Grilling Indoors: An Introduction To The GT Xpress

Move over, George Foreman. You've got serious competition. The GT Xpress 101 is taking center stage in the infomercials. The GT Xpress looks a bit like a waffle maker, but it does a whole lot more than just make waffles. It's billed as an indoor grill, and it lets you cook healthy, flavorful foods right on your countertop - most in less than ten minutes. The GT Xpress works on a few simple principles.

First, food cooks fastest when it is in direct contact with a heat source. That's always been the secret behind grills as opposed to ovens. When you cook foods in an oven, you're heating a lot of empty air around the food in order to heat the food. When you cook on a grill, you're placing the food directly on the heating source.

With a traditional grill, though, you're still only cooking the food from the bottom up. At some point, you need to turn the food over so that the other side cooks as well. The GT Xpress solves that problem by adding a second heating surface - on top. When you close the lid on the food in the GT Xpress, you're actually turning it into a two surface grill, cooking the food from the top and the bottom at the same time. You're food cooks twice as fast, without turning or flipping.

The Specifics of the GT Xpress

The actual machine is fairly small - not quite the size of a typical electric skillet. It takes up little space on your countertop for such a workhorse. It stands about four inches high and is only about 11.5 inches in diameter. To make it even sweeter, when you're not using the GT Xpress, you can stand it on end to store it so it takes up even less shelf or cupboard space.

The bottom of the unit has two wells in the bottom, each of which will hold about ¾ cup of food. The top closes over the bottom and can be fastened or left unlocked for foods that are expected to rise. The top also heats so that the GT Xpress can cook food from both the top and the bottom. Because of this dual heating action and the single serving size, most foods cook in eight to ten minutes.

The cooking wells and the top of the GT Xpress are coated with a non-stick coating so that you can reduce your use of oils, and cook low-fat.

Cooking with the GT Xpress

The wells are a unique feature of the GT Xpress grill that allows you to cook things on the grill that you normally would never consider. The semi-circular shape of the depressions means that all of your food comes out in neat little half-moons, which has led one GT enthusiast to name her blog about GT Xpress cooking "semicircular living".

Most recipes for the GT Xpress are a simple matter of brushing the top and bottom surface of the grill with oil or spraying with a non-stick spray, filling the well with ingredients, closing the lid and waiting. Cooking couldn't get any easier without your own personal chef.

A Few Benefits of the GT Xpress 101

  • Non-stick coating cuts down on the use of oil and fats in cooking. Great for dieters and those watching their fat intake.

  • The single serve wells make portion control a breeze. Each well holds just about the right amount of food for a single serving - another plus for those watching their weight and trying to control their portions.

  • Dual heating surfaces cook food from the top and the bottom, so food cooks faster than it does in a frying pan or a traditional grill.

  • The included recipe book offers lots of ideas for unusual and healthy meals, as well as great desserts and snacks that will please everyone in your family.

Recipes for the GT Xpress

The nifty little snack, dessert and meal maker has attracted quite a little cult following of dedicated users. It's widely regarded as the ideal cooking appliance for busy families, college dorms and singles living alone. The popularity of the little countertop grill has given rise to numerous discussion groups and blogs with cooking tips and recipes for the GT Xpress 101. The focus of the various groups, including a Yahoo discussion group, runs the gamut from family quick meals to Vegan recipes to be prepared in the GT Xpress. By hopping from one group or blog to another, you could conceivably create a menu that starts with appetizers and proceeds all the way through dessert, made completely in the GT Xpress - and enjoy every single bite. This fantastic item was designed for people on the move and the health-conscious alike. Try it out yourself and grill indoors tonight.

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About The Author, Stephanie Larkin Larkin
Cynthia Andrews is a freelance writer who writes about cooking tips and tips for the home, often discussing specific products such as the GT Xpress.