If you like the taste of grilled food, but not the hassle of going outside or the mess involved with setting up and cleaning an outdoor grill, an indoor option may be an answered prayer. However, some of the best electric grills are just as tedious as outdoor models. And many indoor grills also produce a lot of smoke – which is not something you want when cooking in the kitchen.
The Power XL Smokeless Grill is a relatively inexpensive way to enjoy grilled food without spending an arm and a leg. It also allows you to grill without the mess – although cleaning, while not tedious, does involve several components.
But how good is it? I grilled breakfast, lunch, and dinner to see if this is the type of grill that deserves a permanent place on your countertop. Spoiler alert: I was pretty impressed.
Power XL Smokeless Grill review: specs
- Thermostat: 200 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 18.46 pounds
- Cooking area: 13.5” x 8”
- Power: 1200 Watts
- Color: Stainless
- Cleaning: Dishwasher safe parts
- Price: $129.99/$109.70
Who should buy the Power XL Smokeless Grill?
The Power XL Smokeless Grill will suit people who like the taste of grilled food – and also those char-grill marks – without actually having to go outside to cook on the best grill. And since it’s so easy to operate, the appliance is also great for people like me who don’t really like to cook.
In addition, being smokeless prevents those irritating smoke detector false alarms. The grill is also ideal for people who don’t like large, bulky appliances, as it doesn’t take up much space, and the detachable cord makes it easy to store right up against the wall (or in a cabinet) when not in use.
Power XL Smokeless Grill review: unboxing and first impressions
The box’s contents were well packaged to provide insulation against rough shipping and handling. The box includes the grill’s base unit with water tray, drip tray, grill plate, griddle plate, heating element with detachable power cord, glass lid, operating instructions, and 3 different recipe booklets. Let’s take a closer look at some of the components.
The control panel is quite simple, and is actually one of my favorite features. As soon as the power cord is plugged in, the power button starts flashing. Pressing it once will cause it to remain a solid color. The fan doesn’t come on automatically; Pressing it once will turn it on, and pressing it again will turn it off. (However, it is advisable to keep it on when grilling).
The temperature buttons are in the middle of the control panel. The temperature can be set anywhere from 200 degrees to 450 degrees. The plus (+) button increases the temperature while the minus (–) button decreases it. The temperature can be changed while the grill is warming up or anytime during the cooking process.
Here’s something else I like about the control panel: The dial will flash while it’s warming up, and will remain a solid color when it’s at the desired temperature.
Power XL Smokeless Grill Review: Using the Grill Plate
In this picture, I’m pouring water into the water tray. The water and fan work together to keep the grill from smoking. I poured around 2 cups of water into the tray. (Note, if there is not enough water in the tray, the oil dripping off the meat can cause smoke.)
Even though it’s a nonstick grill, I spray everything with light cooking spray, and this grilling tray was no exception. I set the grill to 350 degrees, preheated it for 5 or 6 minutes (I wasn’t timing it, but the light was solid to indicate it had reached the desired temperature), and then added my seasoned salmon and shrimp. While this combination was cooking, I popped some instant Basmati rice into the microwave.
It took about 10 minutes total for the salmon to reach my preferred level of doneness, while the shrimp took about 8 minutes. I was trying to reach a balance in which the shrimp was well done and the salmon was medium.
Here’s the final result. The shrimp was delectable and the salmon was falling off the fork, which means that the grill did its job very well.
I cleaned the grill’s components (more on that later) and the next day, I cooked steak kabobs (with onions and green peppers) for dinner, using the same process as before. I didn’t add any seasoning, aside from some Worcestershire sauce.
This was by far the longest wait time of the three meals, and took around 15 minutes to finish. However, it was well worth the wait.
Power XL Smokeless Grill review: using the griddle plate
The third day, I tried my hand at making eggs and French Toast using the griddle plate. Once again, I lightly sprayed the plate and allowed the grill to heat up before adding the bread and eggs.
I didn’t time it, but I think the French Toast took about 4 or 5 minutes on each side, and the eggs were done well before then. The final picture is above. Full disclosure: I love syrup on pancakes, but I prefer grape jam on French Toast. Also, I cut up my eggs like I’m preparing them for a small child. (Don’t judge me!)
Power XL Smokeless Grill: cleaning
Fortunately, the grill and griddle plates, drip pan, collection pan and glass lid are all easy to wash. They can be placed in the dishwasher, but honestly, I only operate my dishwasher once a month to ensure I don’t void my warranty. In the photo above, you can see the drip pan and grill plate in the sink.
After removing the grill plate, collection pan, and heating element, you can see the inside of the base unit. I merely cleaned it with a damp cloth and some dishwashing liquid. However, I had to take care to clean into all of the little crevices. The company warns against using steel wool and other metal pads since they could leave scratches.
The drip tray contains 2 cups of water, and a little greasy residue from the meat. I needed to pull the tray completely out to dispose of the contents - and since it was full, I had to carry it very slowly to ensure I didn’t spill the contents.
I did find this to be a rather tedious process, as well as having to clean all of the various components. Again, it’s not hard, it’s just a bunch of parts. As a point of reference, I typically bake my food in the oven or broil it in the countertop oven. Cleanup only requires placing the aluminum foil lining in a zip lock bag to dispose of, and then washing the baking pan and/or broil rack.
How does it compare to other indoor grills?
Temperatures reach 450 degrees, which is good – and comparable to most indoor grills that I’ve tested. The Kenyon G2 Indoor/Outdoor Grill is the only grill I’ve tried that reaches 550 degrees – and it costs $500 more.
I consider the De’Longhi Livenza All-Day Combination Grill to be superior to the PowerXL because it includes 2 grill plates and 2 griddle plates, which allows me to use it as either an open grill or a closed grill to make paninis. Also, the De’Longhi Livenza supports individual temperature settings on the plates.
The Breville Smart Grill can also be used as an open or closed grill. However, both of these indoor grills are currently selling for $300.
In the less than $150 price range, the only competitor that I’ve tested and found comparable is the 1829 Carl Schmidt Smokeless Indoor Grill, which is strikingly similar in appearance. It also has a fan, glass lid, grill and griddle plates, and simple LED controls on the right side. However, the glass lid isn’t hinged so you can’t lift it up; either you place it on the grill or you take it off – and find a place to lay it down.
I might add that some of the higher-priced indoor grills emit some degree of smoke, so the Power XL gets major points for being truly smokeless as well as relatively inexpensive.
Should you buy the Power XL Smokeless Grill?
The Power XL Smokeless Grill is quite an impressive appliance. The simple controls and ease of use are just two of the reasons it’s joining my list of favorite indoor grills. Of course, the most important features of any cooking appliance are performance and results, and it earns high marks in both categories.
The ability to use both a grill plate and a griddle plate is also a major plus that cuts down on the number of appliances needed in regular rotation. I wouldn’t use it every day simply because there are too many components to clean, but honestly, that’s why I wouldn’t use any grill on a daily basis.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Power XL Smokeless Grill won’t break the bank – leaving you with enough money to actually buy food to put on the grill.
About this review, and our reviewer
Terri’s product review experience ranges from home goods to tech products to TVs, speakers, and headphones. She has product review bylines at Architectural Digest, CNN Underscored, Realtor.com, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Bob Vila, Apartment Therapy, The Spruce, The Daily Beast, Tom’s Guide, and Investopedia. Terri is always on the lookout for new products that can make chores easier (or at least, less tedious).