REVIEW – I don’t consider myself a cook as much as I consider myself an eater. I like to eat but to do that I have to cook. The best thing about cooking is the eating part. The worst thing about cooking is the cleanup. For that reason, I’m always looking for shortcuts and ways that can make cooking quicker and easier without sacrificing taste. I’m already a huge fan of the Instant Pot, and now I have another favorite kitchen helper. It’s the Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler FIVE tabletop grill and panini press. Let’s get cooking and check it out!
What is it?
The Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler FIVE tabletop grill and panini press is a small tabletop 5-in-1 cooking appliance. It’s a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle, and half grill/half griddle.
Adjustable temperatures from 175-450 degrees
Dimensions: 8.75″ x 16.00″ x 13.75″
What’s in the box?
- Cuisinart GR-5B
- Instruction/recipe book
Design and features
The Cuisinart GR-5B is a compact tabletop appliance that has a stainless steel exterior with a large handle on top and a small backlit LCD on the front.
Attached to the back of the unit is the non-replaceable power cord which felt a bit too short to me at 36 inches.
The right side of the unit has a sliding latch on the side of the handle that allows you to open the lid 180 degrees if you want to use the cooker as a griddle.
Without unlocking the handle, the lid opens as you see in the image above. It opens far enough that it will rest in this position without needing to manually hold it open.
Unlocking the handle will allow the lid to swing open and then rest on the handle to create a full cooking surface.
As mentioned, this is a 5-in-1 cooking appliance. You can use it as grill like you see above…
Or you can press the black button on the side which allows you to remove the non-stick cooking plates which are reversible.
Just press the button on either side and lift out the dishwasher safe plates.
Then you can flip one or both over to the flat griddle cooking surface shown above. This will give you the ability to cook different foods on either side like pancakes or fried eggs on the flat side and bacon or sausages on the grilled side that has the ridges that keep the food out of the grease/oils.
If there is any excess grease, oils, or juices, they will run off into the built-in collecting tray that can be removed for cleaning.
Let’s get cooking!
The first step to using the Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler FIVE is to plug it in and press the on/off button. When you do this, the LCD will light up and will show the default temperature of 400 degrees. You can use the knob on the right to change the temp from 175-450 degrees in 25-degree increments and switch between grill and griddle modes. When the mode and temperature are set, the grill will preheat and then beep when it is ready to be used.
The first cooking test I did with the GR-5B was to make some toasted meatloaf sandwiches. I love using leftovers and toasted meatloaf is one of my all-time favorites. I also decided to split some leftover baked potatoes and put them on the grill too.
The GR-5B’s cooking surface is roomy enough for two standard sized sandwiches when using it as a panini press.
With the sandwiches in place, you can close the top. When I say “close”, that doesn’t mean that the lid will lock in place. The lid floats, so it presses the food between the two cooking plates but does not latch shut. The lid is heavy enough to keep everything in place and cooks from both sides so don’t have to manually flip the sandwich mid-way through which in the past usually meant losing some of the meat and other toppings in the process.
Besides the mode and temperature, you can also set a timer to count down or count up to a certain length of time so you won’t overcook your food.
For toasted sandwiches, I just opened the cover after 5 minutes to check to see if the bread was toasted to my liking and adjusted from there. Timing will be dependant on the type of bread and the selected temperature. I will say that at 375 degrees, the sandwiches toasted much quicker than my usual stovetop frying pan method and the meat inside was perfectly heated.
It was definitely love at first bite!
And the clean up was crazy easy too. I just waited for the grill to cool down and then wiped the plates with a paper towel since there wasn’t any residue left on the plates other than a little bit of grease from the butter.
A few days later I grilled up some smoked sausages.
Sausages don’t squish like sandwiches when you cook them with the cover closed, so the cover didn’t want to float too well at first.
Jiggling the handle and opening and closing the cover a couple of times fixed that and the back tilted so it would be flat against the sausages. Now I always look at the grill from the side to make sure the lid is positioned correctly for optimal cooking.
Almost done! Yum, another winner winner not a chicken dinner. 🙂
What I like
- Easy to use
- Easy cleanup
- Faster than using a frying pan to grill/fry meat and toast sandwiches
What needs to be improved
- A longer power cord would be nice
The Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler FIVE tabletop grill and panini press has become a regularly used cooking appliance in my home. My favorite use for it is to make toasted sandwiches because it makes them quick and perfectly. I also like to use it grill up chicken breasts, sausages, pork cutlets, etc. I prefer to use the GR-5B with the cover in the closed position because it keeps grease spatters to a minimum which means less clean up for me. And speaking of clean up, popping the plates off and throwing them and the drip tray in the dishwasher is about as easy as it gets. The Cuisinart GR-5B Series Griddler FIVE tabletop grill and panini press gets two thumbs up and a happy tummy from me.
I still use this all the time for toasting sandwiches (mmmmm grilled cheese), grilling steaks, and now I can use it for waffles! Cuisinart offers waffle plates that fit the GR-5B Series Griddler FIVE tabletop grill and panini press perfectly. I’ve been using them to make my new obsession – chaffles (Google it – you’re welcome). Yum! The waffle plates are $39.99 on Amazon.
I’m still using this grill on a regular basis. I use it occasionally to grill steaks and burgers, but the main use has been for toasted sandwiches and grilling smoked sausage. It’s holding up well after more than 2 years of use so I have o problems still recommending it as a nice countertop grill.