About Micro Chef Grill
Oh boy! If you just found out about Micro Chef Grill, a device that “turns your microwave into a grilling powerhouse,” you might be itching to hand over your credit card information.
After all, a way to get true grilling flavor—and even grill marks—directly from your microwave, and up to 10X faster than conventional grilling? What’s to think about?
As it turns out, there’s a lot to consider about Micro Chef Grill, which we’ll cover here. To really dig in, let’s first find out exactly how it works.
How the Micro Chef Grill Works
Micro Chef Grill basically looks like a large oven pot, with one non-stick, ceramic grill plate attached to the lid and another attached to the base.
When these grill plates are exposed to microwaves, they capture them “in its ceramic core and convert them into conduction and infrared waves, reversing the microwave’s inside-out cooking process.” As a result, they claim it’s “like your food’s cooking with direct heat from the outside-in.”
These plates heat up to 500 degrees, which mean that you can not only sear meat (complete with grill marks!), but that you can also toast bread and even cook Panini sandwiches. Micro Chef Grill claims to be your solution for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts!
Everything works over 4 steps:
- Place your ingredients into the Micro Chef Grill.
- Put the lid in place.
- Set your microwave’s proper cooking time.
- Remove your food and serve.
And when you’re done, Micro Chef Grill makes cleanup a breeze since it’s dishwasher safe.
Sure, this all sounds great, but is there anything especially unique about Micro Chef Grill?
How Common Are Microwave Grills Like Micro Chef Grill?
In one word? Very. Many of these options even feature nearly identical designs (and colors) as the Micro Chef Grill, which you can see by searching online for “microwave grill” or “microwave grill pan.” Specifically, Micro Chef Grill seems to be designed like the original MicroHearth cookware.
You’ll even find many of these same options available from national retail chains like Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more, which might help you save money in S&H fees (we’ll talk more about this shortly).
Regardless of the brand, how do these microwave grill pans work?
The Science Behind Grill Pans Like Micro Chef Grill
Although the Micro Chef Grill commercial might have made the process seem complex, it’s anything but.
Instead of heating your food directly from the inside-out (as a microwave normally would), Micro Chef’s plates heat up and then transfer their heat to your food, which is cooked from the outside-in. Thus, the theory is that this will provide you with an authentic grilling experience, but using your microwave.
Sure, it might seem logical, but how does this play out in the real world? What are customers saying?
Customer Feedback for Micro Chef Grill
Micro Chef Grill was brand new at the time of our research and didn’t have any online customer reviews.
However, the nearly identical MicroHearth version had an average rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon, based on 30 customer reviews (as of 10/14/15). There, common compliments revolved around ease of use and great-tasting results.
Despite its mostly positive reputation, numerous customers mentioned that it will take some trial and error to get used to, based primarily on your microwave’s wattage.
From a company perspective, the Micro Chef Grill is brought to you by Tristar Products, who also makes other popular kitchen devices like AirWave Fryer, Fusion Juicer, Power Pressure Cooker XL, and more.
With hundreds of reviews, HighYa readers have given them an average rating of 2.5 stars, with common complaints citing failure to work as advertised, poor quality, and difficult customer service experiences. Will you experience the same?
Again, since Micro Chef Grill is such a new product it’s difficult to say, although we’d definitely recommend keeping all of this in mind.
When it comes to overall value, it’s impossible to gauge without knowing the price. So, let’s talk about this next.
Micro Chef Grill Pricing
One Micro Chef Grill (1.5 QT/1.4 L food capacity) will cost you $39.99 plus $9.99 S&H. For this price, your order will include a grill press, extender ring, Quick Start guide, and Micro Chef recipe book.
All Micro Chef Grills come with a 90-day refund policy, less S&H charges.
Important note: All Tristar products also come with an automatic arbitration agreement, waiving many of your legal rights if you experience damages. This includes a trial by jury or joining a class action lawsuit.
In order to request a refund, you’ll need to call Tristar’s customer service line at 973-287-5164.
There’s nothing like down-home cooking, so let’s bring it home and discuss the bottom line about Micro Chef Grill.
Is the Micro Chef Grill the Same as Traditional Grilling?
You know the mouth-watering taste that only grilled food has? A large part of this is caused by something known as the Maillard reaction (also known as a browning reaction).
This, in turn, is caused by “the denatured proteins on the surface of the meat recombin[ing] with the sugars present.” In layman’s terms, it creates a thin, tasty crust on the outside.
Surprisingly, since this reaction occurs between 300 and 500 degrees (the Micro Chef Grill claims to reach up to 500 degrees), and because it only occurs when cooking meat from the outside in, Micro Chef might be able to give your food a similar reaction.
Keep in mind though that the final flavor depends on the spices you use, which might need to be tweaked when learning to cook with Micro Chef Grill. Also, the flavor profile can be changed quite a bit by other factors, such as the cut of meat, the combustible material (e.g. charcoal, mesquite, hickory, etc.) used to cook it, and more.
Ultimately, considering the very high online reputation for products that are essentially similar, as well as the 90-day refund policy (a big standout within the ASOTV industry), Micro Chef Grill might be worth giving a try.
Just keep in mind you’ll likely lose around $15 in non-refundable S&H, so it might be wise to check local options first!