll find yourself using whenever you’re craving the taste of a good burger or grilled veggies.

But how do you know a so-so indoor grill from a must-have indoor grill? You test them! And our Test Kitchen pros put eight popular models through their paces to find the right option for your kitchen and cooking style.

How Our Test Kitchen Judged Smokeless Grills

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Our Test Kitchen team is serious about finding the best gear out there, so our team assembled a series of tests. We wanted to see how each grill did with popular grilled items: burgers, chicken breasts, salmon filets, sweet potato wedges, slices of red onion and strips of zucchini. This is in addition to using the grills to test recipes sent in from our readers (you can send us your best recipes here).

The Test Kitchen crew kept all of these criteria in mind while grilling up burgers and more.

  • Smoke level: Yes, even smokeless grills emit a little smoke (that’s just the nature of grilling). How much smoke did the grill produce? Was it manageable? Could it be easily vented with a regular kitchen fan?
  • Heat distribution: How evenly does the grill heat? Are there any noticeable hotspots? Does the grill provide good sear marks?
  • Ease of use: Is the grill easy to use? Are the controls intuitive?
  • Cleanup: Was the grill easy to clean? Does it have a nonstick surface?
  • Size: How big was the grill? Was there enough surface area to make enough burgers, grilled veggies or other favorites for a family? How big was the appliance overall? Is it convenient to store?
  • Other features: Many indoor grills offer additional features. What are these extras like? Are they useful? Are they worth any added cost?

Want to learn more about how our Test Kitchen chooses their favorite products? Check out our testing methods.

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Indoor Smokeless Grills

After flipping a few dozen burgers, our Test Kitchen found some favorites. Check out our picks for the best indoor smokeless grills based on your cooking needs.

Easiest to “Fire” Up: Phillips Smoke-less Indoor Grill

Philips Kitchen Appliances HD6371/94 Philips Smoke-less Indoor BBQ Grill, Avance Collection, 5, BlackVia amazon.com

OK, OK, we know that you’re not firing up the grill when you switch on an indoor model, but the Phillips Smoke-Less Indoor Grill definitely gave our Test Kitchen that feeling. The minute our team switched it on, the infrared technology glowed a bright orange with intense heat reminiscent of your favorite charcoal grill.

This indoor grill had ample space for all the foods we cooked with the large 14- by 8-inch surface. That’s enough room to make grilled chicken for the whole family. And while this grill didn’t have any temperature controls, our testers found that everything grilled up nicely. The grill marks on the veggies, salmon and burgers were spot-on. For the record: the surface hits about 450ºF which is a just-right temp for grilling.

  • Temperature: One temperature setting; reaches 450ºF
  • Additional features: Nonstick, dishwasher-safe grilling surface
  • Price: $299

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The Grill That’s More Than a Grill: Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill

Ninja FG551 Foodi Smart XL 6-in-1 Indoor Grill with 4-Quart Air Fryer Roast Bake Dehydrate Broil and Leave-in Thermometer, with Extra Large Capacity, and a Stainless Steel FinishVia amazon.com

We get it: if you’re going to purchase a new appliance, you want your money’s worth with some multi-use functionality. With the Ninja Foodi, you get a great indoor grill and an air fryer and a dehydrator.

But let’s focus on the test for now. The Ninja Foodi did a great job as a grill. With its variable temperature settings, our team got just-right grill marks on all the recipes we tested. Having the option to choose a lower temperature or high (near 500º) comes in handy since you might want to be a bit more gentle with foods like fish or get a good sear on something like a steak.

What about the other features? The Foodi delivered. It’s exactly the appliance you need if you can’t decide if you want to invest in a grill, an air fryer or a dehydrator. With the Foodi, you get all three.

  • Temperature: Adjustable temperature controls; reaches 500º
  • Additional features: The Foodi grills, air fries, dehydrates, roasts, bakes and broils
  • Price: $280

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Best No Muss or Fuss Indoor Grill: PowerXL Smokeless Grill Pro

PowerXL Smokeless Grill Pro - SilverVia target.com

You want to focus on cooking in the kitchen, not the cleanup. That’s why our Test Kitchen team enjoyed the PowerXL Smokeless Grill Pro. This indoor grill was unique in our test because it was fitted with an attached lid. This lid kept grease spatters at bay while grilling—meaning we didn’t have to scrub our walls and backsplash after flipping a few burgers. The grill plate was also dishwasher-safe so it took no effort to clean. Ease of use is such a big deal with small appliances; the easier they are to use, the more likely you’ll use them frequently.

But what about the grilling? The PowerXL grill did it well. Food sizzled on the grate and the crosshatch pattern gave everything from grilled chicken breasts to veggie burgers beautiful grill marks.

  • Temperature: Adjustable temperature; reaches up to 450º
  • Additional features: Lid to keep grease at bay, dishwasher-safe parts
  • Price: $120

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Small but Mighty: George Foreman Open Grate Smokeless Grill

George Foreman GFS0090SB Open Grate Smokeless Grill, Black, Family SizeVia amazon.com

If you’re only grilling for one or two people, the George Foreman Open Grate Smokeless Grill is for you. This grill is smaller—just 12 by 8 inches—but it does a great job of grilling meals for two.

In our test, the George Foreman option gave salmon, burgers, chicken and veggies perfect grill marks and seared our ingredients perfectly. And cleanup was a breeze thanks to the nonstick grill surface. Our testers also liked this grill’s small profile. It can be easily stored in a cupboard or pantry without taking up too much space.

  • Temperature: 3 variable temperatures
  • Additional features: Nonstick surface, dishwasher-safe components
  • Price: $69

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What to Make with an Indoor Grill

You can use an indoor smokeless grill to make any of your favorite grilled recipes. That’s the joy of it! You get that fresh-from-the-grill flavor even if it’s snowing, pouring rain or just too darn hot to stand over the coals.

So instead of grabbing your charcoal starter and braving the elements, just flip a switch and get grilling right in the kitchen.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.